Computer Weekly: how to create the best hybrid cloud storage strategy

This feature will set out the key points IT directors need to consider when developing a hybrid cloud data storage strategy.

Key points we will consider are:

  • Key strengths of cloud storage
  • Key strengths of on-site data storage
  • How to decides which data goes where?
  • What does an optimal cloud storage strategy look like?
  • Some examples, including those that are primarily cloud based and primarily on-premises
  • Use cases that drive the decisions

I am keen to have real world examples and commentary from analysts or other experts.

Please note, the focus is on storage deployments, not compute.

The deadline for submissions is 1700hrs Thursday 23 May (due to the UK bank holiday weekend).

To contribute to either piece, please contact me by email in the first instance.

Note: if possible please don’t change the email subject line (or by all means append the source’s name to it, eg CW May 2024 – Our Client). It just helps ensure I can find all submissions.

Computer Weekly features: January 2024 publication

I am writing two features for publication in January 2024. Note that due to early filing dates, the research needs to be completed by December 23rd, 2023.

Feature 1: Cloud to Cloud backup

This piece will look at the shortcomings of native cloud data protection, and their impact on both operations and compliance. It will look at cloud to cloud backup as an alternative, examining:

  • how it works
  • the workloads it is suited to (and any performance impacts)
  • who provides cloud to cloud backup services

Feature 2: Reasons not to use the cloud

Covering data storage, primarily, the piece will explore reasons why an organisation might choose not to use the cloud. This cloud include, but is not limited to:

  • operational needs and performance
  • IT management difficulties
  • costs
  • data protection and compliance
  • issues making cloud fit the business needs

For both pieces, happy to look at white papers and analyst research as well as consultants’ and CIOs’ views. As ever, it’s best to email pitches or input in the first instance.

Computer Weekly: December 2023 features

I am working on the following pieces for early December and looking for expert input.

Please note the deadline for pitches is 1700hrs, Weds 22 November with any interviews needing to be completed by 27th November for both articles.

Data analytics: Data in defence

This is a UK focused feature looking at how defence is making use of data and advanced analytics. How are the services, the MOD, and the defence industry making use of the vast amounts of data they hold? How is data being used to support operations, but also in the supply chain, the “business of defence”, and in evolving areas such as synthetic training?

Militaries are regarded highly effective when it comes to intelligence and operational data, but can data and analytics be used not just tactically and operationally, but to improve readiness, bolster training and recruitment, and to make the defence budget stretch further?

Storage: On premises vs cloud storage

What are the key considerations when it comes to locating data on premises? Are enterprises opting for pure play or hybrid solutions?

This piece will look at the questions CIOs should ask before deciding where data should live, including:

  • data lifecycles
  • security and resilience
  • cost
  • application and workload performance requirements
  • how to optimise the mix across on-premises, cloud and hybrid architectures

Please email your submissions in the first instance. I will be looking to complete interviews within a week of the submission deadlines.

Computer Weekly: storage features, November 2023

I am currently researching the following features. Deadlines for suggested interviews or contributions inline.

The all-flash datacentre: Has its time come?

Deadline: Thursday, 26 October, 1200hrs.

This piece will look at the idea of an all-flaws datacentre, and examine why it might, or might not, happen. It will:

  • Set out to define the all-flash datacentre
  • Map out a timescale for its arrival
  • Set out counter arguments – in which cases are non-flash storage media still more appropriate?
  • What types of organisations can benefit from the all-flash datacentre and which workloads can benefit from continued use of hard drive storage
  • Will it be cost that eventually signals a move to all-flash? Or are there other factors at play?

Storage for ERP systems

Deadline: Monday 30 October, 1700hrs

What are the data storage requirements for modern ERP systems?

ERP systems have developed significantly over the last decade, especially with the widespread move to the cloud. But what does an IT department need to do, to make sure the business has the right infrastructure to support its ERP systems over the next 5-10 years?

This will include:

  • What does ERP do? 
  • What are ERP’s storage I/O requirements? 
  • How do on-site and cloud ERP deployments fit together?
  • What is needed to support ERP’s databases?
  • What storage technologies does that translate to, on premises or or in the cloud?
  • Are there other developments in the field of ERP that will affect data storage requirements?

Please email your submissions in the first instance. I will be looking to complete interviews within a week of the submission deadlines.

Upcoming articles: Computer Weekly, October 2023

Please see outlines below for features I am currently researching.

Disaster Recovery in the cloud:

This piece will look at at the rapidly-developing market for cloud-based disaster recovery services. The piece aims to cover:

  • What is DRaaS?
  • What variants exist?
  • Who can use it and what are the use cases?
  • What does it cost compared to in house DR?
  • Who offers DRaaS services?

Deadline for leads/case studies etc: Tuesday 26th Sept

When to move to cloud, and when not?

What are the use cases for cloud storage, and when is it better to keep storage on premises (or in your own datacentre)?

It will cover:

  • The benefits of cloud storage
  • Why on-site storage often significantly cheaper than cloud
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of use of cloud storage for different workloads?
  • What are the different ways an organisation can leverage cloud storage?
  • Where is use of cloud storage heading, possibly including cloud native apps, bursting to cloud, containerisation)

Deadline for leads/case studies etc: Tuesday 17th Oct.

Please email your submissions in the first instance.

