Category Archives: Storage

Sidekick Loss Hits T-Mobile Phone Sales

T-Mobile has had to withdraw the Sidekick in America, after being made aware that customers could lose personal data through its server.

The designer of Sidekick’s software, Danger (a subsidiary of Microsoft), confirmed the fault, with the mobile phone industry condemning the issue as one of the biggest failings in recent years.

Microsoft are also coming out of the situation look bad, after promoting cloud or online services as a means of less expensive solution to enterprise storage.

Harry McCracken, editor of Technologizer.com told BBC News “this is the most spectacular loss of data on the web to date.”

“There have been other examples, but always from small companies. For this to involve a big name like Microsoft is a major embarrassment and a big worry for consumers and Microsoft.”

Data back-up

It is understood that Microsoft’s company Danger, experienced a technical hitch which caused major data loss, with Sidekick users seeing disruptions for the past week. Investigations are underway to find the cause of the faulty server, with Microsoft yet to offer an explanation.

Sidekick uses an online service to provide back-up contacts, calendar appointments, photos and other personal information saved to the mobile phone. Some of the one million subscribers to Sidekick have “almost certainly” lost personal data as a result of this glitch according to Microsoft.

Those most at risk of losing their personal information are those who let their battery fully drain or removed it completely, causing all local copies of data to be cleared from the phone.

“I had 411 contacts, now they are all gone. I had five e-mail accounts set up on the phone as well which are also gone, address book and all,” complained 17 year old high-school student Kayla Hasse from New Jersey.

“I am extremely upset not only due to the fact I lost everything, but also because I pay 20 some dollars a month for THIS? It’s ridiculous.”

Mr McCracken feels it’s a “real wake-up call for customers.”

“In the past we have always tended to assume that big companies are better at backing up our data than we are. While this is true in most cases, a lot of people are going to say you can’t trust third parties, whether it’s Microsoft, Google, Apple or whoever.”

The future of cloud computing

Whilst Microsoft and T-Mobile may experience the immediate fall-out from this problem, experts fear that it may cause long term damage to customer confidence in cloud computing.

Will Strauss, president of Forward Concepts is concerned. “Microsoft has been beating the drum for the idea of cloud computing where we all trust our stuff on some server up in Washington State,”

“This is going to throw a little cold water on that idea for the moment. Microsoft is going to have to do some explaining and give good assurances that cloud computing is viable and that it won’t lose data in the future, otherwise people won’t trust it.”

Fujitsu adds SAS, iSCSI and SSD to Eternus DX

Fujitsu is looking to strengthen its Eternus DX brand by adding SAS and iSCSI interfaces and a solid state drive, enhancements developed since its March takeover of Fujitsu Siemens Computers.

Fujitsu Siemens Computers had twin controller arrays with Fibre Channel connectivity for small/medium businesses in the FibreCAT SX60 and SX80. SAS and iSCSI were already features found in Fujitsu’s Eternus 2000 array, directed at a similar customer base and offered the Eternus 4000 and 8000 as larger-scale arrays.

Fujitsu has been aiming to merge the SME products into one range and to re-brand it ‘Eternus DX’. In June, initial steps were made by renaming the FibreCAT SX60 and SX80 to Eternus DX60 and DX80. STEC had already been chosen to supply its Eternus drive arrays with solid state drives (SSD’s) a month earlier.

Due to this range of modifications, the Eternus 2000 range has now been replaced by the Eternus DX60 and DX80, with SAS and iSCSI working in conjunction with the Fibre Channel. Up to 24 15,000rpm SAS HDD’s are offered by the DX60 with an option of 300 or 400GB capacity, and the DX80 up to 120. Nearline SAS drives are also available with either 1TB or 750GB capacities, rotating at 7,200rpm, however SATA drives are not supported.

The DX/60/DX80 give leading edge performance and easy-to-manage storage for a range of uses. The capability of data storage to the most appropriate medium, from SAS, nearline SAS to SSD allows customers to generate better information lifecycle management.

