JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  storage backup compression replication marketing technology it 29 emc ibm social august justin.tv data ntap no deduplication comme business diaster cloud real-time 2011 virtualization video media on recovery with 3,849 Views
JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  reliable technology available real-time storage compression business efficient 3,772 Views
JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  real-time backup data replication deduplication ibm technology business storwize archive virtualization cloud compression it storage 3,700 Views
by Steve Kenniston The first city on my Eastern European trip was Moscow. I think the traffic here is worse than the 101 in Silicon Valley during the dot com era. That said, it was a great visit. I spoke at the Information Infrastructure Conference at the Swissotel convention center in Moscow. It was the first time I spoke to a group of people with an interpreter. It was like being at the UN. The two main topics were Storage Efficiency and Real-time Compression.
I spoke with a few customers and the press and in dealing with the data growth challenges they wanted to know, “When it comes to big data, what is next, is it ‘huge data’”? Data growth clearly a concern. Interesting enough though most of the questions, came around my title of “Evangelist”. One report told me, “if an Evangelist is ‘preaching the word of storage’ then why not just call yourself an Apostle”? How do you think that would look on an IBM business card: Global Storage Efficiency Apostle?
The next day I did a day of “sales enablement” in the Moscow office. We discussed mostly how to sell and position Real-time Compression and what is next for the technology. I was very impressed with the team. They were very technical and knew quite a bit about Real-time Compression and really wanted to know in more detail how the technology was invented. This means they are really talking about the technology and the customers are drilling down into the next level of detail. There are a lot of good opportunities for the technology in Moscow and I look forward to hearing more about the success of Real-time Compression there.
I didn’t have a lot of time to sight see but I did make it to Red Square. You can actually buy a beer outside in Red Square and walk around. So I did. I took a few photos and then as the US was getting going, I had some work calls to attend to. That evening I spent on the 34th floor of my hotel having dinner. It was a great view of Moscow. I hope to come back.
Next stop, Warsaw Poland. Stay tuned.
JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  compression data business storwize recove ibm technology recovery replication deduplication it diaster storage backup cloud real-time virtualizationbackup 3,658 Views
by Steve Kenniston After landing in Warsaw, I got into a car with the local sales leader for Poland and we drove to the event location. It was a 2 hour drive. First, the roads and the land in Poland reminded me very much of my home time in Maine. Very scenic and rural but beautiful and peaceful. We talked storage for 2 hours and I am always festinated at the thirst for knowledge there is when I travel. It was a great ride followed up by a customer reception and some local Polish brew.
Thursday I spent the day in Sterdyn, Poland for IBM Storage University. There were 30 customers at the event and it went very very well. The event was at Palac Ossolinski, today used as an event center but has a very rich history, in fact at one point it was used as a medical facility in WWII. The photo is of the building where we had the event. The topics we covered were:
The customers were very interactive and provided a lot of insight to their environments. Interestingly enough I learned during our customer reception that IBM storage is #1 in Poland with HP second and EMC third. This is a true testament to the IBM sellers and the customers who use the IBM products every day to drive their business. I also learned that the data break down in Poland is 90% block, 10% file which I found interesting and would be interested to check back 12 months from today to see how it will be different.
I did learn something very interesting in Poland. The question was asked “Why XIV”? What is so special about XIV. The answer was awesome. The answer started with 2 questions:
1) How old is RAID?
2) How old is your iPhone?
The reality is data growth is out pacing what traditional RAID can handle and data profiles are changing as well. These combined have driven new technologies like Cleversafe, Cloud Computing, Hadoop and XIV. Just like the iPhone is a new approach to the smart phone based on new things we know about how these smart phones are being used, we know more about how data and storage is being used. New ways to deliver capacity and performance are needed in order to keep up with the changing times. I thought it was a very good answer in terms that make customers think.
Thursday evening I traveled back to Warsaw where I got in a bit late and just went to a local pub, Sketch. Grabbed a small bite and some local mead and then headed back to the hotel. I did get to see the local Palace of Culture and Science in the middle of Warsaw, very impressive, built as a gift from Russia to Poland.
I have an early flight to Prague. I am very excited about this part of the journey as I have always wanted to travel to Prague. Press meeting right when I land. Stay tuned.
JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  ibm ntap real-time storage cloud marketing video backup compression data emc it technology justin.tv media social 3,653 Views
#1 The SiliconAngle / Wikibon Cube
You couldn’t miss it. You walk into the show floor and there they were, larger than life. The SiliconAngle / Wikibon Cube broadcasting live from VMworld2011. Guests that were on the cube included, Tom Georgens (NTAP), Pat Gelsinger (EMC), David Scott (HP), Rick Jackson (VMware) as well as many more. The Cube also had 12 Industry Spotlights. The most interesting spotlight had to do with Storage Optimization, especially for VMware.
Oh the times they are a changing. Now that you can deliver HD TV live over the internet, the Cube has broadcast from a number industry shows and user conferences. The great part about this, it is like the ability to watch a sporting event being covered by ESPN but for tech. The Cube brings all of the highlights of these events right into your computer screen. Now if you can’t make an event, no problem, you can catch all the most important messages from the Cube. The Cube is now the new mechanism for delivering content to users in the way they want to receive the content, TV. For more, check out www.siliconangle.tv
#2 Storage Optimization – Industry Spotlight
In the Storage Optimization industry spotlight, the first 15 minutes Dave Vellante and his co-host John Furrier tee up the concept. They discussed storage optimization, where it has come and were it is going, especially in VMware environments. We are hearing more and more about storage efficiency technologies. During the next 15 minutes Dave and I discussed the 5 essential storage efficiency technologies including:
We also discussed the fact that the IBM Real-time Compression technology is not only the most efficient and effective compression technology in the industry; we also learned that IBM really acquired not just a real-time “compression” technology but a platform that can do a number of things in real time. In fact, the 5 IBM storage efficiency technologies all operate in real time which is the most effective for customers.
We have been hearing a great deal about storage optimization in a VMware environment due to the fact that virtualizing servers was successful for the server side of the house but it didn’t do all it set out to do, it didn’t fix the overall IT budget.
Virtualizing servers only pushed the financial problem to the storage side of the house. Users have told us that when they virtualize their servers, storage grows as much as 4x. By leveraging the right storage optimization technologies together, users can get their budgets back under control and also deliver the promise that server virtualization set out to do.
#3 More Free Time for “Real-life”
While on the Cube as a panelist with my good friend Marc Farley (HPsisyphus, formally @3ParFarley) Dave asked us what was the most interesting thing we saw on the show floor while walking around. I didn’t hesitate in my response. There were two in my mind. First, it couldn’t be any more obvious at how fast data is growing. Over 50% of the 19,000 people there had cameras taking pictures and taking video. That data is going to be stored somewhere. Additionally, they had these cameras for a reason. Either we have more bloggers and tweeters than we know about, more marketing people are going to these events or more people are using social media to inform and educate others. The way in which users want to receive data is always changing and evolving, and at least at VMworld 2011 we were delivering content in a number of ways especially photos and video. All that data will end up in the “cloud” somewhere.
The second thing I noticed was the amount of free time VMware has given back to the IT user. I heard, on more than one occasion, end users talking about family, vacations and travel instead of the usual banter about how challenging their jobs are and the issues they have with their vendors which is the normal think I hear at these shows. This was not an anomaly. I am chalking it up to the fact that VMware makes people’s lives easier.
#4 Proximal Data
These “most interesting things” are not in any particular order. I say this because I believe that Proximal Data is THE most interesting thing I saw at the show. Now Proximal Data just came out of “stealth” in early August. They didn’t have a booth at VMworld but they did have a “whisper suite”. So, I have to confess, since I used to be an analyst, sometimes people will ask me to come take a look at their technology and their message to see if it is in line with what is going on in the industry so I got to hear the pitch.
Proximal Data’s message is right on. It hits a very important and growing topic with VMware these days, the I/O bottle neck on virtual servers, and they solve this problem in a very unique and intelligent way.
First, the problem. One of the issues facing VMware today is the number of virtual machines that can be hosted by one physical machine. The more users can get on one system, the more efficient they can be. The problem is, today systems are running into I/O workload bottlenecks that are causing a limitation in the number of virtual machines one system can run.
