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Email is a popular tool for messaging, calendaring, and  managing contacts along with attachments in most organizations.


Email and messaging


Given the popularity of email and diverse ways that it is used for managing various forms of unstructured data attachments including photos, video, audio, spreadsheets, presentations and other document objects, there are corresponding back end challenges. Those back end challenges including managing the data storage repositories (e.g. file systems and storage systems) that are used for preserving and serving email documents along with enabling regulatory or compliance mandates.


Email archiving is an important  enabler for regulatory compliance and e-discovery functions. However there is another  important use for E-mail archiving which as a data footprint reduction (DFR) technique and technology enables storage optimization, being green and  supporting growth while stretching budgets further. There is after all no such thing as a data or information  recession and all one has to do to verify the trend is to look at your own email activity.


Industry Trend: Data growth and demand


There are however constraints on time, budgets and demands to do more while relying on more information  and email has become a central tool for messaging including social  media networking, handling of attachments and means to manage all of that  data.


DFR enables more data to be stored, retained, managed and  maintenance in a cost effective manner. This includes storing more data managed  per person, where when the additional data being retained adds value to an  organization. Also included is keeping more data readily accessible, not  necessarily instantly accessible, however but within minutes instead of hours  or days depending on service requirements.


Data footprint reduction (DFR) techniques and technologies


Here is a link to a recent article that I did presenting  five tips and strategies for optimizing e-mail using archiving.


Hopefully many of you will find these  to be common sense tips  being implemented, however if  not, now is the time to take action to stretch your resources further to  do more.


In general email optimization tips include:

  • Set policies for retention and disposal
  • Establish filters and rules
  • Index and organize your inbox
  • Archive messages regularly
  • Perform routine cleanup and optimization
  • Leverage cloud data protection services and solutions


When it comes to archiving projects, walk before you run, establish success to build upon for  broader deployment of E-mail archiving by finding and address low hanging  fruit opportunities.


Instead of trying to do to much, find opportunities that  can be addressed and leveraged as examples to build business cases to move  forward.


By having some success stories and proof points, these  can be used to help convince management to support additional steps not to mention  getting them to back your polices to achieve success.


An effective way to convince  management these days is to show them how by taking additional Email  archiving steps you can support increased growth demand, reduce costs while  enhancing productivity not to mention adding compliance and ediscovery  capabilities as side benefits.


You can read more here and here, ok, nuff said for now.


Cheers gs

Here is a link to a recent guest post that I was invited to do over at The virtualization Practice (TVP) pertaining to  VMware vSphere  V5.0 VASA.


This new post follows up on one that I did about a month ago pertaining to recent vSphere V5.0 storage and IO enhancements including Storage DRS (SDRS).


VMware vSphere Storage Aware API (VASA) is an Applications Programming Interface (API) that provides insight and awareness into supported storage systems configuration, current health, status and capabilities that can be used for enabling various management activities.


Read more here.


Ok, nuff said for now.


Cheers gs

The other day I saw something come in via the net about a top 50 IT blog list from Biztech Magazine, so being curious I clicked on the link (after making sure that it was safe).


To my surprise, I saw my blog (aka Gregs StorageIOblog) listed near the top (they sorted by blog name order) of the top 50 IT blog sites that they listed.


Must-Read IT Blog


Im honored to have been included in such an esteemed and diverse list of blogs spanning various technologies, topics and IT focus areas.


Congratulations to all that made the list (many vExperts) as well as others blogs that you will want to add to your reading lists including those mentioned over on vExpert Calvin Zitos (aka @hpstorageguy) blog.


Check out the top 50 IT blog list here.


Ok, nuff said for now.

Cheers gs

Technically here in the northern hemisphere it is still summer, so there is another summer wedding to announce.


The other day Hitachi Data Systems (aka HDS) announced that they finally tied the knot buying their Network Attached Storage (NAS) partner BlueArc whom they have been in a OEM premarital arrangement for the last five years or so (wow, was that a long engagement or what?). HDS being a subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd. a Japanese company it should be no surprise that they operate in a cool, calculated conservative manner with products that have over the past several decades been known for delivering resiliency, functionality, performance and value.


