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Posted on February 01, 2006

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Seagate goes perpendicular

Perpendicular magnetic recording has emerged as an answer to a leveling off in the density of data that can be stored on hard drives with traditional longitudinal recording. So far, perpendicular drives for notebooks and consumer electronics devices are available, and perpendicular drives for enterprise storage systems could emerge by year-end.

To achieve higher levels of areal density (usually expressed as the amount of data that can be placed in a square inch on a disk), drive manufacturers place bits perpendicular to the disk platter, rather than laying them flat as in longitudinal recording. In longitudinal recording the bits can be shrunken, but the smaller they are the more susceptible they are to erasure from thermal heat.

“Perpendicular recording re-orients the bits so that you can get more bits per unit of area, but they are more stable,” explains John Rydning, research manager for hard disk drives at International Data Corp. (IDC).

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“In 2005, our research revealed that about 40% of the 2.5-inch drives shipped were 80GB and above. In 2006, it will be 60%,” says Joni Clark, a product marketing manager at Seagate. “Because increases in areal density for longitudinal recording have slowed down, we can’t jump the capacity points like we used to. So when we looked at the capacity requirements of 2.5-inch drives we realized that longitudinal wasn’t going to be the technology to achieve these capacity points.”

Seagate, Toshiba, Fujitsu, and Hitachi have all made perpendicular recording announcements in the past year. Toshiba shipped 1.8-inch 40GB perpendicular drives in August 2005, followed by a dual-platter 80GB drive last month. Also in January, Seagate introduced its 2.5-inch Momentus 5400.3 drives, with up to 160GB on a single platter. Fujitsu plans to ship 2.5-inch 200GB drives with perpendicular recording in 2007, and Hitachi forecasts a 1TB 3.5-inch drive for release in 2007.

Specs on Seagate’s 2.5-inch Momentus 5400.3 drives include a rotation rate of 5,400rpm, 132 gigabits per square inch, and a 100MBps Ultra ATA interface. Versions with 1.5Gbps Serial ATA (SATA) interfaces are due later this year. Seagate also plans to migrate its 7,200rpm Momentus drives, as well as its 1-inch and 3.5-inch drives, to perpendicular recording.

Separately, Seagate began shipments of a 500GB version of its NL35 (nearline) disk drives, which are available with either Fibre Channel or SATA interfaces. Features include a 16MB cache and native command queuing (NCQ). www.seagate.com.


BlueArc doubles speed, capacity

BlueArc’s new NAS gateways, the Titan 2000 series, provide twice the performance, throughput, and scalability of the previous generation, as well as simplified data management. Both the Titan 2100 and Titan 2200 can scale up to 512TB. The 2100 gets up to 5Gbps throughput and the 2200 gets 10Gbps.

The Titan virtualization framework consists of four features: A virtual file system unifies the directory structure and pre-sents a single logical view; virtual servers allocate server resources; virtual storage pools simplify storage provisioning for applications and workgroups; and virtual tiered storage optimizes performance, availability, and disk utilization.

A global namespace provides a single namespace. Benefits include a single mount point with universal access and a unified directory structure. All request redirection is done in hardware, which reduces the overhead typically found in namespace implementations. www.bluearc.com.

ADIC upgrades tape libraries

ADIC has doubled the drive count of its Scalar i2000 enterprise tape library and is offering optional media integrity analysis software that allows users to store, download, and analyze the pattern of alert trends in media and drives.

ADIC boosted the number of tape drives Scalar i2000 supports from 48 to 96. The new library features expanded drive choices, including added support for Hewlett-Packard’s LTO drives. The previous release of the Scalar i2000 only supported IBM’s LTO drives. The Scalar i2000 now lets users grow their backup system from 100 to more than 3,400 tapes in a 9-inch rack-compatible form factor.

The new media integrity analysis tool for the Scalar i2000 is offered as a management option within the library’s iLayer management software and is capable of presenting an alert history for any tape that has been in the library. Users can then cross-index cartridge histories with individual drives to help identify possible media problems. www.adic.com.

Unitrends enhances data recovery

Unitrends’ new Rapid Recovery System is now included in the company’s Data Protection Unit (DPU) and Data Protection Vault (DPV) appliances. Targeted at small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), Rapid Recovery System features include “Continuous System Protection” and data encryption.

Continuous System Protection allows three levels of recovery-of the operating system, application, and data. It can perform bare-metal restores and supports virtually all operating systems.

Unitrends’ Rapid Recovery System is not continuous data protection (CDP), since it is based on snapshot technology rather than continuous capture. The software can take snapshots at intervals as frequently as every 10 seconds.

The DPU appliance protects systems on-site, and users can ship the data off-site to DPV appliances for recovery should the main site fail. The $5,000 price tag includes an appliance and the ability to recover 200GB of data in 30 minutes. www.unitrends.com.

