Most Valuable Product Awards

Posted on June 01, 2005

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In conjunction with the Association of Storage Networking Professionals (www.asnp.org), InfoStor recently co-sponsored the Most Valuable Product (MVP) Awards. Members of the ASNP and industry analysts narrowed a field of hundreds of product submissions down to finalists in each of seven categories. InfoStor’s end-user readers and members of the ASNP (all of whom are end users) voted on the winners in each category with the exception of the Most Innovative award, which was determined by industry analysts and select ASNP members.

The awards were presented at the recent Storage World Conference, June 7-9, in Long Beach, CA.

Descriptions of the winners and finalists follow. Finalists in each category are in alphabetical order.


STORAGE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

WINNER
AppIQ: StorageAuthority Suite

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StorageAuthority Suite is unified management software for multi-vendor storage environments that combines monitoring, reporting, correlation, provisioning, and automation capabilities for SAN management, storage resource management (SRM), provisioning, and application management based on industry standards such the Storage Management Interface Specification (SMI-S) and the Common Information Model (CIM).

The software suite includes modules for specific applications such as Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, and file servers, and business modules for tasks such as provisioning, chargeback, and reporting.

The most recent additions to the StorageAuthority Suite include a protection module for Veritas’ NetBackup backup-and-recovery software, and a management module for Network Appliance’s NAS filers that allows administrators to centrally visualize and manage NetApp environments.

AppIQ OEMs include vendors such as Engenio Information Technologies, Hitachi Data Systems, Hewlett-Packard, SGI, and Sun Microsystems.

FINALISTS
Computer Associates: BrightStor Storage Resource Manager

BrightStor Storage Resource Manager (BrightStor SRM) is cross-platform storage management software that provides a comprehensive view of storage environments, including DAS, NAS, and SAN. Through its monitoring and analysis capabilities, it provides insights into how storage assets are being utilized across distributed and mainframe environments. By detecting trends in storage use, the software helps users anticipate how much storage space they’ll need and when they’ll need it so that they can develop capacity-planning policies. BrightStor SRM provides centralized management of storage environments, file systems, volume managers, filers, servers, and storage subsystems and helps administrators examine the relationships between storage resources and applications such as backup/recovery, databases, and messaging. The software also automates storage-related tasks.

EMC: EMC ControlCenter

The ControlCenter family of SRM and device management software enables large enterprises to simplify and automate reporting, planning, and provisioning through a unified view and single point of control for multi-vendor storage environments. ControlCenter enables users to implement an information life-cycle management (ILM) strategy by providing management capabilities for tiered storage and provides visibility of the entire network storage infrastructure, monitors and reports on infrastructure performance, and enables administrators to provision storage capacity and perform device management to ensure service levels are met. ControlCenter applications use a shared infrastructure, including a common server and common agents. Benefits include improved storage resource utilization, reduced management costs, and improved application availability.

IBM: TotalStorage Productivity Center

TotalStorage Productivity Center (TPC) is an integrated storage infrastructure management suite designed to simplify and automate management of storage devices, storage networks, and capacity utilization of file systems and databases. TPC helps administrators manage capacity utilization of storage systems, file systems, and databases and automates file-system capacity provisioning, device configuration, and management of multiple devices from a single user interface. The software also helps administrators tune and proactively manage the performance of storage devices on a SAN, and to manage, monitor, and control SAN fabrics.

Veritas: CommandCentral 4.0

CommandCentral is a family of products-CommandCentral Service, CommandCentral Storage, and CommandCentral Availability-that enables IT organizations to provide infrastructure services that are measurable, accountable, and integrated with business objectives, enabling higher service levels while lowering IT costs. CommandCentral 4.0 allows IT to move toward a “utility computing” model in an integrated, modular fashion by starting with mission-critical and high-cost infrastructure services such as storage management, data protection, and high availability. Over time, IT organizations can deploy additional infrastructure services, enabling a scalable approach to infrastructure management.


