Tag Archives: Storage


Because HPE has a complete storage portfolio for Hybrid IT, it understands better than anyone that tape is the ultimate last line of defence for your data. Recent ransomware attacks prove that few technologies are more secure than offline tape. With new HPE LTO-8, you can encrypt up to 30 TB per cartridge and scale to 1.6 EB as your content grows, dramatically reducing your data centre footprint.

Meanwhile, new LTO-7 Type M format delivers a cost per TB lower than $5 per TB for cold data, with no hidden charges for data retrieval. Add the HPE brand specification for LTO media, the gold standard for media reliability, and you can see why HPE LTO-8 tape gives your cloud a strong backbone.



Everyone Needs Some Tape


The value of tape is not only defined by its cybersecurity credentials. HPE StoreEver tape can make a strategic contribution to helping you transform your IT operations, from the perspective of cost, its potential for future capacity growth, and its role in compliance and sustainability.

So normally, when writing a post for the ‘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 in a moment – but first, I wanted to reflect on several news stories that caught my eye when I was preparing to write this blog entry.

AWS suffers a massive outage

The first is an incident that was reported in late November after Amazon’s AWS service suffered outages that lasted for many hours. These issues affected a wide range of businesses and brands that depend on Amazon’s cloud, with notable names including 1Password, Adobe Spark, Autodesk, Glassdoor, Flickr, Pocket, Roku, and The Washington Post. The website, Downdetector.com, showed spikes in user reports of problems with many Amazon services throughout Wednesday, 25th November. Although Amazon was able to fully restore service levels by the following day, its AWS clients – and their end users – were temporarily prevented from using cloud-based internet services until the situation was resolved.

Leading CSP named in 23 class action lawsuits

The second story I wanted to share is about cloud services provider, Blackbaud. You might remember that back in May 2020, Blackbaud intercepted a serious ransomware attack that sought not only to disrupt Blackbaud’s own infrastructure, but also tried to encrypt and misuse the data of its customers, including charities, non-profits and leading international universities. The company said that it had blocked the attackers from completely encrypting its systems but not before they stole “a copy of a subset of data” from a self-hosted environment. Blackbaud paid the ransom demand after confirming the cybercriminals had destroyed the stolen data. Unfortunately, the matter didn’t end there, and just this month Blackbaud reported that it was now defending 23 putative class action lawsuits linked to the May ransomware attack.

Walking the walk: how Spectra Logic beat ransomware using tape

Finally, tape library manufacturer, Spectra Logic, has just revealed that it was the victim of a ransomware attack in May, which culminated in cybercriminals making a $3 million demand for payment to unencrypt files. What saved Spectra, in what is a perfect example of “walking the walk” was the fact that the company had extensive backups stored safely on LTO tape behind a ransomware-proof airgap. According to Tom Coughlan, writing in Forbes:

“It took Spectra Logic 3 to 4 days to check and clear the ransomware infections. Data recovery efforts were about 99.5% effective with 70% data recovery to the prior day and 20% additional recovery to the week before. One substantial system had its data recovered from a month prior.”

So what’s the ‘moral’ of these stories? Don’t use the cloud, always trust tape? Not at all.  Although convenient, that would be entirely the wrong conclusion to draw from these headlines. The cloud gives businesses the ability to scale new apps and capabilities, greatly simplifying IT. It acts as a catalyst for new business models, new experiences, and new efficiencies in every industry. The necessity of the cloud is not open to question – not by HPE, and certainly not by me as a tape storage specialist.

Believe the impossible can happen – and safeguard for when it does

And yet.

That subheading above refers to one of the famous ‘laws’ of future innovation defined by the British science fiction author, Arthur C. Clarke.  One of these adages reads thus:

“When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.”

It’s tempting to seek “one size fits all” solutions to the threat of cybercrime.  And from a business point of view, there has to be a cost versus risk trade off when considering different scenarios – how likely is it that X will happen?  But as the examples above demonstrate, even solutions and services that seem very secure can be prone to failure.

