Products

Posted on August 01, 2001

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DISK/CONNECTIVITY

Adaptec enters external RAID market
Hoping to get a piece of the booming market for external RAID, Adaptec last month entered the fray with a SCSI-to-SCSI disk subsystem. A Fibre Channel-to-SCSI version is due in October.

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The Gartner Group consulting firm predicts that the market for external storage will leap from $16.2 billion in 2000 to $27.6 billion next year and to more than $50 billion in 2004. The fastest-growing segment-Windows NT environments-is expected to experience a 61.4% annual growth rate.

Adaptec will sell its arrays through the channel and will target mid-sized companies (Fortune 2000 to 5000). To differentiate itself in this crowded market, the company is relying on its brand-name recognition (compared to "white box" RAID vendors) and its channel strengths.

In addition to its SCSI and Fibre Channel subsystems, Adaptec plans to ship RAID arrays with iSCSI, Serial ATA, and InfiniBand interfaces next year. All of Adaptec's arrays will carry the DuraStor brand. They are packaged as a 1U DuraStor 6200SR RAID controller with a 2U DuraStor 312R disk enclosure. Disk installation will be handled by the company's channel partners.

The 6200SR can be configured with a single controller or with dual controllers. The 312R enclosure holds up to 12 one-inch disk drives. Both units come with redundant hot-swappable power supplies and cooling fans for fault tolerance. Two additional disk enclosures can be added for up to 36 drives (almost 3TB) in a 7U configuration.

MSRP for the combined 6200SR and 312R is $7,999. www.adaptec.com.


3ware expands iSCSI arrays
So far, IBM and 3ware are the only vendors that are shipping "pre-iSCSI" (the standard is still under development) disk arrays. This month, 3ware introduced its second-generation iSCSI subsystems and changed the name of its arrays from NSU to Palisade.

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The Palisade 100 is essentially a miniaturized version of the company's Palisade 400, providing 640GB in a 1U package (the Palisade 400 comes in a 4U form factor). Both arrays are based on the ATA/100 disk drive interface and 3ware's StorSwitch architecture. The Palisade series provides block-level I/O and is directly attached to TCP/IP Ethernet LANs. Operating system support includes Windows NT/2000, Solaris, Linux, and Macintosh.

The Palisade 100 includes eight disk drives, typically configured as six data drives, with one drive for parity and one drive as a hot spare. Pricing ranges from $9,900 for a 240GB version to $19,900 for a fully configured 640GB version.

Beau Vrolyk, president and CEO of 3ware, claims that an IP storage environment with the Palisade series can support anywhere from 60MBps to 100MBps over Gigabit Ethernet using standard network interface cards (NICs). (The throughput range is dependent on the operating system.) However, he adds that the downside is that this environment would consume about 75% of an 800MHz Intel CPU to achieve maximum speed.

"If you have extra CPUs or cycles, that's not a problem," says Vrolyk. However, he adds that iSCSI-specific host bus adapters (HBAs) or NICs will solve the CPU utilization problems. Those cards are expected by year-end from vendors such as Adaptec, Alacritech, Emulex, Intel, JNI, and QLogic. www.3ware.com.


CNT delivers FCIP-based storage routers
Last month, Computer Network Technology (CNT) began shipments of its UltraNet Edge Storage Routers, which are based on the FCIP standard for transmitting Fibre Channel over standard IP networks. FCIP allows companies to connect Fibre Channel storage area networks (SANs) over wide area or metropolitan area networks. Target applications include remote disk mirroring, tape backup/restore, content distribution, and centralized SAN management.

The routers come in three models, all in a 1U format:

  • One Fibre Channel and one 10/100 Ethernet port;
  • Two Fibre Channel and two 10/100 Ethernet ports, with compression; and
  • One Fibre Channel and one Gigabit Ethernet port.

Within a month, CNT plans to deliver a configuration with two Fibre Channel and two Gigabit Ethernet ports. Future support will include ATM/Packet over SONET (PoS) and 2Gbps Fibre Channel.

Prices start at $28,000. The models that support 10/100 Ethernet range from $28,000 to $49,000, depending on port configuration. Models that support Gigabit Ethernet cost $30,000 to $51,000.

CNT hopes to differentiate itself from competitors with a number of features that will not be included in the FCIP standard: auto fail-over for multi-pathing, IP load balancing, data caching, and session-level CRC. All of CNT's routers are based on a store-and-forward technology. www.cnt.com.


Crossroads introduces FC-SCSI router
Hoping to add to its market-share lead over competitors such as ADIC/Pathlight, Compaq, and Chaparral, Crossroads recently introduced a high-end Fibre Channel-to-SCSI router. Routers are designed primarily to connect tape libraries (most of which are still based on SCSI) to Fibre Channel storage area networks (SANs).

