Category Archives: Business Solutions

HP moves to 300GB SAS

75% less power and 70% less space than 3.5″ drives

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HP’s making the move to 300GB 2.5″ SAS drives.  The Seagate-built drive is twice the capacity of previous 2.5″ SAS drives.  HP began shipping the Savvio 10K 300GB SAS drive worldwide to resellers this week.

This is another step in the rapid enterprise storage form factor transition underway.  2.5″ is mainstream for datacenters  starting now.

CentralAxis: storage that saves small businesses

It takes care of data so time-strapped staff don’t have to

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Seagate introduced the Maxtor CentralAxis Business Edition, network storage for small businesses.  Like its little brother for the home, CentralAxis BE is a game changer. 

Unlike traditional storage solutions that are add-on afterthoughts and don’t always work well together, CentralAxis BE puts the content first.  It’s a single central storage solution that makes managing the changing demands for storage simpler and safer as a business grows:

  • Easy to install and manage with a compact design and anywhere access.  Staff can access and share data from anywhere via the web.
  • One system for the entire company with up to 2 terabytes of space.  One system works for all employees across Windows and Mac OSes.
  • Safety for all a company’s data with automatic backups for up to 20 PCs that save up to ten historical versions of information.  Backups are mirrored across two drives for added safety. Plug an external drive into a USB port for rotating backups offsite.

Need more space?  Add another CentralAxis BE. 

At some point you’ll probably need a more complicated solution.  You can put your IT department on that task…once your big enough to hire one.

How much storage is in your cubicle?

For me it’s 1.2 terabytes

In previous posts I’ve added up the storage in my home office and my living room.  Now it’s time to go to work:

  • Laptop: 100 GB
  • Local backup drive: 500 GB
  • Remote backup drive: 320 GB
  • Personal storage: 250 GB
  • Video camera: 40 GB
  • BlackBerry: 64 MB
  • TOTAL: 1.2 terabytes

My first blog post a year ago was about my full drive on my work PC.  Since then I’ve expanded to 100 gigabytes.  Nothing like my home PC, but work space requirements tend to be lower.

I’m in the midst of changing my backup method from a local desktop backup drive to a BlackArmor portable drive.  It allows me to backup my work remotely.  It’s got Seagate Secure technology, which means it’s hackproof – no worries about losing sensitive information.

I expect my next laptop to have a Seagate Secure encrypted drive inside as well. 

Someday it will be considered stupid – and maybe illegal – to use a hard drive that’s not self-encrypting in a business PC.

i365 gets physical with on-site storage

Local appliance addresses the biggest objection to cloud storage: loss of control

i365 has added an on-premises backup and recovery appliance to its EVault online backup and recovery services. 

One of the biggest inhibitors to Cloud Storage for backups has been that businesses don’t want to lose control of their data.  Drunken Data mounted the soapbox on this topic Monday. No matter what assurances a Cloud service makes, it’s hard not to feel safer with data on-site.

The poster child for this reluctance is Amazon S3, which guarantees 99.95% uptime, yet has a history that falls short of this level.

The EVault Express Recovery Appliance stages backups locally, allowing transfers to the Cloud over time.  The incremental costs for the appliance are small compared to conventional 100% on-site backup.  Near-term recovery time is quicker, but maybe more important is the emotional benefit of having recent backups within the company walls (locally or at a remote facility). 

This pragmatic tweak to the Cloud Storage model could open up the business market for SaaS in a big way.  What do you think?

i365: New construction on the virtual interstate

Seagate Services has shifed gears to become i365

Seagate has combined its services businesses into a standalone company called i365. The name reminds me of an interstate highway.  The more I think about it, that’s not a bad thing. 

When the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System was first conceived, it was a radical new aproach to getting around.  By building out a new infrastructure, personal travel was transformed.  It affected much more than transportation though.  The housing industry, economic development, city centers and leisure travel all went through significant and unforeseen shifts due to faster and easier transport.  There’s only so much you can predict.

i365 is one of a growing horde of companies riding the rails of a virtual equivalent of the Interstate Highway System – the internet - to provide faster and easier (and safer?) management of their data.  

The internet is on a path to have a bigger impact on society than the advent of cars and highways. And like the Interstate System, who knows really what that will mean in 20 years? 

I’m excited to see Seagate jumping in with both feet.

