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In a continuing effort to reduce operating costs, Adaptec Corp. last quarter announced several cost-cutting measures, including the discontinuation and sale of its Fibre Channel assets.
Ending recent speculation about its entry into the tape market, at Comdex this month OnStream (Longmount, CO) will unveil its lineup, which includes a 15GB desktop drive and a 15GB/25GB model for low-end server applications. Starting at $299 and $499, respectively, the drives have been priced to compete in the robust removable storage arena--a market that is expected to top 53 million units in 2001.
With the announcement last month of its Atlas 10K and IV disk drives, Quantum became the first drive manufacturer to preview products that support the new Ultra160/m specification. Quantum expects to ship volume units of Atlas IV in the first quarter of 1999; full-scale production of 10K models is slated for the second quarter. Both drives also support UltraSCSI and Ultra2 LVD SCSI, and a Fibre Channel option is planned for the 10K sometime next year.
Positioned as an interim solution between the ATA/33 desktop interface and the next-generation 1394 interface, Ultra ATA/66 recently gained the support of a wide variety of vendors. Ultra ATA/66 was developed by Quantum, and Intel earlier this year announced its support (InfoStor, April).
Following the SCSI Trade Association`s (STA) ratification of Ultra3 this summer, a group of vendors recently announced support of the Ultra160/m SCSI interface, which is based on the Ultra3 specification. Supporters include Adaptec, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, LSI Logic, Mylex, QLogic, and Quantum.
Amdahl Corp. and McData Corp. have entered into a strategic alliance in an effort to bring high-availability, Fibre Channel SAN solutions to the data center. Amdahl will add McData?s ED-5000 Enterprise Fibre Channel and EFC Management software to its SAN offerings.
Boole & Babbage is now supporting EMC?s Symmetrix Open Storage (SOS) network-attached disk arrays in its SpaceView storage management software. Using the Symmetrix Manager API, SpaceView reports on SOS array configuration and performance.
CMD Technology is offering updated firmware that provides Y2K compliance for its Viper and Viper II RAID controllers.
Consolidating areas after its August acquisition of Symbios and citing a slump in the semiconductor industry, LSI Logic announced last month that it will lay off 1,200 employees. The cutbacks will be seen at in its Milpitas, CA, headquarters as well as facilities in Colorado and Japan.
Emass has increased the capacity and throughput of its AML/S automated tape library by integrating Sony?s enhanced AIT media. With the extended capacity, the AML/S tape library will offer aggregate data throughput of 1TB per hour.
IBM recently selected QLogic?s QLA2100 Fibre Channel adapter for its Netfinity servers. The adapters will provide connectivity between the servers and the newly announced Netfinity Fibre Channel storage system.
Last month, Computer Associates (CA) and Hitachi Data Systems announced a comprehensive strategic alliance, with initiatives in enterprise storage and information management areas under the Unicenter TNG umbrella. Unicenter TNG will be integrated into Hitachi?s Skyline and Pilot series.
Lucent Technologies will embed Mylex Corp.?s RAID technology into its next-generation voice-messaging platform.
Shortly before shareholders approved its sale to Quantum, ATL Products was awarded ISO 9001 certification for manufacturing policies, processes and procedures. ATL also recently announced a partnership with MTI Technology to distribute its DLTtape as part of its Infinity line.
Spectra Logic Corp. , announced support for Sony?s new extended length (230 meter) AIT-1 tape cartridges. Spectra Logic will provide its AIT customers with a firmware upgrade kit.
Sutmyn Storage Corp. recently inked an OEM agreement with Hitachi Data Systems whereby HDS will distribute its Scimitar virtual tape systems in Europe. Also, Sutmyn has certified HDS? Freedom 5700E and 7700E storage systems for use with Scimitar, and Hitachi has secured a bundling agreement with Harbor Systems Management. Harbor?s HFT software, when integrated with the 7700E subsystem, is designed to relieve network traffic and avoid downtime.
Vixel Corp. and Veritas Software signed a technology pact designed to improve fault tolerance in storage area networks (SANs). Veritas? predictive fault management software, coupled with Vixel?s Loop InSite management suite, proactively identifies and solves SAN problems. In a separate deal, Bell Microproducts will distribute Vixel?s Rapport interconnect products throughout North America.
