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Posted on March 01, 2008

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HP unveils low-cost SAN array

Hewlett-Packard recently began shipping the newest member of its family of SAN arrays for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs)–the StorageWorks 2000 Modular Smart Array (MSA2000). But this time, the company has narrowed its focus by designing the MSA2000 as a multi-protocol network storage device designed primarily for virtualized server environments.

The array is available in two models–the MSA2000fc with 4Gbps Fibre Channel host connectivity and the MSA2000i with 1Gbps iSCSI host connectivity. Both models scale to 36TB of capacity and can be configured with up to 48 SAS or SATA disk drives with the addition of three 12-bay drive enclosures.

The MSA2000fc supports 64 host connections, while the MSA2000i supports 16 hosts. Both versions support 146GB and 300GB 15,000rpm SAS drives for performance-intensive applications or 500GB and 750GB 7,200rpm SATA drives for capacity-intensive applications.

The MSA2000 arrays can be deployed in virtual server environments to deliver an automated storage infrastructure. They have some new capabilities for increasing application uptime, including dual power supplies, optional dual controllers, and redundant hardware with automatic fail-over.

Both the iSCSI and Fibre Channel MSA2000 arrays use the same management software as the HP BladeSystem, enabling users to centralize management of network connections for Blade-System infrastructures from a single console. Optional snapshot and cloning software is also available. The MSA2000 is priced from $4,999, excluding disk drives.

Reldata adds wizards

In an effort to simplify storage operations, Reldata has added Adaptive Storage Wizards to its line of 9240 Unified Storage Systems and Gateways. The wizards guide storage administrators through tasks such as virtualizing disks, assigning iSCSI storage to an application from a shared IP storage pool, and properly setting security and performance parameters. As do Reldata’s multi-protocol platforms, the software can be used with heterogeneous disk arrays, and in iSCSI, NAS, and WAN replication environments.

The Adaptive Storage Wizards are integrated into Reldata’s RELvos 2.2 Virtual Operating System software, which runs on the model 9240 platforms.

Tek-Tools addresses VMs

Tek-Tools’ Profiler for VMware, a new module in the company’s Profiler Suite, is designed to optimize capacity utilization, performance, and availability in virtual server environments, and to provide end-to-end monitoring of VMware ESX hosts, VMs, and storage resources. The monitoring software encompasses servers, storage, backup operations, and other applications. Functions include capacity planning, virtualization planning (identifying candidates for virtualization), performance monitoring, and availability monitoring (tracking inventory, status and resource utilization with threshold-based alerts).

Data Domain targets ROBOs

Designed for remote offices and branch offices (ROBOs), Data Domain’s DD120 is a data de-duplication appliance that includes functions such as replication, management, and support for disk-based backup and nearline data. The appliance provides up to 150GB per hour of inline de-duplication throughput and up to 18TB of logical capacity in a 1U chassis. The DD120 supports backup and nearline applications as a CIFS or NFS file server, or by using the Symantec Veritas NetBackup OpenStorage interface. The appliance is priced at $12,500.

Infortrend debuts SAS arrays

Infortrend has added two systems to its “Cube” series of RAID arrays–the EonStor A08S-C2131 and A08S-C2132. Both are SAS-to-SATA arrays with eight drive bays for up to 8TB of capacity. The systems are available with one or two power supplies and one or two SAS host connections. For video environments, the RAID arrays support dual uncompressed HD video streams, multiple SD and HDV video streams, and up to 16 DV/DV50 streams. The x4 multi-lane SAS connections provide up to 12Gbps of bandwidth. The arrays can be configured as either RAID-5 or RAID-6 devices.

Verari unveils blade server-storage system

Verari Systems recently began shipping a high-density blade server-storage system that users or integrators can configure with as many as 72 single-server nodes or 144 double-server nodes per rack (up to 672 cores) and up to 672TB of storage capacity per rack. The Blade-Rack 2 XL is priced at approximately $1 per gigabyte and includes Verari’s Vertical Cooling Technology, which is designed to reduce energy expenditures.

