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LTO-8 tape standard to provide insurance against disaster

This summer’s weather disasters should have been a wake-up call about the need for a sensible business continuity strategy. But even now, several months later, recovery from flooding and infrastructure damage remains a slog.

Those who contented themselves with the nonsense that high-availability architecture is a substitute for good, old fashioned disaster recovery planning are behind the eight ball. So, too, are companies that used “cloud-based” disaster recovery services that were actually managed hosting shops located a few miles from their offices and subject to the same disaster.

The good news is technology does exist to make reliable copies of data and get them to distant off-site storage in an affordable way. I’m talking about tape, of course: Linear Tape-Open standard tape. It’s compatible across virtually all libraries, regardless of manufacturer, and growing in terms of speeds and feeds, durability, longevity and capacity.

Some vendors are already talking about generation LTO-8, though LTO-7 hasn’t run its course, and the LTO-8 tape drive isn’t yet in mass production. Some say that LTO-8 caters to a niche market of large enterprises and industrial clouds. By contrast, LTO-7 may be the last iteration catering to small to medium-sized customers given its price point of about $100 per 6 TB cartridge (15 TB compressed).

LTO-8 not a niche market

The increased capacity of the LTO-8 tape drive, at 12.8 TB native and 32 TB compressed, and data throughput of 472 Mbps native and 1,180 Mbps compressed, should garner “No h8 for eight.” (That’s my meme, but you can use it if you want.) As for the “niche” thing, I must disagree.

The preponderance of data we generate today isn’t the stuff of big data analytics.

First off, no business measures data storage in terabytes anymore. Even small ones handle hundreds of terabytes, or even petabytes, of storage. And larger companies that used to complain storage was out of hand in the tens of petabytes range are easily into exabyte-sized repositories today. The largest data producers and storage firms, according to IDC and others, exceed tens of zettabytes now, with analysts predicting 163 ZB of new data a year by 2025.

So LTO-8, with its 32 TB capacity, seems to be just what the doctor ordered for companies most likely to make big use of tape technology: cloudies and data-intensive verticals, such as healthcare, surveillance, research labs, and oil and gas. These firms are putting tape back to use in an old, secondary storage role.

Tape’s special role

I know you’ve heard that tape doesn’t meet the needs of active archives. I wrote a column on this topic recently for Storage magazine, and the answer is “Maybe, maybe not.” But the truth remains that the preponderance of data we generate today isn’t the stuff of big data analytics. Clouds want to sell “a big storage repository in the sky” to host all of the seldom accessed and never modified data consumers create with their million-megapixel phone cameras. Tape is the go-to technology for virtually all of those services now.

And getting large quantities of data to the cloud from the real world is going to require something besides expensive wires and fiber optic cables. Tape is a great mechanism for data transport without a WAN or metropolitan area network.

Eight is a special thing

Truth be told, the eight in LTO-8 is rich as a moniker. In the hard sciences, eight has many applications, ranging from being the method for describing particles in particle physics to the second magic number in nuclear physics. Eight is the number of vertices in a cube in geometry, and it’s the first number that’s neither prime nor semiprime in mathematics. It’s the atomic number of oxygen, and in biology, it’s part of the definition of the Arachnida and Octopoda classes of life. And, of course, in computer science, it’s the foundation of the numbering system used to describe digital information itself — 8 bits to a byte.

Eight holds meaning as the intersection of natural and supernatural among those who study numerology and religion. The Chinese equate eight with money and luck, spending inordinate amounts of money to obtain phone numbers with many eights in them. The old saw about the Beijing Olympics, that the opening ceremonies began precisely on Aug. 8, 2008, at eight minutes and eight seconds past 8 p.m. local time (Coordinated Universal Time+8), shows how important the lore of eight remains among a large segment of the world’s population. Marketeers cater to such things. General Motors, for example, calls the minivan built for the Chinese market the Buick GL8, but gives the same product a different name in other countries.

To numerologists, eight is a karmic number, “What goes around comes around,” as eight looks like the infinity symbol turned sideways. It symbolizes the accomplishment of goals while remaining generous and willing to take risks. In the religious realm, Eastern arts define eight paths to good or heaven, while Western faiths ascribe a lot of natural and supernatural interfaces to eight.

Whether or not you buy into the metaphysics of eight, LTO-8 does seem to have come at a fortuitous moment. We need its abundance — another meaning ascribed to eight, in Hinduism — and we need the luck that it might bring the next time a hurricane or other calamity strikes.

At a minimum, the luck of LTO-8 is tied to what it can do to lower the costs of storing zettabytes of data. A massive, multi-zettabyte tape repository will likely cost less than the energy costs alone for a repository with the same capacity based on disk or flash. The release of LTO-8 will provide yet another watershed in data storage capacity and cost.

Author’s note: In my October column, I incorrectly reported that Quantum had departed from the tape storage market. Quantum continues to sell tape storage. I regret the error. Look for a deeper discussion of Quantum’s outlook on tape technology and archiving in an upcoming column.