To those in the IT and specifically data storage industry, the only surprise about HDS buying BlueArc should be what took them so long to do so myself included. With unstructured data, big data, high performance computing, high productivity computing (aka HPC), and big bandwidth needs expanding, it only makes sense that HDS finally ties the knot formally acquiring BlueArc signaling what I hope are a few things for their collective future together.


Things that I hope HDS can accomplish with their acquisition of BlueArc include among others:

  • Leverage the BlueArc hardware and performance combine with the HDS software suite to expand further upstream (and downstream) as well as into different adjacent markets leveraging their success over the long courtship where both parties got to know each other more.
  • Signal to the industry that they are truly committed to a long term NAS product solution strategy. HDS has been doing a good job of sticking with BlueArc for the past five or so years having had several previous NAS partner relationships including with NetApp, NSS and others besides their own internal projects.
  • Expand their focus to lead with NAS pulling storage with it in addition to using NAS to accessorize (or bling aka Mr. T starter kit to go with Mr. T storage videos) storage systems which means of course, going more direct toe to toe with the likes of former partner NetApp, EMC, HP (with IBRIX), IBM and Dell among many others. Ironically former HDS partner NetApp acquired the Engenio storage group from LSI whose products competed with HDS in some spaces, while BlueArc was a Engenio partner.
  • Continue to develop both the hardware and software feature functionality around the BlueArc products in addition to further integration across the joint product lines for both traditional, as well as clustered, scale out, bulk, big data, big bandwidth and HPC environments.
  • Sharpen their NAS message and solution offerings including providing the support, tools and programs to enable both their joint direct sales forces as well as their partner value added reseller (VAR) and channel networks.


Check out (here) some additional comments and perspectives by Ray Lucchesi (aka twitter @raylucchesi) over on his blog pertaining to HDS buying BlueArc.


Congratulations to both HDS and BlueArc along with best wishes, this is a deal that is good for both, now, or once the honeymoon is over, lets see how this is executed upon building on their prior joint success to expand into new market opportunities on a global basis. HDS has tools and people to move into and leverage these new as well as existing opportunities,  lets see how they can execute on those hopefully not spending too much time or money on the honeymoon while their competitors are out being busy in some of those same accounts in this last month of an important sales quarter (all quarters are important when it comes to sales).


Disclosure for those interested and FWIW: BlueArc had been a client of StorageIO a few years ago, however not currently. HDS is not nor have they been a client of StorageIO, however in prior life I was a customer of theirs in addition to being a partner and supplier when I was on the vendor side of the table.


Ok, nuff said for now.


Cheers gs

Ok, it's now official, following its debut at the VMworld 2011 book store last week in Las Vegas, my new book Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press) is now formally released with general availability announced today along with companion material located at including the Cloud and Virtual Data Storage  Networking LinkedIn group page launched a few months ago. Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CVDSN) a 370 page hard cover print is my third solo book that follows The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press 2009) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier 2004).

Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking Book by Greg Schulz

CVDSN book was on display at VMworld 2011 book store last week along with a new book by Duncan Epping (aka @DuncanYB ) and Frank Denneman (aka @frankdenneman ) titled VMware vSphere 5 Clustering Technical Deepdive. You can get your copy of Duncan and Franks new book on  Amazon here.


Greg Schulz during book signing at VMworld 2011
Here is a photo of me on the left visiting a VMworld 2011 attendee in the VMworld book store.



Whats inside the book, theme and topics covered


When it comes to clouds, virtualization, converged and dynamic infrastructures Dont  be scared however do look before you leap to be be prepared including doing your homework.


What this means is that you should do  your homework, prepare, learn, and get involved with proof of concepts (POCs)  and training to build the momentum and success to continue an ongoing IT  journey. Identify where clouds, virtualization and data storage networking  technologies and techniques compliment and enable your journey to efficient,  effective and productive optimized IT services delivery.



