W. Curtis Preston

Author Archives: W. Curtis Preston

Object storage in the cloud: Is backup needed?

The failure to back up data that is stored in a cloud block-storage service can be lost forever if not properly backed up. This article explains how object storage works very differently from block storage and how it offers better built-in protections.What is Object Storage? Each cloud vendor offers an object storage service, and they include Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3), Azure’s Blob Store, and Google’s Cloud Storage.Think of object storage systems like a file system with no hierarchical structure of directories and subdirectories. Where a file system uses a combination of a directory structure and file name to identify and locate a file, every object stored in an object storage system gets a unique identifier (UID) based on its content.To read this article in full, please click here

Object storage in the cloud: Is backup needed?

The failure to back up data that is stored in a cloud block-storage service can be lost forever if not properly backed up. This article explains how object storage works very differently from block storage and how it offers better built-in protections.What is Object Storage? Each cloud vendor offers an object storage service, and they include Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3), Azure’s Blob Store, and Google’s Cloud Storage.Think of object storage systems like a file system with no hierarchical structure of directories and subdirectories. Where a file system uses a combination of a directory structure and file name to identify and locate a file, every object stored in an object storage system gets a unique identifier (UID) based on its content.To read this article in full, please click here

Backup the data in AWS Elastic Block Store

A recent Amazon outage resulted in a small number of customers losing production data stored in their accounts. This, of course, led to typical anti-cloud comments that follows such events. The reality is that these customers data loss had nothing to do with cloud and everything to do with them not understanding the storage they were using and backing it up.Over Labor Day weekend there was a power outage in one of the availability zones in the AWS US-East-1 region.  Backup generators came on, but quickly failed for unknown reasons. Customers’ Elastic Block Store (EBS) data is replicated among multiple servers, but the outage affected multiple servers. While the bulk of data stored in EBS was fine or was able to be easily recovered after outage, .5 percent of the data could not be recovered. Customers among the .5 percent who did not have a backup of their EBS data actually lost data.To read this article in full, please click here

What is instant recovery? A way to quickly restore lost files and test backup systems

The concept of instant recovery is relatively simple – the ability to run a virtual machine directly from a backup of that VM – but the possibilities offered by such a simple concept are virtually limitless, which explains why it’s considered one of the most important advances in backup and recovery for many years.Before the advent of instant recovery all restores were basically the same, starting with how backups were stored – in some type of container or image. Prior to commercial backup-and-recovery software, backups were stored in formats such as tar, cpio, or dump. More about backup and recovery:To read this article in full, please click here

How to deal with backup when you switch to hyperconverged infrastructure

Companies migrating to hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) systems are usually doing so to simplify their virtualization environment. Since backup is one of the most complicated parts of virtualization, they are often looking to simplify it as well via their migration to HCI.Other customers have chosen to use HCI to simplify their hardware complexity, while using a traditional backup approach for operational and disaster recovery. Here’s a look at cover both scenarios.To read this article in full, please click here

How to deal with backup when you switch to hyperconverged infrastructure

Companies migrating to hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) systems are usually doing so to simplify their virtualization environment. Since backup is one of the most complicated parts of virtualization, they are often looking to simplify it as well via their migration to HCI.Other customers have chosen to use HCI to simplify their hardware complexity, while using a traditional backup approach for operational and disaster recovery. Here’s a look at cover both scenarios.To read this article in full, please click here

Why disk beat tape in the backup wars

Any backup experts worth their salt switched to disk as the primary target for backups many years ago. Tape still reigns in long-term archival, for the reasons laid out here. But tape is also quite problematic when it comes to day-to-day operational backup and recovery.To read this article in full, please click here(Insider Story)

The correct levels of backup save time, bandwidth, space

One of the most basic things to understand in backup and recovery is the concept of backup levels and what they mean.Without a proper understanding of what they are and how they work, companies can adopt bad practices that range from wasted bandwidth and storage to actually missing important data on their backups. Understanding these concepts is also crucial when selecting new data-protection products or services.[ Check out 10 hot storage companies to watch. | Get regularly scheduled insights by signing up for Network World newsletters. ] Full backupTo read this article in full, please click here

What is data deduplication, and how is it implemented?

Deduplication is arguably the biggest advancement in backup technology in the last two decades.  It is single-handedly responsible for enabling the shift from tape to disk for the bulk of backup data, and its popularity only increases with each passing day.  Understanding the different kinds of deduplication, also known as dedupe, is important for any person looking at backup technology.What is data deduplication? Dedupe is the identification and elimination of duplicate blocks within a dataset. It is similar to compression, which only identifies redundant blocks in a single file. Deduplication can find redundant blocks of data between files from different directories, different data types, even different servers in different locations.To read this article in full, please click here

Backup vs. archive: Why it’s important to know the difference

If you want to make a backup person apoplectic, call an old backup an archive.It’s just shy of saying that data on a RAID array doesn’t need to be backed up. The good news is that the differences between backup and archive are quite stark and easy to understand.[ Check out AI boosts data-center availability, efficiency. Also learn what hyperconvergence is and whether you’re ready for hyperconverged storage. | For regularly scheduled insights sign up for Network World newsletters. ] What is backup? Backup is a copy of data created to restore said data in case of damage or loss. The original data is not deleted after a backup is made.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Are you ready for the GDPR in May?

[Note: The author of this article is not a lawyer and this article should not be considered legal advice. Please consult a privacy specialist.]The basic news The GDPR covers all personal data your company stores on data subjects in the EU – whether or not your company has nexus in the EU. Personal data is defined as data that can be used to identify a person.  It’s similar to the concept of personally identifiable information (PII) that we have in the US, but it is broader. PII typically includes actual identifying elements like your name, social security number, and birthday, focusing mainly on the data required to fake your identity with a lender. Personal data includes what the US calls PII, plus any data that can be used to identify you in any way, which includes things as basic as an email address, online personality (e.g. twitter handle), or even the IP address where you transmitted a message from.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Are you ready for the GDPR in May?

[Note: The author of this article is not a lawyer and this article should not be considered legal advice. Please consult a privacy specialist.]The basic news The GDPR covers all personal data your company stores on data subjects in the EU – whether or not your company has nexus in the EU. Personal data is defined as data that can be used to identify a person.  It’s similar to the concept of personally identifiable information (PII) that we have in the US, but it is broader. PII typically includes actual identifying elements like your name, social security number, and birthday, focusing mainly on the data required to fake your identity with a lender. Personal data includes what the US calls PII, plus any data that can be used to identify you in any way, which includes things as basic as an email address, online personality (e.g. twitter handle), or even the IP address where you transmitted a message from.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Why is tape declining in the backup world?

The numbers don’t look good My favorite source of numbers for the tape industry used to be the Santa Clara Consulting Group.  They’d been tracking the use of tape in the backup and recovery industry since 2008 and had been a great go-to for such data. They showed a steady decline in number of units shipped, both in terms of drives and media.  Unfortunately, it looks like they stopped doing these services in 2014.Gartner’s most recent report on what media types people are using to do their backups is a pretty solid source of data, though. They’ve got data going back to 2009 that shows the percentage of people that are backing up directly to tape (D2T), backing up to disk then copying to tape (D2D2T), backing up to disk with no tape component (D2D/D2D2D), or backing up to the cloud (D2C/D2D2C).  While tape is used in most datacenters in one way or another, the percentage of companies using tape in any way is steadily declining. Companies are clearly moving to D2D or D2C techniques.  What are the reasons behind this trend?To read this article in full, please click here