Another of Clarke’s maxims is that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. And sometimes, I think we place too much trust in cloud-based technology and forget the physical realities that lie beneath its miraculous abstraction. The cloud is not a cloud. It’s a network made up of different technologies – compute, storage, infrastructure, software – all of which have a key role to play and none of which are infallible.

So if there are lessons to be learned from these three news stories, perhaps I can summarise them in three ‘laws’ of my own:

  1. Bad things will always happen to good computers in spite of every effort made to prevent them.
  2. Your cyber-defences are only as effective as the weak spot that nobody has yet discovered.  It is inevitable criminals will find a way in.
  3. Therefore, everyone needs some tape.

Okay, I admit that last one may raise an eyebrow. But in some respects, Andrew’s Third Law is the proof for the other two. The AWS outage wasn’t necessarily related to storage specifically; it simply illustrates that there has to be another layer of data protection beyond the cloud. If something as gigantic and central to the whole Internet as AWS can suffer downtime, then just about anything can be regarded as a potential point of failure.

Nothing is impossible.

Meanwhile, the situation at Blackbaud shows that CSPs are just as vulnerable to crippling ransomware attacks as their clients, and may even be targeted precisely because they give criminals additional opportunities for exploitation. If you are hit by a ransomware attack, and depend on your cloud provider to restore your backups, who you gonna’ call if they also have ghosts in their machine? Not Dan Akroyd and Bill Murray, that’s for sure!

As Spectra Logic’s experience shows, keeping copies of your data offline behind an LTO tape airgap is perhaps the ultimate ghostbuster. Ransomware can’t infect what it cannot reach – but that won’t stop criminals from trying.  Bitdefender’s ‘Mid-Year Threat Landscape Report 2020’ reported a 715% year-on-year increase in detected – and blocked – ransomware attacks. This is why the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre formally advises audiences in its ‘Annual Review for 2020’, that:

“… a good first step to avoid being a victim is making offline backups of data. The criminal will hold less power over an organisation or individual if they already have copies of the thing they are trying to withhold.”

So let’s close on the white paper I mentioned in my introduction. Entitled “In the Zettabyte Era, All Roads Lead to Tape”, the white paper is a summary of the key benefits of HPE StoreEver LTO technology – benefits that ESG believes are under-represented or simply unreported.

The value of tape is not only defined by its cybersecurity credentials. ESG’s report highlights how HPE StoreEver tape can make a strategic contribution to helping you transform your IT operations, from the perspective of cost, its potential for future capacity growth, and its role in compliance and sustainability. And with LTO-9 solutions reaching the market in 2021, tape will remain a viable and vibrant sector for distributors and resellers to focus on. Other research from ESG published by the LTO Program reports that 89% of current tape users plan to increase or maintain their current tape footprint. Tape isn’t going to be rendered obsolete any time soon.  As recent events prove, its relevance and utility have never been more apparent.

Blog Graphic Recording – https://www.openprocessing.org/sketch/1043932

New Years Resolutions with HPE Storage!

This past year has shown countless innovations in HPE’s storage portfolio and they have been recognised by industry leading experts, analysists and most importantly their shared customers.

We wanted to personally highlight some excellent awards HPE have recently won:

CRN link:
  • Product of the Year winner for HCI
    • HPE SimpliVity
  • Product of the Year finalist for Data Center Infrastructure
    • Nimble Storage dHCI
    • Read the HCI 2.0 channel interview here
  • Product of the Year winner for Enterprise Storage
    • HPE Primera
VMworld link:
  • Best of VMworld 2020 for Virtualization & Cloud Infrastructure
    • Nimble Storage dHCI


Not only do the above awards show HPE’s storage direction and strategy are sound, Gartner have recently recognised this too within the Primary Storage segment. They have improved HPE’s position for both the ability to execute and vision. Download the full report here

This is testament to the entire channel community as HPE continues to gain market share and they do this hand in hand with you, their valued partners. Below is a brief snippet of the latest IDC market share stats for Calendar Q3 link:

  • Grew YoY in every Storage market in the UK in CQ3
  • Regained number two spot for Total Storage in the UK market share in CQ3
  • Regained number two spot for Entry and Midrange in the UK in CQ3

Are you ready to reinvent the future of work for SMBs?