There  is no such thing as a data or information recession: Do more with what you have

A common challenge in many  organizations is exploding data growth along with associated management tasks  and constraints, including budgets, staffing, time, physical facilities, floor  space, and power and cooling. IT clouds and dynamic infrastructure environments  enable flexible, efficient and optimized, cost-effective and productive  services delivery. The amount of data being generated, processed, and stored continues to grow, a trend that does not appear to be changing in the future. Even during the recent economic crisis, there has been no slow down or information recession. Instead, the need to process, move, and store data has only increased, in fact both people and data are living longer. CVDSN presents options, technologies, best practices and strategies for enabling IT organizations looking to do more with what they have while supporting growth along with new services without compromising on cost or QoS delivery (see figure below). Driving Return on Innovation the new ROI: Doing more, reducing costs while boosting productivity



Expanding  focus from efficiency and optimization to effectiveness and productivity

A primary tenant of a cloud and  virtualized environment is to support growing demand in a cost-effective manner  with increased agility without compromising QoS. By removing complexity and  enabling agility, information services can be delivered in a timely manner to  meet changing business needs.



There  are many types of information services delivery model options

Various types of information services  delivery modes should be combined to meet various needs and requirements. These  complimentary service delivery options and descriptive terms include cloud,  virtual and data storage network enabled environments. These include dynamic  Infrastructure, Public & Private and Hybrid Cloud, abstracted,  multi-tenant, capacity on demand, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform  as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) among others.



Convergence  combing different technology domains and skill sets

Components of a cloud and virtual  environment include desktop, servers, and storage, networking, hardware, and  software, services along with APIs and software stacks. This include virtual and  physical desktops, data, voice and storage networks, LANs, SANs, MANs, WANs,  faster blade and rack servers with more memory, SSD and high-capacity storage  and associated virtualization tools and management software. True convergence  combines leveraging technology and people, processes and best practices aligned  to make the most of those resources to deliver cost-effective services  delivery.



Best  people, processes, practices and products (the four Ps)

Bringing all the various components  together is the Ps (people skill sets, process, practices and products). This  means leveraging and enhancing people skill sets and experience, process and  procedures to optimize workflow for streamlined service orchestration,  practices and policies to be more effectively reducing waste without causing  new bottlenecks, and products such as racks, stacks, hardware, software, and  managed or cloud services.



Service  categories and catalogs, templates SLO and SLA alignment

Establishing service categories  aligned to known service levels and costs enables resources to be aligned to  applicable SLO and SLA requirements. Leveraging service templates and defined  policies can enable automation and rapid provisioning of resources including  self-service requests.



Navigating  to effective IT services delivery: Metrics, measurements and E2E management

You cannot effectively manage what you  do not know about; likewise, without situational awareness or navigation tools,  you are flying blind. E2E (End to End) tools can provide monitoring and usage  metrics for reporting and accounting, including enabling comparison with other  environments. Metrics include customer service satisfaction, SLO and SLAs, QoS,  performance, availability and costs to service delivered.



The  importance of data protection for virtual, cloud and physical environments

Clouds and virtualization are  important tools and technologies for protecting existing consolidated or  converged as well as traditional environments. Likewise, virtual and cloud  environments or data placed there also need to be protected. Now is the time to  rethink and modernize your data protection strategy to be more effective,  protecting, preserving and serving more data for longer periods of time with  less complexity and cost.



Packing  smart and effectively for your journey: Data footprint reduction (DFR)

Reducing your data footprint impact  leveraging data footprint reduction (DFR) techniques, technologies and best  practices is important for enabling an optimized, efficient and effective IT  services delivery environment. Reducing your data footprint is enabled with  clouds and virtualization providing a means and mechanism for archiving  inactive data and for transparently moving it. On the other hand, moving to a  cloud and virtualized environment to do more with what you have is enhanced by  reducing the impact of your data footprint. The ABCDs of data footprint  reduction include Archiving, Backup modernization, Compression and  consolidation, Data management and dedupe along with Storage tiering and thin  provisioning among other techniques.


Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking book by Greg Schulz


How the book is laid out:

  • Table of content (TOC)
  • How the book is organized and who should read it
  • Preface
  • Section I: Why the need for  cloud, virtualization and data storage networks
  • Chapter 1: Industry trends and perspectives: From issues and challenges  to opportunities
  • Chapter 2: Cloud, virtualization and data  storage networking fundamentals
  • Section II: Managing data and  resources: Protect, preserve, secure and serve
  • Chapter 3: Infrastructure Resource Management (IRM)
  • Chapter 4: Data and storage networking security
  • Chapter 5: Data protection (Backup/Restore, BC and DR)
  • Chapter 6: Metrics and measurement for situational awareness
  • Section III: Technology, tools and  solution options
  • Chapter 7: Data footprint reduction: Enabling cost-effective data  demand growth
  • Chapter 8: Enabling data footprint reduction: Storage capacity optimization
  • Chapter 9: Storage services and systems
  • Chapter 10: Server virtualization
  • Chapter 11: Connectivity: Networking with your servers and storage
  • Chapter 12: Cloud and solution packages
  • Chapter 13: Management and tools
  • Section IV: Putting IT all  together
  • Chapter 14: Applying what you have learned
  • Chapter 15: Wrap-up, what’s next and book summary
  • Appendices:
  • Where to Learn More
  • Index and Glossary


Here is the release that went out via Business Wire (aka Bizwire) earlier today.


