8/27/2013 | Posted by Mike Alvarado, Overland Storage

In an earlier blog, I argued for changing the understanding of cloud to be less about the technology of cloud and focusing more on cloud as an extension of strategy. The challenge is how to get consensus within an organization. How to develop the set of principles needed to focus organizational attention requires a common set of operational experiences. The best approach is to focus on creating active prototypes to establish what works in practice. Such an approach will more likely ensure that the cloud delivers a genuinely valuable business outcome. This may seem like an oversimplification but the reality is that with a strong set of operating principles and hands-on experience, it will be easier to make sense of and chose a durable cloud business and technology strategy.

Comments? Send them my way at thinkingstorage@overlandstorage.com

7/23/13 | Posted by By Peri Grover, Director of Product Marketing

In my last blog post, we took a look back at the advances that have been made in tape technology over the past 60 years.  In this post, we’ll look at why tape storage still remains a critical part of the IT data protection infrastructure.

Studies show that 80-90% of the data we create is never accessed again. Nonetheless, as data retention requirements become more stringent in accordance with industry compliance laws (i.e., SOX or HIPPA) and corporate regulation, companies must store all of their data for longer periods of time—sometimes forever. This quickly snowballs into petabytes and exabytes of data that require storage, and disk-based solutions are simply too expensive for storing that much data.  In addition, users can’t afford to clog up their networks and servers with that mass of “less critical” data when they often have an immediate need for a smaller set of critical data.

With the amount of data being stored continuing to grow exponentially, tape offers some inherent advantages over disk-based technologies for long-term data storage, including:

  1. High capacity: LTO tape cartridges can now store up to 6.25TB on a single tape.  With Overland Storage’s NEO library, companies can now store over 6PB in less than 14 sq. ft. of data center floor space.
  2. Fast performance:  Data can now be retrieved in a matter of seconds or just a few minutes with the ability to move data at speeds of over 1TB/hr. per tape drive. Read more…

6/25/2013 | Posted by Mike Alvarado, Overland Storage

IT management’s most valuable corporate contribution is to concentrate on strategically enhancing information technology systems and portfolios. There are five tasks that enable IT to deliver this great strategic value. These tasks also illustrate the essential architectural role IT plays.

Create policies to minimize equipment reuse Legacy equipment can always be re-purposed right? That kind of thinking saddles companies with substandard outcomes even when some of the equipment is new. IT’s responsibility is to help Business Units avoid short-term decisions that lead to churning hardware, software and services. Reuse can be a sound decision but not if driven by poor initial purchasing assumptions.

Promote the right appliance strategy One benefit of server virtualization is to enable adopting soft appliance strategies. By taking a multi-use, multi-application approach, corporations earn the flexibility they need to continually adjust their information resources to align with new circumstances and initiatives. Read more…

5/29/2013 | Posted by Mike Alvarado, Overland Storage

Effective information and data management requires continual improvement. Today’s best practices and procedures were built over time. Yet, the only constant is change. Regularly updating, pruning and jettisoning practices is necessary for corporations to keep up with opportunities and challenges. In this regard, here are five data management traps and what to do about them.

1. Charge-back instead of charge-forward: IT has historically assessed charges after services have been rendered. IT needs to be more forward acting. How? By offering services like public service providers do. IT will need to clearly and transparently communicate the cost of services and Business Units will need to agree and even pay upfront for resources, actions and professional services.

2. Resource allocation: Resources have usually been viewed as being owned by IT. IT needs to get out of the business of fine-tuning resource consumption and instead make all resources available via self-service infrastructures that charge on demand.

3. Data management sinkholes: Data needs managing but as the expression goes, “Nothing is impossible for people who do not have to do it themselves.” IT has frequently labored at great cost and even to the detriment of meeting strategic initiatives to perform data management tasks like migration or record cleanups. IT has to evolve to enable and enforce having Business Units take on the responsibility for data management.

4. Server virtualization at all costs: Server virtualization is no panacea. Server virtualization can actually be harmful if virtual resource management ignores the real physical constraints or requirements of underlying technology.

5. Let data speak for itself: IT could dramatically benefit corporations by developing systems to better extract information from data. IT could provide a service where they serve as information curators to help Business Units make best use of information assets.

Comments? Send them my way at thinkingstorage@overlandstorage.com