Tom’s Hardware’s ultimate workstation has SAS and SATA

Seagate and SAS/SATA flexibility get the nod for their Big Guns of Business platform

When it comes to storage, Tom’s Hardware gets it. 

It’s not because they chose Seagate’s Cheetah 15K SAS and Barracuda ES SATA drives for their Big Guns of Business workstation platform.  It’s that they understand the truly revolutionary benefits of SAS and SATA in combination. 

Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) is taking workstations (and servers, and storage systems) where SCSI never could because of native mix-and-match compatibility with SATA. 

That means you can have screamin’ SAS, massive SATA, or both.  And change it up tomorrow if you want. 

More and more system vendors are getting this.  Strongly consider SAS-based systems from here on out.

NBC Olympics coverage to use half a petabyte of disk

More content, more pixels, more copies, more channels

Gearlog reports that NBC will use a half a million gigabytes of disk storage to cover the Beijing Olympic games. 

That’s right: 500 terabytes.  A half petabye.  For one event. 

The new demands of digital video broadcasting

Why so much?  Triple the hours of coverage of the 2004 Games, and many more channels (broadcast and web).  I’m sure there’s a Digital HD multiplier in the equation as well.

NBC will use Omneon MediaDeck and MediaGrid servers and storage, and Seagate Barracuda ES hard drives to pull this off.

The strangest part: by the 2012 London Olympics, this solution will look quaint and seriously under-sized.

SAS is breaking out of the enterprise

SAS drives are thriving outside the data center, despite SATA’s cost advantage 

Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) was created to replace SCSI, the long-standing enterprise hard drive interface.  It has done that, but there have been sightings far from the datacenter.  Places like Ravelry, a seemingly  home-hosted knitting website

Rather than shrink in the face of lower priced SATA drives, SAS drives are expanding into SATA’s domain.  What’s going on here? 

  • SATA compatibility.  SATA drives interoperate with SAS, so many entry server backplanes and PC motherboards are switching to SAS to cover both interfaces.  This has created a virtual “Storage Foreign Exchange Program” as SATA drives are adopted in the enterprise, and SAS drives are tried in homes and small businesses.
  • Cost.  New 1 TB 7200 RPM SAS drives like the Seagate Barracuda ES.2 cost about $50 more than their SATA equivalents. 
  • Capacity.  The newest SAS enterprise-class drives like Seagate’s 450GB Cheetah 15K.6 offer more capacity than past enterprise drives.  This makes them more affordable on a cost-per-GB basis.
  • Physical size.  The server market has adopted 2.5″ SAS drives en masse, and the storage system market will follow.  These drives use a lot less power and space than conventional enterprise drives without sacrificing performance.  There are no reasonable SATA 2.5″ alternatives today.

If you’re still stuck in a SCSI/SATA mindset, consider a crash course on SAS. 

Who’s replaced SATA or IDE with SAS recently?

Disk drive brand matters to IT end users

Seagate is a Top Five technology brand for a surprising number of IT end users

An end user IT survey by Everything Channel on CRN.com shows that disk drives aren’t as much a commodity as one might think. 

When asked what five vendors are most important for their technology provider to have a relationship with, Seagate was mentioned by a surprising number of IT folks.  All the more impressive given that Microsoft, HP and Dell take up 3 of the 5 spots for over 40% of the respondents.

For small businesses, Seagate was mentioned more than EMC, Sun, CA, SAP, Toshiba, Hitachi Data Systems and NetApp.  No other pure storage vendor (device or system) was on the list. 

Seagate had an even higher ranking on the list for medium-sized businesses. Continue reading

Dell on a tear with servers and storage

Copying a page from their PC strategy for x86 servers and storage

 

Newsweek’s Roger Kay makes a convincing case for Dell as a serious contender in the server space.  And they’re doing it Dell Style – coming up from below, more direct in many ways than HP.

They’ve got a lot of momentum:

  • Strong success supplying Microsoft’s datacenters
  • A filled-out server line up
  • Services that help customers adapt Dell servers to their applications
  • Data Center Services (DCS) – a cloud-building unit with Yahoo, Facebook and Baidu as customers

Why is this important to a historically PC-centric company?  Roger sees it: 

Desktops tend to yield gross margins in the 8% to 12% range, and notebooks hit 12% to 18%; servers come in at a much fatter 18% to 26%.  

Add to the server success their Equallogic acquisition and an aggressive move into 2.5″ SAS storage, and Dell is looking well positioned in the fast-growing SMB IT space.