Inside System Storage -- by Tony Pearson

Tony Pearson Tony Pearson is a Master Inventor and Senior IT Specialist for the IBM System Storage product line at the IBM Executive Briefing Center in Tucson Arizona, and featured contributor to IBM's developerWorks. In 2011, Tony celebrated his 25th year anniversary with IBM Storage on the same day as the IBM's Centennial. He is author of the Inside System Storage series of books. This blog is for the open exchange of ideas relating to storage and storage networking hardware, software and services. You can also follow him on Twitter @az990tony.
(Short URL for this blog: ibm.co/Pearson )
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Comments (10)

1 thestorageanarchist commented Permalink

Tony - <div>&nbsp;</div> Your suggestion that protecting information against government seizure implies that Atmos is intended as "Storage for Terrorists" is insulting and outlandish <div>&nbsp;</div> You clearly are not aware that this threat is very real, and one that international corporations (such as your own employer) actually prepare for in their disaster planning. Canadian companies , for example, are no longer allowed to store customer data in the United States (in their DR sites, for example) because the US Patriot Act allows our own federal government to seize any data without a warrant. In Europe, companies within many countries cannot place their DR sites within the boundaries of a foriegn government - even within the borders of partner members of the EU. And encryption is not accepted by ANY of these companies or countries as a means to protect customer information from being seized - many understand empirically that a government like the US or China probably have sufficient computer power to decipher most practical encryption schemes - INCLUDING AES 256... <div>&nbsp;</div> So, once again you embarrass yourself, and perhaps your employer as well.

2 TonyPearson commented Permalink

BarryB, <br /> The word "protect" is overloaded with multiple meanings. One meaning is to protect against unexpected loss, so that if you lose a copy of the data, or parts of the data, you can recreate or rebuild from other copies to get it back. A second meaning is to protect against unethical tampering, such as compliance storage from the new IBM Information Archive that provides Non-Erasable, Non-Rewriteable storage enforcement for compliance with regulations. A third meaning is to protect against unauthorized access, such as the use of encryption on IBM's various disk and tape systems. <div>&nbsp;</div> I found ChuckH's use of the phrase "seized by the government" an odd choice. I understand that this can happen, that governments can seize storage equipment and media, and this should be treated like any other loss in the first sense of the meanings above, no different than if the data was lost to flood or fire damage. However, when people read "protect against government seizure" they might misinterpret this as protection against unauthorized access to the data, the third meaning above, which as you have stated correctly would not be the case. I would hate for people to think that GeoProtect single-handedly eliminates the need to encrypt sensitive data. <div>&nbsp;</div> -- Tony

3 thestorageanarchist commented Permalink

Chuck's words "seized by the government" clearly implies nothing unethical, nor does it reference any violation of compliance. Since you now seem to agree that Chuck's comments were describing the protection that Atmos now offers against "unexpected" ETHICAL loss, your original post and even the rest of your response are clearly intended to falsely attack and discredit both Chuck and your business partner EMC's products in a public forum. <div>&nbsp;</div> I believe this to be in direct violation of IBM's Code of Conduct. <div>&nbsp;</div> You might want to make (another) call to IBM Legal to see what they think. As an EMC and IBM shareholder, I respectfully request you remove this distasteful and abhorrent - perhaps even defamatory - attack from your blog and IBM's web site(s).

4 TonyPearson commented Permalink

BarryB, <br /> Your use of EMC's classic junkyard-bulldog intimidation tactics might work on your weak-willed customers, but won't work here. My post did not pick a fight with Chuck nor discredit him in any way. His 6+3 example does not match the GeoProtect datasheet options of 9/12 and 10/16 erasure encoding is his own mistake. I poke fun at Chuck's choice of words and examples, that he did not understand that 9/12 is different than 6+3, and that GeoProtect is to protect against loss, not against unauthorize access. ChuckH specifically attempts to indicate the GeoProtect itself provides protection against unauthorized access in his post, where really GeoProtect is nothing more than protection against loss only. Erasure coding methods are not new, <div>&nbsp;</div> "For organizations worried about their information falling into the wrong hands (whether criminal or government sponsored!), any subset of the nodes would yield nothing of value..." <div>&nbsp;</div> GeoProtect does not eliminate the need or benefits of encryption. There are laws that indicate that if there is an unauthorized access breach of sensitive data, a company must notify each of the clients or customers involved. GeoProtect without encryption would be quite costly if that were too happen. It appears ChuckH has updated this paragraph to indicate that GeoProtect is just part of a complete breakfast, that presumably you would need to add encryption to also protect against unauthorized access. <div>&nbsp;</div> " -- not only would the information be presumably encrypted, but only a few slices of a far bigger picture would be lost." <div>&nbsp;</div> I am glad to read that you, BarryB, are an IBM shareholder invested in IBM's success. You should probably disclose this every time you mention IBM or its products in your own blog. I cannot own EMC stock, as that would appear conflict-of-interest in my current job position. <div>&nbsp;</div> As for any "Business Partner" relationship you claim between IBM and EMC, my legal team is not aware of any. There was a "Business Alliance" that lasted from 1999-2004 to have EMC license IBM technology so that it could finally get RAID5 working, FICON working, and be more compatible with IBM servers, and then there was the 2003 agreement to have IBM and EMC work together to resolve any support issues when combining storage virtualization from one company with disk storage arrays of the other. Neither of these qualify as "Business Partner" relationships. If you are aware of an IBM-EMC business partnership that has been made public related to the Atmos, or in any other regard that you think is relevant here, please clarify. <div>&nbsp;</div> --- Tony <div>&nbsp;</div>

5 thestorageanarchist commented Permalink

I don't know why your legal isn't aware of the business relationships between EMC and IBM. Perhaps if they dig deeper you will find the numerous EMC-IBM contract agreements in the areas of (yes) mainframe compatibility, z/p/iSeries interoperability, patent cross-licensing and a variety of cooperative support agreements. <div>&nbsp;</div> Anyway, however you choose to translate "business partner", I hardly beleive that the intent of IBM's Business Code of Conduct is to condone accusations that a competitors' products are intended for use by terrorists, even if you're just "poking fun". I know that I would not allow myself to say that about IBM products. But if you think that is an appropriate way to characterize a competitor's products, I guess that says a lot about you (and your employer). <div>&nbsp;</div> Enuff said - <div>&nbsp;</div> - Barry

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