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Halloween has passed.  In its wake is an inevitable sugar crash.  If you have kids, you welcome this side effect to curb all of that frenetic energy and to provide a spate of peace and quiet.  In IT, a sugar crash often follows the acquisition of new gear or the implementation of a new application or OS.  During this brief period of calm, we settle into the new kit or process or workflow, content that we have the shiniest new thing until the next shiny new thing. In some cases, we start to second guess the decision we just made.  Did we really need that shiny new storage box?  Could we have saved ourselves the money if we had just gone around and cleaned up all of the worthless data we were storing and bought back that capacity?  Seriously, at least 70 percent of the data we are storing is a combination of archival data that belongs on tape, not on flash or disk, and contraband, orphan and copy data that can be greatly reduced through good data hygiene.  Some would say that those kinds of thoughts are instances of second guessing, buyer's remorse, premarital jitters even.  I say they are sensible and that we ought to heed them before we go out and buy new stuff. I was reminded of that when I ran across my friend of decades, Ken Barth, at IBM Edge 2016.  Ken is currently honcho-ing up Catalogic Software, whose flagship product cleans up the mess left by data protection processes that generate and leave in their wake ceaseless copies of data, for protection or sharing, filling our precious storage capacity.  I was delighted when Ken agreed to do an interview with me to post here.  After listening to what he had to say, I am sure you will find him to be a treat -- perhaps so sweet that his copy management software will move you from sugar crash to sugar rush!  
Catalogic is an IBM Business Partner.  Their former CEO, Ed Walsh, recently moved over to IBM to assume a senior position in storage there, so Ken, a major investor and former CEO of companies like Tek Tools, stepped into the management role.  Expect great things from this energetic evangelist in the days ahead. Thank you to IBM for having me as a guest at their soiree.  They covered my transportation and lodging at IBM Edge 2016, and remunerated me for live tweeting their general sessions.  This video blog is my own work and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Big Blue. edge-animated-tile-5  

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zpocalypse2Just in time for Halloween, long time friend Ed Childers, who also happens to be IBM's LTFS Lead Architect and Tape Development Manager, agreed to be interviewed at this year's IBM Edge 2016.  Ed caught us up on all things tape, from the realization (finally) of the long predicted Renaissance in tape technology to the latest developments in tape-augmented flash and disk storage.  Have to admit it, Ed is my brother from another mother. Childers has been doing a Rodney Dangerfield impersonation for the last could of years -- tape just wasn't getting the respect it deserved from the user community or the industry.  But with the "zettabyte apocalypse" around the corner, tape is suddenly very sexy. Regular readers will recall that the zpocalypse to which we refer isn't a Halloween novelty, it is real.  According to leading analysts, we are expecting between 10 and 60 zettabytes (1 zettabyte = 1000 exabytes) of new data to hit our combined storage infrastructures by 2020.  This has cloud farmers and large data center operators quite concerned.  Back of envelop math says that only about 500 exabytes of capacity per year can be manufactured by all flash chip makers collectively, while output from disk makers hovers somewhere around 780 exabytes per year.  Taken together, that totals less than 2 percent of the capacity required at the upper limit of projected data growth.   zpoc The only way that we will possibly meet the demand for more storage is by using tape.  With 220 TB LTO Ultrium cartridges within striking distance, smart cloud and data center operators are already exploring and deploying tape technology again.  Ed is now officially the guy who women want to meet and men want to be.  Here are some of his observations.  
Thanks, Ed Childers, for taking the time to chat with us.  And thank you to IBM for inviting us to attend Edge 2016 and for allowing us to use some of the availability of your best and brightest in these video blogs. For the record, IBM covered the costs for our attendance at IBM Edge 2016 and they gave us a small stipend for live tweeting their general sessions.  The content of these video blogs and other opinions on this post are ours exclusively. For those who are not familiar with our take on the zpocalypse, here is a refresher, staring Barry M. Ferrite...  
And here is the follow-on video...  
  Thanks again to Ed and to IBM. Great show, that IBM Edge! edge-animated-tile-5

