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News and information from the world of big data storage
News and information from the world of big data storage
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The rise and rise of Ryuk

I am finding lately that my articles are turning into posts because there are a lot of things to say about the topics that catch my eye. Today, I was struck by an article in Toolbox which describes Ryuk as more dangerous than ever - possibly the most feared cybersecurity threat currently causing headaches for IT organisations! The reason is that Ryuk has evolved new capabilities that allow it to spread across connected networks and systems, including those that are inactive or powered...

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Tue, 16 Mar 2021 00:00:00 +0000
Everyone needs some tape

So normally, when writing a post for ‘Around the Storage Block’ blog, I’m writing to a timetable that is often set weeks in advance. HPE is a huge company and there are lots of contributors with articles to share about their particular piece of the HPE technology landscape. Per the schedule, the purpose of today’s post is to promote a new white paper from Enterprise Strategy Group - and we’ll certainly come back to that...

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Thu, 10 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0000
Anatomy of a Ransomware Attack

Because ransomware attacks appear to happen in real time, it’s easy to imagine that they are the result of a sudden and very rapid breach of your network defences – almost like a high speed missile that moves too fast for your safeguards to kick into place.  When a global shipping company was hit by NotPetya virus in 2017, one IT administrator described how “I saw a wave of screens turning black. Black, black, black. Black black black black black.” Technical...

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Mon, 6 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0000
Spear phishing: when hacking gets personal

Anyone who spends the first part of their morning trawling through hundreds of emails knows they’re vulnerable to phishing attacks. We’ve all been subject to urgent requests to click through to forms and landing pages posing as bona fide companies. Phishing is a fairly crude way of hacking into someone’s space to fool them into parting with money or personal data. Attackers flood the corporate world in the hope that someone, somewhere, isn’t paying enough attention...

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Tue, 16 Jun 2020 00:00:00 +0000
Building strong and effective defences against ransomware.

Earlier in the year, I wrote a blog describing how organisations could build a secure last line of defence against ransomware. Since that article was published, of course, the world has become a very different place and my first thoughts are with everyone having to deal with this crisis both professionally and personally. Different world, same threat Unfortunately, what hasn’t changed is the pervasive threat of cyberattack. Recently, the FBI warned that cybercriminals were taking...

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Wed, 3 Jun 2020 00:00:00 +0000
60% of organisations experienced a ransomware attack in the last 12 months. Could you be next?

Ransomware is the first type of malware that actually generates revenue for the attacker. Companies hit by a ransomware attack are forced to pay a ransom – anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars –to unlock files that have been maliciously encrypted. Ransoms can range from $5,000 to $50,000 and beyond depending on the size of the company. Basically, it’s pay up, or face chaos. Or don’t pay up, and face chaos anyway. Once your files are infected, you could spend...

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Thu, 16 Jan 2020 00:00:00 +0000
A glimpse into the future

This article is part of a series examining the value of tape in the era of cloud and object storage. In my last few posts, I considered the compelling benefits that emerge for tape when considered over longer periods of time than just a few years. In this post, I want to look at tape’s technology advantage in relation to areal density and what we know about the innovation curve for advanced magnetic media recording using LTO Ultrium or hard disk drives. One of the reasons why I am...

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Tue, 3 Sep 2019 00:00:00 +0000
The Archive Superhighway

In my last article, I compared the total cost of ownership for tape to that of the private cloud solutions, and examined why the challenges that data scientists face when managing and analysing data are not really related to the time to access archive data, where tape is often portrayed as deficient. But in addition to its cost of ownership advantage, LTO tape also has some innovative tricks up its sleeve which defy conventional wisdom about speed or performance. A haystack...

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Fri, 28 Jun 2019 00:00:00 +0000
Best of both worlds

In my last article, I compared the total cost of ownership for tape to that of the public cloud, in particular taking into account the additional costs of accessing data stored in an archival tier of a service like Microsoft Azure Blob. I explained that over longer time frames, tape is a more cost effective, long term, archival solution compared to the public cloud. But if one makes the same long term comparison for object storage in a private cloud system, does tape still hold onto its...

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Mon, 24 Jun 2019 00:00:00 +0000
Dodging the archive data TCO trap!

This article is part of a series examining the value of tape in the era of cloud and object storage. I concluded my last entry by stating that tape had compelling advantages over the cloud for archiving over periods measured in years and decades. In my next couple of posts, I want to look in detail at the evidence for that claim. Now, critics are often quick to cite the upfront costs of tape hardware as a reason for moving their archive data to the cloud. And over a short timeframe,...

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Mon, 3 Jun 2019 00:00:00 +0000
Make the right archiving choice

This article is part 2 in a series looking at the role of tape in the zettabyte era. In my opinion, and with over twenty years’ experience in the data protection industry, today’s storage market resembles the aviation industry. If all we needed to do was fly from A to B as quickly as possible, only one type of aircraft would ever be required. In reality, there are so many different use cases and applications for air transport that we have developed flying machines of all...

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Mon, 27 May 2019 00:00:00 +0000
LTO Ultrium and GDPR Article 17

One of the more challenging aspects of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for IT groups responsible for backup and archiving, concerns the data subject rights articulated in Chapter 3: in particular, Article 17, the right to erasure, often referred to as the “right to be forgotten”. Before I discuss this topic further, I want to remind you that I’m a storage professional not a lawyer, so although I feel relatively well-informed to discuss this subject,...

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Fri, 24 May 2019 00:00:00 +0000
A window into the future of archiving

Tape is one of the most durable types of storage media, both in terms of its physical characteristics and also its longevity as a technology: few things outlast, and few things have outlasted, tape. Many people assume that alternative technologies, especially the Cloud, are becoming dominant in areas that were formerly the preserve of tape - in particular, backup, archiving and disaster recovery. I think this is because the most prominent cloud services, Amazon Web Service, Microsoft...

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Mon, 13 May 2019 00:00:00 +0000
Will Data Storage Have An Ethical Dimension In The Digital Future Society?

The subject of this article was inspired by an event I attended as part of this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona: the Digital Future Society seminar in conjunction with the DFS Think Tank.  The goal of the DFS project in its own words are: “To build an inclusive, equitable and sustainable future in the digital era. To this end, DFS engages experts, policymakers, civic organisations and entrepreneurs to explore, experiment and exchange knowledge abot...

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Mon, 4 Mar 2019 00:00:00 +0000
HPE LTO tape: Evergreen storage - in more ways than one

Building the case for LTO tape storage to weather coming storms and the data tsunami, creating more sustainable archival storage when and where it's needed most. It’s pretty much universally accepted that climate change is accelerating both the frequency and ferocity of natural disasters and extreme weather events. Hurricane Michael, the storm that battered the southern United States during October 2018, was one of the most powerful events on record after rapidly growing in...

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Thu, 8 Nov 2018 00:00:00 +0000