Wednesday, April 13, 2016

External HDD Primary Option for Backup - Survey of Customers who lost valuable data

Most businesses and consumers have a backup solution in place.

Results from a survey of customers who lost valuable data confirm that traditional external HDDs still prevail as the primary option for backup
.
The majority of businesses and consumers are taking steps to backup their data, but unintentional gaps in protocols continue to prove costly. 86% of respondents had a backup solution in place at the time of data loss. Of those respondents who had a backup solution, 16% currently backup to the cloud, 58% use an external HDD and 20% implement a tape/NAS solution.

With 48% of respondents backing up their data on a daily basis, why are companies still losing data? Minor oversights or an inadvertently non-functioning backup can render backup procedures ineffective.

This year's data shows that of those who had a backup in place at the time of data loss:
  • 22% describe their backup solution as not operating correctly
  • 21% report their device was not included in backup procedures
  • 21% say their backup was not current, reducing the likelihood of retrieving relevant data
It's no longer enough to have a backup solution where you hope for the best, as survey results indicate year-over-year, conducting backups is just one step in the entire backup strategy. Regularly ensuring your backup solution works effectively and the data is accessible is also essential.

Obstacles to Backup Adoption
Among the 528 respondents across North America, Europe and Asia, over half (54%) of people who did not have a backup solution in place cite time to research and administer as their primary reason for not seeking a backup solution (up 4% from 2015). However, 7% fewer people in 2016 (24%) report the expense of a backup solution as their primary reason for not leveraging a backup. Other findings include a 6% increase in the number of survey participants who report daily backups this year (48%).


As storage devices are packing more and more data into smaller and more complex systems - which not only requires IT teams to dedicate significant time to actually backup the data, but even more time to verify the backups worked properly - IT teams face an impressive balancing act.

Additional Statistics
Additional findings from the 2016 survey include a 6% increase in the number of survey participants who report daily backups this year (48%), and almost no changes in the numbers of people who report weekly (26%), monthly (22%) and annual (3%) backups.


When asked how often they test or validate their backups, only 28% report weekly tests (down from 35% last year). However, exactly half of respondents said they validate monthly - an increase of 14% from 2014. Only 14% claim to never test backups, which is down from a survey-high of 20% last year.

Take the time to invest in a backup solution and set a backup schedule for all identified devices and media
  • Ensure that backups are running regularly in accordance with the determined schedule
  • Check backup reports for errors or failure
  • Test backups on a regular basis to validate that data has been accurately captured and files are intact

Monday, April 11, 2016

Sphere 3D SnapSync: Enterprise File Synchronization and Share Software: Starts at $1,795 for private cloud bundle with SnapServer appliance with first year of SnapSync licenses for minimum of 25 users.

Sphere 3D Corp. announced SnapSync, a secure, private, and fast file sharing software product for the enterprise and the SMB.

It uses peer-to-peer data distribution technology, runs on the company's SnapServer and cloud-based SnapCLOUD storage products, and is compatible with Android, iOS, Windows, and MacOS clients.

The SnapSync integrated offering for private and hybrid cloud storage deployments enables users to synchronize, share and access files and folders of any size from anywhere on any device - regardless of the storage limit of the target client device. The newly-released and advanced service offerings are delivered at a fraction of the cost of typical public cloud-based 'box' storage products. More important, SnapSync provides security features and sophisticated centralized IT control of client data while providing immediate DR and backup. 

"At San José State University's Lucas College and Graduate School of Business, we had specific criteria for the security of our data as well as a need for a robust backup and DR infrastructure. Our faculty and staff store large amounts of research data and protected student data on their office machines," said Malu Roldan, associate dean of undergraduate programs, College of Business. "By having a secure and redundant node in the peer-to-peer network, our users have been able to selectively and automatically sync key sensitive data while being assured that it is well protected and can be quickly replicated should there be a glitch anywhere in our network. I am pleased to say that we have been able to use SnapSync to address these stringent requirements." 

