• Storage

    Self-Encrypting Drives (SED): What You Need to Know

    Why are Self-Encrypting Drives Required? Hard-drives/SSDs used in a company or data center will be returned for repair, warranty, expired lease, or just abandoned after its useful life. Plus drives may get lost or stolen. These drives are not just hardware boxes, they may contain valuable data that can be recovered. Self-encrypting drives can be used to encrypt all information as it is stored on the drive so that data is not exposed to third-party in a legible form, whether the drive is returned for repair or lost or discarded. A separate hardware ASIC is used within the drive to encrypt/decrypt data, and the process is transparent to users and…

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  • Storage

    On Backup, Archiving, and Backup Archiving

    Backup, Archiving, and Backup Archiving are three different things. Here is why: Backup: Data storage for the purpose of recovery when the original data is lost or corrupted. To protect against accidental file modifications and system failures. Generally supports snapshots for recovery to a given point of time in the past. The entire data is backed up initially, and then Incremental backup is employed (along with technologies like deduplication and compression) so that only the changes are sent/stored from the next time. Generally, backups are taken at the end of the day/week. But Near Continuous Data protection is also possible, for critical applications. Can backup data to a second location,…

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  • Storage

    Priority Flow Control (IEEE 802.1Qbb) enables FCoE

    Convergence of Fiber Channel-based storage network onto Ethernet network has many advantages. Fiber Channel Over Ethernet (FCoE) is the protocol that enables this convergence. But, the Ethernet network is basically a lossy communication medium – packets are dropped when there is congestion and it is up to the higher level applications to manage re-transmission of lost packets. Storage networks, however, require lossless behavior at Layer 2. Priority Flow Control, as defined by the IEEE 802.1Qbb protocol, enables lossless Ethernet networks suitable for carrying FCoE traffic, along with other classes of traffic (that may or may not require lossless Ethernet). Background: When two switches are exchanging data in an Ethernet network and…

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  • Storage

    Data De-duplication can help you reduce a lot of storage space

    Any storage system will have a lot of redundant data (same files, etc) stored by the same person, or different people. Data De-duplication removes all that redundant data from the storage system by retaining just one copy and having pointers to this original copy, everywhere else. This saves a lot of storage space, especially in a multi-user storage/ backup scenario.

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  • Storage

    Advantages of File level storage (vs) Advantages of Block level Storage

    There are basically two types of technologies that are popular with storage systems – File level storage which are popular with NAS Systems & Block level storage which are popular with SAN systems. In this article, we will look at what they are, and the advantages of File Level Storage systems Vs Advantages of Block Level Storage systems. What is a File Level Storage System? A File Level storage system is the most common storage system that we find with our hard-drives, NAS systems, etc. In this type of storage, the storage disk is configured with a particular protocol (Like NFS, etc) and files are stored and accessed from it…

  • Storage

    Advantages of a NAS Box over External Hard-disk drive for Storage/Backup in SOHO/SMB

    For a small business / SOHO there may be relatively few documents and files to store, but the available budget and the technical expertise is limited. In such cases, why not consider a NAS (Network Attached Storage) Box instead of External Hard-disk Drive for storage / back-up? An entry level NAS box might give many features and functionalities that may be very useful for SOHO / small business users and the price difference between an external hard disk & entry level NAS box is not very much.

  • Storage

    RAID Basics & RAID Recovery

    RAID Basics: RAID Systems (In Computers, Servers, NAS, etc) use multiple disk-drives to store data to prevent data loss when individual drives fail & to increase the read/write memory performance. Software based RAID systems provided by the operating systems use the system CPU to create and manage RAID drives while Hardware based RAID systems require a dedicated hardware RAID controller/ processor, that can access multiple disks simultaneously for the same purpose. There are many types of RAID systems and the common ones are RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, etc. In RAID 0, data is split and written on two disks – Half of it on one disk, and the other…

  • Storage

    Should you use self encrypting hard disk drives?

    Self Encrypting hard disk drives just encrypt anything that you store on your desktop/ laptop hard-disk drives. One important reason to use encrypted drives is to ensure that sensitive data is not disclosed to third parties if your hard drive/ laptop is stolen. Let us see more about Self Encrypting hard disk drives, in this article. What is a Self Encrypting Drive and Why is it used? Encryption, has long been used to protect confidential documents and communications. Software based encryption tools are available to either selectively encrypt certain files (or) encrypt whole disks. But software based encryption tools mostly leave the decision of encrypting (or) not, to employees. So,…

  • Storage

    What is a Converged Network Adapter (CNA)?

    In large enterprise companies, main servers have (at least) two adapters - FC HBA (FIber Channel Host Bus Adapter) & Ethernet NIC (Ethernet Network Interface Card) to connect to the storage network (Fiber Channel) and computer network (Ethernet). Converged Network Adapters converge the functionality of both the adapters into one. Read on, to find out more...

  • Storage

    Why you need to implement a Storage Area Network using iSCSI over an IP Network

    The first image defines what is iSCSI and what exactly its role is, in Storage Area Networks. Convergence is happening over IP everywhere (one reason why IP is exciting!), and even the Storage Area Network is expected to converge over IP networks through iSCSI especially with the anticipation of lossless Converged Enhanced Ethernet. The other popular option being FCOE (Fiber Channel Over Ethernet).

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  • Storage

    Storage/Network Convergence with FCOE: Fiber Channel Over Ethernet – Need, Advantages & Limitations

    FCOE or Fiber Channel Over Ethernet transports the SCSI storage data (used in FC networks) using Fiber Channel Protocol stack instead of TCP/IP stack; using the Ethernet infrastructure (NIC, Cables, Switches, etc). FCOE maps the FC commands and data directly into Ethernet frames (Fiber Channel frames are encapsulated in an Ethernet frame to create FCOE and the mapping is 1:1 meaning, there is no segmentation or compression of FC frames.

  • Storage

    Are we moving towards Solid State Disks/Drives for Storage?

    With Apple's MacBook Air standardizing on flash based storage system for their ultra-portable laptop, can we see this trend picking up with enterprise storage as well? Why is the industry excited about the Solid State Storage? Is the Solid State technology trouble-free and mature enough? What are the types of flash based storage and what capacities do they come in today? These are some questions well be answering in this article.

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