At a time when we are all reinventing the way we work, learn how HPE Small Business Solutions can help you reinvent your workplace, your workflow, and your workforce with greater simplicity, security, and flexibility.

Distributed. Remote. Mobile. These are the realities of your SMB workforce today.1 How do you thrive in this new normal? You reinvent the way you work—with solutions that not only enable you to work remotely but also to work differently in this new digital era. This means it’s time to reinvent in three ways:  Workspace. Workflow. Workforce. Here’s how to get going.

Reinvent your workspace

If you’re like many small and midsized businesses, the first step is setting up a virtual office. As you blur the lines between home and work, new challenges arise, ranging from how to deploy stable connectivity to how to keep your network and data secure.

More than ever, robust network connectivity has become essential for you and your employees to securely access files, applications and data—from anywhere and on any device. Without shared access to a central repository, files will likely be stored on personal devices, making it difficult to collaborate. What’s more, the increasing threat of cybercrime can make setting up a high-functioning, remote office a daunting task.

The good news is that HPE can help you migrate this new territory with HPE Small Business Solutions that scale with the help of affordable, flexible financing. We are here to help you:

Set up virtual offices easily 

HPE Office-in-a-Box Solutions are easy to buy, setup, and operate.  These complete bundled solutions bring multiple functions, such as virtualization, storage, and backup, onto a single server. It’s a simple, secure, and affordable approach.  In addition, management tools like HPE iLO remote management and HPE InfoSight can help prevent disruptions, improve agility, and minimize downtime.

The solutions bring together the performance, remote management, and security of HPE ProLiant Gen10 servers, along with reliable, cost-efficient Aruba Instant On wireless access points and wired switches, alongside resilient portfolio of HPE entry-level storage.

Manage virtual access smartly

HPE Small Business Solutions arrive ready to go virtual, including all the elements you need to succeed with Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) or Remote Desktop Services (RDS). You can choose from Teradici or VMware Horizon® desktop virtualization for VDI solutions that deliver unbeatable reliability, high availability, business continuity, and fault tolerance to keep your workers at peak productivity.

Another great option is Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) for simple desktop applications—like Microsoft Office and Outlook.  RDS enables users’ simultaneous access to the same applications using roughly the same amount of resources.

Worry less about cybersecurity

When it comes to addressing your cybersecurity concerns, these SMB solutions are backed by our industry-leading server, network and security expertise to develop the right remote worker approach down to the last mile.

Reinvent your workflow

Setting up a virtual office is just the first step. Next comes creating scalable ways for your employees to remain productive remotely. At the same time, you want to grow without disruption and balance cash flow without breaking the bank.

You can meet these goals with a hybrid cloud approach, but you are apt to still have some cost and security concerns. As you evaluate the scalability of public cloud services, you want to be aware of the potential gaps on data protection and exorbitant fees if you would like to bring data back from the cloud to on premises.

To get the best of both, you can reinvent your workflow with HPE solutions in a way that lets you:

Scale data protection

HPE Cloud Volumes offer an effortless, secure, and efficient solution with a suite of cloud data services that enable multi-cloud flexibility—and include encrypted backups that protect your business against ransomware. With a plug-and-play service like HPE Cloud Volumes Backup, you can start backing up to the cloud in minutes. Change where—not how—you do backup by integrating with your favorite backup software. You can eliminate costly egress fees and benefit from pay-as-you-go pricing.

Take advantage of financing

Extraordinary circumstances—like what we are working and living through now—threated business continuity and cause strain on budgets. HPE Financial Services is dedicated to alleviating some of this strain with programs designed to help businesses reduce cash outlays, generate cash from assets, and align payments to deployment schedules.

Reinvent your workforce 

Today SMBs need a new game plan to engage and connect with customers.  From customer service to customer acquisition, the only path forward is digital. We realize you may be struggling to wrap your head around how to execute.