One way to solve this problem is add more memory to the host but that could be very very expensive. You can add more HBA’s or NIC cards but that can be expensive and also difficult to manage. You can add more flash cache to your storage to improve the I/O bottleneck but doing that only solves ½ the problem, you still need to solve the challenge on the host side, again with memory or host adaptors.
The solution: Proximal Data. With some advanced I/O management software capabilities combined with PCI flash cards on the host, for a very reasonable price per host. The software combined with the card is 100% transparent to both the virtual servers and to the storage, which to me is one of the most important features of the implementation. Transparency is the key to any new technology. IT has a ton of challenges and has done a great deal of work to get their environment to where it is today. To implement a technology that causes all of that work to be undone is very painful. Remember, the hardest thing to change in IT is process, not technology. It’s important to preserve the process. That is what Proximal Data does. Proximal Data can increase the I/O capability of a VMware server with just a 5 minute installation of the PCI card and their software. This technology can double and even triple the number of virtual machines on any physical server and that is a tremendous ROI. A new win for efficiency.
There are a number of folks entering this market these days; however Proximal does it transparently with no agents making it the most user friendly implementation. While these guys won’t have product until 2012, when it hits the market, I am sure it will be very successful.
#5 Convergence to the Cloud
Are we seeing the coming of the “God Box”? A number of vendors are talking more and more as well as investing in public / private cloud. There are more systems popping up that have servers, networks, high availability and storage all in one floor tile. These systems are designed to integrate, scale, manage VM’s simply, increase productivity and ease the management of all possible application deployments in any business. Additionally these boxes help you to connect to the cloud to ease the cost burden. Is the pendulum swinging back to the “open systems” main frame? Only time will tell.
One more for fun. The first meeting I had at VMworld was with a potential OEM prospect of the IBM Real-time Compression IP. I have always said that this technology could revolutionize the data storage business much like VxVM did for Veritas many years ago. Creating a standard way to do compression across a number of system can help users with implementation as well as ease the storage cost burden. I hope this moves forward and I hope more folks step up who want to OEM the technology.
JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  consolidate san nas ibm available compression virtualize sstorage reliable scalable disk 3,479 Views
New SONAS release offers enhanced performance
Businesses continue to search for storage solutions that save money without sacrificing performance. Last year, IBM introduced Scale Out Network Attached Storage (SONAS), the industry’s first such network-attached storage (NAS) offering to address this business need. SONAS is an enterprise class, NAS system that provides extreme scalability, availability and security—and does so with record-breaking performance. It’s designed as a single global repository to manage multiple petabytes of storage and billions of files all under one file system.
In April, IBM announced significant performance enhancements to SONAS: improved information lifecycle management (ILM), hierarchical storage management (HSM) as well as ease of deployment and antivirus integration.
Todd Neville, SONAS program leader at IBM, says SONAS is unique in that it can very near-linearly scale to almost any performance level. With SONAS, he says, “You can build a system that’s as fast as you want it to be; but it’s not just about absolute size, it’s also about bang for your buck. We’ve significantly increased the software performance in our upcoming release 1.2, so customers see a significant performance increase on their current platform with no additional costs.”
Funda Eceral, SONAS market segment manager at IBM, says SONAS is the only true scale-out NAS system available in the marketplace. “While you can nondisruptively add capacity with storage building blocks,” Eceral says, “you can also still continue to independently scale out your I/O performance with interface nodes. It brings operational efficiency and extraordinary utilization rates for each customer.”
Three Key Features
This version of SONAS offers three key features, according to Neville:
“Everyone says, ‘We do tiering, HSM and ILM,’ but design matters—IBM does it differently.” —Todd Neville, SONAS program leader, IBM“Everyone says, ‘We do tiering, HSM and ILM,’ but design matters—IBM does it differently.” —Todd Neville, SONAS program leader, IBM
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JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  enterprise compression storage time san nas de-duplication real 3,393 Views
Originating Author: David Vellante
Co-author: David Floyer
Tip: ctrl +/- to increase/decrease text size
There has been significant discussion in the industry about storage optimization and making better use of storage capacity. A number of storage vendors have successfully marketed data de-duplication for offline/backup applications, reducing the volume of backup data by a factor of 5-15:1, according to Wikibon user input.