Sans Digital ships RAID/JBOD

Sans Digital’s two-bay (2.5-inch disk drives) InstaRAID IR12TB (RAID) and IS12TB (JBOD) disk arrays come in the same form factor as desktop 3.5-inch disk drives and can be configured as RAID-1, RAID-0, or JBOD devices. The IS12TB has dual SATA connectors. Operating system support includes Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

DataCore expands VIF

DataCore has added a number of new features to its Virtual Infrastructure Foundation (VIF) SAN virtualization suite. The PLUS version of VIF (VIF+) includes support for thin-provisioning storage pools up to 4TB, snapshot technology, and Fibre Channel SANs. Features common to both versions of VIF include thin provisioning, iSCSI support, SANmotion data migration technology, and performance caching. VIF+ is priced at about $2,750, and the software can run on any Intel/AMD server, blade servers, or virtual servers.

Permabit ships multi-PB archive

Permabit’s Enterprise Archive Data Center Series system is a long-term archiving platform with data reduction and availability features aimed at alleviating the cost and management problems caused by the growth of fixed data.

What separates the Data Center Series from Permabit’s prior offerings are its RAIN-EC and Scalable Data Reduction technologies. The RAIN-EC storage grid architecture provides secure data protection from multiple simultaneous failures. Permabit CTO and founder Jered Floyd says RAIN-EC represents a new approach to data protection that provides higher reliability than RAID 6.

“Most RAID failures are not due to the failure of multiple disk spindles. They’re due to uncorrectable read operations. We break up the data into six different shards on six different drives in the system, so the system can withstand multiple, simultaneous failures,” says Floyd. “This goes beyond RAID 6 because we have built-in protection against uncorrectable reads.”

The Scalable Data Reduction technology combines traditional compression techniques with sub-file data de-duplication, resulting in space savings.

The Data Center Series also features replication, file-level WORM capabilities, automated monitoring with integrated notification, and support for the CIFS, NFS, and WebDAV protocols.

The Permabit architecture relies on two components–access nodes and storage nodes. Access nodes provide the throughput while the storage nodes supply capacity, data routing and indexing, and virtual storage management. The nodes combine to create a storage grid that allows for non-disruptive, rolling upgrades and automatic data migration and load-balancing.

The system offers up to 96TB of raw capacity per grid, and users can combine up to 32 grids in a unified system. The platforms scale from 16TB to 3PB.

The Data Center Series is available at a starting price for physical storage of $5/GB. The cost drops further once data reduction technologies are factored in. Permabit claims the cost can drop to between $.33 and $2.33/GB when compression and sub-file-level de-duplication are applied.

In related news, Permabit has renamed its RAIN-M family of archiving systems. Now known as the Business Series, the platforms have many of the same features of the new Data Center Series, but a capacity ceiling of 40TB.

Continuity offers DR service

Continuity Software has joined the Software as a Service (SaaS) movement with the introduction of its Disaster Recovery (DR) Assurance service based on the company’s RecoverGuard DR testing and monitoring software. RecoverGuard detects replication infrastructure gaps and configuration vulnerabilities between a company’s primary production and DR sites in an effort to mitigate data-protection risks.

RecoverGuard is agent-less software that scans all devices and data assets in an IT environment. The software reads configuration information for storage arrays and devices, databases, hosts–anything that accesses or stores data–and collects that information daily. The software then uses a gap detection engine that compares configuration information against a database of more than 1,600 known DR problems. A trouble ticket is created for each error detected, and the software generates a topology map, outlines the potential business impact related to the error, and provides a short explanation about how to resolve the issue.

The DR Assurance service takes the capabilities of RecoverGuard and incorporates back-end support from Continuity’s team of DR specialists. A typical DR Assurance service deployment occurs in approximately one hour, after which the software immediately begins scanning the customer’s infrastructure for risks such as unprotected databases or database partitions, noncompliant replication configurations, and data that cannot be recovered to a valid consistency point. Daily statistics, tickets, and event notifications are sent directly to Continuity’s DR specialists for review and analysis, as opposed to being sent to the customer’s internal IT staff.

When a problem is detected that will impact recoverability, a DR specialist alerts the appropriate individuals at the customer site and provides details on the issue, as well as resolution recommendations. Also, monthly, quarterly, and year-end summary reports are provided with in-depth information on every issue that occurred and its associated resolution.

RecoverGuard has been available in the US for about seven months in a couple of different versions. Continuity offers a 48-hour “risk-free” assessment for $15,000 on up to 30 servers. The software is also available as a stand-alone product with an annual license fee of $2,000 per protected server. The DR Assurance service raises the price to $3,200 per protected server per year.


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