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Riverbed offers 4 times the amount of data stored in its Whitewater appliance

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September 11, 2012

Enterprise solutions provider Riverbed said today that it has more than quadrupled the amount of data its Whitewater storage appliance can keep in the cloud, and now is making it even faster.

Riverbed's Whitewater appliance is a Cloud Storage Gateway, a server that sits at the logical edge of a data centre and sends data to either private or public storage clouds.

Supported private clouds use EMC Atmos or OpenStack components. The public ones include Amazon, AT&T, HP, Nirvanix, Rackspace, Sun Hosting and Microsoft's Azure. Whitewater can send any data to the cloud such as backup files, archive data and database records with the cloud acting as a consolidated data protection resource for distributed IT services.

IDC says that public cloud storage currently has a 33.6 percent compound annual growth rate. A gateway acts as a cloud storage on-ramp, deduplicating and sending data efficiently to the cloud as well as acting as a local cache.

As cloud storage becomes even more popular, the on-ramp needs to become faster, its management easier, and its maximum capacity has to be increased. So to achieve that, Riverbed has brought out a new high-end appliance, the 3010, and a version two of its Whitewater operating system in response to the need.

The 3010 has four times more local disk capacity at 32 TB, provides up to 160 TB of deduplicated cloud storage, has twice the main memory at 64 GB, and processes data 50 percent faster, at 1.5 TB per hour compared to the 2010's 1 TB per hour.

It's far easier to increase storage capacity than ingest rates. Riverbed says that the capacity increases represent total source data of 1.6 PB to 4.8 PB.

However, Whitewater is no speed king. Even a year ago, Quantum's DXi6700 data storage appliances were ingesting at up to 5 TB per hour. And Data Domain's 670 appliance is up to 5.4 TB per hour.

Whitewater's 3010 can only be reasonably compared to entry-level Data Domain and Quantum deduplicating backup arrays. The Q-Cloud from Quantum couples its deduping DXi servers with cloud storage so that will have Whitewater-beating ingest performance.

Riverbed's second major release of the Whitewater operating system has a new dashboard summarizing the main cloud gateway operating attributes. It also provides remote management of Whitewater appliances, including shut-down and reboot, and has MS Active Directory integration.

Over time, we could expect the main storage array and converged server plus storage system vendors to extend their own cloud access product functionalities, giving Riverbed a harder time at competing for its products.

For instance, Dell has its own deal with Nirvanix. Part of the impetus here is to preserve storage array sales by having them, or an appliance, get out data from their banks of disks and pump it up to cloud storage vaults.

Bundling cloud storage gateway appliance functionality into an array would have a certain appeal-- just one server to manage; a co-ordinated 3-tier data storage strategy; server area flash for hot data, disk array for cool data; and cloud for the backup and data.

Riverbed is focusing on data protection, so it's advising that enterprise customers stop using backup tape and stop bothering with their own disk-to-disk and virtual tape library backup stores.

It says that the easy wins of deduplicated disk backup have been made and the relentless rise of backup data volumes is making it cost-prohibitive, whereas cloud storage is getting a lot cheaper.

Then of course, there is the issue of fast restores from the cloud. ie: they don't exist. But a local appliance cache for the newest data can help solve that problem.

The key message here is overall cost: "Whitewater appliances eliminate backup tapes, improve disaster recovery readiness, and seamlessly integrate with existing data protection software applications in the enterprise segment to cut overall costs 30 to 50 percent over tape and replicated disk solutions," says Riverbed.

Will Whitewater beat the converged and integrated system messages coming from the storage and server system vendors? We'll simply have to wait and see and hope for the best.

In other Linux and IT news

Kaspersky Labs said earlier this morning that it has launched its new Kaspersky Linux Mail Security application, which can be easily integrated into a variety of Linux-based mail server configurations to better combat spam and block malicious attachments and viruses.

One distinct feature of spam-related malware is the hit and run nature of most attacks. When a wave of spam with new threats is first unleashed, approximately fifty percent of all intended recipients receive the message in the first ten minutes of the attack.

This simply means that security response times have to be just as fast if not faster. By linking Kaspersky Linux Mail Security with a Kaspersky Lab’s Urgent Detection System, Linux users receive regular updates to their anti-spam databases in minutes instead of hours or, worse, days.

The new protection technologies offered in Kaspersky Linux Mail Security include:

  • Exploit detection -– This uses Kaspersky Lab’s ZETA Shield technology to block complex threats and targeted attacks that exploit new and unknown vulnerabilities in common software.
  • Attachment filter and format recognizer -– That feature actually monitors and filters email attachments by their actual content, regardless of its declared file type or extension, and responds according to each company’s security policies, effectively blocking inappropriate email traffic (e.g., music files and videos) and potentially dangerous files (e.g., executable files).
  • Enforced anti-spam update service -– It connects customers more directly than ever to Kaspersky Lab’s security experts to produce very fast responses times to malicious spam outbreaks.
  • Reputation-based spam filtering -– This feature uses the global intelligence of Kaspersky Lab’s Urgent Detection System to categorize spam according to reputation, meaning variants of previously-identified spam attacks are automatically blocked without the need for analyst review.
  • New Anti Virus engine -– Provides better anti-malware detection with reduced impact on system resources. In addition, it now includes an updatable heuristic virus analyzer to better combat new and unknown threats.
  • Kaspersky Linux Mail Security works as an anti-spam, anti-malware solution in conjunction with widely adopted Linux-based mail servers, including Postfix, Qmail, Sendmail, Communigate Pro and, last but certainly not least, Exim.