DATA PROTECTION SOFTWARE

WINNER
Veritas: NetBackup

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NetBackup 5.1, the latest version of Veritas’ venerable backup-and-recovery software, helps mid-sized organizations and remote locations reduce the costs of managing tape media while minimizing the time and impact of backup-and-recovery operations. Supporting a variety of low-cost, midrange and high-end disk hardware platforms, NetBackup enables faster backups and rapid recovery from disk.

Disk staging gives users additional flexibility when configuring their backup and recovery by facilitating faster backups and restores by eliminating tape device latency. The non-multiplexed backup images generated through staging can be used for faster recovery from tape.

Synthetic backups, combined with disk-based backup, enhance backup/recovery operations. Users can store incremental backups on disk and then synthesize them into a full backup and process the data to tape, helping to reduce the time required to perform a recovery. Synthetic backups also reduce the amount of data moved over the network, minimizing the network bandwidth required for backup and recovery. Synthetic backups do not require clients to be online, since the new full or cumulative incremental image is synthesized using backups that already are hosted on disk or tape. NetBackup backs up new or changed files only once, decreasing the impact on hosts.

FINALISTS
CommVault: Galaxy

Galaxy backup-and-recovery software provides unified, scalable data protection for distributed, heterogeneous environments. The software uses metadata management to deliver application-centric data protection. Policy-based backups and restores can be enforced across operating environments and applications, helping users simplify management of complex storage networks. Galaxy maps business requirements to storage policies because it stores data logically versus physically, alleviating the need to know what physical storage device data is stored on and increasing restore performance. From a centralized browser interface and policies, users can manage/automate data movement and storage device utilization. With disk-to-disk-tape options, administrators can speed backups and use the media that matches data availability needs. Data restore levels include enterprise, departmental file servers, Exchange servers, mailboxes and messages, Sharepoint servers and documents, and individual database tables.

Computer Associates: BrightStor ARCserve

ARCserve 11.1 delivers backup-and-restore protection for Windows, Linux, Unix, and NetWare servers, as well as Windows, Linux, AS400, VMS, Mac, and Unix clients in DAS, NAS, and SAN environments. The software includes integrated eTrust Antivirus capabilities. Intelligent storage management identifies inefficiently used resources, defines and manages the storage environment, automates management processes, and adapts to business requirements while ensuring compliance with both corporate policies and government regulations.

EMC: NetWorker

EMC Legato NetWorker centralizes, automates, and accelerates backup-and-recovery operations across heterogeneous environments, reducing complexity and overhead costs. It works with Unix, Windows, Linux, OpenVMS, NetWare, Mac-intosh, and VMware-virtualized platforms. Administrators can centrally manage and automate backup operations within a data zone, while applying storage management policies for individual clients. A staging and cloning capability creates multiple copies of backup data for disaster recovery, archiving, and compliance, and an OpenTape format allows portability between different NetWorker servers and operating systems. NetWorker provides online backup and granular recovery for database messaging, content management, and ERP applications.

IBM: Tivoli Storage Manager

Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) allows users to migrate data as it ages or changes value from high-end disk systems to lower-cost disk systems such as Serial ATA (SATA) arrays or NAS filers, and eventually to tape. TSM manages complex requirements such as simultaneous writes to multiple tiers of storage for disaster-recovery applications and complies with ILM classes of service. The most recent release of TSM, Version 5.3, includes features such as dynamic mapping of SAN-attached devices on AIX, Linux, and Solaris platforms; native support for StorageTek’s ACSLS Library Drive Sharing and LAN-free backup; NDMP directory-level backup and NDMP backup of snapshots for Network Appliance Snapshots and quota trees; and NDMP individual file restore from backups of directories and snapshots.


BACKUP HARDWARE

WINNER
StorageTek: StreamLine SL500

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The StreamLine SL500 tape library is designed for midrange environments and scales from 30 to 575 LTO tape cartridge slots for a capacity of 230TB of uncompressed data with LTO-3 technology, or 115TB with LTO-2 drives and cartridges. The library holds up to 18 tape drives with an uncompressed data throughput rate of more than 5TB per hour with LTO-3 drives, or up to 2TB per hour with LTO-2 drives. The SL500 expands to higher slot and drive counts using the same robotics and library automation architecture.

