SNW product highlights, Day 3

Posted on April 10, 2008

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By Kevin Komiega and Dave Simpson

—Rounding out our coverage of some of the product highlights at this week's Storage Networking World (SNW) show in Orlando...

In what was perhaps the biggest stand-alone product announcement at the show, Xiotech pulled back the curtain on the Emprise family of storage systems based on the Intelligent Storage Element (ISE) technology that Xiotech acquired from Seagate last November.

Xiotech's new systems include two models: the Emprise 7000 SAN system and the Emprise 5000 direct- and switch-attached system.

The Emprise 7000 supports up to 64 ISEs and is managed by dual controllers. It includes all of the storage capabilities that are currently available on Xiotech's Magnitude 3D 4000 line, including the Web Services-based ICON Manager interface, storage virtualization, distributed cluster architecture, provisioning, and data replication.

Based on a single ISE, the Emprise 5000 is a self-contained virtualized storage system, which can be configured for high capacity or high performance.

The ISEs for the Emprise 5000 and Emprise 7000 systems are available in high-performance (2.2TB), balanced (4.8TB), and high-capacity (16TB) configurations.

Xiotech chief technology officer Steve Sicola says using ISEs as the fundamental element of storage instead of disk drives gives the Emprise systems the ability to virtually eliminate failures and service calls, scale from 1TB to 1PB, and boost performance. Xiotech is backing its no-service claim with a five-year hardware warranty.

In the SPC-1 benchmark, measuring I/Os per second (IOPS), Xiotech's system rated a cost of just $3.53 per SPC-1 IOP. In the SPC-2 benchmark, measuring cost per megabytes per second, Xiotech achieved a storage performance of $32.25 per MBps.

Pillar Data Systems put a new spin on its Application-Aware storage systems with the Axiom 500MC (Mission Critical), a storage system that Pillar officials claim is guaranteed to deliver 99.999% availability and can scale both performance and capacity according to application requirements.

The Axiom 500MC has up to 192GB of cache, with the ability to scale to 16 Slammers and 256 RAID controllers with a total capacity up to 1.6PB. The system supports both Fibre Channel and SATA disk drives.

The 500MC includes Pillar Professional Services, which provide on-site LUN creation, provisioning, and configuration management.

Compellent Technologies has upgraded its storage resource management (SRM) software to include automated chargeback and new customized reports that translate the cost-savings benefits of power savings and technologies such as thin provisioning, tiering, and snapshots into quantifiable metrics.

Enterprise Manager automates SRM functions to simplify SAN management. The software produces reports on storage costs and utilization in an effort to help organizations increase data-center efficiency and manage storage capacity. Designed for use with the company's Storage Center, Enterprise Manager also automates replication between multiple Compellent SANs for disaster recovery and business continuity. In addition, the integrated Free Space Recovery utility helps improve utilization by reclaiming file space from deleted Windows files and removing deleted blocks from overall volume size.

Each application—Enterprise Manager Foundation, Manager Reporter and Manager Chargeback—can be purchased separately starting at about $1,300, not including maintenance and service. Existing Enterprise Manager customers with current support agreements can download the software at no additional cost.

CommVault enhanced its Simpana 7.0 data-protection software suite this week with new remote office management and e-discovery features, as well as added platform support for data migration.

The new updates include e-discovery/legal hold capabilities, enhanced remote office data protection with disk-based backup and archive, and expanded SRM capabilities. Simpana 7.0 is also now equipped with support for Microsoft applications and Linux and Unix platforms. The updates are designed to help customers ensure business continuity and comply with regulatory requirements for data retention and availability.

Storwize introduced the next generation of its STN-6000 product family, which provides real-time data compression for primary storage. The P-Series has a 64-bit architecture and is available in three models: STN-6300p, 6500p, and the high-end 6800p. Memory ranges from 8GB to 32GB, and the appliances come with eight or twelve Ethernet ports. The P-Series is designed primarily for NAS platforms and is compatible with systems such as NetApp's FAS6070 and EMC's Celerra NSX.

InMage announced support for Microsoft's Windows SharePoint Services collaboration technology on the company's DR-Scout platform, which provides continuous data protection (CDP), block-level replication, and disaster-recovery services. DR-Scout also provides both point-in-time and event-based restoration.

Genstor launched the GNS-2450 storage appliance, which is based on AMD Opteron processors and provides iSCSI and NAS functionality. The appliances use Open-E's Data Storage Server software.

Blade Network Technologies teamed with Emulex and NetApp at SNW to demonstrate a blade server-based Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) "unified fabric." The demo was based on "loss-less" Ethernet, the emerging Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE) standard, and Blade Network's 10GbE switches.

Standards news
In standards news, the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) made several announcements focused on data archiving and energy efficiency in the data center.

SNIA announced that the eXtensible Access Method (XAM) specification and Software Development Kit (SDK) are on track for mid-2008 public availability. The goal of XAM is to provide a framework for standards-based information independence for applications and storage systems. SNIA's Wayne Adams says XAM will ensure information immutability to meet long-term digital information retention requirements.

Keeping with the archiving theme, SNIA also announced the formation of a technical working group established specifically for tackling long-term data retention. And when they say "long-term," they mean it. The new SNIA Data Management Forum's (DMF) Long-Term Digital Information Retention and Preservation Technical Working Group (LT-DIRP TWG) is aimed at defining a new logical format standard and best practices for information preservation and migration for up to 100 years and beyond.

The LT-DIRP TWG will focus on enabling physical and logical preservation and migration. The group has been tasked with developing a new application-centric standard called a Self-Describing Self-Contained Data Format (SD-SCDF) to define a "preservation-oriented" logical container consisting of data and associated preservation metadata, including reference information, integrity and authenticity controls, audit records, and potentially event readers.

Finally, SNIA has formed an alliance with the Green Grid to develop and promote standards, measurement methods, best practices, and technologies to make power and cooling in the data center more-efficient.

The two associations plan to collaborate on energy efficiency and metrics: The SNIA will focus on networked storage and information management while the Green Grid focuses on computer servers, data center infrastructure, the data center, and business computing ecosystems.

For more SNW product highlights, go to Day 1 and Day 2.


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