Industry Veteran Greg  Schulz of StorageIO Reveals Latest IT Strategies in “Cloud and Virtual Data  Storage Networking” Book
  StorageIO Founder Launches the  Definitive Book for Enabling Cloud, Virtualized, Dynamic, and Converged Infrastructures


Stillwater, Minnesota –  September 7, 2011  – The Server and StorageIO Group (, a leading  independent IT industry advisory and consultancy firm, in conjunction with  publisher CRC Press, a Taylor and Francis imprint, today announced the release  of “Cloud and Virtual Data Storage  Networking,” a new book by Greg Schulz, noted author and StorageIO founder.  The book examines strategies for the design, implementation, and management of  hardware, software, and services technologies that enable the most advanced,  dynamic, and flexible cloud and virtual environments.


Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking


The book supplies real-world  perspectives, tips, recommendations, figures, and diagrams on creating an efficient,  flexible and optimized IT service delivery infrastructures to support demand  without compromising quality of service (QoS) in  a cost-effective manner. “Cloud  and Virtual Data Storage Networking” looks at converging IT resources and  management technologies to facilitate efficient and effective delivery of  information services, including enabling information factories. Schulz guides readers  of all experience levels through various technologies and techniques available to  them for enabling efficient information services.


Topics covered in the book include:

  • Information services  model options and best practices
  • Metrics for efficient  E2E IT management and measurement
  • Server, storage, I/O  networking, and data center virtualization
  • Converged and cloud  storage services (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS)
  • Public, private, and  hybrid cloud and managed services
  • Data protection for  virtual, cloud, and physical environments
  • Data footprint  reduction (archive, backup modernization, compression, dedupe)
  • High availability, business  continuance (BC), and disaster recovery (DR)
  • Performance,  availability and capacity optimization


This book explains when, where,  with what, and how to leverage cloud, virtual, and data storage networking as  part of an IT infrastructure today and in the future. “Cloud and Virtual Data  Storage Networking” comprehensively covers IT data storage networking  infrastructures, including public, private and hybrid cloud, managed services, virtualization,  and traditional IT environments.


“With all the chatter  in the market about cloud storage and how it can solve all your problems, the  industry needed a clear breakdown of the facts and how to use cloud storage  effectively. Greg's latest book does exactly that,” said Greg Brunton of EDS,  an HP company.


Click here to listen and watch Schulz discuss his new book in this Video about Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking book by Greg Schulz video.



About the Book


Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking has 370 pages, with more  than 100 figures and tables, 15 chapters plus appendices, as well as a  glossary. CRC Press catalog number K12375, ISBN-10: 1439851735, ISBN-13: 9781439851739,  publication September 2011. The hard cover book can be purchased now at  global venues including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Digital Guru and  Companion material is located at including images, additional information, supporting site links at CRC Press, LinkedIn Cloud  and Virtual Data Storage Networking group, and other books by the author.  Direct book editorial review inquiries to John Wyzalek of CRC Press at (twitter @jwyzalek) or +1 (917) 351-7149.  For bulk and special orders contact Chris Manion of CRC Press at or +1 (561) 998-2508. For custom, derivative works and  excerpts, contact StorageIO at