The SL500 includes hot-swappable tape drives and hot-swappable redundant power supplies, fans, and other components. The library is available with 200GB LTO-2 tape cartridges or 400GB LTO-3 cartridges. Operating system support includes Unix, Windows, and Linux.

Last month, Hewlett-Packard announced it will resell the SL500 as the HP Enterprise Modular Library (EML) E-Series (see “HP enters new markets,” p. 1).

FINALISTS
ADIC: Pathlight VX

Pathlight VX 450 is an integrated disk/tape-based backup-and-restore system designed for midrange data centers. It protects applications, including e-mail and databases, with disk performance and RAID reliability while preserving the off-site security and long-term protection of tape. Pathlight VX 450 looks like a tape library to backup applications so it fits into existing processes without modifications and creates tapes for export under backup software control, outside the backup window without impacting application server performance.

EMC: CLARiiON Disk Library

The CLARiiON Disk Library (CDL) provides the benefits of disk-based backup/restore without changing existing environments or tape backup processes. The CDL leverages low-cost ATA technology to maximize price/performance. Built with standard CLARiiON CX300 or CX700 storage systems, it can be used to back up EMC and non-EMC storage.

Overland Storage: REO Series

The REO Series of disk-based backup-and-recovery systems now includes ProtectionPAC software with features such as virtual tape, dynamic virtual tape capacity allocation, data compression, hardware RAID, and virtualization. Three models are available: REO 1000, 4000, and 9000. An REO 9000 stores up to 9.6TB and includes both Fibre Channel and iSCSI interfaces. Multi-SitePAC software automates the manual process of protecting remote data by transparently transferring backup data in virtual tape format from a remote REO appliance to a central REO system for consolidation and centralized management and archiving.

Quantum: PX720 with SDLT 600 DLTIce

The Quantum PX720 tape library is designed to address backup-and-archive applications in “lights-out” operations. The addition of SDLT 600 supporting DLTIce write-once, read-many (WORM) technology on standard media provides a solution for traditional backup and WORM archival functionality for regulatory compliance. The PX720 includes up to 20 tape drives and 726 cartridge slots and supports SDLT 320, SDLT 600, and LTO-2 tape drives.


NETWORKING EQUIPMENT

WINNER
Brocade: SilkWorm Multiprotocol Router

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The SilkWorm Multiprotocol Router, built on Brocade’s Intelligent Switch platform, enables resource sharing across SAN islands, providing streamlined data migration, consolidated backup, and disaster recovery. The router connects servers and storage devices across storage networks by creating Logical SANs (LSANs) that provide secure resource sharing.

The Multiprotocol Router enables the interconnection of devices between SAN fabrics without merging the fabrics, preserving security. Protocols can be configured on a port-by-port basis. Services include the FC-FC Routing Service, FCIP Tunneling Service, and iSCSI Gateway Service.

The FC-FC routing service enables devices located in separate SAN fabrics to establish communication without requiring the fabrics to merge into a single SAN. The FCIP tunneling service enables IT organizations to extend their Fibre Channel SANs over distances that would be impractical or expensive with native Fibre Channel links, or in situations where dark fiber links would be impractical. The iSCSI gateway service enables companies to integrate low-cost Ethernet-connected servers into Brocade Fibre Channel SANs by bridging the iSCSI protocol to the Fibre Channel protocol.

FINALISTS
Cisco: MDS 9500

The MDS 9500 series of Multilayer Directors provides up to 224 Fibre Channel ports (1Gbps or 2Gbps) with an internal bandwidth of 1.44Tbps via crossbar switch technology. Features include support for virtual SANs (VSANs) and multiple protocols (Fibre Channel, iSCSI, and FCIP). The MDS 9500 is an intelligent switch that can host a variety of storage services (applications), including virtualization, via specialized module cards. The MDS 9506 has 128 ports, and the MDS 9509 has 224 ports. Security features include support for RADIUS, SFTP, SNMP, FC-SP, enforced zoning, LUN zoning, ACLs, port security, and read-only zones.

