Chris Evans

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Top Stories by Chris Evans

Like many people, the other week I downloaded and installed Google Drive.  This is the long-awaited competitor to services like Dropbox and Microsoft’s SkyDrive, offering free online storage with the ability to upgrade to higher capacity at a cost.  Dropbox and the various other lookalikes have been around for some time, so is Google coming to this market too late and is the party already over? Cloud Storage The concept of Cloud Storage is pretty simple.  Services like Dropbox allow you to share a local folder on your PC or Mac and have that data replicated into “the cloud”.  From there it can be accessed by other devices, including smartphones, web browsers and tablets.  The great benefit of cloud storage offerings is that they allow all copies of data to be kept in sync, while retaining a backup copy that can be used if any or all of the local device copies are l... (more)

HP Cloud Now Available In Beta – A First Look

HP have joined the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) market and released their HP Cloud service in public beta.  Here’s the announcement press release.  The services on offer are: Available Now as Public Beta Compute – on-demand server instances. Cloud Object Storage – object-based storage using RESTful APIs. Content Delivery Network – local distribution of web content. Still in Private Beta Cloud Block Storage – persistent data for compute images Relational Database for MySQL – managed cloud databases There’s also the HP Identity Service for managing key & token access managem... (more)

How Often Should You Check Your Backups?

We are regularly told that checking our own bodies for signs of change is a good thing.  Early diagnosis of disease gives more of a fighting chance of curing the problem.  So, in the IT world, where we assume all of our backups have been taken successfully, how often should we be checking the results and ensuring the backup will work on the fateful day we need to do a restore?  This question was posed by Federica Monsone on Twitter this week.  Here’s an attempt to provide an answer. First of all, let’s consider the whole point of taking backups.  Excluding the inappropriate use ... (more)

So.cl and Google+ Musings for a Monday

This morning I signed up and had a play with Microsoft Labs’ social media application, so.cl.  This was quietly released over the weekend with little attention as it’s a piece of experiment work rather than a new social media platform.  It’s early days to be commenting on whether so.cl will be useful; currently it appears to be targeted at students and search sharing.  I wonder whether the intention is to use the output to help improve the quality of Microsoft’s search engine, Bing. Anyhow, the so.cl interface is reminiscent of Google+ (especially party invitations, that seem to... (more)

Optimizing Storage Architectures for SSD

Last week I attended Hitachi’s 2012 Blogger Day.  Aside from catching up with some old friends, we were presented with some NDA stuff which will see the light of day soon.  In the meantime, I want to talk about a press release Hitachi made while I was still on holiday (and clearly missed as I returned, somewhat jet lagged). Previously I’ve discussed how solid-state arrays need to be optimized in their design to get the best out of the technology.  Traditional arrays were designed to cope with the hard drive as the slowest component in the architecture.  IP was built around squee... (more)