Information Technology Navigator - Tips, Advice & Insights from Technology Pros

When is All-Flash Storage Better than Hybrid Flash?

Posted by Sean Gilbride on Thu, Mar 26, 2015

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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Tags: All-Flash, Flash Storage

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

Posted by Sean Gilbride on Fri, Mar 20, 2015

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 on Thu, Mar 19, 2015


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 on Fri, Mar 13, 2015

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 on Thu, Mar 05, 2015


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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Tags: All-Flash, Flash Storage, Storage Infrastructure

Still Backing Up Duplicate Data?

Posted by Mike Mahan on Fri, Jan 09, 2015

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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Tags: Backup, Data Integrity

Have You Outgrown Your Symantec NetBackup Domain?

Posted by Peter Wright on Mon, Dec 22, 2014

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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Tags: Backup, Symantec, NetBackup 7.6

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

Posted by Kevin Richards on Thu, Dec 11, 2014

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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Tags: Cisco UCS, Firmware Management

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

Posted by Chris Richley on Wed, Dec 03, 2014

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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Tags: Symantec, NetBackup 7.6, Storage Lifecycle Policies (SLP)

Hypervisor-Based RecoverPoint: A New Twist for Backing Up VM’s

Posted by Jake Roczniak on Mon, Nov 24, 2014

It happens all the time – a customer has a problem that’s tough to solve. I was recently asked how to best protect a virtual environment – stretched between two data centers. The customer wanted all administration through vCenter with instant recovery and the ability to meet stringent RPOs and RTOs. And the catch – they wanted the backed up data to be stored on a different vendor’s array utilizing a different protocol - NFS instead of Fibre Channel (FC) block storage.

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Tags: VMware, data protection, EMC, RecoverPoint, VM Backup