From next year Sony is going to stop making floppy disks… shock horror! Well it’s more of a shock that they are still making them… after all even an average presentation won’t fit on the maximum 2MB storage they offer. USB sticks offer 4,000 times the storage in a rather more convenient size…
I still have a couple of boxes of floppy disks from 20 years ago along with a couple of drives to read them… but have I used them (countless copies of PhD thesis drafts and copious quantities of data for speech recognition) – no. I guess I’ll keep them for posterity like my record collection…
I was thinking over the weekend… It’s interesting that all of the major IT vendors are returning to the old model of selling pre-integrated technology stacks to sell their wares.. It seems that the days of having “one great product” that can drive revenue (of the size that the large vendors need) are numbered and, as a result, the big guns are going back to positioning themselves as “one stop shops” for technology.
IBM (who never really moved away from the old model !) are now positioning themselves as “chip to command-line” suppliers, leaning heavily on Linux and virtualization enablers
Oracle have obviously acquired Sun to provide an integrated stack
Cisco/EMC/Vmware have partnered (with themselves !?) to create VCE to aggressively go after “Cloud”
Microsoft and HP are partnering to enable future Hyper V, .NET installations and the Azure cloud platform.
Let’s hope that, this time around, customers will actually benefit from this dynamic change. Also, it is clear the Symantec needs to show it has a very strong proposition in order to stay at the table in large data centre transformations.
Good news… the CompactFlash Association has just released its V5 specification. This will up the maximum capacity to 144PB… as if the existing 137GB isn’t enough! Of course, it will be some time (couple of decades?) before we see devices with anywhere near this quantity of storage – but it is an indicator of where we are going, and more importantly where the supporting infrastructure, such as backup needs to move to. If you want a quick bit of mental arithmatic… how much would it cost to store 1PB of data on-line for a year today… answers on a postcard please…
Now where did I put my HD video camera…
An interesting report was published this week by Information Age and concerning IT strategies in 2009 (a hard year for most !). The report found that most effective IT strategies of the year to be:
1. Support mobile working
2. Server virtualisation
3. Unified IP network architectures
Certainly good news for the Hypervisors..
The least effective strategies were deemed to be:
1. Reduce IT staff costs
2. Outsourcing the IT organisation
3. Offshore development
That should raise a few eyebrows !
As the business world leaves the excess of the Christmas party season behind, many employees will approach the New Year with the aim of leaving their current job behind. January is notoriously the time for fresh starts with as many as one in three employees making it their resolution to find a new job. In order to ensure confidential data does not depart with them, so its crucial that those in management begin taking steps to secure corporate information now.
The lack of prospects in 2009 resulting from the recession meant that many people stayed in jobs which they would otherwise have left. With the first signs beginning to emerge that 2010 might herald a turnaround in the job market, it is certain that many will be eager for the opportunity to move elsewhere.
Unfortunately we see that that many employees will take confidential information with then when they leave. Company documents, passwords and online information are often seen as being ‘fair game’ when leaving an organisation, with few feeling guilty about retaining access to information or databases that they’ve used for years. Well meaning employees can also take sensitive information with them by simply forgetting to hand a memory stick back or wipe their personal mobile device before leaving. It is important that companies have policies in place to protect against such ‘accidental theft’ as well.
The vast majority of ex-employees will not take information out of any malicious intent but simply to retain access to data they feel they created, or passwords that will allow them to maintain access to paid for databases. However, regardless of their intent, employees do not own this company data and by taking simple moves such as regularly changing passwords and tracking the internal movements of confidential documents, companies can ensure their information is protected not just from external attack but also from past employees.
Symantec today announced it is offering its next-generation security and enterprise-class storage management solutions through the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). Symantec Endpoint Protection and Veritas Storage Foundation Basic are now available on Amazon EC2. Businesses can leverage the Symantec solutions to add additional protection to their Windows servers in the cloud with comprehensive threat prevention and manage their cloud storage online with a single toolset that delivers reliability, scalability and high performance.
“As many businesses increasingly leverage the cloud for applications and services, they want to protect and manage those environments with the security and storage management solutions they are used to from Symantec,” said Greg Hughes, group president, Enterprise Product Group, Symantec. “By taking the same proven security and storage management solutions that organizations have come to rely on in their data center and extending them to Amazon EC2, Symantec is delivering on its commitment to provide value in the cloud.”
“As a web service that provides resizable compute capability on demand, Amazon EC2 makes web-scale computing easier for customers of all sizes,” said Steve Rabuchin, General Manager of Developer Relations and Business Development for Amazon Web Services (AWS). “We’re pleased that our mutual customers can now extend familiar Symantec security and online storage management solutions to the AWS cloud.”
