Computer Weekly commissions: October 2021

I am working on the following articles, which will appear in Computer Weekly in October:

Cloud DR: DIY or Disaster Recovery as a Service

The cloud is now the main backup destination for a growing number of businesses. And the range of businesses offering disaster recovery as a service is growing too.

But is disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) always the best option? Or is it better to develop a solution in house, using off the shelf (cloud) technologies?

The piece will look at the benefits of DIY approaches, and the drawbacks, and compare these to the benefits (and drawbacks) of DRaaS. The piece will also summarise the range of DRaaS services on the market, and set out the best use cases for each.

I’d welcome analyst comment and/or industry case studies for this piece. Deadline for leads: Thursday 16th September.

Where next for the data warehouse, and what might replace it?

Has the conventional data warehouse had its day? And what could replace it? Conventional, on-premises data warehouse technology now competes with a range of emerging technologies, including data virtualisation, “data lakehouses”, and cloud data warehouses.

What role will these newer technologies play? Are they likely to supplant the conventional, on-premises, datacentre approach, and if so why?

I am keen to speak to analysts and consultants in order to form a market overview, but also CIOs whose preferences are either for the new, or indeed the conventional, technology. The deadline is Wednesday 22nd September.

For either article please get in touch in the first instance by email.

New storage articles for Computer Weekly

I am working on two new feature articles for Computer Weekly. There is some overlap between the two topics, so I am posting them both here.

The topics are:

Key questions to ask suppliers about storage-as-a-service consumption models

5 things you need to know about cloud file services

For the first piece, this is a brief for CIOs and their teams sourcing cloud storage. We will come up with a ranked list of questions IT teams should ask vendors. These could include:

  • payment models
  • how usage is calculated
  • how does pricing change as demand goes up or down
  • how can I upgrade systems
  • minimum contract commitments
  • what is the maximum (or minimum) storage capacity the vendor can offer?

There might be other points that could be added to the list. I cannot use vendor quotes directly but can look at research, and take analyst comments.

For the second piece, we are aiming to distinguish between fully featured cloud file services, including those from the “big three” and file and sync type services such as Box or Dropbox.

The piece will set out the benefits and limitations of cloud-based file services and explain how they are used. And the article will identify the main vendors, both pure play and those that are part of a wider cloud (storage) offering.

The deadline for leads and content is 1700hrs, Tuesday 17th August. These articles will be published in September. If you can help, please submit any ideas or content by email .

Upcoming article: the top 5 storage deployment pitfalls

For Computer Weekly I am investigating the greatest pitfalls for deploying on-premises storage hardware.

The piece can cover flash storage, storage arrays, hyper-converged, or software-defined storage but it needs to be in house, not cloud based.

I am looking for examples from CIOs and IT directors and experienced analysts and consultants – but not vendors.

If you would like to comment for the article please email me with a brief description of your (or your client’s) credentials in this area, and I will reply with some questions.

The deadline for initial approaches is September 9th.

Upcoming commission: virtual server storage

My next article for Computer Weekly will look at the best storage options for virtual servers, including SAN, NAS and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI).

Specifically, the piece will ask:

  • What kind of storage requirements virtual servers and their data have?
  • What are the characteristics of a) SAN b) NAS and c) hyper-converged storage? 
  • What are the pros and cons of SAN vs NAS for virtual machine storage? What are the management and performance issues?
  • What about scale? Is a SAN, NAS or HCI better suited to large or smaller deployments?
  • What impact do workloads have on storage choices? Are all virtual machine workloads created equal in I/O terms?
  • What other factors affect storage choices, such as the applications being used, scale of the deployment and even skills on the IT team?

First and foremost I am looking for background information, analyst research/ technical papers and case studies which will help to answer the points above. If you or your client has expertise in this area, please contact me by email in the first instance. The deadline for input is Monday, 13 May.


Upcoming commission: Scale-out NAS storage

My next article for Computer Weekly will be on “Scale-out NAS in the age of cloud”. The outline for the piece is below.

Scale out NAS is a very important storage technology for those that want to store large amounts of file and unstructured data. 

But in recent years it has had to fight off other methods of storing large amounts of unstructured data, namely on-premises object storage and the rise of the cloud providers and their (often object storage-based) storage offerings.

So, who are the key scale-out NAS providers now? What do they offer in terms of products? And how are they meeting the challenge of the cloud?

If you or your client has expertise in this area, please contact me by email in the first instance. The deadline for pitches and initial input is Monday, 25 March.