DISK/CONNECTIVITY

Posted on April 01, 2000

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IBM drive achieves 75GB

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This month, IBM began volume shipments of 75GB hard disk drives. The record-setting capacity is achieved largely through the use of glass platters, as opposed to traditional aluminum platters, which allows a recording density of up to 14.3 billion bits per square inch.

The Deskstar 75GXP model is a 7,200rpm device that comes in 15GB to 75GB capacities on one to five platters. Specs include an 8.5ms average seek time, 444Mbps maximum media data rate, up to 100MBps host data rate via an ATA-100 interface (37MBps sustained rate), a 2MB buffer, and giant magneto-resistive (GMR) heads.

IBM also introduced the Deskstar 40GV drive, a 5,400rpm device that holds 20GB to 40GB on one or two platters at 14.3 billion bits per square inch. Other specs include a 9.5ms average seek time, 372Mbps maximum media data rate, up to 100MBps host data rate, and a 512KB buffer. The 40GV also includes a Silent Seek mode to reduce noise.

Both drives use LSI Logic chips and load/unload technology, which parks the recording heads off the disk surface when not in use. www.ibm.com/harddrive.

Quantum hits 15GB per platter

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Announced two days before IBM's 15GB-per-platter drives (see above), Quantum this month began shipments of 3.5-inch, 15GB-per-platter hard disk drives with total capacity of up to 30GB. Volume production for OEMs began this month, with drives expected to hit the retail channel in June.

Quantum's Fireball lct15 drive has an Ultra ATA/66 interface, 4,400rpm rotation rate, 12ms average seek time, and a 512KB buffer. As are other desktop disk drive manufacturers, Quantum it touting silent operation, claiming a decibel level of 31 via the company's Quiet Drive Technology (QDT). That compares to 36 to 48 decibels for most desktop drives. Suggested retail pricing for a 30GB Fireball lct15 is $259. www.quantum.com.

Fujitsu drives at 10.2GB per platter

Fujitsu has begun OEM evaluation shipments of 3.5-inch hard disk drives with 10.2GB per platter, for up to a total of 20.4GB per drive. Operating at 7,200 rpm, the MPF3xxxAH series has a seek time of less than 8.5ms, a data transfer rate of 53.9MBps and a 2MB buffer. The desktop drives use Fujitsu's Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB) technology, which uses oil in place of conventional metal ball bearings. The company is stressing silent operation, claiming an acoustic noise rating of 22dBA, achievable in part because of the FDB technology. www.fcpa.com.

LSI to ship 2Gbps PCI-FC controller

Available in June, LSI Logic's SYMFC929 is a single chip, dual-channel PCI-to-Fibre Channel controller for use with 32/64-bit, 33/66MHz PCI systems. LSI also announced two host bus adapter (HBA) boards based on the new chip: the SYM44929LH for copper connections, and the SYM44929LO for optical connections.

The SYMFC929 controller, a follow-on to LSI's single-channel SYMFC909, is based on LSI's 2Gbps GigaBlaze serial link and a custom ARM RISC processor. The controller supports the Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP) and IP, allowing users to mix protocols or offload IP traffic from FCP storage traffic. To accommodate first-generation 1Gbps Fibre Channel devices, the channels provide auto-negotiation (the ability to automatically switch between 1Gbps and 2Gbps data rates independently on both channels.)

For OEMs, the advantages of a dual-channel device include savings in circuit board real estate and power consumption, as well as requiring fewer PCI slots. The controller is aimed at manufacturers of devices such as servers/workstations, RAID arrays, bridges/routers, and HBAs.

Harry Mason, director of strategic alliances at LSI, predicts that 2Gbps Fibre Channel will achieve widespread acceptance around the first quarter of next year. www.lsilogic.com.