Today’s environment demands remote capabilities that not only ensure business continuity functions but also deliver a robust end customer experience. In many instances, SMBs are tackling the challenge of standing up new digital services to keep pace with the rapidly changing environment we call the new normal.

The good news is that HPE can help you navigate this new way of working with easy to deploy solutions that are designed to:

Reduce complexity

HPE Small Business Solutions for Containers are reliable, ready-to-go configurations that include all the server, storage, networking, and software you need, as well as expert guidance for deploying the solution. The solutions leverage the open-source Docker containerization platform and are available on HPE ProLiant Gen10 services in a single-server, entry-level configuration and multi-server, high-availability configurations. You can use these solutions to drive productivity, reduce risks, and increase flexibility—all while getting more out of your hardware.

Prevent disruption with AI

HPE’s second generation of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI 2.0) brings together the best of HCI and converged architectures on a flexible platform—with truly independent scaling of compute and storage.

Combining the power of HPE Nimble Storage dHCI with HPE InfoSight and HPE ProLiant helps your business to reduce complexity by streamlining IT operations with AI-driven predictive analytics. It’s simple to deploy, manage, scale, and support.

With HCI 2.0, you can realize better total cost of ownership is guaranteed because, unlike traditional HCI, HCI 2.0 scales compute and storage independently. Disaggregated scaling means efficiency with no more costly overprovisioning.

There’s more good news. You can get time back because you are working with problem-solving that features predictive analytics and expert support services.

Ready, set, go: Reinvent the way your work (with a hybrid cloud approach)

Public cloud may seem like an easy answer your current IT challenges but realizing the full value of cloud requires solving difficult challenges. Initial costs may grow beyond plan, access to your data is more limited than on-premises, and a cloud breach may not be detected and reported until well after the damage has been done. Small and midsized businesses are reinventing the way they work by making a shift to move their IT from public cloud to private clouds. In fact, according to a recent report by Aberdeen, SMB deployments using private cloud on on-premises systems have nearly doubled and workloads on public cloud have gone down by 25%.3

What this ultimately means is that your business can get the most out of your IT infrastructure with a hybrid approach—one that will give you the best performance, management, and resiliency for your many varied workloads.

We are all in this together, and we are reinventing the future of work together—and that includes SMB solutions for industries like financial services, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, professional services, and media and telecommunications.

With HPE Small Business Solutions, you can move quickly ahead and start reinventing your workplace, your workflow and your workforce—with greater simplicity, security, and flexibility.

Techaisle article: Remote work is escalating need for connected digital workplace platform within SMB and midmarket  by Anurag Agrawal

Techaisle article: Remote work is escalating need for connected digital workplace platform within SMB and midmarket  by Anurag Agrawal

3 Aberdeen knowledge brief: The Myth of the 100% Cloud World: Many Businesses Are Instead Boosting On-Premises Workloads

HPE Nimble Storage dHCI wins a best of VMworld 2020 award

HPE Nimble Storage dHCI delivers the simplicity of hyperconverged without the limitations. Named Best of VMworld 2020 for Virtualization and Cloud Infrastructure.


Get all the simplicity and ease-of-use that you love about HCI — but for all your apps. HPE Nimble Storage disaggregated HCI (dHCI) delivers a hyperconverged experience that includes business-critical speed and resiliency alongside independent scaling of compute and storage.


HPE Nimble Storage dHCI drives more resiliency for your apps, more performance at scale, and more efficiency for your wallet.



Take the advantage with a disaggregated HCI architecture that defines a new category — one that’s intelligently simple across its lifecycle, absolutely resilient for the most demanding apps, and flexibly scalable according to your needs.

Introducing HPE MSA Gen6 Storage: Hands-Free, High Performance, and Simpler than Ever

Announcing HPE MSA Gen6, the next generation of HPE entry level storage. New high-performance models match today’s workloads, automating and simplifying IT processes, and protecting business data anywhere. The affordable modern storage arrays include a choice of HDD and SSD media.

