New Products

Posted on May 01, 2006

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This month’s New Products section summarizes some of the announcements made at last month’s Storage Networking World (SNW) conference in San Diego.

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) added to its line of midrange storage systems with the launch of the successor to the Thunder 9585V array, the TagmaStore Adaptable Modular Storage model AMS1000. One of the keys to the AMS1000 is its multi-protocol support for iSCSI, NAS, and Fibre Channel.

“The AMS1000 lets users consolidate multiple storage platforms onto a single rack,” says Kevin Sampson, director of product marketing at HDS. A base model of the AMS1000 is priced at approximately $80,000.

Another key feature of the AMS1000, according to Sampson, is the Cache Partition Manager, which lets users partition cache to match the performance requirements of up to 32 specific applications while preventing less-critical applications from hogging cache.

The AMS1000 also provides multiple tiers of storage within a single system. End users can mix Fibre Channel drives and 250GB, 400GB, or 500GB Serial ATA (SATA) drives.

The midrange disk array can also serve as an externally attached tiered or archiving system in a virtualized environment managed by the Hitachi’s TagmaStore Universal Storage Platform (USP) or Network Storage Controller using Hitachi’s Universal Volume Manager software.

The AMS1000 joins the AMS200 and AMS500 in Hitachi’s e portfolio and, like its smaller brethren, features Logical Cache Partitioning and Virtual Storage Ports with secure Host Storage Domains.

The speeds and feeds are more than double those of its predecessor, the Thunder 9585V. The AMS1000 features 13GBps of cached bandwidth, 4Gbps Fibre Channel connectivity, support for 4,096 LUNs, and 16GB of cache.

Xiotech made three announcements last month, including support for iSCSI on its Magnitude 3D 3000s and 3000e disk arrays, which also support Fibre Channel.

The company also introduced Data-Scale GeoRAID software for its Magnitude storage systems, which provides automatic data replication and data continuance within one SAN system split into two locations up to 300 meters apart. For distances beyond 300m, Xiotech introduced a distributed clustered interconnect (DCI) for 10km connectivity over Fibre Channel or IP networks.

Xiotech also unveiled the 4.0 version of its Storage Monitor management software, which includes data classification capabilities and policy-driven automation technology for information lifecycle management (ILM). Data classification parameters include file type, access time, and file owners. Data is moved to different storage tiers based on pre-determined rules, or policies. A basic version of Storage Monitor is included with all Magnitude disk arrays.

FalconStor Software has extended the functionality of its IPStor CDP (continuous data protection) product, offering any point in time (APIT) recovery in a version for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The software is certified with applications such as Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server; Oracle; Sybase; NetWare; and IBM Lotus Notes/Domino and DB2 UDB.

FalconStor’s CDP software creates a continuously updated copy of an active data set and journal changes to the copy allowing users an APIT recovery point objective (RPO). A user interface with a “visual slider” allows administrators to roll back to the most optimal recovery point.

“If a problem occurs at 1:28 PM and snapshots were mounted at 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM, a user can restore to the 1:00 PM snapshot and be up and running immediately,” says Don Meade, vice president of marketing at FalconStor. “In addition, using the scroll bar, the user could also return to 1:28 PM and see how much I/O traffic was occurring at that time. If there was a lot of traffic, it will take longer to recover with transactional integrity, so the user might scroll back to 1:26 PM when there wasn’t as much activity, so fewer errors will need to be fixed.”

The IPStor CDP solution for SMBs is a turnkey appliance that has the same functionality as FalconStor’s enterprise and remote editions and also features user-initiated recovery to recover one file or the entire system. The appliance is priced from about $1,000.

Serial ATA (SATA) specialist Western Digital announced production shipments of its 500GB, 7,200rpm WD RE2 (RAID Edition) disk drives, which feature a 3Gbps data-transfer rate, native command queuing (NCQ), and 16MB of cache. The drives are rated at 1.2 million hours MTBF (mean time between failure) in high duty-cycle (24x7 power-on hours) server environments.