Crossroads' Model 8000 router can be implemented externally or embedded within tape libraries and provides two 1Gbps Fibre Channel ports and eight SCSI ports (Fast, Narrow, Wide, or Ultra2 SCSI). The company claims twice the performance of its existing 4x50 routers, due primarily to the doubling of ports and a faster PCI bus speed. Crossroads officials claim 180MBps throughput and 8,000 I/Os per second, based on internal tests.

One of the major applications for Fibre Channel-to-SCSI routers is SAN-based backup, which provides the potential benefits of cost savings (due to consolidation and centralized backup), ease of management, and a reduction in LAN traffic/congestion.

Base price is $18,995, which includes Crossroads' Visual Manager (CVM) software, a browser-based configuration and management tool.

The company also announced its intention to support the iSCSI and InfiniBand standards in its 10000 series routers. www.crossroads.com.


Maxtor ships 400GB 1U NAS file server
Last month, Maxtor introduced the MaxAttach NAS 4300 file server, an IDE-based 1U-high file server that includes enhanced data-availability software. The software allows administrators to periodically record a "snapshot" of the server's file system.

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The 400GB rack-mountable MaxAttach 4300 is twice as fast as its predecessor and includes a Gigabit Ethernet interface. The server is based on the Windows 2000 operating system. The platform allows support for Active Directory, network management tools, backup agents, and anti-virus software. It also supports file sharing among Unix/Linux, Macintosh, and NetWare clients. The MaxAttach 4300 is priced at $5,999.

Separately, Maxtor announced that its MaxAttach 4100 NAS file server is now fully supported by version 8.6 of Veritas' Backup Exec for Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 2000. The 4100 stores up to 320GB. www.maxtor.com.


Cenatek launches SSD PCI board
Available next month, Cenatek's Rocket Drive SSD is a solid-state disk device that plugs directly into the PCI bus. The bus-attached design differs from more-traditional channel-attached SSD devices. Configured as a PCI board, it inserts into a slot on a host motherboard. The company claims a 90ns access time and performance of up to one million transactions per second. The device is priced at $3,000 per 1GB. www.cenatek.com.


Finisar troubleshoots 1/2Gbps SANs
Finisar's SAN QoS protocol analyzer works with 1Gbps and 2Gbps Fibre Channel and iSCSI storage area networks (SANs). The distributed, packet-level performance monitoring system can be used in loop or fabric topologies and consists of three elements: ProbeFC, Portal, and ViewsFC.

ProbeFC, priced at $9,500, allows SAN managers to collect performance and event statistics for servers and storage devices. It can collect more than 25 SAN link and I/T/L metrics, including target and LUN-level statistics.

Priced at $9,500, Portal gathers, aggregates, and records statistics from ProbeFCs and makes the information available to ViewsFC. Portal aggregates data, performs statistical calculation, and records link and SCSI exchanges statistics for playback. An API enables the integration of Portal data with third-party SAN management applications.

ViewsFC, priced at $995, is a Java-based client that provides a graphical user interface into Portal information. Information can be viewed in tables, graphs, and charts.

A discounted bundle with one ProbeFC, one Portal, and one ViewsFC is priced at $13,500. www.finisar.com.


AMI premieres NAS/JBOD arrays
This month, American Megatrends Inc. (AMI) introduced the StorTrends 1312-a 3U, 12-drive Ultra160 SCSI network-attached storage (NAS) or JBOD array.

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The 1312-J (JBOD) includes three hot-swappable power supplies, two hot-swappable fans, two AMI backplanes (series 906), six drive slots, a single channel, and IPMI support. The 1312-J is also available as the 1312-N (NAS), which includes a StorTrends 1100 sled, AMI Indium NAS controller, and NAS software. Prices range from $3,479 to $5,559, not including drives, CPU, and memory.

AMI also introduced the StorTrends 1108, an eight-drive (Ultra160 SCSI) JBOD/NAS unit that is priced from $4,069 (JBOD) to $6,029 (with Indium controller and NAS software). The 1108 comes in a 1U form factor. www.ami.com.


TAPE

Exabyte adds AIT-2 autoloader
Last month, Exabyte began shipping the EZ17-A autoloader into entry-level storage markets. The one-drive, seven-cartridge device integrates Sony's second-generation Advanced Intelligent Tape (AIT) tape drives for up to 350GB of native capacity and a 15MBps native data throughput rate.

The autoloader occupies five units of rack height and less than one cubic foot, so it can be stored on a desktop, on top of a server, or in a data-center rack. The EZ17-A lists for $6,899. www.exabyte.com.


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Dell expands PowerVault family
Last month, Dell added the 136T and 128T tape libraries to its PowerVault lineup. The company claims the two libraries, which are based on the Linear-Tape Open (LTO) standard, are among the most cost-effective backup devices available at $0.005 per megabyte.

