New Products

Posted on January 01, 2007

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Finisar eliminates ?fabric blindness?
Finisar’s NetWisdom Enterprise is a family of SAN monitoring and analysis tools and services designed to increase application availability, optimize performance, and eliminate “fabric blindness,” or the lack of “deep visibility” into Fibre Channel SANs to diagnose, analyze, and prevent outages and brownouts. The suite encompasses software, hardware, and services that provide real-time and historical insight into issues such as application latency and bandwidth consumption, early detection of link and device failures, SAN congestion, errors, and advanced notification of other potential SAN problems that can cause network downtime or application performance degradation.

NetWisdom Enterprise allows SAN administrators to analyze storage network data paths on a per-application and/or per-I/O basis and enables monitoring of individual ports at the I/O transaction packet level, allowing administrators to pinpoint the root cause of network problems. In addition to detecting failed devices, NetWisdom Enterprise can be used to analyze deteriorated devices, congested links, and other errors that can cause brownouts or slowdowns.

Hardware elements in the NetWisdom Enterprise suite can include Finisar’s ProbeV virtual fabric probes, ProbeFCX Fibre Channel packet analyzers (and ProbeV software), and Xgig protocol analysis devices.

Finisar also offers its SAN monitoring, diagnosis, and analysis technologies as services on either an on-demand basis or at pre-determined intervals. Specific services include troubled link and SAN fabric assessment, application assessment, replication assessment, and SAN pre-production assessment services.

Symantec to open up APIs

In a move that will enable intelligent disk devices to integrate natively with NetBackup, Symantec has developed the NetBackup OpenStorage API. The integration will allow users to manage backups and related disk devices through one interface.

Nine partners have received the code for testing and developing plug-ins, including Copan, Data Domain, Diligent, EMC, FalconStor, Quantum, Network Appliance, Sepaton, and Sun.

Customers will have the choice of doing basic disk backup or virtual tape backup, or will be able to use the OpenStorage API to tie in with their intelligent disk devices that offer replication and single-instance storage (or data de-duplication).

The OpenStorage API will enable the following disk-based backup features:

  • A single NetBackup policy layer and catalog to control both backup and recovery;
  • Backup and recovery to intelligent disk devices over Fibre Channel or IP;
  • Single-instance storage capabilities on backup devices;
  • Backup-image replication between multiple data centers for disaster recovery or electronic vaulting, eliminating the need to ship, encrypt, or store tapes;
  • Duplication of backup images from disk devices to tape for long-term archiving;
  • Data-classification intelligence to allow users to move data to lower-cost media as it ages;
  • Disk sharing, allowing a pool of disks to be shared by multiple NetBackup Media servers; and
  • Virtualization, allowing Media Server load-balancing and fail-over.

The OpenStorage API will be included in NetBackup 6.5, which is due in the first half of the year.

Onaro links SANscreen to applications

Onaro’s SANscreen Foundation version 3.5 enables SAN administrators to align a storage infrastructure with application requirements via a new application-to-storage service view. The new version also includes a capacity planning capability and an IT storage portal.

At the core of SANscreen Foundation is its change repository, which contains data on all device and service changes to a storage infrastructure, including the allocation of new volumes and ports. SANscreen Foundation 3.5 uses this information to report on allocation trending for both arrays and ports in the storage environment.

SANscreen Foundation 3.5 also allows storage managers to view the services delivered by the storage environment not just to a host, but also to the underlying applications. The 3.5 version also includes more global and host service policy definitions to fine-tune service violation tracking and reporting.

The SANscreen Foundation 3.5 is priced from $185 per port.

CommVault addresses e-discovery

CommVault has enhanced its archiving software with improvements to the end-user mailbox search and retrieval features. For example, a specialized discovery search capability for the Microsoft Outlook client is now available for Comm-Vault DataArchiver users.

With the new Outlook Add-in feature, discovery team members can conduct cross-user, cross-mailbox discovery searches in an Exchange environment through an extension to the Outlook client, without involving IT.