For Sale – MSI GTX 760 Twin Frozr OC

Got my 760 for sale as I wait for a 970 to arrive.

Purchased from Scan and has been used very lightly since as I’ve been using my Macbook after heading back to uni.

Looking for £70 including delivery, pick up also available.

Don’t be afraid to offer (reasonably).

IMG_6430.jpg

IMG_6431.jpg

Price and currency: £70.00
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT only
Location: London (West, Central and Uxbridge)
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – 1tb Samsung M3 portable external HDD and LG 500gb portable external drive

I have a Samsung M3 1tb external drive.

Its been used as a very ocassional back up and stored in an off-site safe. Has had very little use, comes with USB cable and original box and instructions. I believe it’s still under warranty as well, but can’t confirm that.

£43 plus delivery

I also have a LG 500gb HXD2 external drive, again in good condition and used for archiving. Includes usb cable.

£25 plus delivery

Moving these on as I have consolidated to a larger NAS and off-site backup.

Price and currency: 43
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: BT
Location: Kidderminster
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – 8x 2GB Asus Dual RX 460

All purchased on 30th of June this year. All have been mining away happily since.

£80 delivered per card.

Price and currency: 80
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT
Location: Worthing
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – Corsair 16GB DDR4 Vengeance LPX 3200MHz

Hello,

I am selling 16GB(2 X 8GB) of Corsair DDR4 Vengeance LPX 32000MHz RAM. This has been in my machine for 4 months, and am selling due to buying the same RAM in white.

Product can be found here:
Corsair 16GB DDR4 Vengeance LPX 3200MHz Memory Kit for Skylake

Looking for £140 which includes special delivery.

Thanks

Price and currency: £140
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: BT, Paypal
Location: NORTHUMBERLAND
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – ASrock Z68 Pro3 motherboard, i5-2500K, Artic cooler, 16Gb DDR3 RAM bundle

Recent upgrade to Ryzen has resulted in the following up for sale. PC has been cleaned about every 6 weeks.

i5-2500K with Artic Freezer Pro7 and stock cooler – processor is boxed, not sure I’ll be able to find box for the cooler

The RAM is GSKILL Ripjaws DDR 1600 PC3-12800, 16Gb in total – two pairs of 4Gb.

No problems with the motherboard, boxed with I/O shield and manual.

Any questions please ask.

Cheers

Price and currency: £170
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: Bank Transfer
Location: Bridgend
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – MSI GTX 760 Twin Frozr OC

Got my 760 for sale as I wait for a 970 to arrive.

Purchased from Scan and has been used very lightly since as I’ve been using my Macbook after heading back to uni.

Looking for £70 including delivery, pick up also available.

Don’t be afraid to offer (reasonably).

IMG_6430.jpg

IMG_6431.jpg

Price and currency: £70.00
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT only
Location: London (West, Central and Uxbridge)
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Wanted – Microsoft Surface Pro 2 (or good 1)

Hi Guys, I’m after a Surface Pro 2 (or 1 at a push). It must been in good order, minimum i5 processor and have the backlit keyboard attachment.

Money is waiting if you can help me out.

Cheers,

Rich

Location: Teesside

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – 1tb Samsung M3 portable external HDD and LG 500gb portable external drive

I have a Samsung M3 1tb external drive.

Its been used as a very ocassional back up and stored in an off-site safe. Has had very little use, comes with USB cable and original box and instructions. I believe it’s still under warranty as well, but can’t confirm that.

£43 plus delivery

I also have a LG 500gb HXD2 external drive, again in good condition and used for archiving. Includes usb cable.

£25 plus delivery

Moving these on as I have consolidated to a larger NAS and off-site backup.

Price and currency: 43
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: BT
Location: Kidderminster
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Microsoft puts a new face on remote server management

Though Microsoft’s focus of late has been on advanced mobile, cloud and application development products, a recent debut of a remote server management tool shows the company has not forgotten to fortify the Windows Server admin’s tool chest.

Microsoft last month released a technical preview of Project Honolulu, a free browser-based utility aimed at small and medium-sized businesses. The utility combines tools that manage and monitor Microsoft systems in one interface.

Project Honolulu offers flexibility to IT pros on the go, as well as IT pros who work on non-Windows devices. An admin on an iPhone or a Linux desktop can log into Project Honolulu running on a gateway server to check on a Windows Server system if an urgent help desk ticket arrives.

Smaller organizations that see Microsoft embrace various open source projects and steer admins to PowerShell command-line management might think the company has moved away from the familiar GUI. Some features in Windows Server 2016, such as Storage Spaces Direct, require an admin with PowerShell expertise to perform certain tasks. But not every IT shop works with PowerShell on a regular basis, and a cmdlet can’t visualize the performance of a VM to help pinpoint a slowdown.