The PowerVault 136T supports up to 72 LTO cartridges and six LTO tape drives for up to 14.4TB of capacity-or 6x the capacity and 4x the throughput of Dell's 130T series. Company officials claim the library can reduce a typical eight-hour backup window to less than two hours.

For increased speed and versatility, Dell offers an optional Fibre Channel router for attachment to storage area networks (SANs). The router is capable of running at 2Gbps Fibre Chan nel speeds.

The PowerVault 128T mini-tape library is designed for small business environments but scales to 4TB (with 20 cartridges) for large corporate environments. It is priced at $10,000 and offers twice the capacity and 1.5x the throughput of the PowerVault 130T.

Both libraries enable LAN-free SAN backup through a newly embedded Fibre Channel-to-SCSI router. www.dell.com.


Maxell ships Super DLTtape cartridges
Maxell recently began shipping Super DLTtape I cartridges to its key distributors. Super DLTtape I media uses advanced metal powder (AMP) tape formulation for high recording density and increased capacity. Each cartridge has a native capacity up to 110GB.

The new Super DLTtape cartridge is equipped with special structural features to enhance resistance to physical damage. A new tape-leader buckling mechanism was designed into the cartridge for positive engagement with Super DLTtape drives. www.maxell-data.com.


SOFTWARE

Princeton Softech delivers 'active archiving'
Archive for Servers Release 4.0 and Archive for DB2 Release 5.0 from Princeton Softech, a subsidiary of Computer Horizons, are auto-archiving software products for both client/server and mainframe environments, respectively.

Archive for Servers allows users to selectively remove data from complex relational databases and archive it. Users can specify the set of related data to archive. Then, Archive for Servers extracts and saves the data, including the metadata. During this process, the software creates indexes that track archived data. Because the software is database-independent, users can archive and restore data from one DBMS to another.

Archive for DB2 lets users reduce the size of their production databases for better performance and optimization, according to the company. Users can identify the exact data for archiving, delete data, find specific archived data, browse archived data, and restore data selectively.

The software supports Oracle, DB2 UDB, SQL Server, Sybase, and Informix database management systems. Archive for Servers and Archive for DB2 are priced from $50,000 and $85,000, respectively. www.princetonsoftech.com.


EverStor intros 64-bit HSM for Solaris 8
EverStor's Hiarc Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) is 64-bit software for Sun Solaris 8 systems that transparently manages data and migrates it to secondary media. Hiarc HSM supports Ultra Sparc and Intel x86-based processors as well as older 32-bit Sun operating systems.

Hiarc HSM integrates offline and near-line storage with high-availability online storage. A grouping feature allows multiple workgroups within an enterprise to use and vary migration criteria for data files specific to their own needs. Enterprises can also share data from other groups that are on the same platform.

The software supports Sun's native Solaris file system and Network File System (NFS) structures. Hiarc HSM provides full NFS storage-server capability to networks with a client version installed. The product also supports major tape and optical libraries and jukeboxes and is compatible with most enterprise-wide network backup-and-restore software. Pricing starts at $3,995. www.everStor.com.


Sistina enhances Global File System
Designed solely for Linux environments, the 4.1.1 release of Sistina Software's Global File System (GFS) adds support for Linux 2.4.X and includes perfor mance improvements, enhanced volume management tools, and new file-locking features. GFS is a clustered file system for Linux that allows multiple servers on a storage area network (SAN) to have read/write access to a single file system on shared SAN devices. GFS has high-availability features such as journaling and fail-over capabilities. Other new features include GFS Kernel patches for Linux 2.4.5, a new I/O fencing method, and updated initialization scripts. www.sistina.com.


Apcon debuts AutoSwitch tool
Apcon's AutoSwitch is a monitoring and scheduling tool for Windows NT/2000/XP systems that allows administrators to schedule disk maintenance, database administration, archiving, and other administrative tasks. The software can be combined with Apcon's IntellaPatch patch panels to allow administrators to wire once and reconfigure network connections or schedule jobs remotely and automatically.

The software includes an event-driven notification engine that keeps administrators informed of job status or communication loss through pagers, digital phones, e-mail, or network alerts. AutoSwitch can be used to monitor network components such as hubs, routers, switches, storage subsystems, and test equipment. www.apcon.com.


Connected ships TLM 6.0
Connected's Total Lifecycle Management (TLM) 6.0 software allows seamless migration of PC data files, applications, and customizations across Windows 95/98/2000 platforms. TLM 6.0 is a product suite with five modules providing backup and recovery, migration, application self-healing, and asset recovery. Connected claims that TLM allows PC migration in two hours instead of a day or more. The software is available as a product suite or as an externally hosted service offering. Prices vary. www.connected.com.


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