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October 1995 Newsletter of the

Front Range Unix Users Group

Old Hand Summary: 4pm Tuesday October 24 ACS Rm 123 Dave Skinner - Disk Technology


This Month's Meeting: Policy Based Storage Management

The next meeting of the Front Range UNIX Users Group will be in room 123 of the CU Academic Computing Center building at Arapahoe and Marine Streets in Boulder at 4:00 PM on Tuesday October 24, 1995. Marine St intersects Arapahoe at 38th St; the Computing Center is on the southwest corner. Dave Skinner will survey the latest disk technologies and answer Steve Gaede's burning questions.

In most contemporary computing environments, the philosophy and models of storage management tend to be heavily influenced by storage management tools. For example, on-line data may be organized using a file manager, backed-up using a backup/restore utility (BRU), migrated to less expensive storage using a hierarchical storage management system (HSM), or perhaps exported to off-line storage using an archive program. Storage is viewed from the perspective of these tools, and the supporting policies and processes usually reflect this bias.

However, recent trends suggest that these traditional storage management tools and perspectives may no longer work. These trends include escalating storage costs, periodic doubling of capacities, proliferation and integration of computing in work as well as home environments, the increased mobility and geographic distribution of organizations and their computing environments, and the popularity of data sharing and work group computing. Storage is rapidly becoming unmanageable, and in a couple of years, may approach the point where further growth is limited.

One solution currently under investigation is to change the focus of storage management from tools to policies (i.e., behaviors or desired outcomes). Instead of managing storage and data by employing specific tools and techniques, the user specifies the desired outcome in the form of policies and a set of policy management components operates the tools to realize those objectives. By realizing policies as objects, behavior such as inheritance can be utilized which can simplify the management of storage in a complex distributed system.

This presentation will describe research, product development and standards development efforts currently underway which address the storage management problem. The architecture and implementation of a first-generation product (Fujitsu Storage Manager) will also be presented which illustrates some of the challenges that both users and developers will face as systems of this type are implemented.

Dave Skinner joined Fujitsu in 1994 as Chief Technologist and works at the Advanced Systems Group offices located in Longmont, Colorado. In addition to guiding the development of advanced sub-system and system level products, he is responsible for strategic architecture and planning, the technology aspects of strategic relationships and Fujitsu's participation in various standards groups and activities.

Prior to joining Fujitsu, Mr. Skinner worked at Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) as open systems architect responsible for developing both systems and product architectures for various storage management products. Prior to joining StorageTek, he owned and operated several Denver-area computer technology firms who specialized in storage management systems architecture and development.

He also currently serves as Chair of the IEEE P1244 Storage Systems Standards Working Group (SSSWG) who is developing a reference model and related standards for storage architecture and systems management. He also participates in storage management standards efforts currently underway within IEEE P1003 (POSIX). Mr. Skinner holds a BSEE from CU/Boulder, and is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

Last Month's Meeting

At our September meeting Tom Cargill talked about the C++ draft Standard Template Library (STL), and its use of "generic programming".

Upcoming Meetings

We are working on the following potential meetings for this fall:
  • November 16th: A panel of several speakers will address ISDN issues.
  • December 6: Dave Hitz from Network Appliance will be giving a talk on high-speed NFS servers.
  • January: Tom Cargill will introduce the JAVA programming language.

Call For Participation - JAVA

We are planning a January meeting on the Java programming language, going deeper into the details than was possible in James Gosling's talk in June. If you are using Java and would like to give a short presentation of your experience, please contact Tom Cargill at

FRUUG Library Notes

We have a plethora of new books from our favorite publishers this month:
  • UNIX for the Impatient (Addison-Wesley) is a UNIX handbook for beginners.
  • Applying RCS and SCCS (O'Reilly & Associates) is a thorough introduction to using these tools for software source code management.
  • Building Internet Firewalls (O'Reilly & Associates) is a practical guide to building firewalls on the Internet. Brent Chapman, speaker at our June, 1994 meeting, is the primary author.
  • Essential System Administration (O'Reilly & Associates) is an update of the original, including expanded sections on networking, e-mail, security, and kernel configuration.
  • Practical C++ Programming (O'Reilly & Associates) is an introduction to C++ programming for beginners and C programmers transitioning to C++.
  • Using csh and tcsh (O'Reilly & Associates) describes how to use these shells interactively to get more work done with less typing.
You may check these books out using your business card as your library card; you must be on the membership list to check books out. Books are due at the meeting following the one in which they are checked out.

FRUUG Newsletter Changes with the Times!

If you are reading this, then you already know! In a move heralded as bold and innovative, the FRUUG Executive Committee has decided to make the leap into the '90's! We will discontinue the US mail announcements after this meeting, and instead post the meeting announcements on the FRUUG Web Site [You Are Here].

If you have been getting your announcements by US Mail you must register electronically in order to stay on the list. If you wish to post a hardcopy meeting announcement in your workplace, please print from the Web page. We will continue to distribute the newsletter electronically to those on our email list.

Last Updated: October 10, 1995. Problems? Contact

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February 15, 2009

February 2008: FRUUG Enters Quiescent Phase
After 27 years running, we're suspending operations.

Future Meetings:
None planned

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