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Posted on February 02, 2000

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DISK/CONNECTIVITY

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Gadzoox adds low-cost 8-port switch

This month, Gadzoox Networks began shipping an eight-port Fibre Channel switch priced at $4,995. Users can upgrade the Capellix 2000 switch to 11 GBIC ports with a three-port $1,295 option that will be available next month.

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Unlike eight-port switches that have an 8Gbps switch engine, the Capellix 2000 has a 12Gbps engine, which provides bandwidth headroom for the additional ports or services. Gadzoox specs a latency time of less than 0.5 microseconds (280 nanoseconds typical).

Users can currently stack two of the switches; four-switch stacks will be possible later this year. Other upcoming features include uplinks to 2Gbps backbones and LAN/WAN connectivity. To manage loop initialization primitives LIPs, the switch includes the company's Reflex II Name Server, which provides intelligent state change notification to isolate events for uninterrupted data streaming. www.gadzoox.com.

VMIC ships Fibre Channel HBAs, SBCs

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VMIC's single board computers (SBCs) couple the company's Pentium II/III-based VME and CompactPCI boards with its Fibre Channel host bus adapters (HBAs). The adapters are based on Qlogic 2200A chips. Operating system support includes Windows NT, Solaris, Linux, and VxWorks. HBA features include support for all Fibre Channel topologies, F-PORT and FL-PORT fabric login, SCSI and IP protocols (concurrently), TCP and UDP IP services, and SCSI initiator/target and target modes. Pricing for the RISC-based VMIxxx-5660 family of HBAs starts at $1,070. The "SAN-ready" single board computers range from $4,430 to $4,870. www.vmicnet.com.

Zzyzx scales FC RAID to 5.6TB

Part of the company's storage area network (SAN) product line, Zzyzx Peripherals' RocketSTOR 2000 is a Fibre Channel RAID array that includes dual-active/active controllers with two Fibre Channel host interfaces, eight Ultra2 SCSI LVD drive channels, and 1GB of cache memory. The controllers are based on the company's RS-62 core RAID architecture, a StrongARM SA-110 RISC processor and 32-bit or 64-bit PCI bus support. Scalable to 5.6GB, the RocketSTOR features mirrored cache, host transparent automatic failover, global hot spares with automatic disk drive rebuilds, and redundant power cords. An 81GB system with one RAID controller, 512MB of cache, and 7,200rpm drives is priced at $30,773. A 324GB configuration with dual hot-swap controllers (1GB cache each) and 10,000rpm drives is priced at $52,895. www.zzyzx.com.

Pathlight eases SAN-based sharing

Last month, Pathlight Technology introduced an alternative to zoning and host-based LUN masking in storage area networks (SANs). The Virtual Private SAN (VPS) gives administrators full access control over targets and LUNs on a storage network.

The company claims that VPS is independent of hosts, host bus adapters, and interfaces. VPS provides hosts with direct, simultaneous connections to individual LUNs or devices, without adding middleware or software drivers.

Administrators can configure and monitor VPS with Pathlight's SAN Director software, which enables users to set up SAN configurations. www.pathlight.com.

Syred ships Fibre Channel controller

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Syred Data Systems last month began shipments of the Super Regency Fibre Channel RAID controller. The 5.25-inch half-height controller includes four full-duplex Fibre Channel interfaces; active/active failover/failback; and multi-host capabilities (including LUN mapping) for clustering. Each controller supports up to 375 drives with a storage capacity over 20TB. Syred claims a sustained transfer rate of more than 190MBps.

The Super Regency is based on Intel's i960HX processor and Syred's A698 ASICs, and includes 256MB of ECC SDRAM cache. Supporting RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 3, 4, and 5, the controller includes automatic drive failure detection, automatic and transparent background rebuilding, write-back and read-ahead cache and global hot swapping. Price: $5,050. www.syred.com.

AMI adds midrange RAID controllers

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Aimed at dual, quad, and eight-way processor systems, American Megatrends' MegaRAID Elite series of dual-channel, 64-bit 66MHz PCI RAID controllers are based on Intel's i960 RN I/O processor. The Elite 1500 ($1,199) has two Ultra2 LVD SCSI channels, while the Elite 1600 has two Ultra160 SCSI channels and up to 128MB of ECC SDRAM. According to market research firm Dataquest, dual-channel host-based RAID controllers will increase from 71% of the total multi-channel host-based RAID controller market in 1999 to 96% in 2003.

