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Chris Evans

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Top Stories by Chris Evans

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 of backup for archiving, the backup process is there to ensure you can maintain continuous access to your data in the event of unforseen circumstances.  Usually (but not exclusively) these are data loss due to equipment or power failure, data corruption (whether software bug or malicious), a... (more)

Storage Old, New and Past Due?

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. The Old 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 cool  - but data protection is an essential requirement of sustainable data management and tape still provides the one of the most cost effective methods of data protection and of course archive.  This has happened because tape continues to innovate.  Tape drive speeds and media capacities con... (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)

The Cyclical Nature of Storage

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 1960′s there was no choice but to be centralized. All we had was mainframe and dumb disk drives.  Storage needed a controller the size of a fridge to work and so was never going to be distributed to the masses any time soon. Then in the late 1970s, in comes Al Shugart and Seagate, giving us the first d... (more)

Vendors Overcharging for SSDs and HDDs?

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 earnings call. Whilst I have no doubt that storage array vendors are making a good markup on SSD bulk prices and could be constricting growth in the market, I also doubt this is a new phenomenon.  Have a look at the list price per drive of any array vendor and you’ll see SATA and SAS drives similarly mark... (more)