Information Technology Navigator

Tips, Advice & Insights from Technology Pros

Backing Up Virtual Machines: 5 Things to Remember

Posted by Michael Chen

Virtualization Changed Everything

While we may all be familiar with virtualization at this point, we are still feeling its significant impact on our data centers. What was once sprawling racks of servers has been consolidated into ever-smaller hardware packages.  With the advent of cloud computing, your hardware footprint could in fact be zero! However, despite the technology making our lives so much easier, it’s important to consider that our responsibility for these workloads remains the same.

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When is All-Flash Storage Better than Hybrid Flash?

Posted by Sean Gilbride

As the cost of solid-state technology decreases and its capacity increases, flash technology has steadily been making inroads into the enterprise storage architecture, to the point where flash has become a standard component of most storage solutions. Just how much flash is necessary, however, is the question confronted by directors of infrastructure who are trying to balance cost with their companies’ needs for high performance.

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3 Workloads that Demand an All-Flash Storage Array with Inline Deduplication

Posted by Sean Gilbride

IT managers have long envied the power of all-flash storage for accelerating their most demanding workloads. Unfortunately, the much higher cost-per-terabyte for all-flash storage compared to traditional spinning disk storage has—in many cases—kept these ideas in the realm of wishful thinking. A data reduction technique called deduplication, however, is bringing all-flash storage into the realm of economic reality.

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The Business Case for All-Flash Storage

Posted by Sean Gilbride


For years, traditional spinning disk technology reigned as the only option for enterprise storage. While the speed and performance of other infrastructure components improved exponentially, hard drive technology has improved only incrementally with performance remaining largely the same since the year 2000 when the first 15K RPM drives were released. Traditional hard drive storage has been, and remains, a common bottleneck, making otherwise powerful IT systems sluggish and inadequate for handling the demands of modern workloads.

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3 Features to Look for in an All-Flash Solution

Posted by Sean Gilbride

All-flash storage arrays are all the rage among IT teams looking to coax as much performance as possible out of their storage infrastructure. Thanks to the generational maturity of the technology combined with data reduction techniques like inline deduplication and compression, all-flash storage is no longer the economic impossibility it once was.

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How Deduplication and Compression Make All-Flash Storage Affordable

Posted by Sean Gilbride


Jealous of the pure power of all-flash but concerned about cost?
The latest generation of all-flash arrays have a couple of tricks up their sleeve that make the difference in usable capacity and cost between flash and spinning disk much less significant: inline deduplication and compression.

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Still Backing Up Duplicate Data?

Posted by Mike Mahan

Meeting with clients, I’m hearing a lot of folks complaining about two common problems: First - Backups are taking far too long to complete.  Second – Recovering a single file is a long, painstaking process.

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Have You Outgrown Your Symantec NetBackup Domain?

Posted by Peter Wright

How do you know if your NetBackup Domain has become too large? 

When NetBackup Domains grow beyond Symantec best practices guidelines, performance and manageability can begin to degrade. During my 15 years as a NetBackup backup engineer, I’ve found that the following 5 criteria are worth considering:

Catalog size - As the catalog grows, the time required to protect it can become excessive. The catalog backup is a database backup. The synchronization checkpoints and locking required for other NetBackup jobs will cause extra processing time.

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Cisco’s UCS Firmware Management: Why All the Excitement?

Posted by Kevin Richards

Firmware Management – The Evil Mistress

Firmware management is not traditionally a topic that anyone gets excited about. In fact, it’s typically relegated to the bottom of the IT team’s list of priorities because it’s often painful and time consuming.

From a management perspective, budget spent on firmware management is very difficult to justify and ROI is nearly impossible to measure. But firmware is an evil mistress - if it’s not attended to often enough - out of date firmware can stall an OS upgrade, prevent the introduction of new hardware or worse, cause an unexpected outage of critical equipment in the data center.

We all have stories of servers, switches, storage arrays, etc. that ran fine for years until one day, the system crashed for no reason. We later discovered that there was a critical bug fix quietly released two revisions of firmware prior to the one we were running. Grrrr!


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Symantec NetBackup v7.6: 8 Tips to Help Manage Storage Lifecycle Policies

Posted by Chris Richley

The addition of Storage Lifecycle Policies (SLP’s) in Symantec NetBackup 7.6 has provided backup administrators with a very effective tool for managing backup/snapshot, image, duplication, and replication.

While SLP’s simplify these tasks, careful consideration is required when you’re monitoring and managing the policies and the components utilized in your NetBackup environment.

The SLP administration window we all know and love, shown below, is a great tool for managing SLP’s. But there are other things you should consider to help manage your SLP’s.

To help manage your SLP’s and make sure they’re optimized, please consider these (8) additional configuration tips. 

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