2 to 4 Fibre Channel host interfaces are offered by both models, or an equal number of 3Gbit/s SAS or 1Gbit/s iSCSI interfaces. 4Gbit/s Fibre Channel is provided by the DX60 while the DX80 can deliver 8Gbit/s with 100 or 200GB SSD’s.

Both products include RAID migration, Data Block Guard, eight snapshots which is extendable to 512 (DX60) AND 1,024 (DX80), redundant copy, disk encryption, and a function called Eco-mode, which is based on MAID (Massive Array of Inactive Disks) technology to allow administrators to save electricity by choosing to spin-down inactive disk drives.

They suit a range of uses, such as Microsoft Cluster Server or X10 sure and storage consolidation. Also, these products are perfect for important company applications such as E-mail, data archiving, database operation and disk back-up.

The DX60/DX80 also acts as a great storage aid in virtual server environments with VMware vSphere, Critix and Microsoft Hyper-V.

Seagate CEO Watkins replaced by Luczo

Seagate, the computer storage manufacturers, have had a pretty rough December and due to that are now facing a cut in employees.  So it doesn’t really come as much surprise that the CEO of the company is being replaced and the chairman of the company is being rushed in to replace him.

The now former CEO of the company, Bill Watkins, was in the position since 2004, yet has been pushed aside by the company who have placed the slightly younger Stephen Luczo in his place.  Luczo has been the chairman of the company since 2002 and is said to be staying in the role as well as taking his place as the CEO.

Watkins did some good things with Seagate in his time as CEO.  When he took over, Seagate’s shares were priced at close to $12, however over Watkins’ time as CEO, Seagate’s shares reached up to $28.60 in November 2007.  Unfortunately for Watkins, it seems as though he may have lost his edge and 2008 was not such a good year for either him or Seagate as the company’s share prices plummeted and today they are around $5.51.

Luczo said in a statement that Seagate had to thank Watkins for all he has done for the company, saying, “I want to take this opportunity to thank Bill Watkins for his commitment to Seagate. Since first joining Seagate more than 12 years ago, Bill has made many significant contributions to our Company through his dedication, knowledge and leadership.”

The board’s lead director, Lydia M. Marshall, voiced her opinion about the move by the company to place Luczo in the position of CEO, announcing how he was the person that the company needed.  “Steve’s significant understanding of Seagate’s business and technology, and the customer and employee relationships that he built over his 15-year career at Seagate make Steve the ideal person to lead our company at this time,” she said.

The move by Seagate comes at an interesting time as the company has recently announced that they would be planning to get rid of 10 per cent of its United States workforce.  It seems as though they are starting the New Year with a bit of spring cleaning.  Seagate seems to be struggling, as many other businesses are around the world, with the current economic downturn.

It is clear that Watkins is being blamed for the company’s misfortunes over the last year or so, in particular for December’s revenue figures, which dropped badly claimed Watkins.  In fact, Watkins was being heard claiming that the last quarter was “terrible” for the company.

The president of Seagate’s consumer division, Brian Dexheimer, said in an interview recently that the hard disk drive sector had been feeling the pressure of the economic downturn, and Seagate was among those feeling that pressure.  Dexheimer claimed, “We are preparing for a pretty tough environment here over the next 12 months.”  This is now becoming clear and it seems that Seagate is readying for the storm

AMD prepares the “fastest graphics supercomputer ever”

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) are preparing themselves to release what they are calling the “fastest graphics supercomputer ever” they have announced.  It is the AMD Fusion Render Cloud, capable of bringing the user a powerful enough system to allow you to render high definition graphics in 3 dimensions, in a way that has never been done before.

AMD have teamed up with OTOY to bring you the AMD Fusion Render Cloud that is said to bring professional graphics rendering right into your home, or as far into your home as possible as the technology uses a bunch of remote computers to render the 3D high definition footage and then shoots it back to your computer down a cable.