Atto intros Fibre Channel HBAs

Atto Technology recently announced the ExpressPCI FC SW, a PCI-to-Fibre Channel short-wave optical host bus adapter (HBA), and AccelWare DP (dual platform) volume management software. The HBA is compatible with PCs and Macintosh platforms, and includes a Short Wave Laser Interface that can transfer data over cable lengths up to 500 meters. The adapter provides Class 2 and F_Port support, and works with 32/64-bit, 33/66MHz PCI systems. www.attotech.com

Chaparral ships router, RAID controllers

Chaparral Network Storage's FS1310R is a Fibre Channel-to-Ultra2 SCSI router that enables the attachment of SCSI devices to Fibre Channel hosts or storage area networks. The company claims sustained data transfer rate of more than 90MBps and 8,500 I/Os per second. The router comes with one Fibre Channel port and three LVD SCSI channels, as well as support for Extended Copy functionality for server-less backup. Also included is an Ethernet port for management over LANs.

Chaparral also introduced the G6322 Ultra160 SCSI RAID controller, an external device with a dual-controller, active-active auto failover design. The controller can be configured with two host channels and two device channels, or with one host channel and three device channels with support for as many as 45 hard disk drives. www.chaparralnet.com.

CMD targets entry-level RAID controllers

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Filling in the low end of its Titan Architecture line of RAID controllers, CMD Technology's CRD-7220 controller supports two Fibre Channel host interfaces and two Ultra2 SCSI LVD device interfaces with up to 28 disk drives and 1GB of cache. The dual redundant, hot-swappable controller comes in a full-height, 5.25-inch canister. It is also available as a board-level product for OEMs.

The CRD-7220 is scheduled to ship within the next two months, and includes CMD's SANmask LUN masking, AutoRebind technology for continuous access environments, an Ethernet port for monitoring, and online RAID set expansion. www.cmd.com.

Vitesse ICs improve signal quality

Vitesse Semiconductor has introduced the VSC7130 dual repeater/retimer for improving signal quality and eliminating jitter transfer in duplex serial links. The device is compliant with Fibre Channel and Gigabit Ethernet specifications. Vitesse also introduced the VSC7132 serial link replicator for routing signals in Fibre Channel, Gigabit Ethernet, ATM, SONET and HDTV applications at speeds up to 1.5Gbps. Both 3.3V integrated circuits (ICs) are in the company's Velocity family of CMOS ICs.

The VSC7130 includes two digital repeater/retimer cells and additional circuitry for FC-AL hubs. The IC can be configured as a retimer on the output of a system, and as a repeater on the input. The device can be used in hubs, switches, routers, JBOD arrays, and RAID arrays.

The VSC71323 replicator is a buffer/multiplexer that duplicates a serial link. In the transmit direction, it provides duplication of a serial input onto two serial outputs and in the receive direction selects between one of two inputs. This allows a duplex serial link to be connected to two destinations. www.vitesse.com.

Methode transceivers handle multi-protocols

Methode Optoelectronic Products recently added to its line of 3.3V optical transceivers with a series that is available in a variety of protocols, including Fibre Channel, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, OC-3 and OC-12. The transceivers come in five form factors:

  • Industry-standard 1x9 transceiver for SC connector.
  • Hot-pluggable Gigabit Interface Converter (GBIC) for SC connector.
  • Small Form Factor (SFF) transceiver for LC connector.
  • Double-density dual-port GBIC that combines two LC optical transceivers in a standard GBIC module.
  • Miniaturized form factor that fits into the body of a standard RJ-45 shell.

Prices range from $90 to $225 each in quantities of 1,000 units. www.methode.com.

FuturePlus probe + Agilent analyzers

FuturePlus Systems has introduced the FS4300 analysis probe, which provides a mechanical and electrical interface between Fibre Channel and logic analyzers from Agilent Technologies. This allows designers and integrators to use an Agilent analyzer as a passive analyzer. The tools can be used to debug, test and verify compliance of Fibre Channel peripherals and systems.

The probe is a bus monitor that receives and preprocesses parallel data from Fibre Channel Gigabit Interface Converters (GBICs), and decodes the received transmission characters to data words. The probe presents the decoded data words and additional signals to Agilent logic analyzers. The FS4300 is available from Agilent, or visit www.futureplus.com.

