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Posted on November 01, 2008

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Overland adds midrange NAS

Overland Storage has filled a gap in its family of NAS systems and upgraded its operating system and replication software with the introduction of the Snap Server 620 and new versions of its GuardianOS (GOS) and Snap Enterprise Data Replicator (EDR) software.

The Snap Server 620 uses AMD Opteron processors to deliver 63% faster performance than its predecessor, the Snap Server 520. The platform can be configured with four SATA drives for an initial capacity of up to 4TB and optional scalability up to 88TB using expansion shelves.

The starting price for a Snap Server 620 with 1TB of capacity is approximately $7,000.

On the software front, Overland enhanced GuardianOS 5.0 with new features for data protection and access security, while providing more heterogeneous file-sharing capabilities.

Overland has rewritten its Linux kernel for improved stability and performance, and improved support for Windows file and folder access control lists. GOS 5.0 also features native Windows and Unix permissions handling for consistent security across all client access protocols, and support for RAID 6 and RAID 10.

Overland also expanded its NAS replication functionality with the release of Snap EDR 7.2. The software is embedded in GOS 5.0 and moves data among Snap Servers and Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX platforms. EDR 7.2 also includes compression and encryption, along with centralized administration, job scheduling, reporting, open file support, and clustering.

The Snap Server 620 comes with BakBone Software’s NetVault: Backup 8.1 software. Users can activate the NetVault license to enable tape backup from the NAS server.

Existing Snap Server users can upgrade to GOS 5.0 and EDR 7.2. BakBone’s NetVault: Backup 8.1 is available as an integrated feature for Snap Server models 650, 620, 520, and 410. The software is optional on Snap Server 210 and 110. Additionally, EDR 7.2 is available in both standard and express editions as optional software for all Snap Server models.

IBM ships SAS ‘SAN’ for blades

IBM recently began shipping a blade system chassis that includes blade servers, networking gear, management software, and a “SAN” based on a SAS fabric. The system is aimed at small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and branch offices in search of a way to consolidate multiple storage devices and servers onto a single blade computing system.

The centerpiece of the new BladeCenter S is a shared-storage architecture that employs SAS-based switches to create a SAN within the BladeCenter S chassis. The SAN can share its storage with any of the blade servers within the system, allowing physical blades to host a number of virtual machines. IBM plans support for VMware ESX infrastructure and VMotion functionality.

The BladeCenter S is housed in a 7U rack chassis with support for as many as six blade-server bays and up to 12 SAS or SATA disk drives for a total capacity of up to 9TB.

Pricing starts at $2,599, including power supplies, fans, and rack rails and a DVD/CD combo drive.

Nexsan enables archiving-as-a-service

Nexsan’s Assureon 6.0 is a new version of its archiving platform designed to alleviate the security, management, cost, and energy consumption concerns associated with content-addressable storage (CAS) archives.

The Assureon 6.0 software architecture can virtualize a system into an unlimited number of physically secure archives, making it a viable archiving platform for hosted storage service providers.

The system scales to support multiple virtual file systems, creating independent CAS archives within one consolidated archive, providing physical separation of individual customers’ data.

Assureon 6.0 technology is embedded in 2U servers and attaches via Fibre Channel to Nexsan’s SATABoy, SASBoy, and SATABeast disk arrays. The archive can subsequently take advantage of the power-saving features of Nexsan’s arrays and AutoMAID technology.

AutoMAID places unused data into progressively more idle states to save energy. It gives users the option of choosing among three levels of energy savings, each with its own performance metrics.

The first level offers 20% power savings with response times of less than 10 seconds, and once the first file is accessed, the disks perform at full speed. For level two, AutoMAID slows down the drives to about 4,000rpm for energy savings of up to 40% and response times of 15 seconds or less. The third level puts drives into a “light sleep,” yielding up to 60% energy savings. Once the drive comes out of its level-three nap, the first I/O transaction takes 30 seconds or less.

Assureon 6.0 also includes digital fingerprinting technology that tracks the chain of custody for each file for compliance purposes.

Fujitsu debuts ‘unified storage’

Fujitsu Computer Systems is targeting resellers and SMBs with a new “unified storage” system that serves both block and file data. The UDS 1000 is a NAS appliance that scales in capacity to as much as 24TB using the company’s Eternus storage technology and takes advantage of the hybrid storage capabilities of Microsoft’s Windows Unified Data Storage Server (WUDSS) to manage iSCSI block-level data.

The UDS 1000 includes a Fujitsu Primergy RX200 S4 server running WUDSS with an Eternus 2000 Model 100 entry-level disk array. The system can support up to 24 SAS drives.

What may differentiate the UDS 1000 are the software features that come at no additional cost, including snapshots, file-level data de-duplication, and replication.

Pricing for the UDS 1000 starts at $10,000 for a 4.5TB system.