The Fusion Render Cloud is a mixture of lots of different processors that will work together to get the touch job done, such as the AMD Phenom II processors, ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphics processors and AMD 790 chipsets.  This whole set of processing power will supply over 1 petaflop and will be delivered over 1,000 GPUs.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of AMD, Dirk Meyer, the cloud supercomputer would be easily accessible and easy to use.   Meyer went on to say, “Mobile computing is never going to be the same, and cloud computing really has the opportunity to open up new vistas both for the film and game industries.  Now we’re poised for a great leap forward in visual computing as well as mobile computing.”

The announcement was made at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  Also on stage with Dirk Meyer was Jules Urbach, the Chief Executive Officer and founder of OTOY, who are working with AMD to bring the public this render cloud.  Urbach’s software company, OTOY, mainly delivers graphics content to users from server farms in a similar way that AMD are suggesting here and so they would clearly be up for the task.

At the Consumer Electronics Show, Urbach showed a number of ATI graphics cards working together to bring a first player shooting game to a wired up device, showing how the processors could work together to provide greater power.

“All of a sudden we are taking one of the world’s most complicated games and we’re putting it in a Web page. It’s huge.  All you need is an iPhone…. [or] a laptop to use it,” announced Urbach, who also claimed that the cloud would be ready for use by the third quarter of the year.

AMD need this little boost and will be promoting the cloud as a way of reinventing the company’s image.  AMD recently made 600 workers unemployed as the economic crisis started to take its toll.   On top of these redundancies, the company has recorded 8 quarterly losses one after another and have been falling behind Intel, their main rival, by not matching releases and failing to bring out anything of any real interest compare to Intel who have been taking the market from every angle.

Sun Microsystems Unveil Autumn Data Storage Line

This week Sun Microsystems, in an effort to give their financial situation a boost, have announced a new line of data storage systems, and the Californian based company hopes that they will establish them in the growing market.

Sun unveiled three “storage appliances”, which they say are industrial strength computers primarily designed for large corporations and other organisations that need to store and retrieve large amounts of data. These storage systems represent the first real use of the company’s open source software with solid state memory drives, as well as the more commonplace rotating disks.

The development and use of solid-state memory is a huge step forwarded for the storage industry, according to Gene Ruth, who is an analyst for the Burton Group, a technology advisory service.

Solid-state drives are quite simply a variation on the “flash” memory that you would find in mobile phones and MP3 players, and give the user more speed and flexibility, not to mention, using far less energy than standard mechanical disk drives. Sun claim that these characteristics, and the use of low-cost components rather than more advanced hardware, means that customers will be able to save money from purchasing the new products.

It is only recently that solid-state drives have used in large storage systems because in the past they were too expensive, and caused technical problems. However, analysts say that because the price of solid-state drives has dropped, and companies like Sun have optimised the software’s performance, they are becoming more popular.

Sun has named the new product line “Amber Road”, and it hopes that they will give the company a bigger foothold in the, now highly competitive, storage market. Estimates say that the market is already worth a huge $40bn in sales.

The traditional disk and tae storage products account for just 17 percent of Sun’s revenue, and the company has struggled to make money over the last few quarters, however, the company has seen one of its product lines, that uses its own open source software, grow significantly in the past year.

“The open-storage line is one of a number of product bright spots for us,” said Executive Vice President John Fowler.

Along with Sun, there are a few other companies that are developing systems that use solid-state technology, including IBM, Dell and EMC. Gene Ruth believes that Sun’s software that maximises its systems technology, will give them the edge over the competition.

John Webster, from the Illuminata consulting group agrees that Suns software “really adds value to the hardware.”

“The potential for the product is very good,” but he warned tat Sun will have a tough battle ahead when its competitors bring out their new products.

When iPod Attacks

Japan?s Ministry of Economy has issued a warning to users of the portable music player, the iPod Nano, after at least two recent incidents of the popular device overheating and causing minor fires.

So far there have been 14 such incidents in the country, according to reports, including one that occurred in March. The latest incident prompted the Ministry to order Apple to investigate the device?s safety and report its findings within a week.

Well the verdict is in, and Apple has blamed the malfunctions on the batteries that were in Nano?s sold between September 2005 and December 2006, are to blame.

