Bus-Tech ties mainframes to open systems storage
Bus-Tech's Mainframe Appliance for Storage (MAS) is a virtual tape controller for System/390 or zSeries mainframes that provides ESCON connectivity to SCSI or Fibre Channel disk storage.
The MAS operates as a virtual tape subsystem that emulates up to 16 IBM 3480 tape drives. Applications running under OS/390 or VSE can attach to one of the emulated drives as though it were a standard 3480 unit. But instead of creating or reading real tape volumes, the MAS stores the virtual tape files on SCSI or Fibre Channel-attached disk arrays.
According to Al Brandt, general manager at Bus-Tech, one of the key advantages to this virtual tape approach is the lack of contention for tape drives, which provides almost immediate access to tape volumes. This can significantly reduce restore times in mainframe environments for applications such as disaster-recovery planning.
Future versions of the MAS will support network-attached storage (NAS), FICON, iSCSI, and SCSI-based DLT and LTO tape systems. www.bustech.com.
MTI ships 2Gbps RAID array
Claiming performance of more than 350MBps, MTI Technology last month began shipments of the Vivant 400 Series disk arrays, which feature end-to-end 2Gbps Fibre Channel speeds. The array is available with 36.4GB or 72.8GB drives, for a total capacity of up to 12.8TB, and it can be configured in direct-attached, storage area network (SAN), or NAS+SAN configurations via the company's StingRay NAS architecture.
Other features include hot-swappable components, mirrored cache with battery backup, multiple data paths, and DataSentry mirroring software for replication. The Vivant 400 is available in either cabinet or rack units. www.mti.com.
Low-end RAID, NAS
Arena Maxtronic recently released the IB-1400 RAID subsystem, which uses an Intel RISC processor. The IB-1400 is a four-bay Ultra2 SCSI-IDE device that stores more than 640GB and provides support for RAID levels, 0, 1, 0+1, 3, and 5. Features include four hot-swappable E-IDE disk drives, up to 512MB of SDRAM, and a maximum data-transfer rate of 80MBps. www.maxtronic.com.
FIA Storage Systems recently introduced the POPnetserver 4500 NAS device, which includes up to 640GB capacity, Gigabit Ethernet LAN connectivity, and load balancing. The 1U device can be pre-configured for RAID 5 and has four hot-swappable disk drives, four ATA/100 controllers, an integrated cache, and disaster-recovery utility software for data protection. The POPnetserver 4500 is available in 480GB and 640GB versions, which are priced $3,499 and $4,499, respectively. www.popnetserver.com.
Maxtor debuts Ultra320 SCSI disk drives
Claiming to be the first 10,000rpm disk drive to incorporate the Ultra320 SCSI (320MBps burst transfer rate) interface, Maxtor has begun shipments of the Atlas 10K III-U320 drive. The drive is compatible with RAID controllers from vendors such as Adaptec, Atto, LSI Logic, and Mylex, and with disk subsystems from Eurologic, nStor, StorCase Technology, and Xyratex.
The drives are available in 18GB, 36GB, and 73GB capacities and have a 4.5ms seek time, 8MB cache buffer, and a sustained data-transfer rate of 55MBps. www.maxtor.com.
I-Tech analyzes FC, GbE, iSCSI
I-Tech's Satellite-32MP multi-protocol analyzer can be used to test Fibre Channel, Gigabit Ethernet, or iSCSI protocols on storage network connections. Up to 64 dedicated processors support cooperative analysis across multiple channels, and pre-filtering can be applied to extend trace memory depth from 320MB per channel to gigabytes per channel. www.i-tech.com.
Dot Hill enhances 'storage managers'
Dot Hill Systems has added the Axis Advanced version to its line of "storage managers." Axis Advanced provides two Fibre Channel SAN ports, a Gigabit Ethernet NAS port, and an Ultra160 SCSI direct-attached storage port for "any-to-any" connectivity and NAS-SAN convergence. The device allows storage administrators to add file-level NAS to their block-level SAN configurations. Axis Advanced also provides mirroring and remote replication. List price is $24,995. www.dothill.com.
Sony combines HSM, DTF libraries
Sony is bundling a system that includes its PetaServe hierarchical storage management (HSM) software with the company's Digital Tape Format (DTF)-based libraries. Dubbed PetaSite Select Systems, the configurations are available with either SCSI or Fibre Channel interfaces.
Three standard configurations are available, ranging from one to four DTF-2 drives with capacity of up to 16TB, to a high-end system with as many as 828 drives and a capacity of more than 11 petabytes. Prices begin at $388,000.
DTF drives provide a sustained transfer rate of 24MBps and a native capacity of 200GB per drive (500GB compressed). www.sony.com.