Data de-duplication as applied to backup use cases is different from compression in that compression actually changes the data using algorithms to create a computational byproduct and write fewer bits. With de-duplication, data is not changed, rather copies 2-N are deleted and pointers are inserted to a 'master' instance of the data. Single-instancing can be thought of as synonymous with de-duplication.
Traditional data de-duplication technologies however are generally unsuitable for online or primary storage applications because the overheads associated with the algorithms required to de-duplicate data will unacceptably elongate response times. As an example, popular data de-duplication solutions such as those from Data Domain, ProtecTier (Diligent/IBM), Falconstor and EMC/Avamar are not used for reducing capacities of online storage.
There are three primary approaches to optimizing online storage, reducing capacity requirements and improving overall storage efficiencies. Generally, Wikibon refers to these in the broad category of on-line or primary data compression, although the industry will often use terms like de-duplication (e.g. NetApp A-SIS) and single instancing. These data reduction technologies are illustrated by the following types of solutions:
Unlike some data reduction solutions for backup, these three approaches use lossless data compression algorithms, meaning mathematically, bits can always be reconstructed.
Each of these approaches has certain benefits and drawbacks. The obvious benefit is reduced storage costs. However each solution places another technology layer in the network and increases complexity and risk.
Array-based data reduction
Array-based data reduction technologies such as A-SIS operate in-line as data is being written to reduce primary storage capacity. The de-duplication feature of WAFL (NetApp’s Write Anywhere File Layout) allows the identification of duplicates of a 4K block at write time (creating a weak 32-bit digital signature of the 4K block, which is then compared bit-by-bit to ensure that there is no hash collision) and placed into a signature file in the metadata. The work of identifying the duplicates is similar to the snap technology and is done in the background if controller resources are sufficient. The default is once every 24 hours and every time the percentage of changes reaches 20%.
In addition, there are three main disadvantages of an A-SIS solution, including:
IT Managers should note that A-SIS is included as a no-charge standard offering within NetApp's Nearline component of ONTAP, the company's storage OS.
Host-managed offline data compression solutions
Ocarina is an example of a host-managed data reduction offering or what it calls 'split-path.' It consists of an offline process that reads files through an appliance, compresses those files and writes them back to disk. When a file is requested, another appliance re-hydrates data and delivers it to the application. The advantage of this approach is much higher levels of compression because the process is offline and uses many more robust algorithms. A reasonable planning assumption of reduction ratios will range from 3-6:1 and sometimes higher for initial ingestion and read-only Web environments. However, because of the need to re-hydrate when new data is written, classical production environments may see lower ratios.
In the case of Ocarina, the company has developed proprietary algorithms that can improve reduction ratios on many existing file types (e.g. jpeg, pdf, mpeg, etc), which is unique in the industry.
The main drawbacks of host-managed data reduction solutions are:
On balance, solutions such as Ocarina are highly suitable and cost-effective for infrequently accessed data and read-intensive applications. High update environments should be avoided.
In-line data compression
IBM Real-time Compression offers in-line data compression whereby a device sits between servers and the storage network (see Shopzilla's architecture). Wikibon members indicate a compression ratio of 1.5-2:1 is a reasonable rule-of-thumb.
The main advantage of the IBM Real-time Compression approach is very low latency (i.e. microseconds) and improved performance. Storage performance is improved because compression occurs before data hits the storage network. As a result, all data in the storage network is compressed, meaning less data is sent through the SAN, cache, internal array, and disk devices, minimizing resource requirements and backup windows by 40% or more, according to Wikibon estimates.
There are two main drawbacks of the IBM Real-time Compression approach, including:
On balance, the advantages of an Ocarina or IBM Real-time Compression approach are they can be applied to any file-based storage (i.e. heterogeneous devices). NetApp and other array-based solutions lock customers into a particular storage vendor but have certain advantages as well. For example, they are simpler to implement because they are already integrated.
An Ocarina approach is best applied in read-intensive environments where it will achieve better reduction ratios due to its post-process/batch ingestion methodology. IBM Real-time Compression will achieve the highest levels of compression and ROI in general purpose enterprise data centers of 30TB's or greater.
