Storage Soup

March 9, 2007  2:37 PM

Balance in news reporting

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

An Amazon spokesperson sent us this email in response to our story, Users rethink Amazon S3 after performance issues:

If you call this story balanced, then I was misled by your reporter. She only reported on companies with a negative experience that was only “balanced” by a response from Amazon to this one type of experience. If you want to balance the story, then she should write the second half of the story covering companies with positive experiences.”

Finding the ideal balance on each and every story, at short notice, is always a challenge. We called both users that Amazon provided. One was, quoted in the story. The second was Jungle Disk. This company has still not returned our calls or emails. We found a third user, Mochi Media, quoted in the story. These responses, plus Amazon’s reply…

We’ve had a few problems over the past year and each time we learned something and instituted a new process or safeguard to prevent the problem from happening in the future.”

…was the story we were able to write under the time constraints of daily news.

But should we be aiming for a perfect balance anyway? Yes and no. News is a snapshot in time of what has happened over the last 24 hours. To us, the important part is that over time, possibly over several stories, we have an accurate reflection of what Amazon S3 users think. We have requested more S3 customers to talk with, and look forward to hearing their experiences…

March 7, 2007  9:54 AM

Skepticism on IDC “Digital Universe” report

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

Silicon Valley Watcher and its commenters have an interesting reaction to IDC’s report yesterday (commissioned by EMC) that we’re generating more data than we can store.

SVW blogger Tom Foremski writes:

How is it that we would be able to generate almost 1 zettabyte of data in the first place–without having a place to store it…?

Surely, if we can generate it, we are able to store it, because data comes to us from data storage systems…

Is IDC talking about data that we might like to store but we won’t be able to store?

Then that figure is meaningless, because there is no end of data we might want to capture and store in the future. And there is no end of these type of useless market research forecasts, imho.

Commenter Roger Bohn adds:

The IDC conclusion that “we will produce more data than we can store” is poorly explained in their report. What they mean is that the ANNUAL data production will be greater than the CUMULATIVE storage. Not a big deal: much data is stored only for days to months, if at all. Example: email, surveilance videos, Bittorrent downloads. So, there is no inherent reason why the two numbers should be directly comparable.

Meanwhile, EMC blogger Chuck Hollis says this validates his previous theory of a digital “big bang”…Hollis and EMC have an obvious vested interest here, but what we find most interesting is Hollis’s discussion of the issue of “who owns information”, as well as long-term archiving.

Speaking of who owns information, it’s not directly storage-related, but anytime Microsoft starts doing battle with Google, you just have to make some popcorn and sit back to watch…

March 6, 2007  3:05 PM

Intel in the, er, soup over lost e-mail

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

The friendly folks at Zantaz Inc. wanted to make sure that we were aware of the news that Intel now stands accused of deleting emails material to ongoing litigation between it and rival chip maker AMD. Quoth Zantaz in an email, “this is a prime example of what NOT TO DO’ in terms of email retention policies.” No kidding.

What are the odds that the FRCP, which have caused such buzz in high tech, might have their first landmark case in a suit involving high-tech companies?

March 6, 2007  10:34 AM

Digital Universe

JoMaitland Jo Maitland Profile: JoMaitland

EMC has sponsored a report by IDC, out today, on the exploding growth of data. It attempts to perform a census of the amount of digital information created/copied in the world and project its growth rates. Here it is:

Here’s a taste of some of the numbers:

  • In 2006, the amount of digital information created and copied worldwide was equal to 161 billion gigabytes, or 161 exabytes. In layman’s terms, that figure is roughly equivalent to three million times the information in all the books ever written – or the equivalent of 12 stacks of books, each extending more than 93 million miles from the earth to the sun.
  • In 2006, if divided evenly across the global population — currently 6.6 billion (6,579,247,264) people — approximately 24 gigabytes of digital information was created per person.
  • In 2010 alone, the amount of digital information created and copied worldwide will rise six fold to 988 exabytes . The unprecedented nature of this growth is symbolized by the fact that the word “exabyte” doesn’t exist in any word processing program’s spell checker.
  • The book and gigabyte analogies above will jump in 2010 to approximately 150 gigabytes per person and approximately 75 stacks of books to the sun.
  • By 2010, nearly 70% of digital information will be created by individuals; however, organizations will be responsible for the security, privacy, reliability, and compliance of at least 85% of the digital universe.

Gosh, could this mean we need to buy some more storage? Joking aside, the numbers are staggering. I’d like to know more about how IDC gathered this information.

March 6, 2007  10:18 AM

Another EMC defection

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

McAfee has announced that Dave DeWalt, EMC Corp.’s current head of customer relations, will become its new CEO, effective April 2. DeWalt is replacing George Samenuk, who was forced to step down in October because of a stock options investigation that means McAfee has had to restate 10 years worth of results. “I have to restore the image of McAfee,” DeWalt is quoted as saying about the transition.

The move is reminiscent of former EMC CTO George Symons’ move to Yosemite Technologies in October. We suppose it’s only natural for execs who have come up the ranks at a big company like EMC to branch out later in their careers, but we also wonder if it’s coincidence that Symons’ defection to a separate SMB backup company preceded the apparent death of EMC Retrospect by just a few months.

Meanwhile, MarketWatch reports that Symantec execs are promising more acquisitions to come. Enrique Salem, Symantec’s group president of consumer products and solutions, wouldn’t even rule out another billion-dollar deal at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference in San Francisco. Wondering how Symantec customers feel about that…

Anyway, signing off for now–someone from a big company could be spying on us, after all.

March 5, 2007  1:58 PM

Welcome to our home: Won’t you stay?

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

Welcome to Storage Soup, the official editorial blog of Consider it a new appetizer for the tasty main courses we’ll continue to bring you in the other sections of the site.

Consider also the fable of “Stone Soup“, folklore that’s found a number of modern-day renditions in children’s literature. Some on our editorial staff and many in our audience may recall the tale of travelers with only a pot of water and a stone, and the villagers who gathered around to contribute their ingredients until the stone soup was a delicious stew.

This story was the chief inspiration for our blog title—contributions from many authors, including and Storage magazine editors, storage professionals and industry experts, will all be thrown into the pot on this page for a feast all can enjoy.

Another reference, for those of you out there in blogland who like to keep up with TV talk shows, is to the popular show “Talk Soup” which ran on the E! network from 1991 through 2002 and reprised the chair-throwing, hair-pulling, trash-talking day on shows like Jerry Springer, Jenny Jones, and Ricki Lake.

We’re hoping this blog will provide a similar lighthearted review of the latest industry chatter, storage products and trends we’re all following. You’ll also find behind-the-scenes looks at developing stories, point-counterpoint discussions, and interesting links galore. Through it all, we’re looking for audience participation—for you, our readers, to chime in with comments, questions, observations, corollaries, research, educated guesses…all ingredients are welcome in our Storage Soup.

Finally, we’re always looking for a few budding storage-industry Wolfgang Pucks to add their flavor to our recipe; if you are a storage user and you would like to become a regular contributor to this blog, please email

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