TAPE

ATL intros FC P6000 library

Last month, ATL Products introduced the P6000 series tape library with Fibre Channel connectivity. The DLT library has been certified with Brocade's SilkWorm Fibre Channel switches and Veritas' NetBackup software in a SAN configuration. The tested library featured 80 drives, 1,630 cartridges, and an ATL-developed modular PCI bridge (the bridge was first introduced last September with the P3000 series). The P6000 features redundant, hot-swappable fans and power supplies. A fully configured 80-drive P6000 backs up and restores data at 1.4TB per hour and supports up to 15 embedded Fibre Channel interfaces. www.atlp.com.

Seagate announces LTO drive, autoloader

At CeBIT last month, Seagate displayed its Viper 200 tape drive, which is based on the Ultrium format of the Linear Tape-Open specification developed by Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Seagate (see November 1999 cover news story). First shipments are expected by mid-year.

The Viper 200 records up to 100GB of native capacity on a single Ultrium cartridge at speeds approaching 16MBps. A dynamic power-down system protects the media and mechanism in the event of a power loss by slowing both power reels simultaneously, maintaining proper media tension, and preventing unspooling.

Other features include a shock-dampened, isolated chassis; modular design; managed airflow dynamics; advanced error correction; and a timing-based servo system with redundant elements.

Additionally, FastSense technology mod-ulates the drive's tape speed to that of the host for continuous data streams, shorter backups, and less wear on drive components. For faster data access, Seagate has embedded a memory chip containing the cartridge index in the tape cartridge.

Seagate also selected Overland Data's LoaderXpress for its first LTO-based automation product. Seagate will market the LoaderXpress with the Viper 200 drive under its own brand. The 10-cartridge autoloader provides up to 1TB of native capacity.

LVD/HVD SCSI Viper drives, as well as the LTO autoloader, will be available this half. A native Fibre Channel drive interface is expected later this year. www.seagate.com, www.overlanddata.com.

Tandberg ships SLR100 autoloader

Last month, Tandberg Data expanded its SLR tape line-up with an eight-cartridge autoloader. The SLR100 autoloader is equipped with a 50GB SLR100 tape drive for native capacities to 400GB and native transfer rates to 10MBps.

Other features include a removable magazine, standard barcode reader, and compatibility with existing and future SLR products. Two autoloaders can be rack-mounted side-by-side in a 19-inch rack for up 800GB of native capacity. At $6,195, the autoloader is priced for entry markets. www.tandberg.com.

Overland simplifies SAN attachment

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Overland last month began shipping SAN-Piper, a SCSI-to-Fibre Channel bridge for SAN-based applications such as LAN-free and server-less tape backup (see March 2000 Special Report).

The bridge supports Overland's full line of autoloaders and libraries, including the LibraryXpress, LoaderXpress, Mini-LibraryXpress, EnterpriseXpress, and LibraryPro.

SANPiper provides up to four SCSI connections and up to six Fibre Channel ports, and supports single-ended and differential SCSI and copper, short- and long-wave Fibre Channel interfaces. Support for the SCSI Extended Copy command-a key requirement for server-less backup-is standard on all models. Advanced management capabilities, such as LUN zoning and LUN masking, provide tools for shared storage in heterogeneous environments.

Rack-mount and tabletop configurations are available. The 400 has one or two Fibre Channel ports and two SCSI connections, the 1000 has six Fibre Channel ports and four SCSI connections. Pricing starts at $7,295.

VR2 power

Separately, Overland Data late last month shipped its first Variable Rate Randomizer (VR2 ) SLR100 library to Tandberg Data. VR2 is an advanced data encoding technology that significantly boosts native capacities and transfer rates with no changes to tape path design, recording heads, or media (see InfoStor, December 1999). The autoloader has a native 400GB capacity and 18GB per hour transfer rate, which meets the needs of entry-level to midrange server markets. It has an MSRP of $6,195.

DLT1-based autoloader

Also, Overland recently announced a stand-alone 40GB DLT1 tape drive and a 400GB DLT1-based LoaderXpress autoloader (all native capacities).

The new products, which are based on Benchmark's DLT1 drive technology, position the company to compete in entry-level server markets currently served by 4mm DAT, 8mm, and other formats.

