DISK/CONNECTIVITY

Posted on March 01, 2000

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HDS, STK enhance high-end arrays

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There's been a flurry of activity in the high-end disk array market recently. While Sun attacked EMC and IBM hustled to correct performance problems on its Enterprise Storage Server ("Shark"), Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) and Storage Technology (STK) added to their high-end open systems and mainframe arrays.

HDS added a number of features to the open-systems side of its flagship Freedom 7700 disk array, including Asynchronous Remote Copy and ShadowImage software, which allows point-in-time copies. It's the first time that the data replication and business continuity software has been available for open systems.

HDS also extended operating system support to include Red Hat Linux, Windows 2000, and the latest release of NetWare. On the hardware front, 47GB Hitachi disk drives will be available next month, with 73GB drives due in June, bringing total capacity to 17TB.

Other enhancements fall into the performance and availability categories. For example, performance enhancements include new microcode that the company claims can improve read performance by up to 50%, as well as Dynamic Optimizer software that allows users to dynamically monitor and tune the array based on policies.

For higher availability, HDS announced Microsoft Cluster failover certification and extended Hitachi Path Manager support to AIX and NT. Path Manager provides load balancing and path failover. Versions for Solaris and HP-UX are next.

On the System/ 390 side, HDS will support parallel ac- cess volume on the 7700E in June. In addition, Hitachi NanoCopy and support for Geo-graphically Dis-persed Parallel Sysplex is now available. www.hds.com.

Last month, STK officially unveiled the Shared Virtual Array (SVA) 9500, previously code-named Eclipse, which supports Windows NT/2000 and Unix, as well as OS/390. Versus the SVA 9390, STK has reduced the footprint of the array by about 26%, and increased performance 30% to 260%, according to Doug Sparks, marketing manager for enterprise disk at STK. The performance comes from an increase in the number of concurrent paths, larger cache, microcode changes, and faster ESCON connections and SSA disk drives.

STK also announced support for a number of software packages on the open-systems side of the array, many of which are included in the Virtual Power Suite. For example, SnapShot software provides a point-in-time copy function for instant data duplication.

Due in the second quarter are support for Fibre Channel and NT subsystem connectivity; Power/PPRC; and a variety of additional software packages. www.storagetek.com.

Seagate achieves 15,000rpm

Last month, Seagate Technology announced the 18GB Cheetah X15 disk drive. The industry's first 15,000rpm drive provides a 3.9msec average seek time, data rates up to 48MBps, and 4MB and 16MB cache options. They can be equipped with either Ultra160 SCSI or 2Gbps Fibre Channel interfaces. The Cheetah X15 comes with Seagate's G-Force protection system. OEM samples are due in the next quarter, with volume shipments expected by the third quarter. Single-unit pricing is expected to be less than $1,000. www.seagate.com.

Maxtor continues NAS rollout

Maxtor continued to build its network-attached storage (NAS) line last month with the MaxAttach NAS 4000 appliance. The 4000 is designed for space-constrained IT shops, measuring 19 inches wide by 1-inch tall. Available in 40GB, 80GB, and 160GB models, the MaxAttach 4000 supports Unix, Windows, and Linux. The device can be configured with a single mouse click.

In addition to 128MB of RAM, the appliance includes Maxtor's 7,200rpm DiamondMax Plus disk drives. Suggested retail price for a 40GB rackmount unit is $2,395; 80GB, $2,795; 160GB, $3,995. The appliances will be available next month through Maxtor VARs and distributors, including Bell Microproducts and Tech Data. www.maxtor.com.

AMI ships PCI IDE RAID controller

Addressing the need for RAID functionality at the low end of the market, American Megatrends Inc. (AMI) has begun shipments of the HyperDisk PCI controller for IDE disk drives. The controller supports RAID 0 (data striping) and RAID 1 (mirroring), and four UDMA/ATA 66 drives. The controller is priced at $149. Features include an adapter card with on-board ROM BIOS support and a boot-up configuration utility, mini-port device drivers for Windows 95/98/NT/2000, and BIOS Boot Specification support. www.ami.com.

Western Scientific debuts TidalRAID

Available with Ultra2 SCSI or Fibre Channel interfaces, Western Scientific's TidalRAID includes an active-active controller that handles 334MBps controller-to-controller transfer rates and 300MBps controller-to-cache rates. Capacities range from 72GB to 864GB per cabinet. Pricing starts at $30,000. www.wsm.com.

TAPE

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OnStream launches 25GB ADR50

Newly added adaptive lossless data compression (ADLC) gives OnStream's ADR tape drive capacity and throughput boosts. Announced last month, the ADR50 provides 50GB of compressed capacity at speeds of up to 4MBps (assuming 2:1 compression). OnStream is positioning the drive for small business, corporate departmental, and workgroup server markets.

The ADR drive is available in external and internal models and supports a variety of operating systems, including NetWare; UnixWare; OpenServer; Windows 95/98/NT; and Mac. The drive features an auto-sensing Ultra2 Wide SCSI-3 LVD interface, advanced servo system to ensure media integrity, spatially distributed error correction code for improved data recovery, and variable speed operation to prevent back-hitching.

The estimated street price is $799 for the internal SCSI drive, $949 for external SCSI. Media costs $49.95 per 25GB cartridge, or $39.95 per 15GB cartridge. www.onstream.com.

Tandberg ships SLR100 autoloader

Last month, Tandberg Data announced immediate availability of the SLR100 autoloader, which touts up to 400GB na-tive capacity on eight cartridges and a 18GB/hour native transfer rate. It is available in tabletop or rackmount versions. For additional capacity, two units can be mounted side-by-side in a 19-inch rack for up to 800GB. The autoloader is read-compatible with existing SLR formats and is priced at $6,195. www.tandbergdata.com.