For increased reliability, the RE2 drives leverage a Time Limited Error Recovery (TLER) feature, which coordinates error handling with RAID controllers to help prevent drive fallout. For increased performance, the drives leverage Western Digital’s Rotary Acceleration Feed Forward (RAFF) technology, which maintains drive performance in environments with rotational vibration. The “vibration mitigation” technology uses sensors that pick up vibration and adjust head positioning.

Estimated street pricing for the WD RE2 drive is $349.99.

STORServer’s new line of EZ Backup Appliances for SMBs are pre-loaded with IBM storage software and hardware. The appliances are available in both entry-level and high-end models and can be loaded with IBM Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files software.

The high-end EZ Backup Appliance leverages IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) backup-and-recovery software and is available in three pre-configured bundles: disk-to-disk, disk-to-tape, and disk-to-disk-to-tape, which offers backup, archive, and an online pool of IBM TotalStorage DS4100 disk arrays. Automated, policy-based configurations are available for users storing up to 10TB per appliance.

STORServer’s EZ “Entry” Backup Appliance is a disk-to-disk backup solution for up to 2TB of data. The entry-level appliance integrates IBM’s new Tivoli Storage Manager Express backup-and-recovery software for SMBs. All backups are stored on the server disk and an optional disk array is available for expanded storage capacity. Users can also add tape backup for disaster recovery.

American Megatrends (AMI) released its StorTrends iTX 2.1 IP SAN software last month. The software includes features such as RAID auto-rebuild, Web-based management, and iSCSI tape support. AMI’s “dual-dialect” software supports both IP SANs and NAS. The software was demonstrated at SNW using AMI’s StorTrends 3100i and 1100i disk arrays. The 3100i has 15 hot-swap SATA drive bays, hardware RAID support, and up to 7.5TB of capacity. The 1100i has four hot-swap SATA drives and up to 2TB of capacity.

AMI’s StorTrends software provides asynchronous, synchronous, and snapshot-assisted replication. It exposes any tape drive as an iSCSI device and automatically expands volumes by re-striping data when additional StorTrends appliances are added. The software supports fail-over and failback on node and link or power failure, and recovers from failure either through backup-restore or through online resynchronization. StorTrends’ configuration wizard manages volumes, snapshots, logical disk, quotas, and alerts.

IP SAN vendor Intransa demonstrated a 20Gbps Ethernet backplane technology with active-active 10Gbps Ethernet interconnects. The demo included technology from Intransa’s Asian partner, H3C, and Neterion’s Xframe 10Gbps Ethernet adapters connected to more than 60TB of data. At SNW, Intransa also participated in Microsoft’s iSCSI “boot-from-SAN” demonstration.

iStor Networks recently launched a 10Gbps Ethernet version of its GigaStorATX Storage Controller. The controllers conform to the ATX specification and allow OEMs, VARs, and systems/storage integrators to build iSCSI-based RAID systems using standard PC servers and the GigaStorATX controllers. The device also allows NAS and file-server vendors to create block-based RAID systems. The integrated controller, which is based on iStor’s ASICs, eliminates the need for server or motherboard technology and includes features such as a storage virtualization firmware stack and compliance with the SMI-S storage management standard. iStor claims cache read performance of up to 1.16GBps

Xyratex’s F5402E is a RAID subsystem with 4Gbps Fibre Channel host connections and either Serial ATA (SATA) or Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) disk drives for in-the-box tiered storage. The F5402E is packaged in a 2U, 12-drive enclosure with redundant, hot-swappable components, including 4Gbps Fibre Channel controllers, power supplies, cooling modules, and disk drives. The subsystems come with the StorView management suite, which is based in part on code Xyratex acquired from nStor.

Separately, Wasabi Systems announced an iSCSI-based IP-SAN configuration based on Xyratex’s HS-1235 Application Platform enclosures and Wasabi’s BSD-based Storage Builder for IP-SAN software. The bundled system is designed for OEMs, VARs, and integrators.