Emulex: LP1005DC

The LightPulse LP1005DC host bus adapter (HBA) was introduced in January for blade server environments. The LP1005DC is a dual-channel HBA for use in the IBM eServer BladeCenter and is driver-compatible with all of Emulex’s HBAs. The LP1005DC is qualified with IBM HS20 and HS40 BladeCenter products in Windows and Linux environments. Emulex’s Service Level Interface (SLI) enables independence of the operating system’s HBA driver from the hardware, so the HBA can use the same drivers and management tools as the LP10000 and LP1050 HBAs for PCI, PCI-X, and PCIe systems. The LP1005DC can be managed with Emulex’s HBAnyware centralized management software.

McData: Sphereon 4500

The 24-port, 1U Sphereon 4500 fabric switch features McData’s FlexPort Technology, which enables users to purchase ports on an “as you grow” basis, providing standby capacity for future expansion. The switch supports 2Gbps and 1Gbps Fibre Channel, and an aggregate throughput of 96Gbps with an average latency of less than one microsecond. Other features include online firmware upgrades, hot-plug redundant power and cooling units, SFP transceivers, and fault isolation tools.

QLogic: SANbox 5602

The SANbox 5602 Stackable Switch provides the benefits of stackable IP switches in 4Gbps Fibre Channel SANs. Features include 16 4Gbps ports plus four high-speed 10Gbps ISL ports. An entry-level configuration includes eight ports, with 4-port software-keyed increments, and GUI wizards. Up to four switches can be stacked for a total of 64 user ports. Other features include non-disruptive code load and dual hot-swappable power supplies.


DISK SUBSYSTEM

WINNER
Hitachi Data Systems: TagmaStore USP

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The TagmaStore Universal Storage Platform (USP) provides consolidation and the virtualization of internal and external heterogeneous storage resources into one pool for application-centric storage area management and unified data replication. As a component of the company’s Application Optimized Storage solutions, the TagmaStore USP provides an architectural foundation for matching application requirements to different classes of storage.

Performance specifications of the TagmaStore USP disk array include an internal aggregate bandwidth of 81GBps and two million I/Os per second. Capacity ranges from 332TB of internal storage to 32PB.

The array can be configured with up to 192 Fibre Channel ports, 64 ESCON ports, or 48 FICON ports.

Additional features include Hitachi Data Systems’ HiCommand management software, a crossbarswitch architecture, logical partitioning of internal and externally attached disk resources, replication across heterogeneous platforms, active workload balancing and tuning, and applications such as virtualization, replication, migration, and chargeback.

FINALISTS
EMC: CLARiiON CX

The CLARiiON CX family-from the entry-level CX300 to the enterprise-class CX700-now offers array-based software functionality and online LUN expansion (metaLUNs) for increased data availability. The CX300 stores up to 13TB (with 5 to 60 drives) and is available with ATA drives. Performance specs include cached throughput of 680MBps and 50,000 I/Os per second. The CX300 has Fibre Channel host interfaces, while the model CX300i arrays have iSCSI interfaces. The high-end CX700 stores up to 58.4TB (with 240 drives) and delivers 1.52GBps throughput and 200,000 I/Os per second. Users can mix ATA and Fibre Channel disk drives in the CX700, which has up to 256 host connections.

Hewlett-Packard: StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array

The HP StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) is Hewlett-Packard’s midrange RAID family. It provides easy capacity expansion, instantaneous replication, and simplified storage administration via tools such as StorageWorks Command View EVA. (For more information on the most recent additions to the EVA family-the EVA 4000, 6000, and 8000-see “HP enters new markets,” p. 1.)