I have great news for small to midsize businesses! HPE has just announced HPE MSA Gen6, our next generation SMB SAN storage solution. HPE Modular Smart Arrays (MSAs) let businesses secure their most valuable data and make it easily accessible to employees, with a modern architecture that includes a number of new iSCSI, SAS and Fiber Channel high-performance Gen6 controllers and a choice of HDD and SSD media.

HPE’s entry level storage portfolio continues to allow customers to take advantage of performance, simplicity, and flexibility over a wide range of workloads. Enhancements to the Performance Tiering option let you configure a high-performance SAN solution with a minimal number of SSDs, allowing HPE MSA Gen6 to deliver application acceleration to every ProLiant workload without breaking the budget.

Three New Models Make Simple Storage Simpler

A leading entry point solution for HPE ProLiant servers for over a decade, HPE MSA Storage now includes three new Gen6 models that deliver simple, high-performance, flash-ready storage for SMBs:

  • HPE MSA 1060: Designed for users with fixed capacity and performance needs supporting smaller IT workloads
  • HPE MSA 2060: Offers the flexibility to scale both performance and capacity to meet the most demanding IT workloads
  • HPE MSA 2062:  Includes an HPE MSA 2060 bundled with two 1.92TB SSD drives and an Advanced Data Service license, giving the user a substantial savings (up to 31% off list price) and the ability to start day one with a high-performance affordable hybrid-flash storage solution.


Regardless of which model you choose, all MSA Gen6 arrays include a standard set of features that are ideal for SMB customers looking to accelerate to hybrid-flash SAN infrastructure. For starters, the new Gen6 architecture makes interacting with the array and using it simpler than ever. The new HPE MSA Storage Management Utility (SMU v4) provides intuitive, step-by-step guided workflows that configure the array straight out of the box, eliminating common errors and dramatically improving the user experience, especially for tasks users don’t do every day.  Guided workflows simplify these tasks and virtually eliminate the need for a reference manual.

We have also made improvements to the Health Check feature. Want to know how well your system is performing and be certain you are not overlooking anything in system setup? With just a few simple steps, MSA Health Check uses a cloud-based utility to assess your system’s compliance with all known HPE best practices and provides detailed next-step guidance to resolve any issues.

Updated and Automated Features Enhance Performance

While there are several new features and enhancements in these sixth-generation arrays, I want to draw your attention to three enhancements that work in combination to significantly improve performance in the new models.

A new Gen6 RAID controller architecture provides up to 50% higher performance versus the previous Gen5 controllers. System latency is reduced, allowing faster access to applications and data. It’s a substantial performance boost that your users will notice as they use their applications.

Performance Tiering 2.0. The Gen6 models have access to a new “hands-free” Tiering 2.0 algorithm that delivers up to 45% more workload application acceleration than previous Gen4 and Gen 5 models. By automatically responding to I/O changes in real-time, the enhanced Performance Tiering option helps to keep “hot” data on the fastest media (such as SSD Flash) further speeding up access times and improving both system and user productivity.

MSA Data Protection Plus (MSA-DP+), a new RAID-based data protection feature, brings dramatic improvements to traditional RAID technology. If a drive fails, rebuild performance is up to 25X faster than RAID 6 – which means the drive can be rebuilt in next-to-no time. This new feature can eliminate the need for idle drive spares and dramatically simplify expanding or growing your array’s capacity. MSA arrays using MSA-DP+ now support capacity expansion at a more granular level, allowing the addition of a single drive or whole expansion shelves to an existing configuration.

More than a Decade of Engineering Improvements

HPE MSA has a proven track record that spans well over a decade – with engineering and technology innovations that continue to make affordable SAN storage simpler, faster, and more reliable. Now with MSA Gen6, we’ve improved on that same high quality, reliable product heritage.

Whether you’re buying a new data storage solution, your data storage infrastructure has gotten too complex to manage, or your existing hardware needs a refresh, HPE MSA Gen6 arrays are a smart choice. HPE MSA Storage has always been a simple, affordable storage solution. The new Gen6 models take entry level storage further, matching today’s workloads, automating and simplifying IT processes, and protecting business data anywhere.

For more information on new HPE MSA Gen6 storage solutions: