McData takes aim at Brocade
McData recently began shipments of a low-end Fibre Channel fabric switch that starts at four ports and can be scaled to 12 ports in 4-port increments via the company's FlexPort "capacity-on-demand" technology. A 4-port version of the Sphereon 4300 is priced at approximately $5,400 ($1,350 per port), while a 12-port configuration, including management software, costs about $6,600 ($550 per port). The switch will compete primarily with Brocade's SilkWorm 3200 fabric switch.
The 1U Sphereon 4300 is based on the same architecture as the Sphereon 4500, which can scale from eight to 24 ports. The switch runs at 1Gbps or 2Gbps and includes McData's HotCAT technology, which allows non-disruptive firmware upgrades.
McData also announced that with the release of its SANavigator 4.0 and the 8.0 version of its EFCM management software, the two packages now share the same code base. EFCM 8.0 includes SANavigator features such as user-defined groups and views, improved import/export capabilities, and a centralized device list. Conversely, SANavigator now has EFCM features such as McData element manager launching and FICON CUP server management. In addition to McData's fabric devices, SANavigator now supports Cisco's MDS line of switches and directors. www.mcdata.com.
Serial ATA activity heats up
Promise Technology has begun shipments of a 4-port Serial ATA RAID controller with 1.5Gbps per channel, called the FastTrak S150 SX4. Features include a 32-bit/66MHz PCI 2.2 interface; support for RAID levels 0, 1, 10, and 5 (as well as JBOD); online array expansion and RAID level migration; hot-swappable disk drives; and up to 256MB of SDRAM memory. The S150 SX4 supports up to 1TB (with four 250GB drives). Operating system support includes Windows 2000/XP/2003, Red Hat and SuSE Linux, and NetWare. www.promise.com.
Also on the Serial ATA front, Marvell recently introduced a 3Gbps Serial ATA II controller for PCI-X systems. Available in 4-port (88SX6041) and 8-port (88SX6081) versions, the controllers are backward-compatible with 1.5Gbps Serial ATA. www.marvell.com.
Gateway enters storage market
In its ongoing attempt to branch out from laptops, desktops, and servers, Gateway last month entered the storage market with a low-end JBOD disk array and an LTO tape autoloader.
The model 850 SCSI JBOD subsystem is a 2U rack-mount unit with up to 12 hot-swappable Ultra320 disk drives (for up to 1.7TB of capacity), single- or dual-bus mode, and Ultra320 SCSI controllers from LSI. RAID configurations are possible with additional adapters from LSI. The 850 includes dual power supplies and fans. Pricing starts at $2,999 for a three-drive configuration.
The model 820 LTO tape autoloader comes in a 2U enclosure and has a 100GB (uncompressed) capacity and a 57.6GB-per-hour transfer rate. With an eight-cartridge carousel, maximum uncompressed capacity is 800GB. The unit is priced at $5,799.
Gateway has also formed alliances with Veritas and Yosemite for backup software. www.gateway.com.
Procom upgrades midrange NAS
Procom is adding the NetForce 1800 network-attached storage (NAS) server to its midrange NAS line while phasing out its older 5U, 10-drive NetForce 1750. The 2U 1800 starts at just over 1TB and will be expandable to 6TB. The device uses a proprietary operating system based on FreeBSD and can back up over Fibre Channel, Gigabit Ethernet, or SCSI. The NetForce 1800 uses IP-based replication through Procom's ProMirror technology for local or remote data mirroring.
Procom claims a throughput rate of 13,000 I/Os per second. A 1TB model is priced from $29,995. www.procom.com.
FIA targets entry-level NAS
First Intelligent Array (FIA) has introduced a family of NAS appliances for the entry-level market. The POPnetserver 4300 starts at 160GB and can be upgraded in 160GB increments to a maximum of 640GB. The product features POPfiler version 2.0, including POP Backup software, Data Replicator for scheduling backups, and Snapshot Backup for point-in-time copies. The 1U 4300 supports RAID 0, 1, and 5. The 160GB and 320GB versions are priced at $999 and $1,299, respectively. www.FIAinc.net.
InfiniCon expands InfiniBand line
Designed for database clusters and "high-performance computing," InfiniCon's InfinIO 3000 is a 10Gbps InfiniBand switch with 32 ports in a 1U form factor. The company's "Ports on Demand" (POD) technology allows users to purchase the switch with 16 of the 32 ports active and then expand in 4-port increments, thus only paying for ports as needed. InfiniCon claims 5.5-microsecond end-to-end latency. www.infinicon.com.
