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Top 10 DCIG Blogs of 2009 Written in 2009

This is one of my favorite blogs of the year to write. Even though this is only the second time since DCIG launched its blogging site two years ago that I have had the opportunity to write a blog in this format, I have been looking forward to looking back all year. In case you have not yet figured it out, today I take a look back at the top 10 most read blogs in 2009 on the DCIG site. However this year I am doing a two part series with today’s blog examining the 10 most read blogs in 2009 that were written in 2009.

#10: SSD – So Disruptive It’s Disturbing; Insights from SNW Day 2. I distinctly remember writing this blog in the wee hours of the morning after had a chat with Fusion-io’s CTO, Rick White, earlier in the day at the spring SNW conference. In fact, as I was writing this blog, I remember wondering if I was stretching my bounds as an analyst in terms of some of the conclusions I was drawing.

At 1 am in the morning, you always have to think twice and read thrice before publishing anything, but my mind was just racing about the possibilities that Fusion-io’s implementation of solid state drive (SSD) technology in its ioDrives created which was part of the reason I could not sleep. While I have since learned more about SSD in general and Fusion-io specifically, I remain optimistic about SSD’s possibilities and just as convinced, if not more so, that SSD promises to be even more disruptive that what I alluded to in this blog entry.

#9: Storage Discovery Needed before Backup Design can Begin. Everyday on DCIG’s site we cover the latest trends in various data protection, storage and information management technologies but as the position of this blog topic in our overall 2009 rankings reflects, many organizations are still grappling with the basics such as what do they have, how much do they have and what size solution do they need to manage it.

This blog talked about an often overlooked feature in Asigra’s Cloud Backup and Recovery technology – it’s LAN Storage Discovery feature. Using this feature, organizations can non-disruptively and agentlessly analyze their concentration of data on the LAN and, by constantly sweeping the network multiple times, identify where the data is, possible storage inefficiencies, quantify the amount of data on their network and then size the backup solution needed to protect their data.

#8: How One Company Built a Business Case for Its Disaster Recovery Highway. This blog topic clearly resonated with DCIG readers in 2009 and I expect topics like this to be popular again in 2010. This particular blog is based upon an interview that I had with Dr. James Tu, the Information Security Officer at a real estate services company.

In short, he found the tool he needed (InMage) to build his business case for a disaster recovery solution was right under his nose. A consulting company he had previously hired was unbeknownest to him using InMage to measure data change rates in his environment so they could recommend to him a DR solution. It eventually turned out that InMage both first provided the information he needed to make the internal business case for his DR solution and then became the DR solution he implemented in his environment.

#7: The Next 800 Pound Gorilla in Small Business Networked Storage? Interview with Iomega President Jonathon Huberman. This was an extremely engaging interview and provided a great deal of insight into how he planned to mesh Iomega’s consumer and small business portfolio of products with EMC’s enterprise oriented culture. While it may be still too early to draw any definitive conclusions as to his success in combining the cultures, early indications are that the two are working well together.

In fact, in a couple of blogs that I completed and just recently posted, they were based on an interview and an onsite visit that I did with an Iomega customer. In his opinion, EMC’s ownership of Iomega and EMC’s strategic plans to make more of EMC’s software available to Iomega and its StorCenter product line were a factor in his decision to deploy Iomega in lieu of competing NAS solutions.

#6: Taking the Discombobulation out of Services with “Design, Build and Manage”. Ask any enterprise end-user what they most wish their vendor would deliver and deliver well, and, as often as not, service and support will be near the top of their wish list as the high number of page views of this blog testifies.

To CommVault’s credit, in late 2008 and early 2009, it knew that if it was to compete and win at the enterprise level, it had to have an enterprise calibre professional services and support division so it started to build one that was truly differentiated from its competition. These efforts appear to be paying dividends because in the latest CommVault earnings call, CommVault CEO Bob Hammer made the following comment, “It is important to note thar a key factor driving the increased market adoption of Simpana is the increasing strength of our enterprise sales teams about the globe. This includes field technical support, professional services and marketing support.

#5: Server Virtualization Piles on the Savings but Watch out for Those Costs. Server virtualization was clearly one of the top trends of 2009 but more stories are emerging as to how there are some thorns in this rose. This blog talks about some of the hidden costs that can catch organizations unawares; how overlooking items like backup performance and software licensing once application servers are virtualized can negatively impact an organization; and, how implementing some of the commonly recommended remedies like deduplication and native backup tools found in VMware (VMware Consolidated Backup) and Microsoft Hyper-V (VSS) may be insufficient and too complex to configure and reliably use in corporate environments.

#4: Symantec Shows Backup Exec a Little Dedupe Love; Lays out Source Side Deuplication Roadmap. In 2009 it would probably be somewhat suspicious if a top 10 list on a web site dedicated heavily to data protection and storage did not have some blog topic about dedupe appear on that list. Somewhat to my relief, I’m happy to report DCIG’s site is not one of those sites. Symantec’s planned introduction of source side deduplication by porting some of NetBackup’s PureDisk features into Backup Exec 2010 in the not too distant future appears to be anxiously awaited by Symantec’s very larger user base.

#3: The Cost of NOT Keeping Archival and Backup Data on Disk. Many organizations still have tape as part of their archival strategy, their backup strategy or both for cost and data mobility reasons. Those are certainly vaild but, as this blog elaborates and which certainly resonated with a lot of DCIG readers in 2009, there are equally good reasons for keeping both archival and backup data on disk.

The most compelling reason these days has to do with the costs a
ssociated electronic data discovery as to index 2 million files stored to tape can run as high as $75,000. You can keep a lot of disks online for this amount of money so these eDiscovery needs can be met more efficiently and effectively.

#2: Granular Recovery for the Enterprise MS Exchange Environment. The high readership of this blog should provide some indication just how critical protecting and recovering Microsoft Exchange in enterprise environments has become and the degree to which users are looking for information on this subject. This particular blog breaks down how Symantec’s Granular Recovery Technology (GRT) that was added to NetBackup in its 6.5.3 release gives users multiple options to protect and recover their Microsoft Exchange database.

#1: New Considerations for Using Disk-based Solutions for Outsourced Data Protection. I still vividly remember the call that I received in March of this year that led to me to writing thisblog. Up to that point, I had a hard time refuting the arguments for using online backup software solutions but after a call with this records management provider in upstate New York who was looking to offer an online backup solution, my quiver was suddenly full.

More precisely, he pointed out there were two specific reasons he did not want to use online backup software: he had to convince prospective clients to swap out their current backup software and he would need a full-time if not a full-time person to manage it on his end. Based upon this reaching the number 1 ranking on DCIG’s site for 2009, it looks like I was not the only one who learned something from this conversation that I had with this individual.  

Honorable Mention: Email – Not just Communication but a Legal Document of Record. No top 10 list is complete without an honorable mention and this one is so close to #10 that I could not resist commenting on it. This is a blog written by James Koopmann, one of DCIG’s analysts, back in April 2009 that illustrates just how how dramatically the corporate use and perception of email has changed in the last 10 – 20 years.

Personally I still remember introducing email to the police department that I worked at in the late 1990’s and how dramatically it altered how the entire department conducted its day-to-day operations. Now more than a decade later, email has firmly entrenched itself as the primary tool for business communication and, as such, it is now on equal footing with any other business document as the court cases cited in this blog bring out.

Next week I will take a look at the 10 most read blogs in 2009 regardless of what year the blog was written.

Have a Happy New Year and be sure to come back as DCIG continues to cover the latest in stroage technologies throughout 2010.


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