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Chris Evans

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Top Stories by Chris Evans

At the end of August 2012, Amazon Web Services released their latest service offering – a long-term archive service called Glacier.  As a complement to their existing active data access service S3, Glacier provides long term storage for “cold” data – information that has to be retained for a long time but doesn’t require frequent access. What Exactly is Glacier? Many organisations need to retain data in archive format for extended periods of time.  This is for regulatory or compliance purposes or may simply be part of their normal business process.  Good examples are medical, healthcare, financial or media (video and audio) data.  Typically for many IT departments, backup has provided a lazy way of archiving information.  Access to backups retained for up to 10 years provides a cheap and rudimentary archive service.  However backup isn’t archive (see my recent art... (more)

Is the Performance of All Cloud Servers the Same?

One of the benefits of delivering Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) through the cloud is an abstraction from the underlying hardware delivering the service.  There’s no requirement to understand what technology is being used to deliver, for example, cloud servers.  The specification of a cloud-based server is based on a few simple metrics, CPU, memory and disk space. CPU or processor power is described by most vendors in terms of cores, which translate to some abstract definition of physical computing power.  Only Amazon Web Services (AWS) reference physical CPU architecture, w... (more)

Analysis: Dell's Alleged Bid for Fusion-IO

Last Friday Eric Savitz over at Forbes reported that Dell may have put in a speculative bid for Fusion-IO (thanks to Don Jennings for spotting the article).  The rumoured price was $33 a share, which is approximately a 50% markup on the share price at the time – we can only assume the offer was rejected. As Chris Mellor recently reported, Fusion-IO have been increasing revenue but making a loss and Eric Savitz also noted that 55% of their revenue comes from just two companies – Apple and Facebook.  From what I understand there are also other storage companies that also contribut... (more)

Managing Risk in IT

The IT debacle at RBS has highlighted the dependency large financial organisations (and other companies) have on their IT infrastructure.  From what has leaked out into the press, the RBS issue relates to a piece of software called CA-7, used for mainframe batch job scheduling. When I first started in IT in 1987, CA-7 (and it’s sister product CA-1, used for tape management) were already legacy technology.  From memory, I believe CA acquired the products from another company; both had archaic configuration processes and poor documentation.  However they did work and were reasonabl... (more)

Server Virtualization and Storage Management

In the past decade or so, storage management has developed into a discipline in its own right, driven by big increases in the amount of data being stored, as well as the rise of storage networking protocols that facilitate shared storage. Virtualization, meanwhile, has become the foremost technology for server and PC optimization.  In this environment, shared storage provides functionality that would otherwise not be possible, such as nondisruptive virtual machine migration. But virtualization adds a layer of complexity in the association between a server and the storage that s... (more)