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Top 10 Most Read DCIG Blogs of 2009 Irrespective of Publication Date

Last week’s blog took a look at the 10 most read blogs in 2009 that were written in 2009. This week I wanted to step even further back and reflect upon the top 10 most read blogs in 2009 regardless of when they were written as I find this insightful in two ways. It lets me know what information continues to hold the attention of readers on as well as what topics from the past might become new trends in 2010. So while there is definitely some overlap between the two, there are also some entries that appear on this list that knock some of the top 10 blogs from last week off the list.

#10 – Snap Server is all about the Edge. This blog written in August 2008 should help to dispel whatever questions remain about small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) having an interest in disk-based backup. The entire focus of this blog was about all of the disk-based backup features included in the Snap Server line of products that Overland Storage acquired from Adaptec at that time.

In many respects, the features that Snap Server offered when Overland acquired it (embedded data replication, centralized management of Snap Servers throughout the enterprise, embedded BakBone Software NetVault Backup software and embedded anti-virus software) shows just how far in front of other SMB NAS providers that Snap Server was at that time. While other SMB NAS providers have since closed the gap, interest in Snap Server by SMBs remains high.

#9 – Symantec Shows Backup Exec a Little Dedupe Love; Lays out Source Side Deuplication Roadmap. While this entry was #4 on the most read blogs of 2009 written in 2009, it slipped to #9 when compared to all of the blogs that readers viewed in 2009. Symantec’s planned introduction of source side deduplication into Backup Exec 2010 by porting some of NetBackup’s PureDisk features in the not too distant future appears to be anxiously awaited by Symantec’s very large user base.

#8 – FTC Issues Red Flags Reminder; Ensuring IT is Ready as Unlimited Liability Looms on the Horizon. This blog came in as one of the most read blogs in 2008 (#3 in 2008) and interest in the topic covered in this blog remained high in 2009. The impact of this FTC ruling was first uncovered by DCIG Analyst, Howard Haile, who works as an auditor for Chan LLC. Howard regularly performs audits for Chan LLC’s clients and advises them on issues for which they need to be prepared to address. As part of his research for them in the summer of 2008, a number of them were expressing concerns about complying with the FTC’s Red Flag Rules. Turns out, many other companies shared their concerns as this blog continued to receive a large number of views throughout 2009.

#7 – Autonomy Remains Fully Committed to the Support and Development of EAS
. Coming in at #7 is a blog that was written December 2008 to address some speculation that was being posted on the Internet about the future of Autonomy’s development efforts around its Zantaz Enterprise Archiving Solution (EAS). DCIG met with Autonomy’s VP of Products, Brian Weiss, who confirmed that integration between Zantaz’s EAS and Autonomy’s IDOL was continuing to move forward and that the closure of an office in Ottawa was not reflective of any plans to abandon the EAS product line. If anything, the office was closed to help expedite the integation of these two products and enable developers to work more closely together in one location.

#6 – A Key to Averting Backup Problems When Consolidating NAS. One can never guess what the next big backup problem will be and while there has been a lot of buzz and interest around the problems associated with protecting virtual servers, as more organizations consolidate their NAS file stores, guess what? Backing up these consolidated NAS solutions becomes dicey as well.

This blog written in October 2008 comes in as #6 in DCIG’s list of the top 10 blogs read in 2009. It examines some of the pitfalls of trying to protect consolidated NAS solutions and explains how organizations should first consider archiving their infrequently accessed data on a lower cost storage solution such as the Permabit Enterprise Archive. In so doing, they can eliminate the need to backup files in the first place, free up additional capacity and may even discover that they can consolidate their data on an existing NAS device as opposed to buying an entirely new solution.

#5 – The Cost of NOT Keeping Archival and Backup Data on Disk. Archiving and backup were  intense areas of reader interest in 2009 with blogs #5 and #6 both touching on the subject. This blog written in February of 2009 and the #3 most read blog on last week’s list examines the drawbacks 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 reasons 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 to keep both archival and backup data on disk. The most compelling reason these days has to do with the costs associated 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 with online data available for this amount of money so corporate eDiscovery needs can be met more efficiently and effectively.

#4 – Cable Labeling as Part of Data Center Management. This oldie but goodie came in at #5 on 2008’s list of most read blogs and it actually moved up a notch to come in at #4 in 2009. This blog provides some practical how-to steps on properly labeling network cables in a data center so you can find and manage them again after you put them in place. Who knew there would be so much initial and ongoing interest in this topic? But then again, where else can you go to learn about this topic? Certainly not in college.

#3 – Granular Recovery for the Enterprise MS Exchange Environment. The high readership of this blog provides some indication of 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. Coming in at #2 on last week’s Top 10 and #3 on this week’s list, 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.

#2 – New Considerations for Using Disk-based Solutions for Outsourced Data Protection. While this came in at #1 in last week’s top 10 list, it got bumped to #2 for the year. I still vividly remember the call that I received in March 2009 that led to me  writing this blog. Prior to this call, I had a difficult time refuting the arguments for using online backup software solutions. However after speaking with this records management provider in upstate New York who was looking to offer an online backup solution, that was no longer a problem.

More precisely, he shared with me two specific reasons that 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 blog reaching the number 2 overall ranking on DCIG’s site for 2009, it looks like I was not the only one who learned something from this conversation.  

#1 – Data Center Management 101 Part 1 (Cable Management). This blog topic was #1 on the 2008 list of most read topics and it continues its reign as #1 in 2009. This topic was developed because Tim Anderson, the author of the blog, was always being asked about this topic by fellow end-users who could never find a lot of information about it when they searched about it on the web. Turns out Tim was right. The popularity of this blog has remained a constant ever since it was published in June 2008.

Next week I plan to make my forecast for what I consider some of the top storage technology trends of 2010. While I realize it is a little late to be making my predictions since so many others have already made their forecasts, I figure better late than never.

Have a good weekend and I’ll talk to you again next week!

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