The Top Three Most Viewed Blog Entries on DCIG’s Site in 2010

This is it. The last day of 2010. So time to reveal what the top three most viewed blog entries on DCIG’s website were in 2010.

#3 – Tape is Back in the Storage Conversation at Fall SNW 2010 (link) A lot of people may have written tape off for dead but in 2010, people are still talking and reading about it. But maybe what piqued my interest in writing this blog entry and the interest of so many in reading this blog entry is that the conversation around tape is changing.

When I first started covering tape in my writings about a decade ago, it was about as hard to find an interesting angle to take with tape as any topic in the storage industry that I wrote about. You could only talk about its power savings, larger capacities and faster speeds for so long and it was clear that those in the tape industry were not taking the.threat that disk posed to tape seriously.

Of course, we all know how that has changed in the last five years or so and it was incumbent upon the tape industry to find some way to keep tape relevant or it was going to find itself going the way of the Iomega Zip drive.

What I found so impressive in talking to the Ultrium LTO team at the fall SNW 2010 was the breakthrough that LTO achieved with its its introduction of the Linear Tape File System (LTFS) and how it actually made tape practical and relevant for, of all things, use in the cloud. Now files like audio, image and video files that consume huge amounts of space, do not deduplicate well and are well suited for the most part for the streaming nature of tape potentially have a new and better home.

So does that mean everyone is going to run out and now start using tape instead of disk for storing this sort of media? Clearly not. But clearly a lot of people took time out of their schedule to read this blog entry as it gave them an entirely new way to look at how to effectively implement tape in their organization.

#2 – How SSDs can be Leveraged to Deliver Inline Deduplication for Primary Storage (link) This is the second blog entry in the Top Ten on DCIG’s site in 2010 that was prompted by a comment that appeared on a prior DCIG blog entry. In both cases, neither of those comments could be easily answered in the form of a comment so I answered them in the form of an entire blog entry which then went on to become one of the most read blog entries on DCIG’s site in 2010.

The original commenter did not understand the appeal of hardware assisted data deduplication that Exar’s (formerly Hifn) Bitwackr technology offers (the Bitwackr technology was discussed in an October 2009 blog entry.) This individual felt that the CPU could eventually handle most of the processing and questioned how the Hifn Bitwackr could keep up with Intel continually jamming more performance and power into its CPU.

So to get an answer to this individual’s question, I reached out to Exar (who purchased Hifn and the Bitwackr technology in 2009) for an explanation. Exar responded by pointing out that the biggest performance impact it has seen in doing deduplication comes not from doing the hashing but from doing the compression and encryption. Using a product like the Exar DR1605 to do inline deduplication enables these processes to be done in parallel instead of serially so deduplication can occur more quickly.

What I found most interesting about this blog entry is that when it initially posted in February 2010 it did not get a lot of readers. However interest in this blog entry spiked toward the later third of 201 with it eventually getting over 100,000 page views by the end of 2010. This surge in interest towards the end of 2010 seems to suggest that inline deduplication on primary storage is going to be a very hot topic and trend in 2011.

#1 – Data Center Management 1010 Part 1 (Cable Management) (Link) One of these days I am going to figure out what part of the administrator psyche that on-again, off-again DCIG Analyst Tim Anderson tapped into when he wrote this blog entry back in June 2008. In fact, I actually thought I may have actually written a couple of blog entries that would edge out this blog entry for the #1 spot in 201 but once again I was only proven good enough to take second place. This blog entry has for three years running been the #1 most viewed blog entry and has taken this slot every year since DCIG’s inception.

As I point out every time I comment on this blog entry as to why it comes in #1, it is very difficult to learn about proper techniques for cable management even though it is one of the most critical aspects (if not the most critical) to keeping a data center up and running 24×7.

As one of the individuals who comments on that blog entry writes:

The cost of cable management is so little compared to the labor involved in trying to navigate a disconnected or broken cable. The blog entry hinted at the ability to quickly troubleshoot or replace cables but, more importantly, think of the mission critical data that could be held up for hours while a technician tries to go through a rat’s nest of cables. It is ironic that an entire sector of a company could be dependent upon a single Ethernet cable that costs less than what you ate for breakfast but could literally result in MILLIONS of dollars in downtime or lost connectivity.”

I could not have said it better myself so I will not try.

Be sure to come back often in 2011 as DCIG has many more of its new Buyer’s Guides in the works and planned for release in the 2011 time frame. This is a new initiative that DCIG started in 2010 which has resonated well with end-users as tens of thousands of these comprehensive Buyer’s Guides have already been downloaded.

If you have not yet gotten your copy of these Buyer’s Guides, check out this page on DCIG’s site as it has all of the links to where you can get your free copy from a sponsoring vendor. This positive feedback that DCIG has received from end-users has been overwhelming and I think you will find these Buyer’s Guides invaluable in your technology buying decision in terms of knowing what products are available and how they stack up.

Have a Happy New Year!

Jerome

To read the Top Ten blog entries (#10 down to #8,) click here.

To read the Top Ten blog entries (#7 down to #4,) click here.

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