Intradyn ships e-mail archiving appliances

Intradyn has expanded its product line to include a series of e-mail archiving appliances for medium and large enterprises. New models of the ComplianceVault06 e-mail archiving and retrieval appliance include 2U and 3U rack-mount configurations with capacities of up to 8TB.

ComplianceVault06 supports Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, and IMAP or POP3 e-mail systems. The new models can be bundled with Sony’s AIT-2 or AIT-3 tape libraries. Support for more tape and optical media formats is expected in the coming months. New features for the appliances include AES 256-bit hardware encryption via Encryptape technology and RAID 5.

The 2U models of the Compliance-Vault06 appliance are available in disk capacities of 1.8TB, 2.4TB, and 3TB, with prices starting at $19,995. The 3U models have capacities of 4TB, 6.4TB, and 8TB and are priced from $33,995. www.intradyn.com.

Idealstor adds encryption

Disk-to-disk backup vendor Idealstor recently added encryption to its line of backup appliances and removable disk cartridges. The company introduced target folder encryption and Quick System Recovery (QSR) disks as part of the latest release of its Ibac 3.0 data-protection software.

With Ibac 3.0, administrators can encrypt backup data using DESX or 3DES, preventing unauthorized users from accessing data on Idealstor removable backup disks when they are in transit or stored off-site.

With QSR, users can boot from the QSR disk in the event of server failure. The disk contains a bare-bones version of Windows Server 2003 that starts the system, which then allows users to restore data with Ibac 3.0. www.idealstor.com.

iQstor: 4Gbps FC-SATA RAID

iQstor Networks’ 3U iQ2280 RAID subsystem includes four 4Gbps Fibre Channel host connections and up to 15 Serial ATA (SATA) II disk drives for 7.5TB of capacity (assuming 500GB drives). Features include native command queuing (NCQ), support for all RAID levels, and dual active-active controllers. Estimated end-user pricing starts at $6,400 for a 1TB configuration. www.iqstor.com.

AC&NC ships 4Gbps RAID

AC&NC’s JetStor SATA Model 416FC4 is a 16-by RAID array that combines high-capacity Serial ATA (SATA) disk drives and 4Gbps Fibre Channel host connections. The arrays include a 400MHz, 64-bit RISC processor, parity-assist ASICs, cable-less backplane design, three hot-swappable power supplies, and capacities of almost 8TB in a 3U enclosure. An Array Roaming feature gives administrators the ability to move a complete RAID set to another system without losing RAID configuration and data. www.acnc.com.

SANBlaze emulator supports FC

Supporting 12 or 24 Fibre Channel ports, SANBlaze’s GargantuLUN SAN target emulation system comes in a 3U chassis and includes features such as error injection and scripting and configurable drive parameters. Two configurations are available: a 24-port, 2Gbps Fibre Channel version and a 12-port version that supports Fibre Channel speeds up to 4Gbps. A 24-port version that supports 4Gbps Fibre Channel is due in the next quarter. Pricing starts at $60,000. www.sanblaze.com.

KOM adds replication for DR

KOM Networks recently added file replication to its KOMworx storage management suite. The new replication tool, called KOMworx e-WORM++, lets users maintain multiple copies of files in different locations and automatically replicate files to WORM devices. The replication software is aimed at users required to store, archive, and retain multiple copies of files for business continuity, disaster recovery, and regulatory compliance purposes. www.komnetworks.com.

CA to resell StoreAge software

Computer Associates has begun reselling StoreAge Networking Technologies’ cross-platform virtualization and multi-tiered data-protection software with its BrightStor storage management software. StoreAge Virtualization Manager (SVM) is offered as a complement to CA’s BrightStor Storage Resource Manager and BrightStor ARCserve Backup software.

SVM uses a “split-path” architecture to provide single-point control, virtual volume management, and snapshot and replication technology across heterogeneous environments. It virtualizes storage off the data path, so it does not adversely affect performance.

When used with CA’s BrightStor Storage Resource Manager, the software helps control costs and optimize SAN resource utilization by dynamically moving data as its business value decreases to less-expensive storage media.

SVM can also be used with CA’s BrightStor ARCserve Backup to decrease backup-and-recovery windows by providing online backup to disk and tape, local/remote data mirroring, online recovery, and remote vaulting. The goal is to help IT administrators ensure business continuity, reduce data-protection costs, and minimize risk of data loss without interrupting their production environment.

CA sells SVM in three different ways. As a stand-alone product, pricing starts at $82,500, which is similar to StoreAge’s pricing. If SVM is bundled with CA software, the starting price is $58,600. CA also offers “managed capacity pricing.” www.ca.com.


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