In the age of the exploding Galaxy S7 and Spotify cyber attacks, I’d like to take a moment to salute a workhorse in my personal technology stable — my iPod. Since 1998, this little beauty has been humming along with the same battery (!) on ski days, backpacking trips, trail runs, bike rides, and cross-country flights. It carries over 4,000 songs hand-curated, primarily from the (ahem) Boulder Public Library. It helps me save the battery life on my iPhone and keeps me in music when I’m out of reach for Pandora or Spotify. Yes, the Amazon Echo is amazing, but the content on my old iPod still has value, and there’s still a place for it in my multi-tiered music strategy. You have to appreciate technology that just works.
If I start off my morning saying “excuse me” to a robot, I know it’s not going to be a business-as-usual day. That was my welcome to ASIS 2016 in Orlando. The robot I brushed past, from Knightscope, was autonomously patrolling the entry of the convention center with an array of cameras and sensors, but thankfully no weapons (it looked more like R2-D2 than RoboCop). What struck me was how quickly I grew accustomed to the idea of robots strolling the hallway, observing and reporting. (I shouldn’t get too casual about it — one recently ran over a toddler in a mall.) But it was also a vivid example of how the Internet of Things (IoT) is so quickly becoming an accepted part of our everyday lives.
When we set out to do a lab validation of the Artico active archive appliance with industry analyst ESG, it felt like we were entering somewhat uncharted territory. We’ve done plenty of lab validations with ESG before – primarily with various models of DXi – but Artico is a different animal, it occupies a different place in the data center, and it breaks with so many traditional approaches to data archive, we had to wonder if ESG would “get it.”
Every year CRN – the top industry outlet for all things channel – highlights its leading voices with its annual Channel Chiefs issue. CRN poses a number of questions to each luminary, and the result is an interesting mosaic that offers insights to the state of the industry.
When we received word that Storage Magazine had named Artico as a finalist to its 2015 Product of the Year Awards in the Backup Hardware category, it opened a bit of an existential debate. Backup Hardware? Isn’t there a more appropriate category for an NAS appliance designed to provide intelligent tiering to optimize performance and cost of archive storage? Apparently not, but that shouldn’t be a surprise. We knew at introduction that Artico was carving out a unique niche that takes a fresh approach to data retention and accessibility.
The apparatus of security is something that can be easily taken for granted. We may grumble about taking our shoes off at an airport security line, or having our bag searched on the way into a concert, but we largely accept these inconveniences as the price of security. The infrastructure that is necessary to make us all feel secure in order to conduct business, travel, and live our lives freely is vastly more complex than many of us typically think about. At the ASIS International 61st Annual Seminar and Exhibits last week in Anaheim the world’s experts in security management gathered to share insights on what it takes to mitigate risk and maintain security. These are the guys who think about security every day and never take it for granted. Experts presented on topics such as “The Future Effects of Rapidly Changing Security Technology” and “Living the New Normal of Sophisticated and Determined Attackers.” I listened to the head of security at The Mall of America describe behavior detection and assessment, and how they have responded when the mall was specifically mentioned in a terrorist threat video. He recounted some specific successes you probably haven’t heard about because security successes don’t make the news – security failures do.
If you were building a police department from the ground up, where would you begin? Where do you go to stock up on holsters, handcuffs, badges, flashlights, guns, dispatch centers, in-car computers, police cars and the myriad other gear required by modern law enforcement? A good place to start is the Police Security Expo, held this year in Atlantic City. It’s like a superstore for police. And Quantum was there, because police departments increasingly need to include storage on their shopping list. This was my chance to check out the latest on-body cameras that have been in the news so much lately. Think of something about the size of a GoPro, but even more heavy duty, and sophisticated enough to actually begin recording 10 seconds before you press Record. The vendors selling these cameras typically had a good crowd of officers being educated on what it’s like to live with them on a daily basis, and the question of storage always came up. It’s a good thing, because law enforcement agencies are routinely generating over 1PB of data a year.
By now I’ve participated in quite a few lab validations with industry analysts, many of them testing the DXi-Series. It has been interesting to see the progression of the DXi as deduplication has evolved to take a more vital role in data center workflows, extending data protection to the cloud. Recently Storage magazine/SearchStorage.com awarded the DXi6900 the Silver medal in the 2014 Products of the Year backup hardware category, adding to the industry recognition the DXi has garnered since its introduction, and highlighting the role of the StorNext 5 file system in the appliance. Industry analyst Tony Palmer with ESG Lab has conducted more DXi lab validations than anyone and truly understands the deduplication marketplace, so he recently put the DXi6900 through its paces in a lab testing.
Each year as storage awards season rolls around it’s a good time to look back and take stock of what has been accomplished over the past few months. We’ve had a busy year, and this year’s awards reflect that. It also can be interesting to see rising stars mix with sales leaders in the nominations and on the winner’s podium.
Since launching the DXi6900 in July, we’ve seen remarkable customer interest. That interest is one of the key drivers of the 11% year-over-year growth in DXi revenue we reported last quarter. Now another data point showing how the DXi6900 and the entire DXi family stacks up against other deduplicating backup appliances has just been published: Industry analyst DCIG issued their annual buyer’s guide and the DXi6900 earned a “recommended” rating, with just .45 points separating it from the top spot. In fact, DXi appliances took three of the top 6 spots in the list. So why is the DXi6900 getting so much attention? And how do DXi's deduplication solutions work for "real world" customers?
ACRI-ST, a space agency partner of the European Commission and the European Space Agency, provides satellite mission solutions, including simulations and environmental forecast prototyping, and operates environmental data centers that provide vital decision-making support to public agencies and local authorities. To manage and preserve the massive amount of valuable sensor data collected by Sentinel-3, ACRI-ST chose a Quantum StorNext 5 scale-out storage system. StorNext is a proven, cost-effective choice for these types of hard data management challenges that require scale, speed, and sharing.
In one of my favorite bits from Cheers!, Diane quotes Henry David Thoreau, “Our life is frittered away by detail… Simplify! Simplify!” Coach ponders for a beat and replies with possibly the first deduplication joke: “Couldn’t he just use one ‘simplify’?” I’ve been thinking a lot about simplicity this week as Quantum simplifies the DXi family. Now with just three deduplication appliances – the DXi V-Series for virtual environments, the DXi4700 for SMBs, and the all-new DXi6900 for mid-range to enterprise environments – Quantum’s new dedupe family covers the same range of data protection TBs that the industry sales leader covers with nine products. That in itself is a magnificent act of simplification for customers sorting through purchasing decisions for multisite implementations. The announcement sparked a flurry of industry conversation.
I was a very minor player in the space race. Not the race between global super powers in the 50s and 60s, but the race in the 90s to put the first high-resolution commercial imaging satellite into orbit. It was an exciting time. Private companies consisting of just a couple hundred people had the audacious vision that they could build satellites, launch them, construct a network of ground stations, and collect sufficient imagery to create a detailed, searchable database of the globe. It was easy to believe that putting the planet online could change the world, touching an enormous range of human endeavors spanning agriculture, defense, human rights, mineral extraction, disaster response, urban planning and construction.