I have to admit that humor is a bit hard to come by in the world of backup and recovery sometimes. Let's face it: it is not like the everyday person finds this stuff as entertaining as Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears. Heck, backup isn't even that interesting to a lot of people in IT. Which I, of course, find shocking. Which, in turn, just gives my wife more grounds to think that I am really weird...
So, when three funny stories all come along at once, I thought I would take a bit of a break from the pace, and cover the news that is (sort of) fit to print this week in the world of backup.
First, we have the announcement that Highly Reliable Systems is making a "cartridge" made of disks--what they are calling a 3 TB removable drive for backup. Now I just have one question: seriously? No, really. Seriously?
What is the point of this? About the only thing that type is really good at is providing lots and lots of removable storage really really cheaply (but see story #2). They also claim that backing up to the device is faster than IP. But so is fiber channel. The good folks over at Brocade or Cisco would be happy to fill you in on that one boys, since you seem to have missed it.
All in all, this one is just funny peculiar: there doesn't seem to be any good rationale at all for this. But if you can think of one, by all means add a comment or email me.
Second, we have the story of a monitoring service for tape. Apparently Fujifilm thinks that tape is no more trustworthy that a troubled teenager with a set of car keys and a shiny new drivers license--which is to say not at all. Although they have a point in that the number one mechanism for data loss is loss of physical tapes (not those nefarious "hackers"), it still seems a little silly to have to track them by GPS. And since the tracking device is so easily separated from the cartridges, what we really have here is just a system that ensures your courier will promptly fess up about letting the tapes fall off the back of the truck.
Hrm. Well, just like troubled teens, lets hope they grow out of it. Only when tapes grow up, they become evaulting solutions (or electronically transmitting your backup data to a second site) and if they are lucky, they get to use data deduplication to reduce the bandwidth. The better analogy might therefore be tape is to caterpillars as deduplication is to butterflies?
Okay, so #2 belongs firmly in the funny sad category.
Finally, #3, is NetApp's announcement that data deduplication is really really important to them as a company. Honest. So important that they will have it in their VTL "later this year." Oh. Okay. By the way, "later this year" is usually marketing speak for "December." But apparently--according to the press release--they are they only company to offer "end to end" data deduplication. Unless of course we consider EMC, which has Centera, Avamar, Networker, EX, DX, Data Store, Mozy, etc.
Naturally, I don't begrudge a competitor a bit of chest pounding. We all do it. I think it is natural. But I wish that there was at least a dose of reality in it. After all competition is competition, but there is no reason why it can't be honest competition. So lets just omit the "only" because that is just ridiculous.
Thus, story #3 gets the funny sad label too.
(Let me one more thing about competition here: it has been said before, but we welcome competition at EMC. We believe it improves us all. I delight in it personally. But if I could have one wish, it would be that we all compete honestly. That we speak the truth about our competitors and our own products. There is no need to make stuff up or misrepresent ourselves or others to look better. That is the spirit in which I started this blog, and that is the spirit in which it will continue, for as long as I am writing it!)