IBM: TotalStorage DS8000

The TotalStorage DS8000 incorporates IBM’s Virtualization Engine technology to offer virtualization with logical partitioning (LPAR) that enables the creation of two different subsystems that can run the same or different operating environments within a single system. Capacity ranges from 1.1TB to 192TB. The DS8000, which is based on an IBM POWER5 processor, provides up to 6x the performance of a TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server (ESS) Model 800.

Network Appliance: FAS900

FAS900 systems function as “unification engines” that allow users to simultaneously support both file-level and block-level data access, which previously required multiple systems. The fabric-attached storage (FAS) arrays support Fibre Channel SANs, IP SANs (via iSCSI), and NAS and can scale from 50GB to 96TB. The arrays run NetApp’s Data ONTAP microkernel operating system. Protocol support includes NFS and CIFS, Fibre Channel, and iSCSI.


COMPLIANCE AND RETENTION

WINNER
EMC: Centera

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Centera is a purpose-built, disk-based hardware and software content-addressable storage (CAS) platform that securely stores hundreds of terabytes of content online. It provides a scalable system for retention, protection, and disposition of a wide range of fixed content (e.g., content that is not intended to change, such as X-rays, voice archives, electronic documents, e-mail archives, check images, CAD/CAM designs, etc.). Users do not have to track the physical location of stored information because Centera creates unique identifiers, based on the attributes of the content, which applications can use for retrieval.

The Centera Governance Edition captures and preserves original content, protecting the context and structure of electronic records. Features include object-level control, single-instance storage, retention enforcement capabilities, retention classes, e-shredding, and an audited delete capability.

The Centera Compliance Edition Plus adds compliance-specific features to the core Centera platform and, like other Centera models, includes WORM functionality. Most recently, EMC introduced a four-node version of Centera for mid-sized companies that comes with 2.2TB of usable capacity in a rack-mount enclosure.

FINALISTS
Documentum: ECM

The Documentum ECM (enterprise content management) platform manages unstructured data and consolidates all content applications on a common content infrastructure. The latest version-Documentum 5 ECM-includes regulatory compliance features, as well as a universal content repository.

Network Appliance: LockVault

LockVault provides permanent, ongoing, unstructured data backup by copying and storing unique blocks of data that have been written since the most recent incremental backup, providing a compliance and backup solution with single online copies of data. Every variation is protected, so no data is lost, and any backup image can be immediately verified, rapidly searched, indexed, or recovered. Data cannot be edited or deleted until its specified expiration date. With online disk-based and compliant backups of unstructured data from multiple points in time, LockVault enables users to manage and protect unstructured data using full retention and minimizing risk.

Permabit: Permeon Compliance Store

Permeon Compliance Store software handles storage and retrieval of archived electronic content. Permeon software, based on CAS and object-based technology, provides a fast, open, and secure platform for the retention of fixed content (medical images, financial reports, etc.) and compliance data (e-mails, instant messages, etc.).

Veritas: Enterprise Vault

Enterprise Vault software is based on an archiving framework that covers an information repository, multiple content sources, an Open Storage Layer, and a Universal Access Layer that provide a secure, scalable archiving solution. The software enables discovery of content held in e-mails, file systems, and collaborative environments. The search and discovery capabilities are complemented by specialized client applications for corporate governance, risk management, and legal protection. The latest release adds support for SMTP message capture and Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2003, as well as automated discovery, management, and migration of PST files.


MOST INNOVATIVE PRODUCT

WINNER
Onaro: SANscreen

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SANscreen Predictive Change Management software replaces error-prone, time-consuming manual methods and cumbersome spreadsheets used to change, manage, and grow SANs. SANscreen continuously monitors and troubleshoots a SAN to pinpoint problems and predicts the impact of changes before implementation and validates changes after implementation.

The software maps a baseline of the current SAN and then identifies potential problems that stray from policies, enabling administrators to control and grow complex SANs by automating change management processes for both day-to-day changes and major SAN migrations and consolidations. The software requires no agents and operates out of the SAN data path.