ONStor targets channel

ONStor has released two members in its Pantera family of clustered NAS platforms designed specifically for the channel. The Pantera 3110 and 3110-HA filers include virtual file server technology and Nexsan’s SATABoy RAID arrays, which can pack up to 14TB in a 3U form factor. The Pantera 3110 is priced at about $30,000 in a 7TB configuration, and the Pantera 3110-HA is priced at about $50,000 with 10TB of capacity.

Super Talent ships <$300 SSDs

Super Talent Technology is shipping a 64GB solid-state disk (SSD) flash drive priced at $179, and a 128GB SSD priced at $299. Common features of the 2.5-inch MasterDrive LX SSDs include a SATA interface, NAND flash technology, sequential read speed of up to 100MBps and sequential write speed of up to 40MBps, and wear leveling technology.

Double-Take: DR for 2nd tier

Double-Take Software has released Livewire, a disaster-recovery tool for second-tier servers that are low on the priority list in most disaster-recovery plans.

Livewire sets up continuous full system image backups to a central disk-based recovery server that can be local or remote. Because Livewire copies full system images, everything on the protected server—including data, applications, operating system, and configuration information—is continuously replicated, allowing the entire server to be restored to its most recent state or to a previous point-in-time snapshot. Livewire can also restore server images to dissimilar physical servers or virtual machines based on a VMware ESX Server.

Company officials note that the lower recovery priority on second-tier servers has relegated them to tape backup, which requires a lengthy and manual restore process. Servers protected by Livewire are kept up-to-date on disk and are ready to recover to any physical or virtual machine in just hours—or less, depending on the size of the server.

Along with its byte-level replication for both physical and virtual environments, Livewire also supports many-to-one configurations where multiple production systems can be protected to a single image server. Other features include an option that enables physical-to-virtual and physical-to-physical migrations, while providing the ability to repurpose the Livewire licenses after migration for ongoing protection.

Livewire is sold as a stand-alone product or as an option for Double-Take’s flagship replication-and-recovery software. The stand-alone version is priced at $1,295 per protected server. The Livewire Option for Double-Take replaces the Server Recovery Option for the software and is priced at $595 per server for existing users.

UltraBac targets VMware

The latest release of UltraBac Software’s UBDR Gold software includes an option that can create a VMware Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) file while capturing a live system snapshot backup. This simplifies disaster recovery by eliminating the conversion required by a typical physical-to-virtual (P2V) operation. Administrators only need to create a “standby” virtual machine and then set it up to receive the VMDK backup file from the physical production server’s daily backups.

iStor adds HA to iSCSI

The latest version of iStor Networks’ software adds high-availability features for the company’s iS512 iSCSI subsystems, which support 1Gbps or 10Gbps Ethernet. The new feature enables dual-controller iS512 arrays to automatically detect malfunctions in the operational controller and switch to the redundant controller without loss of data or performance.

Seagate launches SaaS company

Seagate Technology has formed a new company created to provide all of its software-as-a-service (SaaS), hosting, managed storage, and consulting services under a single brand.

Seagate has been building toward the i365 launch since 2006, gobbling up smaller companies along the way to create a comprehensive data management and protection services portfolio.

In 2006, Seagate acquired ActionFront Data Recovery Labs and created Seagate Recovery Services. In 2007, Seagate purchased EVault (which provides data backup-and-recovery software and SaaS), the Open File Manager product line from St. Bernard Software, and MetaLINCS (which provides e-discovery software as well as hosted and managed services).

The products that make up the Seagate portfolio in this market will retain their pre-existing nomenclature, but will be sold under the i365 brand.

The new portfolio comprises i365 EVault Data Protection software and SaaS offerings for backup and recovery; i365 Retention Management solutions for data recovery, migration, restoration, and data management; and i365 MetaLINCS E-Discovery services for first-pass processing and content analysis of electronic information.

i365 launched with about 500 employees and an existing customer base of approximately 22,000.

Product highlights from SNW

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has launched a new line of midrange storage systems and software enhancements for its Universal Storage Platform V (UPS V) and USP VM platforms, including hardware-based encryption for data “at-rest.” The new Adaptable Modular Storage (AMS) 2000 Series systems are 4× faster than previous models and support iSCSI, NAS, and Fibre Channel connections. The AMS 2100, 2300, and 2500 feature Dynamic Load Balancing Controllers, a 3Gbps SAS backplane and power-saving “Spin down; Spin up” technology that enables disk drives to be powered down when they are not being accessed by applications.

Entry pricing for a base configuration of the AMS 2100 is just under $20,000 and includes dual controllers and management software. The AMS 2100 and 2300 are available now, while the AMS 2500 will be available later this year.

In the enterprise-class arena, HDS is now offering controller-based encryption for data at-rest. A new back-end “director,” or controller, encrypts data on all internal drives without degrading system performance. Additionally, integrated key management can be used to export encryption keys that can be backed up and stored at an off-site location or with a commercial key escrow service for added security.