Legal or compliance teams can directly search and retrieve messages from e-mail archives, based on the content in e-mail messages, attachments, instant messages, PST files, or SMTP messages across any storage tier-tape, optical, or reference archive media-from their Outlook client, and receive audit-ready reporting of discovery results.

According to research from the Enterprise Strategy Group, an estimated 77% of organizations involved in an electronic data discovery request say they have been asked to produce e-mail messages.

Outlook Add-in for discovery users is an extension of the end-user mailbox management capability currently available from CommVault. This existing functionality enables users to mark items for mailbox archiving, recall archived items, delete items from the archive, and search, browse, and retrieve retained items archived from their mailboxes.

Farstone restores servers

Aimed at small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with limited technical resources, Farstone’s RestoreIT Server Edition-which is priced at about $150 per server-enables users to restore servers, including files, applications, personal settings, and passwords in the event of a failure. The software automatically backs up data to a protected partition on the server hard drive, network share, or external device at frequencies set by users. RestoreIT resides between the system BIOS and the operating system and supports RAID 0 and 1.

BakBone upgrades replication

The latest version of BakBone Software’s NetVault: Replicator real-time data replication software-version 5.0-includes features designed to streamline data-protection management by giving users new capabilities for planning and preparing for disaster-recovery scenarios.

NetVault: Replicator 5.0 supports Linux, Solaris, and Windows environments and provides automated, real-time, and scheduled replication operations.

Features include bi-directional replication and expanded cluster support for Veritas Cluster Suite, Heartbeat, and Red Hat Cluster Suite.

The software also provides capacity planning and support for remote office data protection.

NetVault: Replicator 5.0 is available for a per-host node cost of $1,499 for Windows, $2,999 for Linux, and $5,999 for Unix.

NTP addresses encryption

NTP Software’s Encryption Sentinel software protects data from being copied or read by unencrypted clients. The software allows organizations to designate sensitive data on their storage hosts and then create rules to protect that data.

NTP doesn’t develop the encryption software; rather, Encryption Sentinel monitors whether encryption is in place. The software integrates with users’ existing encryption schemes.

Encryption Sentinel runs at the file level of the operating system, which allows it to prevent someone from copying a file if policies do not authorize that activity.

The first release of Encryption Sentinel will work with SANs-anything that is front-ended by a Windows server. Support for Network Appliance filers will be available later this quarter. Encryption Sentinel is priced per storage host and per user, with quantity pricing as low as $10 per user.

Acronis comes full circle

Acronis’ Full Circle software allows organizations to migrate an entire server’s data to any other physical or virtual server and back again if necessary. The software can also migrate data from one volume to another within the same device for load-balancing purposes.

Full Circle is based on a FAST (Fast Accurate Simple Transmission) “virtually aware” engine that customizes the data being migrated to the criteria of its new environment. FAST is also the underlying architecture for Acronis’ True Image backup software.

Other Full Circle features include

  • Support for multiple hardware platforms and operating systems, including both 32- and 64-bit servers and VMware, Microsoft, and Parallels virtual environments;
  • Wizard-based controls that allow users to customize the migration process and migrate an entire system or specific files to another server; and
  • When used with True Image, which takes a snapshot of a server for backup, Full Circle can migrate the backup image to a new server.

Once data has been moved from server to server with Full Circle, organizations can continue to back up and restore both their physical and virtual servers using True Image.

Full Circle pricing is based on a conversion model ($199 per conversion) or a host model ($999 with unlimited conversions).

Mendocino launches blade for Exchange

Mendocino is shipping its first application blade for the company’s InfiniView platform, which is a recovery solution for Microsoft Exchange Server. With InfiniView’s continuous-capture and on-demand “view” presentation capabilities, administrators can start an Exchange recovery from any previous point in time. This feature is designed to minimize data loss and shorten recovery times. The Exchange module for InfiniView allows recovery at the message, mailbox, calendar, folder, or task level.

The module is designed as an application blade for InfiniView-based appliances. The block-based data capture includes a filter that enables application-specific object viewing and recovery. The same appliance can capture data and provide view creation across multiple operating systems.