Wasabi also introduced its 64-bit StorageBuilder64 software, which is optimized for AMD64-based processors, including the Opteron and Athlon CPUs. Features include support for volumes of up to 1,024TB, virtualization, and iSCSI ERL 0, 1, and 2 error recovery.

In addition, Wasabi introduced an IP-SAN appliance in conjunction with Bell Microproducts and AIC’s Xtore subsidiary. Other partners include AMD, Tyan, and Western Digital. The system will be distributed by Bell and includes Wasabi’s BSD-based Storage Builder64 software embedded on the motherboard. The systems are available in 1U, 2TB SATA versions or 2U, 6TB configurations with up to 12 SATA drives, both with 64-bit AMD processors.

Infortrend is shipping a low-end member in its EonStor line of RAID arrays. The model A04U-G2421 is a 1U SCSI-to-SATA subsystem with an Ultra320 SCSI (320MBps) host interface and four 3Gbps SATA-II disk drives. The single-controller RAID arrays include support for native command queuing (NCQ).

Infortrend also announced that Kodak Service & Support will provide warranty service for Infortrend-branded EonStor systems in the US and Canada. Initial coverage includes a one-year service package with 24x7 telephone support and next-day parts replacement.

LSI Logic added a 4Gbps Fibre Channel drive module, the FC4600, to the disk enclosures offered by the company’s Engenio Storage Group. The 3U module can be configured with a mix of 16 Fibre Channel and/or SATA drives-up to 1TB of Fibre Channel capacity and 4TB of SATA capacity. The drive module works with Engenio’s model 6998 controllers.

LSI Logic also announced an entry-level SAN configuration, in conjunction with QLogic, that meets the requirements of Microsoft’s Simple SAN Solution for Windows Server Program. Available through IBM, the configuration includes IBM’s DS4100 or DS4300 disk arrays (which are based on LSI technology), and QLogic’s SANblade HBAs, SANbox switches, and SANsurfer Express management software.

Ivivity introduced a 10Gbps host bus adapter (HBA) for iSCSI array, appliance, and server OEMs. The iDiSX 2000 HBA has embedded application agents and support for application-programmable iSCSI, TCP/IP, and UDP. Offloading application agents saves CPU cycles. The company claims wire speed for all protocols, as well as support for both initiator and target modes. The HBAs are based on a MIPS processor and Linux.

On the storage processor front, Astute Networks introduced the second generation of its Athens family- the AN2000 and AN2004. The company claims performance of more than 1.6 million I/Os per second with less than 14 watts of power consumption. The processors support PCI-Express and Fibre Channel, NAS, and iSCSI protocols.

Abrevity introduced its FileData Classifier Information Value Management (IVM) solution, a scaled-down version of its FileData Manager for SMBs. At $1,497 for the first three terabytes and $995 per terabyte thereafter, Abrevity claims FileData Classifier is comparable in price to EMC’s Insignia VisualSRM for SMBs.

Leveraging Abrevity’s SLICEbase metadata database engine, FileData Classifier is not built on nor does it require the use of a relational database. It includes user-selectable metadata parsing, Boolean file query (search), and Abrevity’s Drag2Tag file tagging for data classification. Drag2Tag allows queries based on granular file attributes, such as specific file or directory words combined with file types, dates, creators, etc. Users can then drag selected files into one or more category “tags” such as Critical, Compliant, Legal, or Tier One. An upgrade option “sees inside” common file types and extracts parsed file content such as social security numbers.

The Windows-based software manages up 3TB of data per dataset. Users can upgrade to Abrevity’s FileData Manager software, which has features such as Unix (NFS) scanning, support for more than 3TB of federated data management, file content extraction, and more than 200 common file types.

Acopia Networks announced the 2.4 release of the software that runs on the company’s ARX switches and provides file virtualization and global data management. Highlights of the new release include the following:

Multi-protocol global namespace for Windows (CIFS) and Unix/Linux (NFS);

Heterogeneous data protection, implemented via extensions to Acopia’s data replication software; and

Advanced ILM policies, including “project level” policy awareness.