    The new solution from Kaspersky Lab is also compatible with the AMaViS software bridge between a mail server and the anti-spam solution, which further expands compatibility with messaging platforms.

    Other key features include support for IPv6, rich traffic management rules and the potential for integration with Microsoft's Active Directory and Open LDAP.

    Overall, the automatic notification system and support for integration with third-party monitoring software keeps system admins well informed about the security status of their Linux mail system at all times.

    In other Linux news

    As a complete surprise, and a little over a week after it shocked its developer base with a new set of API rules, Twitter has surprised the Linux community one more time, but by becoming a new Silver-level member of The Linux Foundation, assuring open source people that its membership is absolutely fundamental to Twitter’s overall long term success.

    In fact, Twitter already had a keynote slot at the upcoming Linux Conference in San Diego, with its open source manager Chris Aniszczyk to take the stage and describe the company’s use of Linux and open source software.

    In explaining its sponsorship decision, Twitter spoke about how Linux’s capacity to be extensively tweaked made it important to the microblogging service, without somehow mentioning that the extent of tweaking allowable via Twitter’s API is progressively shrinking.

    Nevertheless, open source developers had taken exception to the API changes, which demand that third party applications be authenticated using O-Auth for each request to the API, and then place rate limits on third-party app requests.

    With LinuxCon kicking off Wednesday August 29, most commentators are willing to give Twitter the benefit of the doubt, and attribute the timing of the announcement to a conference-related media strategy rather than a soothe-the-developers crisis management strategy.

    The US $15,000 price tag on Twitter’s sponsorship won’t make the Linux Foundation any richer or Twitter any poorer, but if it successfully buys some developer goodwill, it’ll probably be money well invested.

    It will be interesting to see if other social sites similar to twitter will eventually join the Linux Foundation, either as a gesture of goodwill or simply to demonstrate that the need to support the Foundation is vital to the long term viability of the Linux community.

    In other Linux and open source news

    Many years ago, there once was a time when open source was all about harmony, happiness and the love of the Linux operating system.

    Software developers all working together for the common cause and the good benefits of open source and all it can bring to the enterprise community as to its many individuals.

    From that point on, the true essence of the open-source community has changed forever. Nobody can dispute that. But today, it's virtually impossible for a successful open-source project to truly get all the attention it really deserves without being consumed by venture capital dollars. Or is it?

    So the question that pops in people's mind-- is open source today still what it used to be? Well, it depends. When we read Brian Proffitt's article and excellent analysis of how "OpenStack is no Linux", different views and varying connotations can roam a mind, depending if the reader is from the open source community or not.

    Proffitt's focus is that "the destiny of OpenStack has been very heavily involved with commercial interests from the very start" - unlike Linux, which only attracted commercial interest later in its development.

    And here's another question for you-- is there a difference between a community-driven versus a corporate-sponsored open-source project? Aha... Do you see where we're going with this?

    However, the answer isn't immediately obvious to most. More analysis is needed. After all, even back in the early days of commercial open source, more than 50 percent of open-source developers were holding down jobs in IT, according to various surveys, with another 20 to 30 percent of participants being students who would go on to work in IT eventually.

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    In other words, these were largely professional open source developers accomplishing very professional tasks. Still, there is a definite difference between a community-managed open-source project and a commercially-run project, primarily in terms of the kinds of contributions encouraged and accepted.

    If one company is perceived to 'steer' the code base (if you will), it becomes very difficult to attract other outside developers, open source or not.

    In turn, this has the effect of removing one of the primary benefits of open source, and the one that by some surveys appears to be rising in importance: the sheer elimination of lock-in, or at least the attempt at eliminating it.

    Whether it's a real issue or not, both open source and proprietary software vendor influence on the Linux community isn't going away-- not any time soon in fact.

    In the IT industry today, there's just simply too much money at stake trying to chase open-source projects these days. There was a brief honeymoon when Google, Twitter and other tech giants were able to release open-source code without commercial involvement, but this didn't last very long, with startups setting out to monetise projects such as Hadoop, Cassandra, and Storm.

    For myself, I don't think commercial participation or even ownership of an open-source project is necessarily a bad thing. Money complicates open source, but it can also help to fuel its growth.

    Just look at Acquia, the company set up by Drupal founder Dries Buytaert to offer support and complementary services to the popular open-source content management system. Acquia has managed to continually grow the Drupal community even while making money, to the point that Inc. Magazine recently named it the fastest-growing software vendor in the United States.

    Indeed, Acquia offers a potent lesson for any would-be open-source entrepreneur. The company constantly has to balance between its own commercial interests and those of the wider Drupal community, which likely will never pay it any money.

    From conversations we've had with both Buytaert and Acquia chief executive Tom Erickson, it is clear that the company defaults to doing what's right for the good of the open source and Linux community.

    But this is simply smart policy, as building a community is ultimately what determines the winner in open source in the first place, as Stephen O'Grady points out.

    And community is why we think MongoDB has a solid lead in NoSQL, and it's what we believe will ultimately determine one big winner in Hadoop. It's also why Twitter's Jekyll-and-Hyde approach to open source developers may ultimately prove its undoing, whatever the near-term financial security it brings.

    When looking for a winning open-source project or, really, any IT project, you don't ask the market analysts-- you look to the community itself. IT vendors will comprise a large and, for the most part, complete list of the developer base of any successful open-source project.

    And that's just the nature of modern-day open source. But how those developers impact or control a project differs greatly, and the best projects are those that are able to accept the bias of commercial interests, while at the same time not being overwhelmed by them in any way.

    Source: Riverbed Inc.

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