Ampex gives DST a boost

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At NAB next month, Ampex will unveil a new family of DST video-server storage systems targeted at broadcast markets. The new libraries feature quad-density DST tape drives, which can store 150 hours of MPEG video per cartridge. The increase boosts previous library capacity by 100%.

The DST drives feature multiple independent tape partitions on a single cartridge, which allow files to be updated without corrupting previously recorded data, and "system zones," which allow for multiple mount/dismount locations and eliminate the need to rewind the tape before ejecting. Together, the two provide for optimum capacity usage, faster cartridge exchange rates, and reduced file search times. www.ampexdata.com.

SOFTWARE

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OTG extends software for W2K

OTG Software last month announced a redesign of its DiskXtender storage management suite for the Windows 2000 operating system. DiskXtender is the main product in OTG's XtenderSolutions suite, which provides Web access to stored data and the integration of data with real-time applications. DiskXtender 2000 features a new distributed agent architecture, support for third-party media services, and improved integration with Web browsers. www.otg.com.

Exabyte rolls out M2 libraries

Exabyte recently began shipping tape libraries for its Mammoth-2 (M2) drives (see "Exabyte sets sight on Mammoth-2," InfoStor, November 1999, p. 8). Products include the EZ17 autoloader and 220, X80, X200 library families:

  • EZ17: 43.2GB/hour transfer rate, and 420GB native capacity. Price: less than $8,000.
  • 220: multi-drive library for midrange markets, 1.2TB native capacity, 86.4GB/hour transfer rate. Price: $15,999.
  • X80: Midrange SAN-ready library, 4.8TB native capacity, 245.6GB/hour native transfer rate. Price: $30,000.
  • X200: High-end SAN-ready library, 12TB native capacity, 400GB/hour native transfer rate. Price: $37,000.

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The X80 and X200 M2 libraries also feature Web-enabled, Java-based out-of-band management capabilities and Fibre Channel options for remote management in NAS/SAN environments.www.exabyte.com.

Veritas ships BackupExec for W2K

Last month, Veritas Software started shipping version 8.0 of Backup Exec for Windows NT/2000 with a new Network Storage Executive (NSE) option. NSE extends backup by protecting the System State, including Active Directory, COM+, Class Registration Database, Registry, System Volume and System Files. Other enhancements include updates to the agent for Microsoft SQL Server, which restores a database to a specific time and date instead of to its last backup.

The NSE option provides administrators with a central administrative point by unifying multiple Backup Exec for Windows 2000 servers. New interface and wizard features are also included. Suggested retail price for version 8.0 of Backup Exec for Windows NT/2000 is $795 for the Server edition and $1,195 for the Advanced Server edition. www.veritas.com.

LSI intros SAN management suite

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Last month, LSI Logic Storage Systems introduced SANtricity storage management and SANshare storage partitioning software for its MetaStor disk array subsystems. Designed to simplify array management, SANtricity incorporates a Java-based GUI and automates device recovery. Administrators can allocate, reallocate or expand storage capacities, and migrate data between arrays.

SANshare's storage partitioning enables heterogeneous servers or clusters to share an array. One physical array can be partitioned into eight virtual storage systems. SANshare also provides volume-to-LUN assignments. Currently shipping with MetaStor's S-Class products, both suites start at $4,500. www.metastor.com.

NetApp backs up Exchange

Network Appliance is shipping Snap-Manager for Microsoft Exchange software, designed to help administrators use Net-App NAS servers to backup and recover Exchange databases. The software performs a snapshot, point-in-time backup without taking the database down. Up to 20 snapshots are supported concurrently. NetApp officials claim that SnapManager will lower Exchange backup and restore times from hours to minutes. Prices start at $10,000. www.netapp.com.

BMC resolves database backup

BMC Software recently announced two storage management suites under its Resolve e-business recovery and management umbrella architecture for OS/390 systems. Resolve High Speed Transaction Recovery (RHTR) software is designed to maintain high availability and transaction integrity. To help keep database applications running, for example, RHTR provides refined log analysis, search capabilities, and recovery analysis.

Resolve Enterprise Snapshot for SQL-BackTrack improves database availability by decreasing backup processing time from hours to minutes. The suites provide snapshot recovery of a single table space or the entire database. RHTR pricing starts at $80,000. SQL-BackTrack pricing has not been released. www.bmc.com.

OPTICAL

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KOM teams with Panasonic

KOM Inc. and Panasonic jointly announced an optical configuration designed to optimize Windows NT storage management for DVD-RAM drives and jukeboxes. KOM's OptiStorm DVD for Windows NT software supports Panasonic's 5.2GB LF-D101 DVD-RAM drives. OptiStorm also supports the UDF standard, as well as NTFS and FAT file systems. The software's data management features, including task scheduling, facilitate customized, automatic data management. Sold through KOM resellers and distributors, OptiStorm DVD for Windows NT ranges from $2,979 to $38,000. Panasonic's DVD-RAM drives cost $699. www.kominc.com.

Cygnet combines DVD, RAID, NAS

Cygnet Storage Solutions recently unveiled the InfiniDISC DVD-RAM jukebox, which is integrated with InfiniNET network-attached storage (NAS) and InfiniRAID Accelerated Throughput Storage modules. Via an Ethernet connection, InfiniNET enables the 1TB jukebox to directly connect to a network. InfiniRAID provides RAID 5, as well as a Web-enabled interface for controlling setup or configuration options. Available through Cygnet's resellers, InfiniDISC pricing starts at $15,350 for a 250-disc, two-drive configuration. www.cygnet.com.


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