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Better data protection for SMBs

On today's podcast, we talk about the HP Total Care announcement with HP StorageWorks Marketing Manager Chris McCall.  The announcement today has three StorageWorks components:


  • HP LeftHand P4000 SAN Solutions - new application integrated snapshots that integrates the P4000 replication software with Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS).  This integration ensures application quiescing when creating point-in-time copies, simplifying the process
  • HP StorageWorks D2D Backup System - new NAS target for backup allows customers to create and backup to a CIFS and/or NFS-based file share and its provided free of charge.  While many customers will find NAS-based backup a desirable feature, small and midsized customers will find this most useful. 
  • HP StorageWorks DAT 320 Tape Drives - this is the seventh generation of DAT with 2X the capacity, 75% higher performance and around 50% less power than the previous generation DAT.
Tags: BVid

I've been personally impacted by lost tapes


Hi Folks,

Yesterday I received a letter in the mail at home that started off:

Dear Sir or Madam,

We are writing to let you know that computer tapes containing some of your personal information were lost while being transported to an off-site storage facility by our archive services vendor. While we have no reason to believe that this information has been accessed or used inappropriately, we deeply regret that this incident occurred....

So the first question I have is how does an archive vendor lose tapes? How hard can it be to take the tapes from your customer put them in a secure truck and drive them to the storage facility? Isn't that your whole business model - you will pick up, transport and store these tapes safely and securely 100% of the time?

Now I understand that any activity with humans involved cannot be guaranteed to work 100% of the time. So what really happened? A bit more of an explanation would have been helpful, such as the truck was in an inadvertent accident and the contents of the truck were spilled into a river or all over the highway and could not all be recovered. Without more details I'm left wondering did someone make off with the tapes by accident or on purpose? Or was this just sloppy work by the company?

Anyway, I hope this is a call to action for this company to do at least two things to prevent such an incident in the future.

1. Look into tape encryption such as the LTO-4 offers. I would have been more much pleased if that second sentence read "While the tapes were physically lost, the data they contained cannot be accessed or read by anyone because the data on the tapes is securely encrypted with sophisticated technology requiring encryption keys to make the data readable. Our security policy ensures that these keys are always stored in or transported to physically separate locations from the computer tapes."

2. Consider the use of replication and electronic vaulting for moving data off-site for archiving. With new technologies such as deduplication and low-bandwidth replication, this company would perhaps be able to reduce the amount of data that is stored on tapes and physically transported to archive storage. Again, I don't know the specifics here, but as an example let's say this company had four sites that they were backing up to data to tape and transporting those tapes to off-site archives. With replication and electronic vaulting, they could replicate data from three of their sites to just one site for backup to tapes and then only have to move tapes from the one site to archive storage thereby reducing their risk exposure by 75%.

If you're worried about how a similar incident could impact your company and what risks are involved HP is here to help. We can work with you to significantly reduce your data security exposure from the desktop to your data center. On the storage side, we offer a FREE storage security risk assessment. For more details on HP's other data security options beyond storage please check HP's Security web page.


Examples of Data Deduplication Ratios for File Serving, SQL and Exchange

By Jim Hankins

If you remember back in my  HP Deduplication - Part 1 post when we announced our new deduplication products back in June, I said that the deduplication ratio you can expect from a product can vary based on a number of factors. We now can share with you deduplication test results from our D2D4000 Backup System conducted by a 3rd party, Binary Testing Ltd.

Binary Testing conducted testing that backed up and deduplicated data for file serving, SQL and Exchange environments with various data change rates over a simulated three month backup period. The results can be found here: 

Again, your mileage may vary but this report should give you some idea of what's possible if your business runs these types of applications.

Simply Business Protection for small and midsized IT environments

- by Brad Parks 

We’re all well aware that data protection equates to business protection and some of the recent posts on this blog go into detail on how HP is fundamentally changing the rules of the game with our deduplication technologies embedded in our disk based backup solutions.I’d like to expand on some of these topics while specifically looking at the needs of small and midsized customers.  A key challenge midsized businesses share with enterprises is the need to reduce the cost of protecting their data but there are unique challenges as well.  Small and midsized businesses are some of the most exciting and dynamic environments to work in because there can be wild swings in customer demand and therefore data growth.  IT Managers in these environments must wear a lot of hats and be as flexible as their IT environment in order to respond to changing business conditions.  Consolidating backup and moving from pure tape based backup strategies to multi-tier disk to disk to tape (D2D2T) methodologies is one way that IT managers can be less reactive and more intelligent with regards to their data protection.As mentioned earlier, one of the most significant new advances in storage technologies is data deduplication.  This backup technique eliminates redundant blocks of data from storage, by saving a single copy of identical data and replacing any further instances with pointers back to that one copy.

HP recently announced several new disk-based storage systems specifically designed to meet the needs of different business environments.  For midmarket customers, HP is radically changing the economics of data protection in smaller business environments and remote offices 45% less cost than comparable products and can retrain up to 50x more backup data on the same amount of raw capacity.

 Key benefits of these new HP StorageWorks D2D Backup Systems:

  • Maximizes disk space via synchronous backup operations that deduplicate data as it is stored to the disk.

  • Reduces the amount of disk and memory required to deduplicate data by leveraging proprietary technology created by HP Labs, the company’s central research and development arm.

  • Improves productivity and eliminates the need for training with a fully functional graphical user interface that does not require complex command lines for configuration.

  • Optimizes investment of primary backup system through compatibility with new versions of software and applications.
Read more about our announcement: In addition to the deduplication products, we’ve also recently released an exciting new series of products for smaller customers who want the benefits of disk based backup for individual servers.  Backup of standalone servers is still a significant challenge for those with only a few servers; you may not be ready to consolidate your backup to a centralized device but you still are looking for a technology that provides pain-free backup and rapid file restore.   The HP StorageWorks RDX Removable Disk Backup System delivers an easy to use, affordable and rugged data protection solution for workstations and entry level servers.  In fact, you can protect your entire system with the included continuous data protection software. Cost of ownership is reduced with long lasting removable disk cartridges and a forward and backward compatible docking station that does not require a costly upgrade to accommodate future higher capacity cartridges. The RDX Removable Disk Backup System offers fast disk based performance with the ability to store 160 GB or 320 GB of data on a single removable disk cartridge.   Read more at  


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  • 25+ years experience around HP Storage. The go-to guy for news and views on all things storage..
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