Stories by Logan Harbaugh

  • The skinny on solid state drives

    Solid state drives are appearing in all types of gear these days. We tested seven SSD-based products – three PCIe boards, two SAN systems, a server blade system and a standalone SSD.

  • HP StorageWorks 2000sa

    The HP 2000sa G2 Modular Smart Array is the first storage system we've received that uses 2.5-inch drives, fitting 24 drives into a 2U chassis rather than the usual 16-drive 3U chassis that we see on most systems.

  • HADR offerings bring resiliency to virtualization

    Virtualization is becoming increasingly important in the datacenter as a way to respond quickly to the varying server demands. Depending on time of day and day of the week, as well as events in progress and many other factors, loads on any given machine may vary by factors of 100 or 1,000 or more. Giving a server more or less computing power, running multiple instances of the same server for load balancing purposes, or allowing failover from one virtual instance to another are increasingly important capabilities.

  • Review: Symantec, Zantaz ease large-scale backups

    Administrators often battle with end users over the amount of space they use on mail and file servers. Users would like to keep everything they might need, while administrators would like to avoid buying more disks and upgrading servers to handle huge inboxes and home directories.

  • WatchGuard has a big firewall for SMBs

    Geared to the SMB market, WatchGuard Technologies's Firebox X series offers a feature set comparable to more expensive firewalls -- along with some of the accompanying setup and administration complexities of enterprise firewalls.

  • HyperIP boosts data replication

    Remote replication of storage is more popular today than ever, and it promises to become even more important, thanks to government regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley that require data replication. To transport the data, some organizations lease dark fibre and run long-distance FC (Fibre Channel) connections, but this approach can be very expensive due to the equipment and the leased lines. The alternative is to use an IP storage protocol over a TCP/IP WAN, but this method also has a drawback, namely the inherent inefficiency of TCP/IP for transmitting storage protocols.

  • Mirapoint MD450 boxes out spam

    Mirapoint’s Message Director MD450 exemplifies what administrators should expect in an appliance: a drop-in approach to installation, great ease of use, and performance comparable to the best in the field. Most organisations should find installing the MD450 completely painless, as it comes with installation support.

  • Fast on the outside

    Storage can never be fast enough, plentiful enough, or cheap enough. It used to be that the best you could hope for was two out of three. But that’s changing, thanks to advances in ATA drives and ingenuity from Nexsan Technologies. Nexsan, which started with disk-to-disk back-up systems, now offers an FC (Fibre Channel) or SCSI-attached storage subsystem, the InfiniSAN ATAboy2, that uses ATA drives to provide lots of storage at very economical prices, all without any real performance penalty over a completely SCSI solution.

  • An open alternative

    Microsoft Exchange is a known leader in the groupware/ server space, along with IBM/Lotus Domino and Novell’s GroupWise. But the biggest problem with Exchange, aside from its clunky browser interface, is that it only supports Windows clients.

  • REVIEW: Fight server overload

    F5 Networks has been in the load-balancing business as long as anyone. It began with a router-based system, but the BIG-IP 5000 Application Switch is an entirely new product, which combines a switch-based architecture with a dual-processor Intel-based routing engine.