QLogic launches 2Gbps FC switch
Joining competitors such as Gadzoox Networks and Vixel, QLogic recently announced the SANbox2-a 2Gbps, 16-port Fibre Channel switch. Production shipments began last month. QLogic claims that the pricing of its 2Gbps is equivalent to pricing for its 1Gbps Fibre Channel switches. The SANbox2 is priced between $15,000 and $18,000.
The 2Gbps switch is compatible with 1Gbps devices via an auto-negotiation feature. The device has multi-stage fabric capabilities, connectivity in excess of 100km, and dual power supplies. QLogic also manufactures 2Gbps Fibre Channel host bus adapters and chips. www.qlogic.com.
Inrange extends SANs
Inrange Technologies' IN-VSN Virtual Link/9000 Fibre Channel Extender allows IT organizations to extend storage area networks across ATM and IP WANs for applications such as disk mirroring, storage sharing, centralized backup, and distributed data warehouses. Initially, the product supports Unix and Windows NT environments as well as 1Gbps Fibre Channel and Ultra2 SCSI. The Virtual Link/9000 also works with Inrange's Fibre Channel switches and directors and with disk arrays from vendors such as EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, and IBM. www.inrange.com.
Vicom revs up SVE 2.5
Last month, Vicom released a new version of its Storage Virtualization Engine (SVE) that improves on the efficiency, security, reliability, and management of its flagship product, according to company officials.
Announced in November 2000, Vicom's virtualization engine allows users to pool heterogeneous physical storage devices in a storage area network (SAN) and to share these resources among multiple heterogeneous servers. The engine has been certified in Sun storage environments, but will reportedly work with any vendors' storage products and with both NT and Unix hosts. IP support is expected later this year.
SVE 2.5 enables network-based LUN masking, which means users can carve up or partition their storage capacity for optimum storage usage and sharing. This capability allows security at the same granularity that LUN partitions (i.e., 512MB) are created. LUN partitions can therefore be assigned securely to different hosts in smaller-capacity chunks that can be shared more efficiently, explains Claudia Chandra, director of product management at Vicom.
Other features include four-way mirroring, Instant Copy, and drive sparing to protect against data loss. SVE 2.5 is currently available and is priced from $8,000, depending on the unit's configuration. www.vicom.com.
ECCS merges NAS and SAN architectures
ECCS's Synchronism Storage Management System aggregates, virtualizes, and manages heterogeneous storage resources and provisions those resources over IP networks. The system also combines network-attached storage (NAS) and storage area network (SAN) architectures. Other features include
- LAN-free and serverless backup;
- Snapshot capability, which allows multiple point-in-time copies;
- A data mover function that enables copies from disk-to-disk or from disk-to-tape;
- Remote replication for asynchronous mirroring; and
- Fault tolerance.
The system is based on ECCS's Synchronix disk arrays. www.eccssynchronism.com.
nStor ships Ultra160 disk arrays
Available in JBOD or RAID configurations, nStor's NexStor line of disk arrays is based on the Ultra160 SCSI interface. The 802S and 1202S are JBOD modules, and the 3000S series are RAID subsystems. The arrays come in 2U or 3U form factors. Capacity ranges up to 1.44TB in the 2U JBOD configurations, while capacity for the RAID array ranges up to 4.3TB. www.nstor.com.
Winchester combines SCSI, Fibre Channel
Winchester Systems' multi-interface FlashDisk OpenRAID disk arrays include two SCSI host ports and two Fibre Channel ports. The arrays can be used to migrate from direct-attached storage configurations to storage network configurations or to combine the two architectures. The arrays also have alternate-path capability for fault tolerance, multi-hosting, and clustering.
The company claims that FlashDisk delivers up to 14,500 I/Os per second and up to 177MBps sustained throughput. An array with eight half-height disk drives stores 1.45TB and is priced at $62,707. A configuration with 12 drives stores 807GB and is priced at $64,430. www.winsys.com.