The company received very few reports of such incidents ? less than 0.001 percent of first-generation iPod Nano units, they claim, and all incidents have been traced back to a single battery supplier.

Too this point the defect has not caused any injures of property damage, the company maintained, and no similar problems have been reported in connection with any other iPod Nano model. Apple has advised owners of first-generation Nano?s to contact AppleCare for a replacement if the battery should overheat.

There has been case?s in which Apple laptops have caught on fire, and usually the source of the problem was the lithium battery powering the machine. The batteries were short-circuiting and bursting in to flames when microscopic metal particles came into contact with other parts.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 on its Way

It should have been released around February earlier this year, but Microsoft has finally announced the release to manufacturing (RTM) of its SQL Server 2008.

The code is now finalised and on its way to production, and Microsoft have maintained that the SQL Server 2008 will still arrive within three years of the release of the previous version, SQL Server 2005. Originally, the company wanted the new server to b out within two to three years.

For Microsoft, getting the new server out before the end of summer was a priority, says Noel Yuhanna, a Forrester Research analyst.

“Customers are wanting new features and functionality to support their growing business requirements. They can’t – or else they might move to, say, Oracle or IBM. Microsoft, with SQL Server 2008, is back on track with a 36-month release cycle, which is essential not only to retain customers, but to attract new customers and compete against other players,” he said

Yuhanna added that Microsoft has become the top threat to Oracle who are considered the ?leader in databases?.

SQL Server 2005 was under construction for five years. The software had been tied up to several other products. With the 2008 version, the company has de-coupled the dependencies with other product releases and even some key features, so as to ease the impact of release dates.

?Top features can now be added in sub-releases, without affecting the overall major release,? Yuhanna concluded.

Chris Alliegro, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft, said that getting the release out the door was important for Microsoft?s credibility.

“After the massive delays SQL Server 2005 had, Microsoft, and especially Ted Kummert (corporate vice president of Microsoft’s data and storage platform division), were pretty vocal that it wouldn’t happen again. Kummert had said that future releases would ship on a 24-to-36-month cycle, and end of summer is basically the outside limit of that window – I’m pretty sure he didn’t want to be made a liar in the first major release on his watch,” Alliegro said

“An interesting question that we’ll learn the answer to over the next few months is whether Microsoft compromised quality to get the product out the door,” he said. “The SQL Server team has traditionally been willing to take as long as they needed to make sure releases were solid. At this point, I don’t think there is any particular reason to think Microsoft cut corners, but they definitely changed the development and test process, and that always carries risks.”

Deciding to wait should turn out to be a positive for Microsoft because SQL Server 2008 is “a good, solid release,” Alliegro noted. The release contains “interesting features for developers and administrators, and some things that could help SQL Server continue its march up-market.”

SQL Server 2008 is “in line with what customers are wanting – support for stronger security, higher performance, integration, availability and manageability,” said Yuhanna.

“The new policy-based management is critical, especially when dealing with thousands of SQL Server instances. It provides better control and improves the DBA’s productivity. Also, as enterprises scale their database, the need to optimise performance is critical. SQL Server 2008 delivers intelligent troubleshooting capabilities,” he continued.

Price-wise, SQL Server 2008 represents a good value, according to Alliegro.

“SQL Server is pretty much the hands-down winner in any dollars-per-unit performance or features-per-dollar kind of benchmark. It’s a slam dunk for companies, and its market share there supports that. It’s a good product for organisations of almost any size looking for a full-featured database engine or a platform at most scales. Again, the place where it’s still playing catch-up a bit is as a database management system or data warehouse system for the highest of the high-end applications,” he explained.

Samsung Unveils New SSD

Samsung have developed a new multi-level cell solid state drive that holds 256 GB of data, which makes it a practical competitor to hard disk drives in laptop computers. Practical – yes. Cheap ? No.

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Unveiled at the annual Samsung Mobile Solution Forum in Taipei, the 2.5-inch, 256 gigabyte, multi-level cell (MLC)-based SSD uses a SATA II interface, and is the worlds fastest SSD ? according to the company.