About the Author

Greg Schulz is  the founder of the independent IT industry advisory firm StorageIO. Before  forming StorageIO, Schulz worked for several vendors in systems engineering,  sales, and marketing technologist roles. In addition to having been an analyst,  vendor and VAR, Schulz also gained real-world hands on experience working in IT  organizations across different industry sectors. His IT customer experience spans  systems development, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and  capacity planner across different technology domains, including servers,  storage, I/O networking hardware, software and services. Today, in addition to  his analyst and research duties, Schulz is a prolific writer, blogger, and  sought-after speaker, sharing his expertise with worldwide technology  manufacturers and resellers, IT users, and members of the media. With an  insightful and thought-provoking style, Schulz is also author of the books “The Green and Virtual Data Center” (CRC Press, 2009) which is on the Intel developers recommended reading list and  the SNIA-endorsed reading book “Resilient  Storage Networks: Designing Flexible Scalable Data Infrastructures” (Elsevier, 2004). Schulz is available for interviews and commentary, briefings,  speaking engagements at conferences and private events, webinars, video and  podcast along with custom advisory consultation sessions. Learn more at


End of press release.



Wrap up


I want to express thanks to all of those involved with the project that spanned over the past year.


Stayed tuned for more news and updates pertaining to Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking along with related material including upcoming events as well as chapter excerpts. Speaking of events, here is information on an upcoming workshop seminar that I will be involved with for IT storage and networking professionals to be held October 4th and 5th in the Netherlands.


You can get your copy now at global venues including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Digital Guru and


Oh, and btw, if you decide to use the site to get your copy, try this special discount code ( 392dp ) while it lasts.


Ok, nuff said, for now.


Cheers gs

Greg Schulz of StorageIO in conjunction with or dutch partner Brouwer Storage Consultancy will be presenting a two day workshop seminar for IT storage, virtualization, and networking professionals Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th of October 2011 at Ampt van Nijkerk Netherlands.


Brouwer Storage ConsultanceyThe Server and StorageIO Group


This two  day interactive education seminar for storage professionals  will focus on current data and storage networking trends, technology and business challenges along with available technologies and solutions. During the seminar learn what technologies and management techniques are available, how different vendors solutions compare and what to use when and where. This seminar digs into the various IT tools, techniques, technologies and best practices for enabling an efficient, effective, flexible, scalable and resilient data infrastructure.


The format of this two seminar will be a mix of presentation and interactive discussion allowing attendees plenty of time to discuss among themselves and with seminar presenters. Attendees will gain insight into how to compare and contrast various technologies and solutions in addition to identifying and aligning those solutions to their specific issues, challenges and requirements.


Major themes that will be discussed include:

  • Who is doing what with various storage solutions and tools
  • Is RAID still relevant for today and tomorrow
  • Are hard disk drives and tape finally dead at the hands of SSD and clouds
  • What am I routinely hearing, seeing or being asked to comment on
  • Enabling storage optimization, efficiency and effectiveness (performance and capacity)
  • Opportunities for leveraging various technologies, techniques,trends
  • Supporting virtual servers including re-architecting data protection
  • How to modernize data protection (backup/restore, BC, DR, replication, snapshots)
  • Data footprint reduction (DFR) including archive, compression and dedupe
  • Clarifying cloud confusion, don’t be scared, however look before you leap
  • Big data, big bandwidth and virtual desktop infrastructures (VDI)


In addition this two day seminar will look at what are some new and improved technologies and techniques, who is doing what along with discussions around industry and vendor activity including mergers and acquisitions. In addition to seminar handout materials, attendees will also receive a copy  Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press) by Greg Schulz that looks at enabling efficient, optimized and effective information services delivery across cloud, virtual and traditional environments.


Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking Book


Buzzwords and topic themes to be discussed among others include E2E, FCoE and DCB, CNAs, SAS, I/O virtualization, server and storage virtualization, public and private cloud, Dynamic Infrastructures, VDI, RAID and advanced data protection options, SSD, flash, SAN, DAS and NAS, object storage, big data and big bandwidth, backup, BC, DR, application optimized or aware storage, open storage, scale out storage solutions, federated management, metrics and measurements, performance and capacity, data movement and migration, storage tiering, data protection modernization, SRA and SRM, data footprint reduction (archive, compress, dedupe), unified and multi-protocol storage, solution bundle and stacks.


For more information or to register contact Brouwer Storage Consultancy


Brouwer Storage Consultancy
Olevoortseweg 43
3861 MH Nijkerk
The Netherlands
Telephone: +31-33-246-6825
Cell: +31-652-601-309
Fax: +31-33-245-8956

Brouwer Storage Consultancey


Learn about other events involving Greg Schulz and StorageIO at


Ok, nuff said  for now


Cheers Gs