Atto announces 2Gbps FC-to-SCSI bridges
Atto's next-generation 2Gbps Fibre Channel-to-SCSI bridges are designed to improve SCSI storage integration for midrange storage area networks (SANs). The bridges offer full-duplex data transfer rates of 400MBps and dual Ultra160 LVD SCSI buses.
The 2300 bridge is available as an embedded, desktop, or rack-mount unit. The 3300 has redundant power supplies and cooling and a built-in 2-port hub for increased connectivity. www.attotech.com.
Storage Computer debuts NAS for WAN
Storage Computer is shipping CyberNAS, an optically interfaced network-attached storage (NAS) system. Using the company's Virtual Storage Architecture, Cyber NAS packs up to 32TB in a single system and is capable of direct OC-48 Packet over SONET optical connectivity to metropolitan and wide area networks.
The system uses Lucent Technologies' OptiStar for enabling optical access for data centers and storage networks. OptiStar's network adapters accelerate server and storage throughput by embedding the full TCP/IP stack in hardware. www.storage.com.
Digi-Data claims 160MBps+ speeds
Disk controller manufacturer Digi-Data claims that its Fibre Sabre 2300 RAID controller can sustain more than 160MBps in a configuration with five disk drives (including parity). According to the company, the performance is attributable to a number of factors such as a 2Gbps Fibre Channel host interface, 64-bit internal memory bus, six disk channels, Duchesnian caching algorithms, and RAID 3. (The controller also supports RAID levels 0 and 5.)
Reliability/integrity features include zero-overhead hardware regeneration of data, a disk channel dedicated to global hot spare disks, automatic disk-failure detection, and dual controllers. www.digidata.com.
Pirus goes into beta
About two months after Pirus Networks officially launched itself, the company announced the PSX-1000 Storage Utility Switch, which went into beta-testing last month. The switch is a carrier-class networking system enabling enterprises and service providers to deploy network-attached storage (NAS) and storage area network (SAN) technologies through a scalable switch-based system.
The system will leverage Fibre Channel and IP/Ethernet protocols, provide storage subsystem and location indepen dence, and consolidate and manage existing equipment. Within one device is a converged storage infrastructure, including unified SAN and NAS components, IP storage, Fibre Channel over Ethernet, and local access with metropolitan area networks and WANs. The device eliminates multiple, redundant infrastructures through the secure provisioning and virtualization of resources via Secure Virtual Storage Domains (SVSDs).
The PSX-1000 will support Fibre Channel, Gigabit Ethernet, IP, iSCSI, SNMP, VLANs, and other emerging and current industry protocols and I/O traffic. The switch will be in production by year-end. www.pirus.com.
Bus-Tech to enter iSCSI market
At the SAN Conference 2001 show last month, Bus-Tech demonstrated an "iSCSI Appliance," called CauseWay, that will provide access to SAN-based storage. At the conference, the company connected a Linux server equipped with Bus-Tech's iSCSI protocol driver to CauseWay via a point-to-point Gigabit Ethernet connection. The demonstration provided disk-to-disk file copies between the server's internal hard drive and a disk attached to a Fibre Channel port on the CauseWay device.
Future connectivity will include mainframe attachment, which is Bus-Tech's primary market, via support for interfaces such as FICON and ESCON, in addition to Gigabit Ethernet, SCSI, and Fibre Channel.
CauseWay is a PowerPC-based network controller that uses Bus-Tech's Embedded Systems Architecture (ESA). The controllers will be available in adapter, blade, or system configurations. www.bustech.com.
Imperial ships FC SSD
Imperial Technology's MegaRam-2000 is a solid-state disk (SSD) "accelerator" that comes with either two 100MBps Fibre Channel ports or an 80MBps Ultra2 SCSI connection. A 40MBps Ultra2 SE or HVD interface is also available. A fully configured 1GB unit is priced at $25,000, with capacities up to 38GB in 3.5 inches of rack space. Access time is only 0.035 milliseconds. All units include redundant, hot-swappable power supplies, built-in battery units, and redundant cooling fans. www.imperialtech.com.