HP debuts controller-based architecture
Last month, Hewlett-Packard introduced the first components of its new StorageWorks Extended Tape Library Architecture. HP claims that by using a controller-based architecture similar to that used in network-attached disk arrays, it has brought another layer of intelligence to tape drives and storage networks.
The first architectural components—integrated interface controllers—sit between the tape drives and a storage area network (SAN) to manage and simplify shared access in the network. They provide device-level security (to block disruptive I/O requests), use cache to respond to busy tape drives during backup and restore, and intelligently handle network SAN events. For example, the system monitors, tracks, and detects backup-and-restore errors and identifies configuration conflicts in a SAN.
A second component—the interface manager—provides a centralized point of management for the library and SAN. Onboard flash memory maintains a history of library and storage network health for reporting, analysis, and data collection.
The architecture has a Fibre Channel interface. It supports Windows, HP-UX, Solaris, Linux, Tru64, AIX, and NetWare; host bus adapters from Emulex, HP, JNI, and QLogic; Fibre Channel switches/directors from Brocade and McData; and various backup and management software applications from Computer Associates, HP, IBM, and Veritas. http://h18006.www1.hp.com/storage/tapestorage.html.
Spectra Logic supports 'super' drives
This month, Spectra Logic unveiled the T950 tape library, which supports all "super" drive tape formats, including LTO, SDLT, and SAIT.
"The T950 breaks us out of AIT and into the half-inch cartridge market," says Nick Harper, vice president of business development at Spectra Logic.
The T950 launched with LTO-2 support, but will also support all half-inch-cartridge types. The library leverages many features of the company's Gator libraries and allows users to mix and match half-inch cartridge drives/media in the same library—but not within Tera Packs. (Media within the library is stored in shelf-like holders called TeraPacks, which can hold 10 LTO/SAIT cartridges or nine SDLT cartridges).
The T950 scales from two drives to 120 drives, and from 100 cartridges to 6,000 cartridges. Users can cascade up to five library frames to achieve a capacity of more than 7 petabytes (with SAIT drives/media). Multiple-frame configurations use a single robotic mechanism.
A two-drive, 150-slot, LTO-equipped T950 is priced from $90,000, with a fully configured model costing about $500,000. www.spectralogic.com.
Sony introduces SAIT library
Sony Data Systems Solutions, a division of Sony Electronics, recently shipped its first SAIT-based PetaSite tape library, which provides 10TB to 1.5 petabytes of native capacity (or up to 250TB of capacity per square meter). It also features a sustained transfer rate of up to 2.88GBps.
The basic SAIT system includes two SAIT-1 drives, an Ethernet hub, a terminal server, and a PetaSite control unit, housed in a standard 19-inch rack console. It can scale up to 12 drives and 216 cartridges, for up to 108TB of native capacity. As many as seven cartridge and/or drive consoles can be added to the basic system. The cartridge consoles allow users to add up to 330 cartridges for 165TB of extra native capacity; the drive/cartridge consoles have room for up to 12 additional drives and 258 additional cartridges, for nearly 135TB of extra native capacity.
The system is configured with Sony's PetaServe hierarchical storage management (HSM) and PetaBack backup software. The PetaServe software automatically transfers data from hard disk to tape. The PetaBack software provides automated backup of files and high-speed restore. www.sony.com.
StorageTek ships 'fast-access' drive
StorageTek last month began shipping its third-generation T9x40 tape drive. The T9840C features a 12s average access rate, a 30MBps data throughput rate, and 40GB of uncompressed capacity (twice that of the T9840A and T9840B). It has a native 2Gbps Fibre Channel interface and can be attached directly to any SAN without add-on adapters. The drive also features StorageTek's VolSafe Advanced Write-Once-Read-Many (WORM) technology, which meets electronic data storage regulatory mandates, and a VR2 data channel device that enables the drive's high density and fast throughput. List price is $38,000. www.storagetek.com.
St. Benard software helps back up open files
St. Bernard Software has released Version 9.0 of its Open File Manager software, with added support for Windows Server 2003 andNetWare6.5.
The software enables end users to back up open files and can be integrated with existing backup/restore software. The new release also has a NetBIOS-free mode, which enables companies to back up open files in a NetBIOS-disabled environment. Open File Manager is compatible with backup software from more than 50 vendors, including BakBone, Computer Associates, CommVault, Hewlett-Packard, Legato, Syncsort, and Veritas.
Open File Manager is available in three versions: Enterprise Server, Server, and Workstation. www.stbernard.com.