SNW wrap-up: SNIA, STA, Active Archive Alliance

Posted on October 18, 2010 By Dave Simpson


October 18, 2010 – A number of industry organizations used last week’s Storage Networking World (SNW) conference to provide technology status updates and product demonstrations, including the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), SCSI Trade Association (STA) and the Active Archive Alliance.

SNIA announced new members in its Cloud Storage Initiative (CSI): CA Technologies, Cisco, CoreVault, Iron Mountain, Recovery Networks and Terremark Worldwide. Those vendors join existing CSI members Actifio, Bycast, Cleversafe, CloudOptix, Dell, Desktone, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, LSI, Mezeo, NetApp, Olocity, Oracle, Symantec and Xiotech.

The CSI earlier this year completed the Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) standard, which provides a common interoperable data exchange format for securely moving data between clouds.

SNIA also announced its Green Storage Initiative (GSI) Emerald program. For more information on SNIA’s cloud storage and green storage initiatives, see Kevin Komiega’s article on Enterprise Storage Forum: “SNIA Advances Cloud, Green Storage Standards.”

The SCSI Trade Association (STA) used the SNW conference to provide updates on two initiatives related to the SAS interface: SAS Advanced Connectivity and MultiLink SAS for SSDs (solid-state disks).

In a Hands-On-Lab demonstration, STA previewed 20-meter active copper SAS connections as part of its Advanced Connectivity program, which began last year.

“We’re scaling the SAS infrastructure to meet the demands of larger external configurations and tiered storage where you might have SSDs on tier 1, dozens of SAS drives on tier 2 and maybe hundreds of SAS or SATA drives on tier 3,” says Harry Mason, STA’s president and director of industry marketing at LSI.

At the Hands-On-Lab demo, LSI and Xyratex previewed 20-meter cable configurations.

STA also demonstrated the Mini-SAS HD (SFF-8644) connector, which will provide a 2X density improvement over the standard Mini-SAS connector, as well as improved signaling. Mini-SAS HD has the same active and passive connector schemes for 6Gbps SAS and next-generation 12Gbps SAS.

Also at SNW, STA provided an update on the status of its MultiLink SAS for SSDs initiative, which began about six months ago. MultiLink SAS for SSDs will provide a new connector scheme with additional SAS links and power to increase performance of the SAS interface in the context of SSDs.

Marty Czekalski, STA’s vice president and interface architecture initiatives manager at Seagate, says that STA is in the process of finalizing the connector specifications and that OEM implementations of MultiLink SAS for SSDs are expected by the end of next year or in 2012.

At another Hands-On-Lab at SNW, the Active Archive Alliance demonstrated a disk/tape active archive solution that included a Spectra Logic T120 tape library and nTier500 archive/backup server, Compellent’s Storage Center SAN and QStar’s Network Migrator Active Archive software.

Other members of the Active Archive Alliance include FileTek, SGI, Atempo and Grau Data.

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