“I think customers were telling Microsoft they needed something to help them and were saying, ‘If you’re going to take away our GUI, then why don’t we just go to Linux anyway?'” said Jim Gaynor, research analyst at Directions on Microsoft in Kirkland, Wash.

Project Honolulu interface
Project Honolulu is a remote server management tool that consolidates a number of applications and runs in a web browser.

Microsoft says Project Honolulu is ideal for managing a single rack of servers that run Windows Server 2012 and newer. Honolulu also connects to Windows Server VMs that run in the cloud, such as Amazon Web Services.

Although Microsoft will support the Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 operating systems until 2020, Honolulu cannot manage these OSes, because its functionality relies on PowerShell cmdlets that came after those releases.

“Anywhere there’s a Windows Server running, you can use Honolulu to manage it,” said Jeff Woolsey, principal program manager for Windows Server at Microsoft. The official release for Honolulu will be sometime in 2018.

Richard Hooper, an IT project analyst with Utilitywise, a U.K.-based energy cost management firm, said Project Honolulu’s unified interface helps him work with his infrastructure of just over 20 physical servers and more than 200 VMs. He uses PowerShell for a number of daily tasks, but appreciates the efficiency of Honolulu’s streamlined layout, which makes it easy to dive into a VM to make a configuration adjustment or troubleshoot a problem.

“You just need one tool instead of the 20-odd tools I used before,” Hooper said. “Before, to manage Hyper-V, you would have to open Hyper-V Manager. But then, to manage the cluster, you needed to open Failover Cluster Manager, as well.”

Why admins need new server management tools today

Windows Server is more than 20 years old and has accumulated new features with each release. Microsoft must provide new snap-ins to its Microsoft Management Console to manage these roles, such as Active Directory, file servers or Hyper-V, which are not enabled by default. Out of this necessity, there are now dozens of tools administrators use to add or change roles, depending on the server’s purpose.

Then, there’s server maintenance. If a machine underperforms, the admin might go into the Task Manager to see the CPU usage or run the Performance Monitor to gather more data. If an issue recurs, the admin checks the logs in the Event Viewer for further insights. This juggle between multiple tools becomes second nature for many administrators, but it’s time-consuming, as well as a distraction. Project Honolulu attempts to bring order to the chaos.

“[With Honolulu,] I can go to the registry. I can add roles. I can add features. I can uninstall things. I can configure services. I can configure storage VMs. All of this is happening within the context of a web browser, so no more switching between 10 different tools,” Microsoft’s Woolsey said.

The groundwork for Project Honolulu came with the release of Windows Server 2012, which included a significant increase in the PowerShell cmdlets used to manage Windows systems. Microsoft added more than 2,000 cmdlets in Windows Server 2012 and another 1,000 cmdlets in 2012 R2, according to Woolsey.

“What that did was make Windows Server a completely automatable, PowerShell-able platform for just about everything you need,” he said.

Project Honolulu first appeared in early 2016, when it was known as Server Management Tools (SMT), a free Azure-based service to manage servers remotely through a web browser. While the tool was appreciated by some, others disliked the need to connect to Microsoft’s cloud to manage on-premises machines.

“When you are troubleshooting, you need some tools where you can actually get on the servers without a network connection,” Gaynor said. “SMT is useless then.”

[embedded content]

Microsoft’s remote server management tool
consolidates a number of admin tools
in a web browser interface.

Microsoft incorporated that feedback and removed the Azure requirement with Project Honolulu, which features new versions of Server Manager, Failover Cluster Manager and Hyper-Converged Cluster Manager. Microsoft plans to publicly release a software development kit, so vendors and users can construct their own plug-ins to extend the tool’s functionality. And because Honolulu uses PowerShell cmdlets to execute tasks, there is the potential for it to manage other platforms, such as Linux, now that Microsoft is developing PowerShell Core — the open source, cross-platform version of Windows PowerShell.

The Honolulu team expects to deliver product updates every four to six weeks and takes feature requests at the product’s user voice forum.

Tracking Project Honolulu

While it covers many important server-based tasks, Project Honolulu does not completely replace Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT), the standard suite of utilities admins use for remote server management. One shortcoming of RSAT is, with every new release of the Windows client, RSAT must be updated. As an HTML5-based application, Project Honolulu could mark the beginning of the end for RSAT.

“Microsoft will have to bring Honolulu up to parity with RSAT,” Gaynor said. “Microsoft needs to kill RSAT, because there’s no way that you can have this compiled set of desktop tools that keeps up with the cadence of Windows 10.”

Gaynor said he also sees Honolulu as a catalyst for companies that are interested in the Windows Server Semi-Annual Channel releases, which are geared toward organizations that want the latest app development features.

“You’ll see Microsoft prioritize support for any showcase feature that comes out in a future Semi-Annual Channel release. … If it’s something they want to promote to improve adoption, it’s going to be in Honolulu,” Gaynor said.