AMI's Elite controllers are available with a variety of configuration and management utilities, including the company's WebBIOS, FlexRAID, Power Console Plus, and MegaManager software. The Elite 1500 is priced at $1,199, and the Elite 1600 is priced at $1,299. www.ami.com.

LSI samples miniaturized PCI-SCSI HBAs

With OEM production quantities due in the next quarter, LSI Logic last month announced low-profile PCI host bus adapters (which LSI refers to as host adapter boards, or HABs) for Ultra2 SCSI and Ultra160 SCSI. The boards are based on the Low Profile PCI (LPPCI) standard being developed by the PCI Special Interest Group and are targeted at 1U and 2U-high servers.

The SYM2U264M2 is a dual-channel Ultra2 SCSI adapter based on LSI's SYM53C896 controller chip. The SYM2U364M2 is a dual-channel Ultra160 adapter based on the SYM53C1010 controller and includes domain validation and link integrity checking. www.lsilogic.com.

Iwill delivers Ultra160 SCSI adapters

Going head-to-head with vendors such as Adaptec and LSI, relatively unknown Iwill USA Corp. has introduced a dual-channel Ultra160 SCSI adapter that is compatible with Linux, Windows 2000, NT 4.0, 95 and 98. Based on Qlogic's ISP12160A chip with 128KB of static RAM, the DU3160 supports 64-bit 66MHz PCI, up to 528MBps data bandwidth, and a maximum 320MBps throughput in synchronous mode. The adapter uses external RAM, which offloads the host CPU.

The DU3160 connects up to 30 SCSI devices (15 per channel), and is priced at $429. www.iwill.com.

Apcon boost SCSI in clusters

Compatible with Microsoft Cluster Solutions (MSCS), Apcon's ACI-2016 SCSI booster/expander enables live insertion and removal of servers and peripherals on a network, while providing isolation and automatic termination for cluster servers. When a cluster server is powered down, the device provides the necessary SCSI bus termination. In addition, the ACI-2016 reconditions and regenerates the SCSI signal. The LVD SCSI device is priced at $295.

Apcon has also released AutoSwitch 2000 software, which automates peripheral switching across networks, eliminating the need to manually facilitate tape and/or optical-based backup. The software provides scheduling, monitoring, and control capabilities, and works with Apcon's switches. For example, a set of six servers could all backup their data to a single tape device with an auto tape changer overnight, with all the switching programmed to occur automatically and unattended. Price: $695. www.apcon.com.

Land-5 combines Linux and NAS

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Land-5's Linux-based iCEbox StoragePod is a network-attached storage (NAS) disk array with up to 4.5TB of capacity. The storage server supports file access by Linux, Unix and Windows NT clients. The StoragePod includes a version of Linux, enhanced for RAID, and provides SMB and NFS file access in native format with locking. RAID support includes levels 0, 1, 0+1, 4, and 5. Network connections include multi-port Ethernet, single-port Gigabit Ethernet, or Fibre Channel, and drive support includes Ultra2 SCSI or Fibre Channel. Up to 18 9GB, 18GB, or 36GB drives can be installed in the 10.5-inch rack-mountable enclosure. With three 9GB Ultra2 SCSI drives, the NAS array is priced at $8,040. www.land-5.com.

Methode intros 2Gbps FC transceivers

Methode Optoelectronic Products is shipping 2.125Gbps Fibre Channel optical transceivers, which are available in four form factors: a 1x9 optical transceiver in a wave-solderable 9.8mm high pack-age for mezzanine card systems; a hot-pluggable Gigabit Interface Converter (GBIC) for SC fiber-optic connectors; a Small Form Factor (SFF) transceiver for LC fiber-optic connectors; and a Media Interface Adapter (MIA) extender.

In quantities of 1,000 units, the transceivers are priced from $150 to $250. www.methode.com/2gfc.