Neartek virtualizes tape
Last month, Neartek launched its Virtual Storage Engine 2 (VSE2) software, which provides tape virtualization in heterogeneous (mainframe, midrange, and open systems) environments. The software minimizes the need for dedicated drives and libraries in multi-platform environments (thus reducing overall tape costs), maximizes backup performance (which shortens backup windows), allows centralized monitoring of all backup operations, and works with existing disk/tape (ADIC, EMC, Hitachi, and StorageTek) and software (Computer Associates, Legato, Tivoli, and Veritas) systems.
As does disk-based virtualization, tape virtualization enables end users to consolidate media pools and management.
Neartek's VSE2 competes with virtual tape solutions from vendors such as IBM and StorageTek. However, those approaches work only with IBM and STK tape libraries.
VSE2 can be configured in tape-only, disk-only, or disk-plus-tape configurations. www.neartek.com.
Inrange combines analysis and capacity-planning tools
Inrange Technologies' PerformanceVSN is a performance-monitoring tool that allows administrators to access application-level statistics across open systems and FICON storage networks. PerformanceVSN provides correlation reports, device and volume traffic monitoring, statistical reporting, real-time and historical monitoring, and quality of service (QoS) monitoring and is part of Inrange's IN-VSN Advanced Storage Networking Services (ASNS). QoS parameters include availability, throughput, and utilization. www.inrange.com.
StoreAge enhances storage virtualization
StoreAge Networking Technologies recently released Storage Virtualization Manager (SVM) 3, which adds a MultiCopy feature for disaster-recovery applications. MultiCopy allows users to create multiple copies of volumes "on-the-fly." The module operates in conjunction with StoreAge's MultiView snapshot copy facility, which enables the creation of multiple point-in-time copies of volumes.
SVM is the only shipping asymmetric (or "out-of-band") storage virtualization solution. In contrast to symmetric ("in-band") virtualization approaches, asymmetric virtualization engines sit outside of the server-storage data path.
SVM 3 also adds advanced scripting capabilities and APIs that enable users to write scripts for third-party applications. SVM 3 also includes policy-based automation of storage pooling, volume management, and backup procedures. Users can define storage policies to automatically invoke procedures such as volume expansion and volume replication.
Separately, StoreAge recently set up the Virtualization Infrastructure Partner (VIP) program for VARs. More than 20 VARs have signed on, including StorNet, NET Source, and Enterprise Storage Solutions (ESS). www.store-age.com.
Vendors expand SRM functionality
A number of storage resource management (SRM) software vendors recently expanded their product families. For example, Precise Software Solutions introduced Precise/SiteStor SRM, a multi-platform storage performance management system that focuses on capacity planning, reporting, and discovery.
The software reports on storage usage patterns across heterogeneous platforms, including Unix, Linux, Windows 2000, and Network Appliance's filers. The software collects storage metrics and saves the data in an MS-SQL or Oracle database. Drill-down and charge-back reporting by user, application, disk, server, and domain is also offered. www.precise.com.
Astrum Software recently added functionality to its flagship StorCast SRM software. StorCast 4.6 uses intelligent storage policies to automate the movement and removal of specific data across an enterprise. The policy-based SRM software lets clients create automated and manual policies from a single console. These policies can move data to client-selected areas for backup, archival, or deletion across multiple systems. StorCast's policies can remove unwanted data either immediately or according to a pre-set schedule.
Astrum also introduced the StorCast Enterprise Storage Summary, an expanded reporting feature that highlights 10 key usage metrics and 14 critical resource areas, enabling storage administrators to find potential problems before they occur. www.astrumsoftware.com
Tek-Tools is shipping StorageProfiler 2.0, Web-based SRM software that supports EMC's Symmetrix arrays and location-independent monitoring and reporting. The software also supports a variety of operating system environments, including Solaris, Windows NT/2000, Linux, Novell NetWare, Network Appliance, and Oracle. www.tek-tools.com.
Prisa improves SAN management software
Prisa Networks recently introduced its VisualSAN 2.0 management software for SANs. The new release improves scalability, manageability, reliability, and throughput. Other upgrades include new security applications, zone management, SAN device status summaries, LUN visualization, and an alert notification scheduler.
The software also includes a performance manager that comes with a database manager feature that has real-time and historical visualization and graphing tools and a performance status bar. A configuration manager is also built into the software. It enables users to schedule automatic captures on a recurring basis, send alerts if there are differences in automatic captures, and generate inventory reports of configurations. www.prisa.com.
Storability offers storage management software
Storability's Global Storage Manager software is designed to simplify management of heterogeneous storage infrastructures, enabling control and management of multi-site, multi-vendor storage environments. Global Storage Manager provides centralized control of SANs, NAS, direct-attached primary storage, secondary and archive backup systems, and servers.
It consists of four parts: management and operation tools; middleware providing data collection and aggregation; smart agents for storage, switch fabrics, host systems, and the backup infrastructure; and documented access methods using standard interfaces such as CLI, XML, and JNI. www.storability.com.