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Chris Evans

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Latest Blogs from Chris Evans
In the first wave of solid-state storage arrays, we saw commodity style SSDs (solid state drives) being added to traditional storage arrays. This solution provided an incremental benefit in performance over spinning hard drives, however the back-end technology in these arrays was deve...
Last week I briefly attended the Tape Summit at IP Expo.  Unfortunately due to other commitments during the day I was only able to join the round-table.  To be fair this was probably the part of the day I most wanted to attend – hearing everyone’s opinion generates much mor...
Following on from my first post on VVOLs, I did a little research on the two technology previews that had been presented at this and last year’s VMworld – sessions INF-STO2223 & VSP3205 respectively.  The sessions fill in a few background ideas and seem to have evolved ...
During the VMware keynote session today there was a minor discussion on the upcoming concept of VMware vVOLS.  Today, a virtual machine sits on a VMFS created on a storage LUN or on an NFS share.  An individual virtual machine consists of many files and in the case of VMFS-based VMs, i...
This is one of a series of posts discussing the new features in Windows Server 2012, now shipping and previously in public beta as Windows Server 8.  You can find references to other related posts at the end of this article.  This post reviews the new Hyper-V 3.0 feature, Virtual Fibre...
The acquisition of BlueArc by Hitachi/HDS just over 12 months ago enabled the company to start producing more integrated unified products, which have been branded under the name HUS (Hitachi Unified Storage).  The latest announcement, made on 25th September 2012 (and discussed at the H...
Previously I’ve discussed how solid-state arrays need to be optimised 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 squeezing the best performance o...
Everyone who hasn’t been hiding under a rock or living on Mars knows that today is the day Apple Inc release details of their new iPhone 5.  I’ve used the iPhone since version 3, having had the 3GS, 4 & 4S, all of which have been great pieces of technology and invaluabl...
Before I went on holiday I managed to have a chat with Mike Kazar, Chief Technology Officer for and co-founder of Avere Systems.  Prior to founding Avere, Mike worked at Netapp after founding Spinnaker, which was acquired by Netapp in 2003 and was developed into Data ONTAP Cluster-mode...
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...
August seems to have been the month for a huge raft of storage-related announcements and I’m still getting to grips with the detail, after being away on holiday for the whole month. As I start to pick out the news and make sense of how it fits into the storage landscape, I thought I’d...
This morning I read an article on search storage’s Storage Soup blog that talked about the cost of SSDs and the amount of money made by storage array vendors as they mark up SSD vendor drives.  STEC were the main target of the article after discussing SSD adoption in their recent...
Yesterday Oracle Corp announced their intention to acquire Xsigo Systems Inc for an as yet undisclosed sum of money.  Xsigo was one of the original presenters at Tech Field Day back in November 2009.  That was the the inaugural event where I met great friends like Simon Seagrave,
Over the last couple of years I’ve moved away from personal physical disk media to using technologies like Dropbox as my method of carrying around files.  This is a pretty obvious migration; Dropbox, Google Drive and others provide additional features, including the most obvious ...
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 fo...
Texas Memory Systems have just announced that their RamSan-70 PCIe SSD cards can now be used as bootable devices.  Currently support is restricted only to Linux operating systems with x86 64-bit hardware supporting the UEFI boot standard, but Windows support is expected later in the ye...
My latest article and podcast are up on searchstorage.co.uk.  I discuss the use of cloud storage for archiving.  Links are below. Cloud archiving: A viable alternative to in-house archiving systems (Podcast) Cloud archive: The most mature of the cloud storage services (Article)   ...
Here are my slides from the London VMUG yesterday.  It was a great event and thanks to everyone who attended the session.  Good to meet you all!  
This week has seen announcements from two companies I’ve been interested in and following for some time. Nasuni makes a storage appliance that stores all of a customer’s data in “the cloud”. It’s available either as a physical device (effectively a server running their software) or a...