Upcoming articles: Computer Weekly, September 2023

I am currently researching the following articles, deadlines in line:

SME disaster recovery

Deadline for submissions: Tuesday 22 August

This article is an overview of SME disaster recovery, with a particular emphasis on cloud DR due to its suitability for SMEs.

We will cover:

  • What DR requirements do SMEs have?
  • What is the key infrastructure needed for SME DR? (including policy, planning, training, testing)
  • What can you do in-house in terms of SME DR? 
  • Benefits and drawbacks /limitations of in-house SME DR
  • Benefits does the cloud offer for SME DR
  • Key providers and the type of services offered

Cloud NAS – what is it good for 

Deadline for submissions/completing interviews: Monday 04 September

This piece will cover:

  • What is NAS? How has NAS been delivered in the past (pre-cloud)
  • What are the use cases and benefits of NAS?
  • What is cloud NAS?
  • What kind of cloud NAS services are offered?
  • What is cloud NAS good for? Pros and cons

Ransomware: Where storage and backup fit in brief 

Deadline: Monday 04 September

This piece will show where storage and backup fit into the battle against ransomware, and in particular via the functionality vendors include in products.

  • How does storage and backup fit in when it comes to ransomware
  • What functionality are vendors including in products that can help?
  • Vendor warranty offers
  • Air gapping and cloud repositories

This will likely be organised by headings related to anti ransomware functionality.

Please email your submissions in the first instance.

Although deadlines are above, early submissions would be very much appreciated. As ever, case studies or end user perspectives always welcome.

Upcoming articles: software-defined storage

I am researching two, linked articles on software-defined storage.

The first sets out to define software-defined storage and set out its benefits to enterprise users.

The second aims to take the pulse of the market and outline some of the key products and what they do.

I am currently looking for technical or white papers on the sector, as well as analyst research. The deadline for submissions is Tues, 9th May. Please email with your suggestions.

Computer Weekly: storage articles for January 2023

My next articles for Computer Weekly’s storage section will look at storage egress charges, and backup maintenance.

Cloud egress charges

What are cloud storage egress charges and what you can do to reduce them?

The piece will cover:

What are cloud egress charges?

How do they compare to others charges made for cloud storage?

What are the risks to organisations from unchecked egress charges?

What can you do to manage and mitigate over-burdensome egress charges?

Deadline for leads: Monday 19 December

Backup maintenance

Why does backup need maintenance, what does it consist of and how do we do it?

Why can’t you just leave backups to run without some kind of maintenance programme?What can go wrong if you just set and forget?What is involved in maintaining backup systems?

How does use of the cloud change this? We will look at backing up to the cloud as well as cloud to cloud back up.

What tools can you use to help maintain backups?

What innovations in backup might make all this easier?

Deadline for leads: 07 January.

For either of these articles, please contact me by email in the first instance.

Upcoming articles: Computer Weekly, October 2022

I am currently researching the following articles for Computer Weekly.

How enterprise backup products will change in the next decade 

What are the key areas of functionality in enterprise backup that we are likely to see in the coming decade?

This piece will look at developments in automation, cloud, containers, the edge and how backup technologies are adapting — or will need to adapt — to encompass them. But I am open to other suggestions around emerging backup technologies, beyond those listed above.

Deadline for leads: Monday 17th October

Ransomware, storage and backup: Techniques and limits

This article will explain the technologies and techniques in storage and backup, that are available to defend against and recover from ransomware. 

But it will also spell out the limits of the abilities of storage and backup against a threat that is possibly best countered elsewhere.

This is a slightly longer article, so I also aim to cover:

  • What is the mechanism of a ransomware attack? 
  • What are the areas of storage and backup that a ransomware attack may impact?
  • What are the key techniques and technologies in storage and backup that can help to defend against or recover from a ransomware attack?
  • What are the limits of storage and backup technologies and techniques when it comes to dealing with ransomware? 

Deadline for leads: Monday 24th October

For either of these articles, please contact me by email in the first instance.

Computer Weekly: storage features, July 2022

I am looking for input for the following two features:

Backups and recovering from ransomware attacks

What are the benefits of having a good data protection strategy when facing ransomware. And what are the shortcomings of data protection and backup that cannot overcome the likely effects of a ransomware attack?

The piece will cover:

RPOs and RTOs. What could be the effect of ransomware attacks on how much data you can recover and from how long before the attack?

How useful as media to recover from are: backups, snapshots, cloud storage and backup and tape?

To what extent is it possible to air-gap stored data?

In what order should data be restored when recovering?

Deadline for submissions: Wednesday, 6 July

Unstructured data storage – on-prem vs cloud vs hybrid

What are the pros and cons of storing unstructured data on-prem vs in the cloud, and what is the role of technologies that allow for hybrids between the two?

The piece will cover:

What are unstructured data and why are they important?

How big an issue is storing unstructured data?

What are the pros and cons of:

On-prem: The ‘classic’ use of large-scale scale-out file storage, and the more recent use of object storage, and attempts to converge the two

Use of cloud storage

Hybrid approaches, including Snowflake, where unstructured data is given structure and on-prem can be a source.

Deadline for submissions: Wednesday 20th July

For all these articles please contact me by email in the first instance, if you are contributing to a specific article please note that in the subject line. Many thanks.