Snap increases NAS capacities
Putting pricing pressure on low-end NAS suppliers, Snap Appliances has increased capacities by 33% across its entire line without raising prices. A Snap Server 1000 with 20GB and 40GB is priced at $499 and $799, respectively. A Snap Server 2000, which supports RAID 1 or RAID 0, is priced at $1,399 for an 80GB configuration. The 1U rack-mountable Snap Server 4100, which supports RAID levels 0, 1, or 5, costs $2,999 for a 160GB version or $4,499 for a 300GB configuration. www.snapappliances.com.
Raidtec merges SAN, NAS
In line with an emerging trend, Raidtec has combined network-attached storage (NAS) and storage area network (SAN) technologies in its SNAZ FC storage server. On the front-end, the file server connects to a LAN and provides multi-protocol file serving to heterogeneous clients. The back-end consists of a SAN that houses all the storage.
Features include support for CIFS and NFS, a Fibre Channel interface to the SAN, dual SCSI interfaces for local storage, dual 10/100 Ethernet channels, and integrated tape backup. www.raidtec.com.
Exabyte adds AIT-2 to libraries
Exabyte recently began shipping the first two products in a planned series of AIT libraries. The 430A and 215A integrate Sony's AIT-2 technology. The 430A has a 1.5TB native capacity and a 24MBps native transfer rate. It supports up to four AIT-2 drives and 30 cartridges, has an entry/exit port for secure access to cartridges, and removable cartridge magazines. Other features include bar-code capability and Ethernet connectivity. Pricing starts at $10,500.
Designed for entry-level applications, the 215A provides 750GB of native capacity and a 12MBps native transfer rate. This mini-library takes up only one cubic foot, or five units of rack space, and supports up to 15 AIT-2 drives and 15 cartridges. Pricing for the mini-library starts at $11,000. www.exabyte.com.
Ecrix ships IDE drive
Last month, Ecrix began shipping an ATAPI, or IDE, version of its VXA-1 tape drive for workstation and low-end server markets-traditional strongholds of SCSI-based DDS tape drives. VXA-1 IDE drives feature an Ultra DMA mode 2 interface, support burst transfer rates to 33MBps (compressed), and are priced lower than SCSI alternatives.
Separately, Ecrix announced the availability of the IEEE 1394, or FireWire, interface for its VXA-1 drive. VXA-1 is the first tape drive to support FireWire on Intel-x86 personal computers. The external drive comes bundled with Dantz Retrospect Desktop Backup software and is compatible with other Windows backup applications such as Veritas Backup Exec.
Both VXA products have a 33GB native capacity and a 3MBps native transfer rate. www.ecrix.com.
ASACA adds server option to DVD libraries
ASACA recently added an embedded server option to its 7TB AM-750 and 13.6TB AM-1450 TeraCart DVD-RAM libraries. The server supports Windows NT, Solaris, and Linux and can be configured as either a dual Pentium host system or as a SPARC host system. It includes two 36.7GB 10,000rpm Ultra160 SCSI disk drives that can be upgraded to 72GB drives. Network-attached storage (NAS) or application-server functionality can be achieved by adding optional display adapters, SCSI interfaces, and multiple 10/100 Ethernet network ports to the server subsystem.
The AM-750 and AM-1450 can be configured for Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, or Fibre Channel and additional rewritable DVD drives and disc magazines for online capacities ranging from 7TB to 13.6TB.
Up to eight libraries can be connected with a media pass-through mechanism that creates a single library or multiple virtual libraries. Expansion cabinets can also be configured with up to 192 DVD-RAM drives and up to 11,600 double-sided DVD-RAM discs for capacities up to 109TB.
The libraries can read DVD-RAM, DVD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-ROM, and CD audio media, as well as writing to DVD-RAM media.
The TeraCart AM-750 starts at $68,000, while the AM-1450 with 24 drives is priced at $185,000. ASACA also offers a Fibre Channel SAN option and an embedded RAID option for the AM Series libraries. www.asaca.com.
