Stories by Jim Damoulakis

  • All about how to do more with less

    The Storage Networking World show in Dallas seemed to me to represent a microcosm of the widespread concerns about the economy. There was a good deal of focus on how to do more with less, and my perception was that it was a quieter, more somber conference than usual. However, that's not to imply that there weren't some significant happenings. Here are some of the items that struck me as particularly notable:

  • 50 per cent off storage

    Storage vendors of every stripe have been feverishly working to hitch their wagons to the server virtualization juggernaut. Going far beyond the basic integration and certification activities that one would expect for support of a popular application, storage products are integrating management functionality and working to develop other ways to distinguish and differentiate their VMware support.

  • Is performance back on top?

    Working with several enterprise clients of late, it's become apparent that there is a not-so-subtle shift of emphasis or prioritization taking place regarding the tiering of storage. To understand this, it's helpful to review the recent history and drivers related tiered storage.

  • Three degrees of storage virtualization

    Survey after survey indicates that interest in and adoption of storage virtualization is increasing. But I cringe a bit when I see those surveys, because it's often impossible to determine what the numbers really tell us. How does each respondent define storage virtualization?

  • The other guy's job -- disaster recovery

    Mother Nature has wrought havoc in the Gulf and many of us were once again faced personally with worries over friends and family in harm's way and professionally with concerns about organizations facing uncertainty over their ability to continue or even recover their businesses. In a timely coincidence, I happened to be attending a disaster recovery (DR) conference on the west coast, and, appropriately, Hurricane Ike occupied center stage for much of the discussion. A number of would-be participants never made it to the conference as they were attending to more pressing matters back home.

  • Growing cynicism around going green

    Evidence is mounting of a growing cynicism regarding green initiatives within the IT infrastructure space. We may be reaching a point where vendor hype has hit a saturation point and beginning to meet with customer resistance. While there is a genuine concern about data center power consumption, particularly with regard to accommodating increasingly dense technology footprints, the larger concern for most, particularly in the current climate, is controlling costs.

  • Demystifying deduplication

    Of the assortment of technologies swarming around the storage and data protection space these days, one that can be counted on to garner both lots of interest and lots of questions among users is deduplication. The interest is understandable since the potential value proposition, in terms of reduction of required storage capacity, is at least conceptually on a par with the ROI of server virtualization. The win-win proposition of providing better services (e.g. disk-based recovery) while reducing costs is undeniably attractive.

  • Can ITIL save storage?

    I have a nightmare vision of storage administrators becoming clones of the mail carrier Newman from the TV sitcom Seinfeld, who once bemoaned the endless pressures of his job, crying, "The mail! It just keeps on coming and coming!"

  • Not your father's backup

    About 20 years ago, one of my first programming assignments as a Unix systems software developer related to backup. Specifically, I was to modify the device driver for a quarter-inch cartridge tape subsystem to improve streaming performance and to enhance the associated system-level command set for ease of management.

  • Creating a disaster-recovery application inventory

    The continuing advancement in the numbers and kinds of options available to assist with disaster recovery is encouraging growing numbers of organizations to look at ways in which to enhance their disaster recovery capabilities. Storage vendors are enhancing their replication capabilities, tools for rapid recovery for databases and core applications like Exchange are finding their way into organizations of all sizes, and, of course, virtualization has opened new disaster recovery opportunities to a wide range of organizations.

  • Solid state disk revolution looms

    We've all experienced it: that sense of frustration whenever the disk drive LED on your laptop turns solid green for a seemingly interminable period. While enduring one such interruption recently, my thoughts turned longingly to solid state drives and their emergence as a force to be reckoned with both at the low end and high. Several recent news items underscore this fact.

  • Promise for protecting laptops

    Among the multitude of data protection challenges facing IT organizations, arguably the least favorite for IT managers is dealing with laptop systems. Each week we read more horror stories about lost notebook computers and potentially compromised data as organizations attempt to grapple with what is literally a moving target.

  • Conference reflects maturation of the storage market

    Every Storage Networking World conference tends to serve as a gauge on the mood of the market and provides indications of trends and directions in the storage industry, and last week's in Orlando, to me at least, reflected a storage market that is transitioning to a mature phase, where new developments are likely to be more incremental - evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

  • Six keys to virtualization project success

    With server virtualization being all the rage, it can be very tempting to jump into it with a "build it and they will come" mentality. This could be risky, as recent surveys have indicated that a sizeable number of adopters aren't able determine if their projects were successful. We shouldn't forget that a virtualization project is no different than any other large scale IT undertaking: it takes careful planning, clearly defined objectives, and reliable execution in order to realize the benefits. Here are a few items to help avoid some common pitfalls:

  • Opinion: Can we trust Internet storage?

    Last week's flurry of reports stemming from a Wall Street Journal article about Google's unannounced plans to offer an online storage service represented the latest in a long-running series of rumors on the subject.