Arkeia introduced the 5.5 version of its Arkeia Network Backup software, which features support for Unicode/UTF-8 characters in the backup index. Unicode is a universal codepage that converts numeric code points into characters and supports almost 100,000 characters from a variety of languages. The feature is aimed primarily at companies with operations in Asia and/or the Middle East.

BakBone announced enhancements to its Integrated Data Protection (IDP) initiative with new versions of NetVault Replicator and NetVault Reporter. IDP is a suite of heterogeneous cross-platform data-protection technologies that can be managed from a single console. BakBone also announced a partnership with SGI. The announcements centered on adding data-protection features for Linux platforms.

NetVault: Replicator 4.2 introduces file-level replication for Linux that is integrated with backup and reporting. BakBone’s replication software is a result of its acquisition of Constant Data in November 2005. NetVault: Replicator enables cross-platform replication between Linux, Windows, Solaris, AIX, and Mac OS X servers.

NetVault: Report Manager 2.5 is a reporting tool for the NetVault: Backup product. Report Manager reports on all the NetVault servers in an enterprise, providing information on backup success and failure rates. The previous Report Manager was a Windows-only version, and version 2.5 supports Linux and Unix. Report Manager also enables disk-space monitoring and provides statistics on file age and the amount of free space that exists in a storage environment.

BakBone also announced that SGI will bundle the NetVault: Replicator product for Linux with SGI’s InfiniteStorage NAS systems.

Emulex launched the 3.0 version of its HBAnyware software for centralized management of the company’s HBAs. New features include secure out-of-band management via authenticated CT protocol for remote management; new diagnostic functions to isolate fabric issues and automatically collect firmware and driver information; and the addition of symbolic names.

Northern showcased the latest version of its flagship SRM package, Northern Storage Suite 2005, at SNW, demonstrating how the suite extends Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2003 R2.

Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 is a dedicated file and print server available as a NAS appliance from OEMs. Integrating Windows Storage Server R2 with Northern Storage Suite increases reporting options, adds enhanced quota management, and enables storage automation. In addition, the software suite provides chargeback functionality and an end-user storage management portal that gives users control over their space allotments. Other features include disk quota management, reporting, chargeback, automation, and support for NAS.

Tek-Tools released version 4.0 of its Profiler software suite for reporting and monitoring of servers, storage, connectivity, applications, and backups. The suite includes ServerProfiler, StorageProfiler, BackupProfiler, and AppProfiler. A rules-based policy engine has been added to ServerProfiler. Companies can set policies, monitor the policies, and then take action on exceptions to the policies (e.g., for instance, deleting or moving MP3 files).

Version 4.0 of StorageProfiler extends support to EMC’s Clariion CX line of disk arrays. Support for Hitachi, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM arrays is planned for the next release. Tek-Tools also plans to introduce a data-protection module for Network Appliance filers.

Backup Profiler 4.0 offers enhancements to the IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) module, including the ability to report on the names of backed-up databases. Version 4.0 also adds a Backup Policy Auditor module for Veritas NetBackup, which allows users to manage and audit backup policies and schedules related to NetBackup master servers.

TeraCloud announced versions of its TeraCloud Storage Framework (TSF) software for both Fortune 2000 companies and SMBs. The high-end version, which works in mainframe and distributed environments, includes a centralized management console, real-time data collection, logical data pooling and combined reporting, audit facilities, and integrated SAN reporting. TSF Lite is a scaled-down version for SMBs that is priced at $395 per month for management of up to 20TB.

WysDM Software announced version 3.5 of its data-protection software, WysDM for Backups and WysDM for File Servers.

The backup monitoring tool reveals potential problems in backup environments, and the file-server monitoring software identifies configuration and performance issues for Network Appliance file servers. WysDM also announced an OEM relationship with Avamar.

