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Vol. 5 No. 4 June 2006

Virtualization eases file migration

WHILE MANY USERS are still grappling with the benefits of file virtualization, some who have deployed it say it can eliminate the downtime associated with data migration and simplify storage provisioning. Blackboard Inc., Washington, D.C., develops and hosts e-learning software used by more than 3 million students at approximately 500 schools and higher education institutions. Hosted customers store their data across several Network Appliance filers with aggregate capacity of 100TB, says Ahmar Abbas, Blackboard's VP of ASP services. The content--papers, quizzes, discussion threads, etc.--is growing at 65% to 85% per year, and volumes fill up quickly. But unlike traditional businesses that shut down after 5 p.m. or on weekends, there's no good time for Blackboard to do maintenance like data migration. "In higher education, our busiest time is Sundays from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.," he says, as students log on to the system to prepare for the week ahead. "For K-12 schools, it's from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m." Last fall, Abbas brought in NeoPath ...

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Features in this issue

  • Deduplication extends to archives

  • Lock up data with fixed-content storage

    For most companies, fixed-content storage requirements are simple: Store the data securely, do it cheaply and provide fast access. With more data subject to external and internal audits, content-addressed storage products are becoming the preferred storage medium for long-term protection of fixed content.

  • Storage growth drives buying plans

    The results from our exclusive semi-annual Purchasing Intentions Survey are in. Storage growth is a key concern for storage managers, as additional capacity has a ripple effect that touches many other components in the storage environment.

  • Is encryption enough?

    Encrypting data at rest is definitely a reliable security measure, but it should be considered only one component of an effective storage security plan.

Columns in this issue

  • Time to think outside the box when it comes to data protection

    Storage Bin: The concept of "That's the way we've always done it" isn't going to work anymore, and it sure won't help you build an efficient disaster recovery plan. It's time to think outside the box when it comes to data protection.

  • The rise of the ultra-dense array

    by  Stephen Foskett

    Disk drives are getting smaller and smaller even as their capacities rise. Now storage vendors are packing more disks than ever into smaller spaces, which saves costly data center real estate. But the denser arrays also have a downside--higher power consumption and more heat.

  • A look at data classification products for e-discovery

    New technology products that look inside data can help you classify and manage that data more effectively. But these tools can also be leveraged for e-discovery, allowing specific data to be found and acted upon quickly to satisfy legal requirements.