Amazon EC2 users now have access to key protection technologies provided by Symantec Endpoint Protection. Symantec Endpoint Protection combines Symantec AntiVirus with advanced threat prevention to deliver defense against malicious attacks such as viruses, worms, spyware, Trojans, zero-day threats, and rootkits. Symantec Endpoint Protection helps ensure information remains safe and business assets are protected wherever that information resides.
Amazon EC2 users also now have access to advanced online storage management capabilities provided by Veritas Storage Foundation Basic from Symantec, allowing them to manage multiple hosts from a central interface and optimize storage performance and availability online. Storage Foundation enables non-disruptive storage operations through GUI-based management and online configuration with dynamic disks.
“We have been running Symantec Endpoint Protection locally to secure the endpoints and servers in our computing environment and have been very pleased with the level of protection it has provided,” said David Jordan, CISO of Arlington County. “As our infrastructure becomes more of a mix between on-premise and off-premise offerings, we look forward to leveraging these new delivery models for security and storage solutions.”
Today’s announcement marks another significant step in Symantec’s cloud strategy to deliver customers unmatched choice in the adoption of cloud solutions based on the company’s enterprise class products. For more information, please visit http://www.symantec.com/cloud.
Licensing and Availability
Symantec Endpoint Protection and Veritas Storage Foundation Basic are available now in the form of custom Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) that allow customers to run Symantec provided instances on Amazon EC2 on a pay-as-you-go, hourly basis.
Customers can subscribe to these custom AMIs and find additional information about Symantec and Amazon Web Services at http://www.symantec.com/amazon.
Over the past few weeks I have been hosting “Symantec Technical Strategy 100” workshops in the UK. The workshops are designed to bring 100 senior technical design authorities from our customer-base together to discuss all things “VERITAS”.
Fifteen companies have been involved so far and, I must say, that it has been engaging and rewarding to see the users and designers of our storage and availability management product coming together and speaking so openly and candidly about this area of their technology stack. There has been a real sense of “community” in the sessions and we now hope to run further workshops, create a secure portal for community discussion and start a series of webcasts to ensure that our most important customers fully understand our storage and availability strategy.
If you think that you would like to represent your company within the community and you are already users of the VERITAS portfolio, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now… off to the continent to gather more community members..!
I’m at the Storage Expo show at Olympia, London.. There is good attendance this year (and it’s not just vendors and analysts!). A couple of observations so far:
First the hardware vendors are getting a pretty tough time of it. The messaging from most people here is around the fact that storage infrastructure desperately needs to be optimised and consolidated.. There seems to be a general theme of “the hardware vendors have been over-selling for years” and that the right thing to do at this point is to step back and re-assess the need to buy more expensive disk.
Secondly, business is getting done here.. Last year was an opportunity for the storage community to look for new job opportunties. This year sees customers researching solutions to their IT infrastructure problems.
I hear that this year is the last for this particular show.. Shame, it’s finally doing what it’s supposed to.
Well it’s that time of year again and StorageExpo starts tomorrow at Olympia, London It should be fun – all the usual suspects are there and there will no doubt be some interesting new stuff to look at and hear about.
Scott McNealy gave the opening keynote at Oracle World in San Francisco earlier this week and highlighted the top 10 innovations from Sun. Storage is in the list several times including NFS/PC-NFS & ZFS/OpenStorage. If you were then to include the number of storage management applications built using Java then the list would be endless.
I first used Java more than 13 years ago to build a client for, what was then, OpenVision NetBackup (now Symantec NetBackup). The big benefit was that you could run it on all platforms (ok, so back then there were a few nuances, but the idea was amazing). Subsequently it was used for the front-end for all the VERITAS / Symantec enterprise backup, storage and high-availability products… along with everyone else in the industry. When you go to StorageExpo, take a look around at the applications running on the screens and make a note of how many require Java to work.
See you at Olympia.
Tivo released a new version of their product this week – this one with a terabyte of storage. It seems pretty incredible really, but by the time you add up all the storage in the home today (hard disk recorders, digital cameras and frames, laptops, desktops, USB drives, iPods, the list continues…) we are rapidly approaching the amount a small to medium sized business has! And its all so cheap… I bought another 1/2 TB today for home, for a measly £50. OK, so I am probably more paranoid than most when it comes to backup, but it is so much cheaper to buy a new drive than it is to figure out what it is I can delete.
Businesses suffer from the same problem, but there are tools and products around to make it simpler to reduce the amount of duplicated content. Single Instance Storage is the way to go for business… I look forward to it arriving in the home.