Action Item: On-line data reduction is rapidly coming to mainstream storage devices in your neighborhood. Storage executives should familiarize themselves with the various technologies in this space and demand that storage vendors apply capacity optimization techniques to control storage costs.
Footnotes: RELATED RESEARCH
Storage Efficiency through Real-time Data Compression for the Entire Data Lifecycle
Agnostic to Applications and Storage
IBM Real-time Compression appliances reduce storage capacity utilization by up to 80% without performance degradation. IBM Real-time Compression appliances increase the capacity of existing storage infrastructure helping organizations meet the demands of rapid data growth while also enhancing storage performance and utilization. The result is unprecedented cost savings, ROI, operational and environmental efficiencies.
The IBM Real-time Compression appliances address data optimization on primary storage so your capacity is optimized across all tiers of storage. The IBM Real-time Compression Appliance STN6500 and STN6800 align to your existing storage networking configuration for easy installation. The appliances install transparently in front of your existing NAS storage and thru patented real-time compression reduces the size of every file created. Read more>
JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  storage hp nas real time compression san ibm netapp emc 3,268 Views
Shopzilla has been a customer of the IBM Real-time Compression technology for over 2 years. Here they describe the benefits of the technology.Shopzilla-IBM Real Time Compression is Transparent
JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  storage performance ibm emc compression high effective hp efficient 3,246 Views
See how Language Weaver has utilized IBM Real-time Compression and are getting 3 to 1 compression and the solution was totally transparent to their infrastructure.
JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  iaas storage compression range ibm enterprise scalable reliable available dedupe paas saas disk mid 3,223 Views
ProtecTier deduplication offers 25-to-1 reduction and online backup
In June, IBM debuted ProtecTIER* deduplication solutions for AIX* and IBM i. ProtecTIER offers solutions to those who can’t complete backup operations in a given window, have difficulty protecting rapidly growing amounts of data or find their current backup infrastructure unreliable.
With data amounts growing, deduplication is becoming a vital part of data management, backup and recovery. “One of the reasons ProtecTIER is so crucial is because of the crazy growth the world is experiencing as it moves to an all-digital environment,” says Victor Nemechek, ProtecTIER deduplication offering manager at IBM. “Customers are finding their data often doubles or more every year and their current backup systems make it difficult to capture that data, protect it and restore it when they need to.”
For backups many companies use tapes that load data quickly, but present retrieval problems. These challenges—along with reliability problems—sent customers to disk where data was more accessible, but also expensive. Companies used disk for small portions of their most critical data, and kept their other data on tape. “Even with disk for critical data, backup is still an issue because you have a primary disk that you store your data on and you have to have that much disk to back up to, basically doubling your disk needs, and that can be very expensive,” Nemechek says.
“Deduplication can squeeze 25 terabytes of data down to only 1 terabyte of physical disk, so customers can have the speed and reliability of disk but without that one-to-one cost.” —Victor Nemechek, ProtecTIER deduplication offering manager, IBM
JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  marketing ibm media video compression it ntap backup justin.tv storage emc technology social real-time cloud data 3,213 Views
JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  storage ibm disk virtualization time real reliable compression 3,186 Views
History truly does repeat itself. We are talking about the history of data storage. Every once and a while a new technology comes along that requires a new way to think about infrastructure. Notice I said “infrastructure”. I’d like to paint two analogies:
JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  paas iaas ibm disk saas cloud scalable compression available reliable storage dedupe 3,163 Views
A quick summary of the latest announcements
April 2011 | by Nick Harris
In the cover story this month, Lee Cleveland, Distinguished Engineer, Power Systems direct attach storage, and Andy Walls, Distinguished Engineer, chief hardware architect for DS8000 and solid-state drives (SSDs), sat down to talk about all of the new storage technologies IBM has been releasing lately. What I didn’t have room for in the article was a nice summary of the technologies that can help you improve access, manage growth, protect data, reduce costs or reduce complexity. Whatever your goals, IBM has an integrated storage option for every organization.