Quantum ships 30GB, 7200rpm drives

The latest in the company's Fireball line of hard disk drives, Quantum's Fireball Plus LM drives pack 10GB per platter for up to 30GB of storage. The 3.5-inch drives feature Quantum's Shock Protection System, Data Protection System and Quiet Drive Technology. The drives use the ATA/66 interface, a 2MB buffer, and have an average seek time of 8.5ms. Estimated retail pricing for a 30GB drive is $399. www.quantum.com.

Verisys analyzes Ultra3 SCSI

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Verisys' SV-8160 SCSI bus analyzer is a notebook-size portable device that is compatible with Ultra160 and Ultra3 SCSI. The analyzer offers 4ns resolution for all signals with double transition clocking for data transfers, an eight million event capture buffer (4x the size of buffers on Verisys' previous analyzers), and stream-to-disk capability. Compatible with LVD, HVD and single-ended SCSI, the SV-8160 is priced at $7,995. www.verisys.com.

SANs come to Macintoshes

JNI's latest Macintosh software drivers for its Fibre Channel host bus adapters include switched fabric support for storage area networks (SANs). The version 3.0.1 drivers also include EZ Fibre management and utility software for Mac platforms, which enables users to configure and manage SANs. SANs are expected to take hold in Mac strongholds such as digital video editing, prepress, streaming video, and other digital imaging applications. JNI's drivers are compatible with all of the company's single-port FibreStar adapters, and are available for free from www.jni.com.

Also in Macintosh SAN news, MicroNet Technology last month announced SANCUBE, a FireWire-based approach to SANs. SANCUBE consists of a "data cube" with up to six IBM disk drives (total capacity: 220GB), and delivers 30MBps. The subsystem is compatible with Power Mac G4, G3 and iMac DV systems, which include built-in FireWire (IEEE 1394) support. SANCUBE also includes Atto Technology's Accelware SAN volume management software, which allows up to four users to access large data and graphic files. Available next month, SANCUBE is priced at $1,499 for a 70GB version up to $3,899 for a four-user 220GB configuration. www.micronet.com.

Also on the FireWire front, VST Technologies has begun shipments of FireWire hard drives in capacities ranging from 12GB to 25GB. The drives have a transfer rate of up to 14MBps. Prices range from $439 for a 6GB drive to $1,199 for a 25GB model. www.vsttech.com.

CMS backup for notebooks

CMS Peripherals' Automatic Backup System (ABS) plugs into notebook PCs, and automatically backs up data. After the initial backup is performed, the ABS system backs up only modified files. The system is available in four hard drive capacities: 4.3GB ($389), 6.4GB ($489), 8.1GB ($629), and 10GB ($689). www.cmsproducts.com.

TAPE

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HP expands SureStore E family

Designed to complement its FC-60 midrange disk array and SureStore E Disk Array, XP256, Hewlett-Packard's SureStore E 10/180 library houses up to ten DLT or six HP 9840 drives and up to 174 cartridges. A fully configured model equipped with 40GB DLT8000 drives provides 6.9TB of native capacity.

The library supports mixed cartridge types, making it easy to move data among technologies, and is primed for both SuperDLT and LTO. The 10/180 also handles up to 450 cartridge exchanges per hour, with a fetch time of 4 seconds.

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The 10/180 works in HP-UX, Win-dows NT, or MPE/iX environments and operates with leading backup and storage management software, including HP OmniBack II, Legato Networker, and Veritas Netbackup. Remote management capability via a Web browser is expected early this year, and an SNMP agent within the library provides connectivity to disparate servers on the network. Connectivity is over SCSI and Fibre Channel via a SCSI-to-FC bridge. An integrated rack houses such add-on options as bridges, routers, and SAN gateways.

The SureStore library is priced at $90,510. http://www.automatedbackup.com.

StraightLine announces E-series AIT libraries

For enterprise-class storage, StraightLine last month announced the E-series Harrier AIT tape library. Complementary to the Harrier 830, 850, and 8150, the E-series features an Ethernet interface, barcode reader, mail slot, I/O port, and embedded Web server and Harrier Internet Console. The console provides a live view of the library via the Internet and enables users to remotely move/eject tapes as well as configure/test units.