The stand-alone DLT1 drive has a native 40GB capacity and 3MBps transfer rate. With 10 cartridges, the DLT1 autoloader provides up to 400GB of native capacity. The LoaderXpress supports data management and backup software applications from Computer Associates, Legato, and Veritas in Windows NT, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, Linux, and NetWare environments.

Both the drive and the autoloader will be available this quarter. The LoaderXpress LX1B10 is priced at $4,695; the DLT1B drive at $1,495. www.overlanddata.com.

Benchmark ships DLT7 autoloader

Last month, Benchmark began volume shipments of a DLT autoloader-the DLT7-which is based on its DLT1 tape drive technology. With up to 280GB of native capacity and a 3MBps native transfer rate, the single-drive, seven-cartridge autoloader is designed for small to medium-sized NAS and SAN environments. The autoloader lists for $4,779.

Adds NovaNet 8 support

In a separate release, Benchmark and NovaStor announced a tape backup/software combination, also targeting small to midsize network environments. NovaStor's NovaNET 8 software enables centralized backup of Benchmark DLT1 drives and DLT7 autoloaders in mixed NT/2000, NetWare, and Linux environments. With NovaNet 8 support, system administrators can control backups from their desktop, eliminating the need to manually remove and insert tapes during the backup process. www.benchmark.com.

HP offers slot, FC upgrades

Hewlett-Packard last month detailed several tape enhancements, including scale-up kits for its SureStore/SureStore E libraries, a SCSI-to-Fibre Channel interface upgrade for its 2/20, 4/40, and 6/60 libraries, improved remote management cards/diagnostic tools, and an eight-port Brocade switch.

The library kits enable users to add 20 slots to existing SureStore and SureStore E libraries for improved capacity and performance. Two kits are available for each library family: 20- to 40-slot and 40- to 60-slot kits. Both SureStore kits are priced at $12,500; the HP SureStore E 20- to 40-slot kit lists for $15,875, the 40- to 60-slot kit for $14,875.

HP's plans also call for an LVDS-to-Fibre Channel upgrade kit mid-summer. The interface card will enable users to connect existing 2/20, 4/40, and 6/60 SureStore and SureStore E libraries to Fibre Channel storage area networks (SANs). The kit includes support for an eight-port Brocade Fibre Channel switch (available May 1) and new remote-management capabilities and diagnostic tools (e.g., 100Base-T connections, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, and Web-based library management).

The Fibre Channel interface kit is priced at $4,630. The remote management card will be included with the libraries at no additional charge. General availability for both products is July 1. www.hp.com/go/networkstoragesolutions.com.

Bundles Yosemite software

Yosemite Technologies' TapeWare storage management software is being bundled with Hewlett-Packard SureStore DAT and DLT tape drives. The software provides additional support for HP's One-Button Disaster Recovery technology in NT, Netware, and Linux environments. In addition to broader platform support, the latest release of the software (version 6.2) features TapeAlert support, software compression, remote administration for Lite Editions, and six-slot autoloader support. Disaster recovery, storage area network, and autoloader options are also available. Pricing ranges from $99 to $1,999, depending on the edition (Desktop, Data Center, Lite, Workgroup, and Universal). www.tapeware.com.

OPTICAL

JVC announces e-mail jukebox

Last month, JVC Digital Storage Systems introduced the E-Mail Management Solution, consisting of a JVC MC-2000 Series CD/DVD optical library bundled with xVault Inc.'s xVmail software.

The system manages a company's email, and offers a searchable archive system via either a Microsoft Outlook plug-in or Web browser.

The Windows NT system supports Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 with options for SendMail (Sun and Linux) and Lotus Notes.

Available in 100-, 200-, and 600-disc configurations, jukebox capacities range from 65GB to 390GB, while providing CD/DVD recording, labeling, and storage and retrieval capabilities over a LAN.

The E-Mail Management Solution is now shipping with 100-disc models starting at $35,000. www.jvc.net/ds2.

Sony expands Spressa CD-RW family

Sony Electronics expanded its Spressa CD-RW line with four new drives that record at 10x (CD-R) maximum speed, which enables a 650MB CD to be recorded in about seven minutes.