Here are the quick highlights of the latest storage announcements:
IBM Storwize V7000
New advanced software functions
New easy-to-use, Web-based GUI
Proven IBM software functionalities
IBM Storwize Rapid Application Storage Solution
Runs on: AIX 7.1-5.3, IBM i 7.1-6.1 (with VIOS), Red Hat and SUSE Linux, z/VSE, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  cloud technology compression ibm business storwize storage virtualization data deduplication replication real-time it 3,095 Views
by Steve Kenniston Alright, landed safe in Prague and was picked up by one of my colleagues and whisked away to the IBM office. There we did an interview with Czech writer Martin Noska from Computerworld for IDG in Czech Republic. The first Noska informed me was that IBM is the number one in storage sales in Czech Republic (just like Poland!). He also had some very good questions and he with “What are IBM’s biggest challenges in the storage business”? I had thought about this for a while and I would have to say it is really about marketing our storage “solutions” to the customer base. IBM is a double edge sword. IBM is so big and has so many products it becomes difficult to market or message all of our products without inundating all of our customers and confusing them. If you think about it, IBM has hundreds of thousands of customers and business partners, if not more. This is one of our strengths. When customers have needs or requirements we have very good input into our product portfolio, perhaps the best in the business. Combine this with the fact that IBM has not only storage solutions but technology across the entire stack from servers to networking. So when it comes to developing the right technology, that solves real customer problems, I would argue that IBM’s portfolio is the best in the business. IBM takes an extreme amount of care when developing a solution to ensure that it matches the customer requirements based on the changing needs of IT. Having an integrated portfolio that works well with our ISV partners, VMware for example, allows us to help customers speed their time to ROI and be very competitive in the market place. The challenge is, how do we properly message our new solutions to our customers, in a timely manner so that they are well aware of new products without giving them too much information such that it just becomes noise? It is difficult to say the least.
The interview went very well. There were questions about tape, where we discussed the advantages of IBM’s LFTS technology for more advanced tape usage, we discussed the direction data deduplication will go as well. Noska’s view was that there hadn’t been any advancement in data deduplication in the last 5 years. I told him that for secondary storage, backup, that he is right, I also told him that the real advancement to deduplication will come when it is ready for primary storage. Today deduplication isn’t ready for primary, but it will be soon.
On Monday the 13th we traveled to visit Avnet. They are a great IBM partner. Like most partners they have a very large SMB install base and also like a lot of SMB feedback I have been getting, they are looking for a building block solution that has all of the software features implemented as a part of the stack. SMB and Enterprise alike are starting to realize that the value in any array is becoming the software stack that makes the hardware, efficient, optimized, flexible, and dynamic. IT’s job continues to get more and more challenging with developing strategic initiatives for the business to make them more competitive and it is the job of the vendor to make sure these solutions are as optimized and cost effective as possible.
We also visited DHL. These guys have one of the greatest datacenters I have ever visited. They are very advanced and push a lot of data. The do some very strategic logistics for a number of companies in Europe and Asia. They, like many others have a number of challenges. Since my blog post about “The 5 Most Interesting things at VMworld” (#4) I heard something very interesting today. I asked “What is your most challenging storage issue”? He told me that storage was not is “most difficult” challenge. Storage efficiency was important to him in order to keep driving down costs for his organization as they deliver a service to the different groups that make up DHL, but his most difficult challenge was with server I/O in his VMware environment. If you read #4 in my post, regarding Proximal Data, this is exactly the issue the address. As VM instances grow on the physical servers, the I/O starts to become the big problem. DHL runs over 4000 instances of VMware and as the business demands more applications and application resources, they are bound by the I/O of the server, which also causes them to WAY over provision their storage for performance reasons. This is very time consuming, management intensive and expensive. The combination of a solution like Proximal Data as well as compression can help them optimize their infrastructure to save money and deliver better, more cost effective services to their lines of business.
On the lighter side, I spend the weekend in Prague. What an amazing city. The weather was fantastic and I was able to take a lot of great photos. I walked around Prague Castle, ate some authentic Czech food, visited the memorial for the Czech hockey players that passed in the Russian plane crash and met some pretty interesting people. You can check out some of my photos of Prague at www.facebook.com/skenniston. Coincidentally the photo above shows the "Golden Lane" where the Alchemists worked to turn anything they could find into gold in the city of Prague.