Talking up server virtualization, security at SNW


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Still, despite using VCB, there's a trade-off for users. Thomas, who like Rees uses CommVault Galaxy backup software with VCB, says CommVault supports file-level or image-level backups. Image-level backups are faster, but users can't restore individual files. Thomas uses file-level backup and is considering image-level backup for machines that aren't used as often.

NAS virtualization
File virtualization is becoming more common as large NAS shops seek a way to manage multiple filers. Bill Montgomery, an SNW attendee and manager of information systems for ecommerce Web site Lulu.com, says he uses F5's Acopia to manage his files across two enterprise NAS systems and more than 40 servers, even though his is an EMC storage shop. Montgomery says he eliminated hundreds of mount points, saved 250 man hours a year previously spent manually migrating data and improved NAS performance. "We've commoditized enterprise NAS," he says.

Lock it down
While storage shows in recent years have looked at security mainly from an encryption standpoint, a broader discussion took place at SNW. Alan Lustiger, information security architect at TD Ameritrade, told attendees that the real threat isn't lost tapes, but hackers gaining access to databases and other information on storage systems. Storage security mainly

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comes down to securing the ways people legally access data, says Lustiger. He advises his fellow administrators to protect their front doors (Web servers), side doors (server operating systems), front-door windows (storage and network devices) and cellar doors (storage devices operating systems) from hackers.

"The Web server is literally the front door that hackers use," he says. "In general, spend your time on the front door, but pay attention to this other stuff."

--Dave Raffo


This was first published in December 2007

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