Storage takes spotlight at N+I

Posted on April 01, 1999

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Storage takes spotlight at N+I

By InfoStor staff

As the lines between network administrators and storage administrators begin to blur, in part due to the emergence of the Fibre Channel storage/network interface, Net-world+Interop is becoming an increasingly important show for managers in charge of storage acquisitions. Traditionally a network-centric show, N+I (May 10-14 in Las Vegas) is increasingly becoming a prime showcase for storage vendors to introduce new products.

For example, Hewlett-Packard will introduce two Fibre Channel connectivity products--the HHBA-5121A host adapter card and the Tachyon TS protocol controller chip. The HHBA-5121A is a 32/64-bit, 66MHz PCI Fibre Channel adapter that is compliant with PCI Local Bus specification 2.1 and FC-AL-2, and is backward-compatible with 33MHz PCI systems. Features include support of PCI dual-address cycles, FC-AL Class 3 service (including public loop and fabric), and support for full duplex operation with parallel inbound and outbound processing. Initial driver support includes Windows NT, NetWare, UnixWare, Solaris, and I2O.

The HHBA-5121A is based on HP`s Tachyon TS Fibre Channel controller IC, a single-chip PCI Fibre Channel controller that supports Class 3 and Class 2 service and several topologies, including FC-AL and N_Port fabrics. Features include fully automated SCSI command processing, and full duplex support with simultaneous inbound and outbound frame processing.

Vixel will be debuting a Java port of its SAN InSite 2.1 software for managing the company`s Fibre Channel hubs and switches. The software runs on Windows NT or Solaris platforms. For the demo, Vixel will have multiple eight-port 8100 switches running in partner booths, including the Fibre Channel Community (FCC) exhibit area. The SAN InSite software will also manage Vixel`s 2000 Series Fibre Channel hubs.

Computer Network Technology (CNT) will be demonstrating Fibre Channel directors, switches and gateways. The UltraNet Open Systems Director is a high-end switch; the UltraNet Fibre Channel Switch comes in eight-port or 16-port versions, and is designed for entry-level storage area networks.

Of note in new tape technologies is Sony`s second-generation AIT drive. With 50GB of native capacity and a 6MBps native transfer rate, AIT-2 provides twice the capacity and performance of first-generation drives. Longer tape media as well as a higher recording frequency, bit density, and drum speed enable the boost. AIT-2 began shipping in limited quantities in February and is priced under $5,000.

On the optical library front, JVC Professional Computer Products division will announce E-Mail Archiving Solution, the result of bundling xVmail from Amherst, NH-based xVault Inc. with JVC`s CD libraries. This turnkey solution archives, maintains and creates e-mail messages for companies looking to better monitor and store email data.

JVC`s CD libraries come in configurations of 100-, 200-, 600-disc capacities and provide CD recording, labeling, storage and retrieval on a LAN. Pricing for a 100-disc library bundled with E-Mail Archiving Solution starts at $35,000. www.jvc.net.

Procom will show three new products at N+I: a CD tower and two storage servers. The DataFORCE 250/270 tower series, which has a capacity of 50GB, adds DHCO and auto-IPX for plug-and-play installation in Windows NT and NetWare environments. Pricing ranges from $2,685 to $10,595.

Procom will also exhibit NetFORCE 100R, a rackmount server for NT workgroups, and NetFORCE 2500/2600 for multi-protocol environments.


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