Hitachi also announced enhancements to its Dynamic Provisioning software, including dynamic online virtual volume expansion for Windows servers and extended support for Hitachi TrueCopy Remote Replication and Universal Replicator software. The extended support enables pair operations between dynamically provisioned volumes and static volumes, and online Dynamic Provisioning volume capacity expansion.

Hewlett-Packard is also focused on disk encryption. The company introduced hardware encryption for data at-rest on the HP StorageWorks XP24000 and XP20000 disk arrays and a new key management platform that generates and manages encryption keys for any storage device.

From a management perspective, HP unveiled a new version of its Secure Key Manager (SKM) hardware product, the SKM 1.1, which now supports up to two million keys and automates encryption key management for HP’s LTO-4 tape libraries. The SKM provides identity-based access, administration and logging, lifetime key archival, and automatic multi-site key replication.

Encryption for the XP24000 or XP20000 will be available in December, with the option to add the encryption feature to existing disk arrays. Pricing will start at $23,000 and will vary depending on models and configuration. Secure Key Manager 1.1 will be available in December 2008 at a list price $28,500.

FalconStor Software announced that its Network Storage Server (NSS) works with Windows Server 2008 Multi-Site Clustering to support disaster recovery over WANs in both physical server and Hyper-V virtual server environments. 

Fadi Albatal, FalconStor&apos;s director of marketing, says the combination of Windows Server 2008 Failover Clustering and Hyper-V virtual servers enables automatic fail-over of applications running on geographically dispersed physical and virtual servers, and lowers the overall cost of recovery from server failure. With FalconStor’s NSS software, users can replicate to a remote site using nearly any vendor’s storage equipment at either location.

Start-up Axxana launched a so-called “indestructible black box” that protects data from disasters. The product is based on Enterprise Data Recording (EDR) technology and creates something similar to a flight data recorder for business critical information. Axxana’s first EDR system combines the data-recovery certainties of synchronous replication with the distance and cost advantages of asynchronous replication.

The result, according to Axxana CEO Eli Efrat, is rapid post-disaster application recovery, with no data loss. The technology also expands the scenarios under which synchronous replication protects data, such as an on-site communication link failure or regional disaster. The Axxana Black Box connects to a storage array directly, through a switch, or through a replication appliance.

Keeping with the theme of disaster recovery, InMage Systems launched a new version of its flagship software product, DR-Scout 4.2. Enhancements include support for Windows 2008, Windows on Itanium, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, VMware ESX, HP-UX 11iv3, and AIX 6.1.

Also new to DR-Scout 4.2 are expanded audits and operational reports, role-based access control, support for local direct synchronization of data for faster resynchronization times across WANs and LANs, capacity-based licensing, and application support for MySQL on Linux and Oracle on Linux and Windows.

Additional features include Profiler and Analyzer, which assist disaster-recovery and storage managers in capacity planning for storage and the WAN circuits that connect the primary production and secondary recovery facilities. Bandwidth utilization can be adjusted based on the time of day, and DR-Scout accommodates WAN outages by queuing data changes until the connection is re-established. DR-Scout is platform-independent and offers heterogeneous storage support for direct-attached storage, SAN, NAS, and iSCSI.

STORServer released a new e-mail archiving appliance based on Mimosa’s NearPoint dynamic content archiving software. The STORServer Email Archiving Appliance includes tools for e-discovery, disaster recovery, regulatory compliance, business continuity, and storage optimization.

The appliance supports systems ranging from 100 to tens of thousands of mailboxes. A hot-plug modular architecture allows servers and storage to be added or removed as required to match performance needs, without breaking the logical consistency of the archive information. Archive storage capacity grows automatically, and default configuration and wizard-driven menus simplify deployment and management.

Cleversafe is widening its reach beyond block-level data to include files, and announced a new data storage appliance and software upgrades for its core Dispersed Storage Network (dsNet) technology.

Cleversafe’s technology divides data into “slices” using Information Dispersal Algorithms and disperses those slices to multiple storage nodes on a dsNet.

The sum capacity of the slices is significantly less than maintaining multiple copies of the original data. The new dsNet technology features a second vault structure with file-object orientation to complement the already-supported block vaults.

Compellent Technologies announced it will offer continuous, coordinated access to all data stored on Compellent SANs between remote locations with a new automated business continuity feature called Live Volume. Bob Fine, Compellent’s director of product management, says Live Volume will allow enterprises to manage disparate storage sites as one virtual data center. Live Volume will let IT managers automatically migrate storage volumes as they move applications from one physical or virtual server to another for maintenance, local site issues, or disaster recovery.

Live Volume integrates with virtual server platforms, giving them the ability to share centralized storage resources regardless of the actual location or virtualization platform.

Compellent also announced that its suite of virtualized storage applications will support solid-state disk (SSD) drives. Compellent SANs will reserve frequently accessed, active blocks of data for “Tier-0” storage for applications like transactional databases that can take advantage of the performance gains of SSDs, and move inactive data blocks to lower storage tiers.

Compellent Storage Center with SSD support and Live Volume will be available in early 2009 through the company’s international channel partners.

Originally published on .

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