Three models are available, supporting 1 to 10 drives and 30 to 150 cartridges. Users can specify the number of SCSI interfaces. www.str8line.com.

Verbatim offers higher-capacity SLR media

Verbatim last month extended its Scalable Linear Recording (SLR) cartridge family to include support for Tandberg Data's SLR5, SLR24, SLR32, and SLR50 tape drives. The DataLife cartridges, which provide 4GB to 25GB of native capacity, are designed to scale from individual

PCs to high-end Unix workstations and midrange NetWare/NT servers. The media supports SLR's read-while-write capability, which allows for native data rates up to 2MBps. Cartridge pricing starts at $50. www.verbatim.com.

OnStream's Echo targets Macs

At last month's MacWorld Expo, OnStream launched a line of external SCSI tape drives for the Apple PowerMac G3 and G4. The Echo drives offer 15GB of native capacity, have a native transfer rate of up to 2MBps, and come bundled with Retrospect Desktop Backup software from Dantz. The software features EasyScript for simple, automated backup; byte-for-byte verification for data integrity; and incremental backup to multiple cartridge sets for increased security.

The drive retails for $699, the cartridge for $39.95 (or $99.95 for a three-pack). www. onstream.com.

OPTICAL

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Digital Storage Group unveils changer

Digital Storage Group is currently shipping the PowerFile C200, a FireWire DVD/CD changer. The PowerFile C200 contains 200 discs and two DVD-ROM drives, providing 1TB of storage. Administrators can use the changer to manage and share media, including DVD-ROMs, CD-ROMs, DVD movies, and CD-Audio formats across a network. The C200 may also be bundled with Canto's Cumulus 5 asset management software. The combined products help manage digital images, text, audio, and video files. Up to 63 changers can be daisy-chained together. The suggested retail price is $1,499. www.dvdchanger.com.

Discovision announces desktop DVD changer

Discovision Associates recently announc-ed a desktop DVD changer designed to play a two-sided disc without manually turning it over. The 2-Side Access DVD Changer takes a different approach to existing changer and loading mechanisms and disc carousel design.

In contrast to a rotating carousel that delivers the DVD to the reader for playback while the loading mechanism remains stationary, the Discovision changer instead uses a 360-degree, rotating loading mechanism to retrieve discs from a stationary disc carousel that flips the media over when necessary.

According to Discovision, this design helps load and change discs quicker and more conveniently. The company plans a limited licensing program. www.discovision.com.

TDK intros new CD-R media

Last month, TDK Electronics announced PurePro CD-R media, which uses a high-rigidity XA polyolefin substrate. The new substrate is an enhancement over conventional polycarbonate because of its greater transparency and lower refractivity. Digital audio performance is also improved by increased efficiency of a CD Audio player's servo-tracking circuitry and digital-to-analog converter.

The PurePro discs are expected to ship this spring and will retail for about $10 per disk. www.tdk.com.

Verbatim ships CD-R disc pack

Mitsubishi Chemical's Verbatim subsidiary is now providing its distributors with a new CD-R disc pack. Verbatim officials maintain the DuplicatorPlus pack of 12x CD-R discs provide the highest reflectivity across the widest range of laser wavelengths.

The discs were developed for use in high-speed, 12x CD-R drives where the transfer rate to the media is a key factor for duplication and high-speed Internet downloading. The CD-R packs have an MSRP of $199 per brick. www.verbatimcorp.com.

Fuji adds DVD-RAM media

Fuji Photo Film's U.S. Computer Products division is now shipping a new line of 5.2GB DVD-RAM discs. This rewritable, removable media targets graphics companies and departments, sound studios, and other companies who need to share a single disc. For more information, visit www.fujifilmmediasource.com.

SOFTWARE

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Syred provides SAN software

The Syred Storage Operating System (S2-OS) provides a number of features for managing storage area networks (SANs), including data sharing and security mechanisms for heterogeneous environments. Data sharing is possible through support of NFS for Unix, SMB/CIFS for Windows NT, AppleTalk, and HTTP.

The software is available with volume management and control access tools. Backup software will be available in the next quarter.