News Analysis Trends
With the increasing deployment of Windows NT Server Enterprise Edition, clustering is becoming a popular way of achieving high availability without the expense of deploying fault-tolerant redundant systems. Unlike redundant systems, which simply mirror the functions of the primary server and perform no additional tasks, clusters play a dual role. They run their own applications, such as e-mail or web access services, and they are capable of temporarily taking over the functions of any failed ser
Storage administrators have no qualms confessing their difficulty in trying to proactively manage distributed storage resources. But have no fear, the task may soon get easier. An emerging solution, enterprise storage resource management (ESRM) software, may solve some of their problems.
With the advent of Ultra2, SCSI has been born again. Featuring low-voltage differential (LVD) technology, the new interface is expected to span many generations. Ultra2 SCSI offers VARs, systems integrators, and OEMs improved performance, reliability, and connectivity over previous SCSI technologies (see table).
Networks often have inadequate bandwidth for storage transfer and data sharing. As storage needs increase, companies add more devices, causing further congestion and increasing the risk of downtime and subsequent revenue loss. The situation is further complicated by interoperability issues among incompatible heterogeneous systems.
In today`s distributed work environments, with scattered regional, satellite, and home offices, centralized control and backup of storage resources has become crucial for IT departments striving to secure an organization`s primary asset--its data. Faced with the time restrictions of travel to regional offices and limited employee resources, IT managers must also control such distributed storage resources in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Storage area networks (SANs) represent a fundamental shift in the way distributed computing environments relate to storage resources--a shift that has important ramifications for the way storage is managed. This article examines how data protection can be managed in a SAN today. Next month, we`ll examine the potential of improving the management and protection of storage with SANs.
The debate is raging over the future method of attaching hard drives to storage subsystems. Fibre Channel-Arbitrated Loop (FC-AL) is threatening to unseat parallel SCSI. Meanwhile, a new version of SCSI--Ultra160/m (a subset of the Ultra3 SCSI specification)--is emerging. (For more information on Ultra160/m, see News)
The computing industry is about to go through another major change, catalyzed by high-bandwidth Fibre Channel and scalable switches and hubs. It comes under the umbrella terms of storage area networks (SAN) and the associated concept of intelligent network-attached storage (NAS) devices. In some ways, these technologies are simply natural evolutions of today`s network systems. But they also provide an opportunity to run businesses and systems in a fundamentally different--storage-centric--way.
A combination of DLT tape drives and a robotic tape library puts high-speed multi-terabyte backup into the enterprise
Digital Video Systems (DVS) recently introduced a 5.2x DVD-ROM drive, targeted primarily at the OEM market. The drive is compatible with most optical media, including DVD Video, DVD-R, CD-ROM, CD-Audio, CD-R, CD-RW, Video CD, CD-I/FMV, and Photo CD. The drive runs in Ultra DMA 33 mode, or twice the speed of EIDE. OEM pricing is approximately $100.
Claiming as many as 17,800 I/Os per second and a 73MBps throughput, ECCS recently began shipments of the Synchronix 2000 RAID system. Features include dual active/active controllers with dual Ultra SCSI host busses, mirrored cache and five Ultra SCSI data busses. The array can store data from heterogeneous hosts (e.g., Unix and Windows NT). The system`s array-based failover does not require additional host drivers.
The newest member of Exabyte`s Arrowhead family of tape libraries is the 690D, a scalable DLTtape library solution for large application and data servers. According to industry analyst firm Dataquest, this market is expected to double over the next three years. The 690D can be configured with 30, 60, or 90 cartridges with two to six drives for up to 6.3TB of compress capacity and a maximum throughput of 60MBps. The library is available in rack or stand-alone configurations and features removable
Aimed at systems designers and integrators, Finisar`s Gigabit Traffic-Jammer (GT-J) provides conformance and reliability testing for Fibre Channel products. Using a stimulus/response approach to error verification, the GT-J can generate virtually any type of error and monitor the results. The test instrument includes two 254MB protocol trace analyzers and can be plugged into a network between Fibre Channel devices in point-to-point, loop, or fabric configurations. Price: $125,000.
With 20GB of compressed capacity and a maximum transfer rate of 2MBps, the SureStore T20 from Hewlett-Packard targets low-end applications such as small-business servers, peer-to-peer networks, and PC workstations. The Travan-based T20 comes bundled with Replica Backup software for HP SureStore Tape to simplify setup and backup procedures and TapeAlert for improved reliability. The T20X drive includes Replica Single Server software for complete server backup and disaster recovery capabilities.