This is one of a series of posts discussing the new features in Windows Server 2012, due to be shipped this year and currently in public beta as Windows Server 8.  You can find references to other related posts at the end of this article.  This post reviews the new file system format k...
Perhaps I should have entitled this post “The Cyclical Nature of IT” because the same principles apply. Over time, storage moves back and forth between fully dispersed and fully centralized like a sine wave on an oscilloscope. The Evidence Look at the evidence. In the 1950′s and 196...
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 ...
This post tracks a series of articles discussing new features in the upcoming Windows Server 2012, currently in beta as Windows Server 8.  This represents Microsoft‘s eighth generation operating system, succeeding the previous server release Windows Server 2008 R2.   Windows...
This is one of a series of posts discussing the new features in Windows Server 2012, due to be shipped this year and currently in public beta release as Windows Server “8″.  You can find references to other related posts at the end of this article.  This post reviews the ne...
We now know what Microsoft’s big announcement is – a tablet called the Surface.  To many this may seem like just another “me too” product from the company that used to rule the desktop, but I think a closer look is needed at what Microsoft are actually doing her...
Infortrend have been producing storage products since 1993.  In this post we will look at one of their desktop SOHO products, the 2-drive EonNAS Pro 200, which I’ve recently had on short review for a couple of weeks. Hardware The box itself is a smart, matt-black unit, with minim...
Just a quick post on news that came over the wire late UK time. Dell saw their share price drop by 17% today on weak quarterly figures, as reported by Forbes, with seemingly significant drops in their consumer business.  Could this partly be the Apple effect? Dell are working hard at b...
It’s pretty easy to pick holes in the current legacy storage products, especially when it comes to integration within both public and private cloud deployments. However it’s worth discussing exactly what is required when implementing cloud frameworks, as the way in which storage is de...
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...
It’s been an interesting day of contrasts in the world of storage, one that shows storage is a diverse and wide ranging segment of IT. Tape has been part of the discussion on the twitterverse and despite everyone’s best attempts, is not dead yet. Tape and backup may not be seen as co...
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 ...
One of the worst kept secrets in the storage world is finally out.  EMC are acquiring XtremIO for a reported $430 million, as documented in a previous post. The EMC press release talks about XtremIO as “one of the world’s widely regarded Flash storage architecture pioneers&...
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 lookal...
As part of last week’s Storage Field Day event, at the Solid State Storage Symposium I moderated a panel entitled “Solid State – Simply a big cache or a real storage tier?”  The full brief was as follows: Solid state disks blur the boundary between cache and storage, ...
This week I managed to fit in two podcasts.  First was episode 5 of Speaking in Tech with Greg Knieriemen and co.  Second was the first of a new series of podcasts from Violin Memory, which I recorded while in California for Tech Field Day.  You can find both podcasts from the links be...
This week Hitachi launched their entry into the Unified storage array marketplace (press release).  Hitachi Unified Storage (or HUS) as it will be known, takes AMS2xxx arrays and BlueArc NAS gateway/heads, combining them together to produce a unified platform.  We’ll come back to...
I recently wrote an article for TechTarget that looked at the implementations of data de-duplication in primary storage arrays.  One of the things that stood out for me was the lack of de-duplication support in traditional (and some might say legacy) storage arrays. The cynical amongst...
Last Friday, as part of early birthday celebrations I had dinner in Dean Street in London’s Soho area.  Prix Fixe (French for fixed price, meaning a set menu) is a small and unassuming restaurant, styled to look like a typical French Brasserie. Inside, the table and chairs are ba...
The time has come around quickly and yet again I find myself attending another Tech Field Day.  However this will only be my third event; it’s also the very first Storage Field Day – an event dedicated to storage companies.  Over the course of the two days we will see a ran...
As part of my trip to San Jose for Storage Field Day, I will be participating in the Solid State Storage Symposium, which is being held the day before the Field Day event on 25th April 2012 at the DoubleTree Hotel, San Jose.  You can find a link to the event [...]