"We have designed SnapSync to not only make it available for new customers, but to also extend its capabilities to the large number of Snap storage units that have been shipped to companies across the globe," said Eric Kelly, CEO, Sphere3D. "Our go-to-market strategy and tactics will continue to leverage our increasingly large installed base, which will accelerate adoption of our integrative offering. Additionally, we will continue targeting new vertical markets, like education, that demand a high level of security, flexibility and world-class service." 

According to a market study from Osterman Research, 75% of IT decision makers and influencers are concerned about the level of use of consumer file sync and share tools within their organizations, and consider their lack of security and IT management control to be a major problem. For example, popular cloud file storage products allow the user to send an email link to share their files, which enables the recipient to access data that can be forwarded again and again, and allows that data to easily be captured by non-approved parties. 

"IT decision makers are frustrated with the lack of centralized control for corporate data landing in the Cloud, which continues to increase with mobile workforces that use their personal devices for work tasks. With SnapSync, the originator of the file share authorizes access to other parties, enabling improved data control and a content IT manager," said Mark Bowker, analyst, ESG. "SnapSync's security and control features like encrypted keys, provide the document originator the ability to remove access for a particular user if the access is no longer required. This ensures the data remains secure within the enterprise." 

Most competing storage systems only backup on a periodic basis - daily, weekly, etc. - and information can take days or weeks to be retrieved by the equipment provider following a system meltdown. Organizations leveraging SnapSync private cloud benefit from fast DR and BC with almost complete recovery of that data if they are synchronized with the company's central Snap storage-based infrastructure. This is made possible by the Snap storage site-to-site continuous replication features that help ensure the latest data is always backed up, recoverable and available. 

"In today's agile business world, enterprise users are looking for always-on, cloud-integrated, mobile-ready and secured access of corporate information without always requiring a VPN connection. SnapSync, along with our Snap storage products, provides enterprises and SMBs with a value proposition that features the lowest TCO, most secure and most scalable configuration to share and store data, with the knowledge that if there's a critical system failure they can be up and running within minutes with a close to zero RPO," noted Nilesh Patel, VP, product management and marketing, Sphere 3D. He concluded: "We believe this is a game changer for companies that are looking for the most versatile and secure environment while still meeting the mobility requirements of their workforces."

Sphere 3D (Overland Storage and Tandberg Data) complete $20 million debt financing

Sphere 3D Corp., parent company of Overland Storage and Tandberg Data, has entered into a $20 million debt financing, consisting of a $10 million revolving credit facility and a $10 million term loan facility, with Opus Bank.

Eric Kelly, chairman and CEO, Sphere 3D, commented: "We are coming off a year where we have undertaken a significant transformation and have positioned the company for growth in 2016. In preparing for this growth, we are excited to have the opportunity to partner with Opus Bank, whose strength, leadership and experience in working with leading technology companies, provides us with the necessary foundation to capitalize on our opportunities."

Kevin McBride, senior MD and head of the technology banking division at Opus Bank, stated: "Sphere 3D has developed differentiated hybrid cloud solutions and partnered with leading global technology companies to help organizations modernize their IT infrastructure in a flexible and affordable way."

He added: "The senior debt solution provided by Opus Bank is an example of Opus' technology experience and capability to deliver needed financing to middle-market technology companies like Sphere 3D. Opus is pleased to have the opportunity to become Sphere 3D's lead commercial bank."
Opus Bank's technology banking division serves later stage, venture-backed, private equity, and public middle-market technology companies that focus on IP, software, hardware, and IT services.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

President Dan Jan Left Qualstar Company's fiscal year-end changed to December 31 from June 30

Qualstar Corporation has approved a change in the company's fiscal year-end to December 31 from June 30.

As a result of the change, the company's next fiscal year-end will be December 31, 2016. In addition, the company will file a transition report on Form 10-K for the six month period ending December 31, 2015. This change is being made by the company to better align the company's financial reporting calendar with its customer base.