MaxOptix intros 17TB DVD-RAM library
The MXDVD-Enterprise Library is MaxOptix's newest DVD-RAM library, scalable to more than 17TB. The base model features 436 media slots and a minimum of two 9.4GB DVD-RAM drives, scalable to a maximum of 1,840 media slots and up to 64 DVD-RAM drives. The library supports Windows NT/2000 and Unix platforms. Prices start at $38,100. www.maxoptix.com.
BMC offers SRM, extends Patrol family
Last month, BMC Software introduced storage resource management (SRM) software and extended its Patrol family to support Hitachi Freedom Storage products.
As part of its Application-Centric Storage Management (ACSM) initiative, BMC announced Mainview SRM for managing mainframe system and storage components.
Mainview includes six components:
- StorageGuard collects historical information for storage performance and capacity, including I/O rates, response time, and cache activity;
- Enterprise Storage Automation sends exception messages and initiates automation;
- StopX37/II maintains continuous availability by preventing or recovering storage-related ABENDs or failures;
- EasyPOOL delivers pooling, intelligent allocation, and standards control;
- EasyHSM allows the storage hierarchy to be used more economically; and
- EasySMS streamlines conversion and change processes.
Mainview SRM pricing depends on configuration. www.bmc.com.
NetApp centralizes management
Network Appliance's DataFabric Manager is unbundled software that allows IT administers to monitor and configure multiple NetApp filers and NetCache content delivery appliances from a Web-based GUI on a centralized console. Improvements in the management software come primarily in the areas of discovery, monitoring, and configuration. Specific functions include analysis of storage capacity use and performance levels, auto-detection of new appliances, and remote configuration and monitoring. The software runs on client host systems, as opposed to filers.
The software is priced according to the number of managed nodes. For five managed filers, the price is $20,000. www.netapp.com.
Executive Software upgrades defragger
Executive Software's Diskeeper 6.0 Second Edition provides faster disk defragmentation than its predecessor. The new version defragments a disk 300% to 500% faster than the disk defragmenter provided in Windows 2000, according to Executive Software officials. The company also claims that Diskeeper provides system performance gains on Windows NT/2000 by as much as 200%.
The software includes boot time defragmentation technology to "safely" defragment system files in about the same time it takes for a typical system boot. The technology helps reduce downtime and employs safety guidelines set by Microsoft for defragmenting the Master File Table (MFT) and the Paging File. Diskeeper also has a scheduling feature that prevents fragmentation of critical system files.
Diskeeper 6.0 Second Edition will be offered as a free upgrade for customers already using Diskeeper 6.0. www.execsoft.com.
OTG enhances EmailXtender
OTG Software has announced the availability of EmailXtender 4.2, its e-mail management software. The software provides cross-platform support of Lotus, Microsoft, and Unix Sendmail environments. The new release features enhanced Lotus support such as direct, integrated client access, archiving and cleanup functions, and database management; disposition management; and message short-cuttings to help solve storage resource limits, reduce administrative overhead, and provide a cost-effective way of maintaining server perfor mance. www.otg.com.
Apcon releases monitoring/ scheduling software
Introduced last month, Apcon's AutoSwitch is a monitoring and scheduling package for Windows NT/2000/XP platforms. Com bined with the company's IntellaPatch fiber-optic patch panels and/or SCSI switches, the software allows administrators to wire once and reconfigure network connects or schedule jobs remotely. The software operates on demand or in unattended mode. In unattended mode, tasks can be performed at pre-determined times such as automatic backup during off-peak hours.
AutoSwitch schedules disk maintenance, database administration, archiving, and other administrative tasks. An event-driven notification engine keeps administrators informed of job status or communication loss via pagers, digital phones, e-mail, or network alerts. The software can monitor network peripherals such as hubs, routers, switches, disk subsystems, and testing equipment.
Pricing depends on the number of servers supported. www.apcon.com.