Computer Weekly storage features: October 2021

I am currently working on the following features, and would appreciate technical and other background material (generally, CW does not quote vendors:)

Five things you need to know about hybrid cloud in 2021 (deadline for input: 7th October)

How is hybrid cloud is seen by customers and vendors currently?

  • How is hybrid cloud used?
  • What are the top use cases for hybrid cloud deployments?
  • What are the limitations of hybrid cloud? What does it actually mean in practice?
  • What are the pitfalls of a hybrid cloud architecture?
  • What use cases are least suited to hybrid cloud?
  • Where next for hybrid cloud? (possibly more widespread use of containers allowing for bursting to the cloud as an easier option than currently?)

5 ways HCI has changed in 2021 (deadline: 20 October)

Hyper-converged infrastructure seems to be here to stay as an on-prem solution. But how is it changing in 2021 to meet new IT trends?

Areas could include:

  • HCI being used with containers
  • Being able to scale storage and compute independently (they’re calling it ‘disaggregation’)
  • Vendors dropping products (eg, NetApp)
  • HCI as a service (may be available from many vendors with a consumption model)
  • HCI at the edge

Five reason customers repatriate data from the cloud (deadline: 3 November)

Why do businesses repatriate data from the cloud?

Restoring backups/business recovery is the obvious one, but analytics and possibly regulatory investigations / compliance are others.

The piece will set out the main reasons, and look at the mechanics and costs of data repatriation too.

As ever, please email any leads or submissions.

Upcoming data storage articles for Computer Weekly

I am looking for input for two upcoming articles for the data storage section of Computer Weekly.Article 1: How has backup changed, post the pandemic?

In this article we will look at how the changes in working patterns during the pandemic, including home working, have changed backup requirements, practices, and technology.

Areas we will look at include:

  • Backing up remote and employee-owned devices
  • Backing up SaaS applications and cloud instances
  • The impact on maintenance of IT, especially data centres
  • How remote / home working impacts restore and recovery processes

This is not an exhaustive list, and I am open to other suggestions, as well as examples.

The deadline for leads or information is 1700hrs, Friday 14th May.

Article 2: Storage metrics explained

What are the main storage metrics used in the industry? What do they mean, and how do we use them? This explainer piece will set out the most important terminology. We are also interested in new and emerging metrics, maybe those driven by new types of storage technology.

The deadline for leads or information is 1700hrs, Tuesday 18th May.

To submit information or interview leads for each article please use these links to send an email:

Pandemic and backup tech

Storage metrics

Many thanks.

Upcoming article: why use tape storage today?

For Computer Weekly I am writing a feature on tape.

As a data storage medium, tape has been on the verge of obsolescence for decades. But the format endures. Why are IT and data managers continuing to choose tape?

The piece will look at:

  • The limitations and benefits of tape in today’s data centric environments
  • New and emerging tape formats and technology enhancements, such as software defined tape
  • How tape works with other storage media, including the cloud
  • Key use cases for the various tape technologies currently on the market.

The deadline to suggest interviewees or to share research is Wednesday, 5th August at 1700 BST. Initial submissions by email please.

Upcoming commission: unstructured data compliance

For Computer Weekly, I’m looking at the compliance issues around gathering, storing and processing unstructured data.

This article will examine the likely compliance risks in unstructured data, and suggest potential solutions. It will ask:

  • What is unstructured data? How does it compare to structured and semi-structured data types?
  • Why is compliance an issue at all?
  • Why is achieving compliance of unstructured data potentially problematic?
  • What are the key steps to achieving unstructured data compliance?

As businesses gather ever greater volumes of unstructured data, and develop new ways to process and analyse the information, compliance becomes increasingly important. This is especially the case when organisations start to combine data sets, and use advanced analytics to search for insights in the information. Does the original consent to hold and process the data carry over to this type of application? And what happens when unstructured data is mixed with other data sets?

For the piece I am keen to have comments from data scientists, compliance experts, academics, lawyers and end user IT organisations. As the deadline is quite short, please send pitches, initial comments and leads to me by 1200 London time, June 13th by email please.

Upcoming commission: storage for machine learning

Data storage is an often-overlooked part of machine learning and other AI deployments.

This article will appear in Computer Weekly. It will cover:

  • Definitions of machine learning/deep learning
  • Its storage requirements including
    • Sizing, capacity, performance (to match compute)
    • Scale
    • Media (SSD vs HDD, hybrids of the two)
    • Parallelism
    • Throughput vs IOPS
    • Locations – including use of the cloud

For this article we are open to comments from vendors, as well as analysts, consultants and other experts. Examples of ML use cases and how systems were designed to run it are most welcome.

Initial pitches and leads by Wednesday May 29th by email please.