"We changed our fiscal year-end to be aligned with our customers and suppliers, most of which utilize a calendar fiscal year-end of December 31," said Steven N. Bronson, president and CEO, Qualstar.
 
As the company begins the new year, management continues to reduce expenses and personnel to focus on profitability.  As part of these changes, Daniel K. Jan, president, will be leaving the company effective December 31, 2015 and Steven N. Bronson, CEO, assumes the additional title and responsibilities of president of Qualstar effective January 1, 2016.

Jan joined Qualstar in April 2014 to focus on providing customers with an expanded set of storage archival solutions and to re-engineering operations, while maintaining excellent service worldwide that is Qualstar's tradition. In addition, he played a key role in forging new OEM supplier relationships. He has been promoted to president of the company, as of May 2015, after having served as EVP since April 2014. He joined Qualstar from BDT Products, Inc., a subsidiary of Germany’s BDT Media Automation GmbH, in OEM tape automation. He served as president at BDT, spearheading growth in BDT’s worldwide sales for its tape and storage business. With over 25 years of industry experience spanning semiconductor memory to hard disks, optical, and tape storage technologies, he’s held leadership roles in Silicon Valley, where he spent 12 years, in companies ranging from high-performance blade server start-ups, optical storage designers, to IBM in their storage and peripheral devices groups who were deeply involved in HDD, tape, and RAID subsystem technologies.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Storage Trends and Predictions for 2016

25/50/100GbE
First of the storage trends is for 25/50/100 GbE. The first products have just reached availability, so in 2016 we will see wide adoption of these. For our segment 25 GbE will be especially popular because it is a single-lane technology (like 10G, not like 40G), It is backwards compatible with 10G (uses the same SFP-type connector) and has a low cost for NICs, cables and switches. By the end of the year the cost difference between 10 and 25 will be minuscule, so the choice of 25G should be obvious for any new deployment during 2016.


All-Flash Arrays (AFA)
All-flash memory has been gaining market share during the last few years. In 2016 even late adopters will switch to flash for their primary storage needs. It still has to go through a row or price reduction to become affordable.


ARM servers
ARM servers are coming up with players like Broadcom. AMD and Samsung are also going to try their chances of gaining (share) of the ARM server chip market.


Non-Volatile Memory (NVM)
NVM is a new class of storage media. It is faster than NAND flash, slower than RAM, but it is non-volatile. We expect to see first productized 3D XPoint memory by Intel/Micron. Also HP/SanDisk (now WD) announced cooperation around memristors but it is unsure if we'll see a product in 2016. The first product will be a 3D XPoint PCIe card to be released in Q1 2016. At the beginning, prices will be higher than the ones of NAND flash, but in the long run, non-volatile memory can replace flash entirely. As a result, NAND flash is going to become the new disk, while NVM will take the role of flash. This means a new crop of storage vendors focusing on the new storage tier, like it happened with NAND flash. We expect first players to be announced in 2016.


Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI)
Hyper-converged solutions are going to get wider adoption as they reduce complexity. However they are still costly and by concept are best suited for smaller deployments of 2-5 nodes and thus for the SMB/ROBO segment. At larger scale HCI is not the solution of choice for cost and manageability reasons.


Hot in the storage trends will be Software-Defined Storage (SDS)
SDS has been in the storage trends and hot topic during last couple of years, however the majority of deployments were PoC/tests. 2016 is the year when SDS becomes widely used in production deployments. The technology has reached a good level of maturity, developed by early adopters and now mainstream companies are going to deploy it in order to get the benefits delivered by software-defined storage and distributed storage.


Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) drives
SMR drives will be one of the storage trends of 2016. The economics of this new class of media are clear already - SMR HDDs are nearly half the cost of the closest regular HDD available. Other than that, the attraction of SMR drives is the ability to have an online archive at very reasonable cost rather than an offline tape archive. Also, the software stacks and products incorporating them are just coming into place. They fit between tape and HDDs, at the same time displacing both to a degree. Tape will be dead as a backup technology of the mass market and SMR drives will make it really dead.


New tiers
The NVM and SMR drives will create new tiers of storage. NVM will fit between flash and RAM, displacing the highest end of the flash arrays, and enabling a small segment of new applications. SMR drives will fit between tape and regular HDDs, displacing both to a degree. For me tape is dead now. Adding SMR drives for cold storage to the mix makes it very dead.


Further systems specialization
At the medium scale (100TB-1 PB) there is an increasing realisation that you probably need several different systems for the different needs. The best architecture for an archival system is very different for the best architecture for primary storage. So in 2016 mid-sized storage users will look even more to solve different requirements with different systems.


Death of HDD-only and steep decline of cached-HDD systems
Enterprises finally realize that HDD systems, even when cached and centralized architectures don't work for their virtualized workloads. We still see quotes by major vendors offering HDD-based systems, where the customer clearly stated they want high performance. This will not fly anymore in 2016. This is all part of the specialization trend: different problems = different solutions.


The pursuit to reduce complexity
Complexity is a major pain point, getting worse with all the latest technologies that companies have to keep up with and manage. Hyper-convergence promises to address these issues to a large degree, but only in the smaller storage deployments. cloud operators also help a lot by hiding the complexity of their infrastructure behind an easy-to-use web interface. On a larger scale - when you have to build a public or a private cloud - the sensible solution is to consider software-defined technologies. Most of them rely on standard hardware (and standard skillset), thus they reduce complexity as well as vendor lock-in. This promises to be one of the huge storage trends in 2016.


Pricing of storage systems changes
It is not about storage anymore - compute network and storage become one integral system. This has considerable impact on how you compare solutions - it is not $/GB and $/IO/s of the storage system anymore. Rather companies have to compare functionality and the total cost of their alternative stacks before choosing.


New approach to backup and DR
There is an increased interest for multi-site deployments. In the larger cloud deployments, the general approach seems to be multiple sites connected over the Internet, with exposed choice to the customer where the cloud should keep backup copies of their data. We don't see any interest in tape libraries. The modern approach to backup and archiving seems to be large HDDs with wide erasure coding. So backups will be either online or nearly online (withins of powering up the HDDs). We also see increased interest in being able to run applications from the backup system even with decreased performance. The line between backup and DR is blurring.


Storage trends and predictions - Summary
On the highest level there is a paradigm shift from 'storage as a separate subsystem' (i.e. stand alone SAN box) to 'software-defined storage'. Companies will grasp the interplay between applications, compute, network and storage. Storage is becoming an integral part of the entire stack and tightly integrated with network and compute (and applications running on top).

Performance requirements are rising and SSD-level of performance is now the standard. Use cases multiply which drives further specialization of storage systems and new tiers of storage.
With impact lower than the paradigm shift new technologies are adding functionality, but also complexity, which the end users are trying to manage, while innovating to keep their competitive edge.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

566PB Produced in Just One Day by All WW New Video Surveillance Cameras Installed in 2015

Big, big, big data: higher and higher resolution video surveillance

In 2013 IHS Inc. announced the rise of HD video surveillance was leading to an astonishing 413PB of data a day produced by newly installed video surveillance cameras.
Now, the proliferation of higher and higher resolution cameras means that the data deluge continues to increase.
566PB was the amount of data produced in just one day by all the new video surveillance cameras installed worldwide in 2015.

But just how much data is 566PB:
  • 11.3 million standard double-layer Blu-ray movie disc
  • All Netflix’s current users streaming 1.2 hours of ultra-high definition content simultaneously, as of December 2015.
  • Approaching twice the amount of all user data stored by Facebook!, as of December 2015.
So why is there this increase?
Globally speaking the video surveillance market is still not saturated. A recent IHS report on the installed base for video surveillance equipment suggested that there was one camera installed for every twenty nine people on the planet. However, camera density varied drastically by country. The mature markets of the US and the UK had one camera installed for every eight and eleven people respectively. Emerging markets such as India (one for every 150) or Middle East and Africa (one for every 200) will see many new installations.

As well as new installations; retrofits and upgrades are a significant part of the market, a market which globally is expected to see a CAGR of 20% in new camera unit shipments from 2014 to 2019. In addition to the high demand for surveillance cameras the following is also true:
  • HD compliant 1080p 25/30 fps cameras have established themselves as the minimum expected from new cameras. This is not now limited to network cameras, HD CCTV has emerged as the replacement for many remaining standard definition analog cameras.
  • Panoramic and 4K cameras are two further storage hungry high growth product categories.
  • When video surveillance footage is being stored it is generally being retained for an increasing period of time. Aside from out-and-out security purposes, video surveillance footage is being increasingly retained longer for anti-litigation, insurance and operational purposes too.
The amount of data produced by video surveillance cameras is huge yet it is often overlooked in analyses of general worldwide data production and storage. The video surveillance industry is still somewhat below the radar for those involved in data storage, perhaps due to its challenges and characteristics.

Management and storage of potentially hundreds of high resolution video streams can be one such challenge. A large throughput capacity and a heavy write focus are just two characteristics of enterprise storage tailored for video surveillance workloads.

The traditional separation of security and IT has meant convergence between the two has been slow. However, increased surveillance storage demands may force many end-users to re-access their storage solutions as previous approaches will no longer be sufficient.

If enterprise storage is used, the majority of demand at present is being fulfilled by IP SANs.
Chinese video surveillance vendors are well positioned to ramp-up their offerings of low-priced, high capacity SAN systems to meet the capacity requirements of the mass video surveillance market. This approach, previously reserved for only the largest installations, is filtering down to smaller systems.

However, the market is also evolving. Concurrently, some larger installations have progressed to the use of smarter storage architectures integrating moving data between edge and core storage, between multiple tiers (in some cases storage media) within single platforms which are all viewable in the VMS.

Qualstar Announces the Q80, an Expandable Rackmount LTO Tape Library System


Qualstar Corporation (NASDAQ: QBAK), a manufacturer of data storage solutions and high efficiency power supplies, today announced the release of Q80, a 19-inch rackmount form-factor scalable 6U high LTO Tape Library system designed for small and medium businesses and distributed deployment environments. 

The Qualstar Q80 is designed to provide superior performance and value for backup, recovery and archiving environments while cost effectively accommodating growth. The Q80’s patented architecture allows easy field configuration of a unified library consisting of up to 7 individual modules containing up to 560 cartridges and 42 Half Height LTO drives. The Q80 offers outstanding storage capacity and data throughput in a system that can be expanded incrementally and cost-effectively. The Q80 features wizards to simplify installation and configuration as well as advanced diagnostics, which provide suggested actions to resolve problems quickly. With LTO 7 tape technology, the Q80 will offer a maximum of 3.36PB native storage capacity and maximum native throughput of 45.4 TB/hr. 

“The addition of Q80 to our product portfolio adds a scalable library solution to our Q series product range. This model targets growing businesses that require a flexible system to scale with their needs. The addition of the Q80 demonstrates Qualstar’s continued commitment to delivering a broader range of storage solutions for our customers”, said Steven N. Bronson, Qualstar’s CEO.


In adddition to the Q80 Qualstar offer a 24-slot and 48-slot tape library.  Contact BackupWorks.com fora quote today at 866 801 2944for your next LTO-6 or LTO-7 Tape Library.

Quantum: Fiscal 3Q16 Financial Results

Quantum Corp. reported results for the fiscal third quarter 2016 ended December 31, 2015.
Fiscal Third Quarter 2016 Results:
(All comparisons relative to the fiscal third quarter 2015.)