The volume management software allows transparent file sharing and virtualization of storage resources with centralized management, as well as the ability to add, remove or move storage devices "on the fly." www.syred.com.

KOM supports Windows 2000

The next generation of KOM Inc.'s OptiStorm optical device management software will support Windows 2000, as well as Windows NT.

The software provides security features, and works with the Windows 2000 file system changes, including disk quotas, encrypted files, Distributed File System, hierarchical storage management, Volume Mount Points, Directory Junctions, and Remote Storage features.

(For more information on the new storage features in Windows 2000, see the cover story in this issue.)

OptiStorm protects Volume Mount Points and Directory Junctions by traversing files through the disk or directory path to securely migrate data that may physically reside on local or remote storage devices.

Pricing is expected within the next month. www.kominc.com.

Sony readies DTF libraries

This summer, Sony expects to debut two lines of libraries centering on its recently announced DTF-2 tape drive technology. The second-generation DTF drives feature 24MBps sustained transfer rates and 200GB native storage capacities on large cassettes (see "Sony re-launches DTF-2," InfoStor, November 1999, p. 50.) A smaller 60GB DTF-2 cassette is also available and can be housed alongside the larger media.

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"These high-speed, high-density, small-footprint libraries bridge a gap in Sony's current line-up," says Wes Kuch, national sales manager, Sony Data Systems. Existing DTF libraries include the DMS-8400, DMS-B35, and DMS-8400 PetaSite families.

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On tap are a compact (DMS-B870L/DMS-B110S) and midsize (DMS-B150L/DMS-B210S) libraries ("L" and "S" denote cartridge type). Equipped with DTF-2 drives, the compact libraries provide 5TB to 16TB of capacity, the midsize libraries 11TB to 33TB (see chart). Additional capacity and performance can be achieved by adding up to two, one- or two-drive Expansion Modules or a Redundant Module featuring an additional robotic arm. Sony's PSC controller comes standard with midsize libraries.

The DMS-B870L/B110S lists for $55,000, the DMS-B150L for $75,000-excluding drive costs. DTF-2 drives are priced at $24,995, Expansion Modules at $18,000. Pricing for the Redundant Module has not been announced. www.sony.com.

Plasmon ships 30GB WORM products

Last month, Plasmon started shipping its latest 12-inch optical TrueWORM drives, media, and libraries. With 30GB of online storage per disk, the 8000 series more than doubles previous-generation 12-inch WORM (write-once, read-many) capacities. The new series features a SCSI-II (Fast/Wide) interface and a 6MBps data transfer rate.

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The 8000 series is Plasmon's first WORM technology to use Phase Change write-once technology to encode data. This Phase Change technology increases disk capacity while speeding up the data-verify pass for drives. Plasmon officials maintain that by using 12-inch glass media, the 8000 series will protect archived data for 30 years or longer.

Offered in stand-alone or library versions, the series can be configured with 22-141 disks and 1-5 optical drives. Maximum capacity is 4.2TB. Prices start at $30,000 for the drives and libraries range from $126,000 to $263,000.

The media list price will be $595 per disk. www.plasmon.com.

Sun ships Jiro-ready management software

Sun Microsystems' StorEdge Management Console provides centralized management of Sun's A5x00 disk arrays. The software supports plug-in tools such as Sun's just-released StorEdge Component Manager, which monitors and manages storage enclosures. Both packages are Java-based, and will support the emerging Jiro ("gyro") management specification in the next release. (For more information, see "Inside the Jiro management environment" in this issue.) The Jiro spec was recently completed and is officially dubbed Federated Management Architecture.

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StorEdge Management Console provides functions such as event notification, alarm generation, remote notification, distributed object discovery, and overall health monitoring. The software will eventually include function tabs for plug-in tools, such as performance tuning for specific applications. Other planned function tabs include availability options, remote monitoring registrations, and access to data services such as fast-write cache and Sun's StorEdge Instant Image snapshot tool.

The software is currently provided at no charge with the purchase of Sun's arrays. For qualifying non-contract customers, StorEdge Management Console is priced at $21,000, and StorEdge Component Manager is priced at $1,500. www.sun.com.


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