Due through the channel by the end of the year, Hewlett-Packard`s HHBA-5100A and HHBA-5101A are Fibre Channel host bus adapters for 32-bit or 64-bit PCI systems. Based on HP`s HPFC-5100 Tachyon TL controller chip, the 5100A uses a DB9 connector for twisted-pair copper connection, while the 5101A uses a gigabit interface converter (GBIC) interface.
IBM plans to offer an Ultra SCSI option for its Magstar 3590 tape drives in the first quarter of next year. The interface will provide a burst transfer rate of 40MBps, or a sustained rate of 33MBps. In addition, company officials say a 20GB (uncompressed) version of the 3590 is due early next year, to be followed by a 40GB implementation by 2000.
Demonstrated at Comdex this month, ICP vortex`s 64-bit PCI-Fibre Channel RAID controllers are scheduled for volume shipments in the first quarter. Company officials claim burst rates of 264MBps via a 33MHz PCI interface. Available in one-port (GDT6519RN) or two-port (GDT6529RN) versions, the controllers include an XOR engine for optimized RAID 4/5 operations. RAID 0, 1, and 10 are also supported. Other features include multi-level delayed write and read-ahead cache, support for loop topology, an
Legato Systems has started shipping its NetWorker Hierarchical Storage Manager (HSM) Client, designed to facilitate data migration. HSM allows users to define storage policies that control the placement of online data storage, and automatically moves infrequently-accessed files to secondary storage devices. The HSM client is integrated with Legato NetWorker`s backup and restore software and is compatible with Windows NT, UNIX, and NetWare.
On the heels of its acquisition of Symbios, LSI Logic recently began shipments of the next generation of MetaStor "intelligent storage hubs." The new devices add an integrated advanced intelligent tape (AIT) library and a Web-based graphical user interface (JetWorks Plus). The AIT library provides one terabyte (uncompressed) and a backup rate of up to 500GB per eight hours.
nStor Corp. recently began shipments of the thinStor 300, a network-attached storage (NAS) option for its CR8e and CR8j RAID subsystems. The advantages of NAS include easier setup and configuration; reduced downtime; simplified management; and increased performance. The thinStor "thin server" includes a 200MHz Pentium CPU with 32MB of memory, dual Ultra/Wide SCSI ports, an Ethernet connection and a printer port. Protocol support includes TCP/IP, SMB, HTTP, and NSF Version 2. The thinStor option
OTG Software last month released the 4.0 version of its DiskXtender storage and document management software. An NT kernel version, the new release supports storage area network (SAN) architectures and Windows NT 5.0. DiskXtender supports tape devices as well as a number of optical formats, including WORM, erasable and CD-ROM. The 4.0 release includes enhanced hierarchical storage management features, agent/server technology, pre-fetch capabilities and centralized remote administration.
This quarter Plasmon will venture into tape automation with a series of libraries based on IBM`s Magstar MP 3570 drive technology. According to a technical licensing agreement with IBM, Plasmon will offer the libraries as a midrange solution for applications such as data warehousing, disaster recovery, and storage management.
In the last month, Plextor introduced two optical drives. The UltraPleX 40max is a 40x speed CD-ROM drive that spins media at more than 8,000rpm and supports Ultra SCSI burst transfer rates of 20MBps, with sustained transfer rates of 2.6MBps to 6MBps for standard CD-ROM and CD-R media. The UltraPleX reads CD-R/W media at 8x speeds. The drive contains a 512KB buffer with 80ms average random seek and 85ms average random read times. The UltraPleX 40max lists for $189 for the internal drive and $27
This month, Procom Technology began shipments of a network-attached RAID subsystem that in some configurations will cost about 13 cents per MB, based on expected street pricing. Procom sells primarily through resellers and distributors.
At this month`s Comdex, Vixel demonstrated the Rapport 2006, a six-port managed hub for Fibre Channel-based storage area networks (SANs). Features include loop integrity, auto-recovery, and added diagnostic and management capabilities to maximize loop uptime. The hub is priced at $3,695.
Yamaha Systems Technology recently unveiled two 4x CD-RW drives, both featuring 4x write/rewrite and 16x read speeds. The CRW4416S (SCSI interface) and CRW4416E (EIDE interface), offer the fastest rewrite speed of any CD-RW drive on the market, claim Yamaha officials. The drives incorporate all features of earlier Yamaha Multifunction CD-RW drives as well as a new z chip set and optical head.
In the RAID market, the four leading systems vendors (Compaq, HP, IBM, and Sun) command about 60% of all revenues. That`s in part because their products are competitive with those from independent suppliers, but it`s also because end users often buy storage somewhat blindly from the same vendor that won the server sale.