Lakeview ships CDP for System p

Lakeview Technology, which is known primarily for its data-protection/recovery software for IBM platforms, is shipping continuous data protection (CDP) functionality for its flagship MIMIX software portfolio. The CDP code is specifically for IBM’s System p servers, which support AIX and Linux. (Lakeview already sells CDP for IBM’s iSeries platforms.)

The addition of CDP to the MIMIX portfolio will allow users to integrate CDP with replication, as well as with Lakeview’s high-availability clustering/fail-over products.

Unike some other CDP-related products for System p platforms, Lakeview’s implementation is host-based, as opposed to being appliance-based. Another differentiator, according to Lakeview officials, is that the CDP implementation is relatively easy to use and is designed for SMBs.

As opposed to “near-CDP” products (e.g., those based on pre-defined snapshots and a limited number of recovery points), Lakeview’s implementation qualifies as “true CDP.” The Gartner IT consulting firm defines CDP as disk-based technology that captures every data write and transfers the new data immediately to a protection server disk. And Gartner defines “true-CDP” solutions as those that enable any-point-in-time recovery of data.

Exanet extends clustered NAS

Exanet has introduced a new module for its Exa-Store clustered NAS software-called Intelligent Cluster Management (ICM)-that integrates CDP software with clustered NAS platforms. The company also added capabilities such as automated storage management with virtual volumes.

ICM’s virtual volume capability allows dynamic expansion or re-allocation of capacity relative to changing business needs and gives administrators the ability to restrict access to certain types of data by department or user. A single file system and storage pool are designed to maximize utilization of disk space.

ICM is based on an architecture that works with off-the-shelf hardware. It supports the NFS, CIFS, and AFP protocols, enabling file sharing between Apple, Unix, Linux, and Microsoft clients.

The ExaStore architecture virtualizes Intel-based servers and storage subsystems into a clustered NAS solution. The storage and server components of an installation can be scaled independently on-the-fly, allowing users to tune the system to meet capacity, performance, and availability requirements.

Based on server nodes deployed in a clustered, high-availability configuration, the ExaStore software architecture eliminates single failure points. The software is built around a distributed shared file system that enables administrators to manage an installation as a single NAS filer, regardless of how many nodes are deployed.

Crosswalk upgrades grids

Crosswalk is shipping a new model of its Intelligent Storage Grid System, as well as an upgraded operating system and enhancements to existing hardware.

Crosswalk announced the availability of the iGrid7100 system with the launch of the iGrid Model 7110 node. The Model 7110 doubles the cache of the iGrid 5110 to 32GB and includes up to 12 Gigabit Ethernet front-end ports. In addition, the 7110 runs dual-core 64-bit processors instead of the single-core processors in the iGrid 5110.

Crosswalk also beefed up the reporting and policy-based management features of its operating platform. Version 2.0 of the iGridOS is backward-compatible with existing iGrid 5110 nodes and is included with the new 7100 systems.

iGridOS 2.0 offers new statistical reporting features and policy-based management.

Crosswalk also added hardware enhancements. For example, the 7000 series incorporates Fibre Channel, InfiniBand, and Gigabit Ethernet connectivity options.

Crosswalk is also shipping 5110 and 7110 nodes with InfiniBand host channel adapters (HCAs) to boost throughput.

The company’s support for IP over InfiniBand provides the same load-balancing and fail-over capabilities available with iGrid and Gigabit Ethernet. Crosswalk also supports 4Gbps Fibre Channel host bus adapters (HBAs), switches, and disk arrays.

The iGrid 5110 and 7110 are priced from $95,000 and $125,000 per node, respectively. Existing 5110 customers can download the enhanced operating system at no charge.

Infortrend debuts FC-SATA array

Infortrend’s EonStor A16F-R2431 is a 16-bay, dual-controller subsystem with two Fibre Channel host interfaces per controller and SATA-II disk connections. The array is based on the company’s 400MHz ASIC400 chip and supports RAID 6 (dual-parity RAID) and all other RAID levels. The company claims performance of 779MBps with sequential reads and 462MBps with sequential writes.


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