WysDM for Backups currently supports backup software from EMC (a WysDM OEM partner), Symantec/Veritas, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, and now Avamar. WysDM currently supports tape libraries from ADIC and Sun/StorageTek, and with version 3.5, added support for EMC’s Clariion Disk Library (CDL) platform. The WysDM software correlates virtual cartridges with physical cartridges and correlates throughput from the network or Fibre Channel switch down to virtual volumes. It can also profile schedules to determine which virtual devices are busy and where bottlenecks are likely to occur.

WysDM for File Servers currently supports only Network Appliance file servers. Version 3.5 adds iSCSI management support, providing a view from the host through the HBA to the IP switch, and then to the filer to identify performance bottlenecks. Its analysis engine lets users know if their NetApp filer configurations are out of alignment.

WysDM for Backup is priced at $15,000, which includes support for 50 backup clients. Pricing for WysDM for File Servers is based on file server model and ranges from $500 to $12,000 per filer.

The 2.3 version of Kashya’s KBX5000 data-protection platform integrates disaster recovery, replication, and CDP functionality. The 2.3 version provides application-aware integration with Oracle and Microsoft applications and enables recovery at both local and remote locations with more than 2GBps of throughput in high-end configurations. In addition, the new version provides more-granular recovery points.

Topio introduced a “disaster-recovery-in-a-box” solution, code-named “Roadrunner,” for entry-level storage environments. Topio’s Premier VARs will build and pre-configure “Roadrunner” solutions for replication to remote sites. Featuring Topio’s Data Protection Suite, the solution’s hardware is not dependent upon the type of production storage customers use at their primary site.

A sample entry-level configuration includes the Topio Data Protection Suite and one replication server. It lists for less than $100,000 and protects up to 1TB in Windows production environments across any number of locations, servers, or storage devices. A midrange configuration adds a second replication server and lists for less than $150,000. It protects up to 2TB in Windows or Unix environments.

The first Topio Premier VAR to develop a Roadrunner solution is Meridian IT. The Meridian PRIME solution uses a single-rack enclosure and plugs into existing production environments, leveraging IP networks to recover over any distance.

Topio also announced that it has joined the VMware Community Source program to extend the integration of its Data Protection Suite with VMware ESX Server. ShadowBox is a “recovery site in a box,” allowing multiple Windows or Linux servers to replicate to a recovery site running VMware ESX Server.

JMR announced partnerships with DataCoreandFalconStor to add replication, snapshots, disk virtualization, and virtual tape library (VTL) capabilities to JMR’s PSAN (PCI Storage Area Network) system.

The company has also developed its own RAID technology to improve performance over Windows-based RAID. The DataCore technology provides virtualization, snapshots, and replication. FalconStor software also provides virtualization, snapshots, and replication, as well as VTL functionality. JMR will embed both companies’ software in its PSAN servers.

PSAN uses PCI switching-based technology rather than Fibre Channel, which allows it to host 129 connections for 1TB of storage at approximately $1,300 per TB. JMR designed the system to reduce the cost per TB for backup and archiving to disk.

SpectraLogic added the SabreDisk D500 to its Sabre line of secondary disk storage products. The backup appliance is built on Microsoft’s System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) software. The appliance offers SMBs and remote offices “near” CDP.

In addition to “near CDP,” users have the option of backing up to mobile RXT SabreMedia and archiving to tape. SpectraLogic’s BlueScale firmware encrypts archive tapes.

SabreDisk D500 includes SATA disks and scales from 2TB to 8TB. It currently includes RAID 5, with RAID 6 planned in the near future. The road map also has virtual tape library (VTL) features. SabreDisk D500 is priced at $17,995.

SGIhas unveiled the InfiniteStorage 10000, a SATA-based disk subsystem with up to 240TB of capacity in 5 square feet of floor space. Entry-level configurations start at 100TB.

The InfiniteStorage 10000 system supplements online disk for applications such as disk-to-disk backup, online archiving, data lifecycle management, and data consolidation.

With 8+2 dual-parity support for data protection and high availability, the InfiniteStorage 10000 features a Fibre Channel architecture that delivers more than 2.5GBps of read/write performance.

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