The Spressa i.LINK (CRX145E/XI) external drive, Spressa Professional external SCSI (CRX145S/XS), Spressa Professional internal EIDE (CRX145E/CH) and Spressa Professional internal SCSI (CRX145S/C) also support 4x maximum CD-RW recording speed and 32x maximum reading speed.

All four drives are available this month, with pricing starting at $249. http://www.sony.com/storagebysony.

SOFTWARE

Legato introduces GEMS SRM

Last month, Legato Systems introduced GEMS Storage Resource Manager (SRM) and GEMS SRM for Exchange. GEMS SRM offers cross-platform reporting, alerting, and tracking of trends and policies to help manage Windows NT, UNIX and Linux storage resource capacity, consumption, and availability.

From Intranet Web sites, GEMS SRM also automatically monitors and reports on all physical and logical storage resources.

GEMS SRM for Exchange provides similar functions for Exchange Server storage, providing a comprehensive view of the entire Exchange storage topology. The software also helps simplify the management of Exchange mailboxes, mailbox quotas, public folders, and users.

GEMS SRM is priced at $4,000, and $1,150 per connection to a managed system. Pricing for GEMS SRM for Exchange was not established at press time. http://legato.com/Products/index.html.

Sterling enhances Alexandria suite

With the release of version 5.0, Sterling Software recently upgraded its SAMS:Alexandria suite with storage area networks (SANs) in mind. SAMS: Alexandria 5.0 provides data protection and backup for Unix and Windows NT SANs.

Key features include simplified configuration of backups, archive,s and data restoration across a SAN; single-console media tracking and reporting across a SAN; and media coordination in a mixed UNIX/NT environment. The suite can also be configured to migrate tapes to multiple vault sites from several tape libraries across a network.

Pricing starts at $4,000 per server. www.sterling.com.


IBM makes broad tape improvements

Back-to-back announcements out of IBM's removable media storage systems division last month target capacity, support, and availability issues with its Magstar 3590, A60 Control Unit, and Virtual Tape Server families, respectively.

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By doubling the media length, IBM boosts cartridge capacity to 40GB (120GB compressed) on Magstar 3590 Model E drives, and 20GB native (60GB compressed) for specially equipped Model B drives. With 3:1 compression, a 10-cartridge single-drive 3590 autoloader (Model E11) now provides up to 1.2TB of capacity. The feature is standard with all models built after March 3, 2000.

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The 3590 E has a native transfer rate of 14MBps. A native Fibre Channel interface is expected later this year, which should boost compressed data rates to 60MBps, according to Ralph Mersiowsky, marketing communications manager for IBM's removable media storage systems.

Alternatively, the drives can be connected to ESCON via an IBM A60 Control Unit, which now supports eight ESCON channels. More importantly, the control unit will soon support mixed attachments-SCSI, FICON, and ESCON-for heterogeneous data sharing.

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"Along these lines, IBM says its Virtual Tape Server (VTS) later this year will support non-IBM platforms, specifically Sun. VTS currently runs in MVS, VM, VM/VSE, TPF, RS/6000, and SP/2 environments. More immediately, IBM announced peer-to-peer VTS capability, which eliminates single points of failures by creating a "shadow" copy of the data on a second (replicated) VTS. www.ibm.com.


Veritas cuts Exchange backup time, space

Introduced last month, Veritas Software's Remote Storage for Microsoft Exchange (RSE) is designed to minimize storage space on Microsoft Exchange servers by automatically moving email message attachments from Exchange databases onto secondary storage devices. The result is decreased backup and recovery times, and a potential for improving system performance.

The software is based in part on the Remote Storage Services (RSS) code in Windows 2000. However, the current version of RSE works with Windows NT; a Windows 2000 version is expected in the third quarter.

RSE uses hierarchical storage management (HSM) techniques that allow administrators to set thresholds to control the migration of message attachments. Shipments of RSE, as well as a Remote Storage API, are scheduled for next month.

Veritas also began shipments this month of a Data Analyzer for Exchange tool. The Java-based software interrogates Exchange Information Stores and reports information such as attachments vs. message text, age and size of messages and attachments, etc.

RSE is priced at $4,995 for a base kit (the ability to manage one Exchange server), and $995 for each additional managed server. www.veritas.com.


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