  • Revenue was $128.0 million, driven by continued strength in scale-out storage offset by overall weakness in the general storage market and pricing environment of commodity tape media products.
  • Scale-out storage and related service revenue grew approximately $8.5 million to an all-time high of $35.7 million, a 31% increase, marking the 18th consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth.
  • Royalty revenue increased $0.6 million to $11.3 million.
  • Disk backup systems and related service revenue decreased to $19.6 million.
  • Branded tape automation and related service revenue decreased to $38.5 million, while OEM tape automation and related service revenue decreased to $12.7 million.
  • Devices and media revenue decreased to $10.2 million as a result of a $3.5 million decline in tape media revenue.
  • GAAP and non-GAAP operating income of $2.0 million and $7.2 million, respectively.
  • GAAP net loss was $0.3 million, or $0.00 per diluted share.
  • Non-GAAP net income was $5.3 million, or $0.02 per diluted share.
Based on current market conditions, including tape media pricing dynamics and the difficulty in forecasting large and mega deals given their long sales cycles, Quantum provided the following guidance for the fiscal fourth quarter:
  • Revenue of $118 million to $122 million.
  • GAAP and non-GAAP gross margin of approximately 43-44%.
  • GAAP and non-GAAP operating expenses of approximately $50 million to $51 million and $48 million to $49 million, respectively.
  • Interest expense of $1.5 million and taxes of $400,000.
  • GAAP and non-GAAP earnings per share of ($0.01) to $0.00 and $0.00 to $0.01, respectively.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

LTO-7 Ultrium Tape Drives and Data Cartridges Now Available at BackupWorks.com

LTO-7 the newest generation of LTO Ultrium technology from the consortium of IBM, Quantum and HP is now shipping.  With capacities of 6TB native and up to 15TB compressed more than doubling the capacity of the previous generation of LTO technology. And with 750MB/s transfer rates, large files can move quickly which translates to more than 2.7TB of data per hour per drive.
BackupWorks.com is currently taking pre-orders for LTO-7 Tape Libraries and LTO-7 Data Cartridges.  For Tape Libraries, The Overland Storage NEOs Series of Tape Libraries, the NEOs T24 and NEOs T48 Autoloaders are available for purchase with shipping expected early Q1 2016.
The Media however will be available starting later this week. The LTO-7 data cartridges available currently include the three major brands, HP, Quantum and IBM.
Call you BackupWorks.com account Rep today at 866 801 2944 for your LTO-7 Ultrium tape storage needs.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Imation: Fiscal 3Q15 Financial Results - Exits the LTO Tape media and RDX Removable Disk Storage Markets

Imation Corp. released financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2015.

Q3 Overview
For the third quarter of 2015, Imation reported net revenue of $129.2 million, down 26.2% from Q3 2014.


Operating loss from continuing operations totaled $148.7 million, including special charges of $113.9 million and diluted loss per share from continuing operations was $3.70. The company had a cash balance of $94.3 million as of September 30, 2015.

On September 27, 2015, Imation adopted a restructuring plan in which it will terminate certain sales and operations of its worldwide Storage Media business, terminate certain sales and operations of its worldwide Consumer Storage and Accessories (CSA) business, and further reduce and rationalize its corporate overhead. This decision impacted the results for third quarter of 2015 due to increased costs for the associated inventory write-offs, accounts receivable write-offs and special charges. For the third quarter of 2015, special charges included restructuring and other of $40.2 million, intangible impairments of $37.6 million and goodwill impairments of $36.1 million.

Imation's Interim CEO Robert Fernander commented: "This was a very busy and productive quarter where we managed to accomplish a great deal toward positioning Imation as a more competitive company capable of continued growth and success. While these aggressive steps have impacted our key financial results and performance metrics for the quarter, we are confident that over the long-term the company and its shareholders will benefit from these necessary changes.

Imation is now out of the Tape Media and RDX removable Disk Storage business.  The RDX Business has been sold to Sphere 3D which is Overland Storage, which owns the brand Tandberg Data very prominent in the Removable Disk Storage industry.  Imation LTO-6 media will begin being phased out as well is the licensing of the TDK brand of LTO media.  On the RDX side, Tandberg data will continue to sell through the channel the Imation RDX brand for the time being.