Don’t forget to backup, a lesson from Ma.gnolia

January 30, 2009

Saw this scary tweet from @bluearc a few minutes ago.  This is a friendly reminder on how important it is to backup your data.  Put backup in your to do list right now!

Dear Ma.gnolia Community Members or Visitor,

Early on the West-coast morning of Friday, January 31st, Ma.gnolia experienced every web service’s worst nightmare: data corruption and loss. For Ma.gnolia, this means that the service is offline and members’ bookmarks are unavailable, both through the website itself and the API. As I evaluate recovery options, I can’t provide a certain timeline or prognosis as to to when or to what degree Ma.gnolia or your bookmarks will return; only that this process will take days, not hours.

I will of course keep you appraised here and in our Twitter account.

Most importantly, I apologize to all of you who have made Ma.gnolia a home for your bookmarks and community. I know that many of you rely on Ma.gnolia in your day to day work and play flow to safely host you bookmarks, keeping them available around the clock, and that this is a difficult disruption.



via Ma.gnolia.


Vmware’s Vcenter, coming later this year

January 29, 2009

Late last year, VMware offered its Virtual Datacenter OS: VMware vCenter Server

They are beginning to be more specific on what that means for you, the end-user (and us vendors too).  On deck this year is the vCenter.

How important is virtualization in your plans for this year?

Do you have the monitoring and management tools you need for your virtual servers?  What about the storage supporting your virtual server. Take this quick poll on management tools:

Comment on the tools you need and/or are looking for.

“Get in, get out, get on with it” @ DNF Express

January 29, 2009
DNF Express is Live

DNF Express is Live

Our new online store for storage solutions is live.

Check out our press release: DNF Express Launched.  And if you order in the next month, with promo code “launch” you’ll get free shipping.  Check it out.

BTW we are on twitter.  Follow us:

H264 or MPEG4 for Surveillance Applications?

January 27, 2009

I was looking in on the Surveillance Technology Group on LinkedIn and found this interesting discussion:

Frank Miko, Cheatham & Associates:

What are your thoughts on H264 as compared to MPEG4 or other compression formats?


Craig Waltzer, Aventura Holdings

My company utilizes the H.264 algorithm because it utilizes significantly less bandwidth (better transport) and smaller file sizes (more storage capacity) than MPEG-4. … The picture quality comparison between MPEG-4 and H.264 is not distinguishable by the naked eye. … H.264 video can not effectively be played in reverse.

What’s your take, which compression do you prefer?  Have you uncovered a good way to add storage to your surveillance system, so storage capacity is irrelevant? Take the poll.

H264 compression is growing fast on the consumer side, and looks to replace the MPEG-4 encoding in the next couple of years.  More importantly, the upgrades in general purpose operating systems (Windows, OSX, Linux) and computer hardware will allow our computers to take advantage of the CPU power in the graphics cards, and offload this processing from the standard CPU.  Look for these features to trickle down into DVR systems soon, and eliminate the compatibility issues between H264 cameras and DVR systems.  With the growth in newer IP technologies overseas, we in the US don’t want to be left in the dust with low resolution digital video or analog CCTV systems.

Chime in on the comments, or join the linked in discussion.

Your first SAN, understanding your must-haves

January 26, 2009

Channelpro has a great article this month on choosing an entry-level or first SAN.

There are 8 questions to ask:

  1. Which network: fibre channel or ethernet?
  2. Which hard drive: SAS or SATA (or SSD!)?
  3. Does it need to be scalable or have a low upfront price tag?
  4. How much redundancy do you need, single or dual controllers?
  5. Which advanced features do you need, and are they a la carte or all-inclusive?
  6. How easy is it to manage?
  7. Are you choosing a stable vendor to partner with?
  8. Is your storage system flexible enough to cover all of your storage requirements for block and file storage?

I’d add a few more questions to the list:

  • Are your applications suitable for block or SAN storage, or is NAS more appropriate for your applications?

I’m a gadget girl, and I get caught up in the newest gadget, whether it is a digital camera or whatever.  Right now I want to upgrade to an HD video camera.  But I took a step back and realized, I can wait, I hardly use video anyway.  So I’d just be spending my money on something new and shiny, when I can experiement with the video mode on my current digital camera….and then if it becomes a must-have tool, I can justify upgrading.  I’ve talked to many prospects and customers who are really excited about using the “new and cool” iSCSI technology.  But in reality a file server is going to do exactly what they need, in the most efficient way.  It is dificult when IT people are glazed over by the shiny new technology — but sometimes its better to pick what works for your real requirements.

  • Do you know what your unique requirements are: perhaps for performance, or data security or network connectivity?

We work with many government agencies that have stringent requirements on disk drive disposal.  Our standard customers RMA failed drives and send us back the old ones for replacement, some agencies must destroy the drive completely, and provide us with a certificate of destruction, and the serial number information.  These types of customers are loooking more closely at the SAN-based encryption on our StoneFly IP SANs.

This list provides a great starting point on determining what sort of SAN works for you.  Your storage implementation project will prove successful if you spend some upfront time really understanding your requirements.  So take this list, and fill in your own questions, and get started on your research!

If you’d like to learn more about deploying IP SANs, come to one of our Wednesday iSCSI product demonstations, or check out these resources on storage and server virtualization.

We are on twitter, follow us @dnfcorp.

Looking for the Facts on IP Surveillance…

January 22, 2009

Next month our CEO, Mo Tahmasebi will be participating in a panel discussion at Techsec Solutions in Dallas. This show focuses on the technical side of IP surveillance offering integrators and end-users the opportunity to learn more about these digital technologies.   Check out the session:

201 track – “The Straight Dope on Storage”: Most IP video applications today demand secure, long-term archiving as well as quick, convenient access to stored video images. This presentation will offer insight into the complex world of camera management and storage, providing installers, system integrators, IT professionals, end users and solution providers with guidance on determining the strategies and systems that best meet their application needs.
Lee Caswell , Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Pivot3
Dick O’Leary, Global Director, Physical Security Solutions, EMC
Alan Rowe, Chief Technical Officer, Intransa Inc.
Mo Tahmasebi, President and CEO, DNF Inc.

Not going to Dallas, but still looking to learn more about IP solutions?  Check out this archived webinar on IP Surveillance solutions.

The conference takes place from 2/23-2/25 and we’ll be speaking on 2/24.  Drop us a line if you’ll be there, and we can meet up.

Join us on Friday for DNF Security’s online reseller training

January 21, 2009

Are you interested in learning about DNF Security’s IP solutions?

Our training session will provide an in-depth overview on our IP Surveillance solutions, choosing the right configuration, and our MVP program.

The reseller training will be held every Friday at 11am (PST).

Please sign up for the training webinar at