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Samsung also boast that its new SSD is the thinnest drive with the largest capacity offering a SATA II interface.

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Production of the SSD will begin at the end of 2008 but customer samples will be available by September. When the SSD launches it will be the largest capacity SSD on the global market and effectively eliminate density as a barrier to SSD adoption, the company said.

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A 1.8 version of the 256GB SSD should be with us by the fourth quarter of 2008.

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Joseph Unsworth, a research director at Gartner said. “This is an important announcement because of the performance of the drive and its availability [in] September of this year. As far as I know, this is the fastest MLC-based SSD that will be in the market, with only Toshiba having a credible rival that will be available this year.”

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Like the technology found in flash memory chips, SSDs have no moving parts, unlike hard disk drives (HDDs) and their spinning magnetic disks with read-write heads suspended above them. Because the SSDs don?t have moving parts, they are generally more reliable and offer better performance than HDDs.

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“SSDs typically have faster read performance, the endurance can be an advantage because of no moving parts — more power efficient, noiseless, no heat dissipation, etc.,” Unsworth added.

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Samsungs new SSD has a sequential read speed of 200 megabytes per second (MBps) and a sequential write speed of 160 MBps, making it 2.4 times faster than a standard HDD. The unit is only 9.5 millimetres thick and when active consumes just 0.9 watts of power.

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The only big drawback of SSD is the price per GB. “You can get 10 times more storage with an HDD than you can with SSD for the same price, and sustained write speeds can also be a consequence depending on application and quality of the SDD, [and] MLC has questions regarding its longevity in certain usage situations, so this could be viewed as a consequence depending on the applications,” said Unsworth.

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With the high price, the technology will likely be used in premium-priced notebook computers Unsworth said, “Since this is MLC-based, really we are only talking consumer products like laptops, and the form factor will dictate that it will most likely be used for notebooks. The price is what will be key here — 256 GB is going to be expensive, at least $700 coming out of the factory, so I speculate that this will initially cost in the range of $1,000. The capacity is a nice storage sweet spot, but prices must come down in order to drive mainstream adoption.”

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Samsung competitor Intel will launch a 128 GB SSD in the third quarter, and Toshiba plans to ship a 512 GB SSD by 2009.

IPod Data Recovery

IPod is one of the most popular digital music players that have revolutionized the digital world. IPods contain tiny hard drives that are very sensitive to drops and malfunction. It is not just computers that are at risk, but iPods too. Some common problems faced by iPod users are volume formatting, capacity error, broken hard drive, frozen ipod etc. The iPod just stops playing and freezes up in case of any problem with the device.? Fixing an iPod is no different to restoring a PC drive. Some of it can be done with specialist software, but serious mechanical faults require disassembling the drive in a dust-free Class 100 clean room.

If you have lost important videos, photos or music files from your iPod due to a crash, do not worry, IPod Data Recovery is possible. There are applications available online, that are compatible with iPods, which can help to retrieve the data back and for complex recoveries in case of physical damage to the device always trust professional data recovery services.

Click for complete information on iPods:
http://www.cnet.com/ipod/

Storing Technological Equipment

Storing Technological Equipment

The way the world of technology is these days, it moves so quickly that equipment becomes obsolete in a second. As soon as something brand new is developed, something in the same vein is developed but that much better and more advanced. Sometimes however, when something new is developed it does not immediately negate all the other products that it surpasses. For instance, when new computers come out, they may trump the other computers on the market, but do not make them useless. When someone has a collection of all kinds of technological equipment, it is important to hold on to it, since at one point it was very expensive, and it could still come in handy. The question is what to do with these treasures while not using them. Mobile storage is a system that allows a person to hold onto their old technology but gives them room for the new. By using any sort of organization system to contain all the different types of technological equipment, it gives freedom of space to buy new products but not have to discard so quickly something like a computer, which can always come in useful to have another one on back up.

??????????? Businesses and individuals could benefit from using some sort of portable storage container to keep the equipment safe and undamaged while not in use. It would be a shame to have a computer break while it is not being used, as it is an expensive and important tool in today?s world.