WINNER
Tacit Networks: IShared

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IShared wide area file services (WAFS) platforms provide LAN-speed access to file storage over a WAN, overcoming barriers of latency, bandwidth, and network reliability to solve problems with distributed data management and application performance. WAFS appliances allow distributed enterprises to consolidate storage and servers into a corporate data center while ensuring real-time access to the centralized resources over a WAN.

Tacit’s Wellspring architecture layers multiple technologies to provide secure, rapid information flow, as well as the ability to automatically survive WAN disruptions while ensuring data coherency and consistency.

FINALISTS
Acopia: ARX

The Adaptive Resource Switch (ARX) series allows enterprises to globally pre-sent, deliver, adapt, and optimize file storage resources. The high-performance, high-availability ARX6000 and the fixed-configuration ARX1000 switches leverage standards-based technology and can interoperate with storage systems from multiple vendors. The switches function as in-band NFS and CIFS proxies to client-server file access exchanges and present three dimensions of service: client presentation, data distribution, and storage management.

ExaGrid: Advanstor

Advanstor “self-protecting storage” provides a distributed system that self-manages/heals and enables primary storage, local/remote backup and restores, off-site vaulting, rapid disaster recovery, two-tiered storage with automated data migration, and long-term data preservation. The software architecture uses virtualization, data management techniques, and grid computing to pool NAS filers on the front-end with a grid of SATA-based servers on the back-end and mirrors that configuration across two geographically dispersed sites. Automated data movement is enabled based on a user-defined protection policy that mandates the frequency, redundancy, and location of all file copies. The intelligence resident in SATA “bricks” on the back-end allows continuous integrity checking of each file. The architecture allows storage applications-including backup/restore, disaster recovery, HSM-to be distributed across the environment and multiple sites.

InMage: DR-Scout

DR-Scout is the first offering in a family of solutions aimed at providing appliance-enabled software for mid-tier businesses implementing multi-site disaster recovery and branch office consolidation. DR-Scout includes features such as continuous backup (continuous data protection, or CDP), business event recovery, and information tiering. (For more information, see “InMage focuses on data continuity,” InfoStor, March 2005, p. 14.)

Isilon Systems: IQ 1920i/3000i/4800i

IQ systems provide intelligent clustered storage and three levels of capacity and performance. Using 7,200rpm Serial ATA (SATA) drives, the systems support 1.9TB to 4.8TB. Users can add IQ nodes into a cluster to create a single NAS system that supports up to 168TB in a single file system. All of the models use high-performance, low-latency InfiniBand for intra-cluster communication.

Montilio: RapidFile

RapidFile is a plug-in card for file servers that eliminates the performance bottlenecks in traditional file servers, including NAS filers. By separating the control and data paths, RapidFile increases file server data-transfer performance by 3x to 6x. The result is a single processor server that performs like a four-CPU or eight-CPU server-without the multi-CPU price tag. No change is required to the operating system. (For more information, see “Montilio speeds up file servers, NAS,” p. 14.)

Njini: IAM Suite

The Information Asset Management (IAM) software suite categorizes and tags unstructured data to allow companies to report on it, extract business value, and manage it as a data object throughout its life cycle. The software identifies the business value of a data object at the moment of origin and uses this information to determine where data objects should be stored, for how long, who should be able to access them, how many copies should be kept, and other functions.

Revivio: CPS 1200

The Continuous Protection System (CPS) model 1200 is a CDP appliance that allows companies to restore data instantly, exactly as it existed at any point in time, and to recover business applications in minutes. The fault-tolerant, high-availability appliance non-disruptively fits into any enterprise storage environment. Patent-pending technology allows administrators to instantly access all volumes used by an application-the entire dataset-as they existed at any previous point in time.

XOsoft: WANSyncHA

WANSyncHA is a high-availability solution with application-aware automatic fail-over over LANs or WANs. WANSyncHA maintains identical replicas of complete database and application servers through continuous real-time replication. Should a server fail or have to be shut down for maintenance, a synchronized replica instantaneously and automatically takes its place to ensure continuous application availability.


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