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sdsWhen you talk to someone who wears the handle "Vice President of Storage and Software Defined Infrastructure Marketing," you would think that you are going to get an earful about SDS and hyper-converged infrastructure, and maybe some hype about how it is the shiniest of shiny new things.  However, IBM's Eric Herzog (known on Twitter as @Zoginstor) has knocked around this business for so long, bringing knowledgeable evangelism of so many storage innovations in his career, the hype is kept to a minimum. Herzog is one of our favorite interviews at IBM events because he has a knack for bringing us up to speed on what IBM is doing and how that fits against the broader trends he is seeing in the world.  Here was his take at IBM Edge 2016.  
  Again, our special thanks to Eric Herzog for providing his valuable insights into both IBM's storage products strategy and the use cases that are emerging in the wonderful world of IT. Eric was instrumental in the invitation from IBM to DrunkenData to attend Edge 2016 and to live tweet sessions at the conference.  They foot the bills for our travel and lodging and paid a stipend for our work there.  These video blogs, however, are our own and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Big Blue. edge-animated-tile-5

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Vblogs from the Edge: Stouffer Compresses Some Thoughts

by Administrator on October 31, 2016

compressBrandishing a title like Director, Storwize Offering Manager and Business Line Manager, one would expect Eric Stouffer to spend his 15 minutes of fame (about the time it takes to shoot a short interview) waxing philosophical about the benefits of data compression (what Storwize technology is all about).  The interesting thing about Stouffer is that he maintains a good bead on what IBM is doing across product lines and across technology areas to ensure that his products continue to drive value to customers.  He continues to see value in virtualizing the underlying storage infrastructure, then sharing it out to applications and virtual machines as logical volumes.  We quite agree. I was delighted to have the opportunity to catch up with Eric at IBM Edge 2016 and to record a video that we edited into this short clip.  
We continue to derive great value from IBM Edge events, especially from the great signal to noise ratios of presentations and interviews.  Hope to revisit this topic in 2017. Disclaimer:  Our attendance at Edge 2016 was compensated by IBM.  They paid the bills for our transport and lodging and provided a stipend for live tweeting their general sessions.  That made it possible for us to do these vblogs, for which we are wholly responsible.  Thanks IBM!   edge-animated-tile-5

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Vblogs from the Edge: IBM Storage in Nordic Shops

October 31, 2016

At IBM Edge 2016, I had the good fortune to cross paths with Mathias Olander, a Software Defined Solutions Sales Representative for Big Blue in the Nordic region.  A brief discussion about the appetite for software-defined technologies in Northern Europe became a bit more philosophical, perhaps because of the frequent pauses we needed to take in […]

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Vblogs from the Edge: IBM Spectrum and Data Management

October 31, 2016

Those of you who are following my writing these days may have noticed that I am very interested in the topic of data management, especially when the word “cognitive” is inserted as an adjective ahead of the expression.  Like so many concepts introduced by IBM years ago, the idea of data management is coming back […]

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The Ephemeral Cloud

October 27, 2016

A bunch of years ago, IDC and Gartner promised that if we were all good little girls and boys and said our prayers every night and abandoned legacy infrastructure for clouds, CAPEX spending for IT would all but end.  Plus, there would be peace on earth, a chicken in every pot, a corner office for […]

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Getting Continuity Planning Right…

October 27, 2016

Having a bit of experience in disaster recovery planning, I have often commented on the failure of the industry to get its collective act together and to combine the discipline of security planning with the continuity practice.  For a number of reasons, an artificial distinction has settled in that, frankly, makes sense only to those […]

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Is DeBeers the Next EMC?

October 27, 2016

I received a call a couple of days ago from a New York Times writer on deadline asking what I thought about the breakthrough in storage being hailed by some researchers at the City University of New York.  They were talking about storing data in diamonds.  Crappy diamonds with a lot of imperfections.  But diamonds […]

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VBlogs from IBM Edge 2016: Mainframe in the Cloud

October 26, 2016

Readers of this blog may recall past entries in which we argued that mainframes were, by all coherent definitions of the term, “clouds” in and of themselves.  This message seemed to be getting more play while we were at IBM Edge 2016 at MGM Grand a month or so back…especially from Steven P. Dickens, Senior […]

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