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Networking giant 3Com last month jumped into the market for storage area networks (SANs) based on the Fibre Channel storage/network interface. It was the first instance of one of the leading network vendors (about $6 billion in annual revenues) entering the fledgling market.
A recent study from Disk/Trend Inc., in Mountain View, CA, concludes that CD-ROM drives will continue to dominate as the leading optical distribution medium. The research firm estimates that CD-ROM will account for 83.2 million of the 94.2 million optical disk drives shipped this year.
This month, Compaq introduced an integrated backup configuration for storage area networks based on the Fibre Channel interface, enabling servers to share tape libraries on an arbitrated loop. The architecture also enables concurrent backups from multiple servers to single or multiple DLT tape libraries.
With the introduction of its VXA line of tape drives early next year, Ecrix Corp. hopes to do more than glean market share from reigning tape formats such as digital data storage (DDS). The startup plans to stem potential competition from emerging technologies like TeraStor`s near-field recording.
Following the cue of most other major systems vendors, Hewlett-Packard recently laid out its road map for storage area networks (SANs). The cornerstone of HP`s strategy is its OpenView management suite, which provides a wide range of tools for managing networks, events, performance, software, security, and storage.
Three months after announcing and leading the cause for Ultra160/m SCSI, Quantum and Fujitsu appear to be the only hard-disk-drive manufacturers backing the interface, which is based on the Ultra3 SCSI standard.
Seagate Technology and Hewlett-Packard recently announced that they are working toward next-generation Fibre Channel products with transfer rates of 2Gbps and 4Gbps. Company officials say demand for these higher-performance devices is being driven by applications such as video streaming and by OEMs that are selling into fabric environments with cascaded loops, hubs, and switches.
Crag Technologies was formed last month with a goal of facilitating storage area network (SAN) integration and management. The San Jose company will target OEMs with a RAID array and SAN management software.
At its recent users forum, StorageTek demonstrated four storage area network (SAN) solutions, adding to the growing list of companies plunging headfirst into the developing SAN market.
Next month, Veritas Software`s acquisition of Seagate Software is expected to be finalized. With an estimated stock value of $1.6 billion, the merger will make Veritas the largest storage management software provider for distributed systems environments.
AC&NC recently introduced the JetStor desktop RAID subsystem, with dual Ultra SCSI host and drive interfaces, a RISC RAID processor, five fans, and seven drive bays for a maximum capacity of 126GB. A 32GB version is priced at $6,500; 63GB, $7,999; 126GB, $12,250. www.acnc.com.
Addonics Technologies recently announced PocketDVD, a mobile DVD-ROM drive with a PCMCIA interface card that provides DVD/MPEG II audio and video playback on notebook computers. PocketDVD has a maximum data transfer rate of 2.7MBps in DVD mode, and 3MBps in CD-ROM mode. Windows 95/98 MPEG II decoding software and drivers for Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows NT are included. List price: $499. www.addonics.com.
Aiwa last month began shipping an external version of its Bolt tape drive, which was introduced earlier this year. Like the internal model, the external product provides up to 10GB of capacity and has a 50MB/minute data transfer rate. The drive comes bundled with Backup Exec software for Windows 95/98 and Windows NT 4.0 and can read Travan TR-3 cartridges, though reformatting is necessary. Two cartridge capacities are available: 6.6GB and 10GB. The drive lists for $179; the media for $35.99 and
Amdahl last month introduced a suite of bundled packages that allow users to cluster over Fibre Channel-Arbitrated Loop (FC-AL) configurations. Included are Fujitsu teamservers, LVS storage arrays, and LifeKeeper for Windows NT high availability software. A basic configuration includes two teamservers and one SCSI-based Amdahl LVS 4000 array attached via FCAL, with support for up to 16 nodes. Pricing is dependent on server-storage configurations. www.amdahl.com.
As evidence of falling prices for Fibre Channel switches, Ancor Communications` latest addition to its GigWorks MKII line of Fibre Channel switches is an eight-port version priced at $1,250 per port, which approaches the cost of managed Fibre Channel hubs. Features of the MKII-8 include SNMP and Web-based management, hard and soft zoning, and self-configuring ports (arbitrated loop, point-to-point, or switch-to-switch modes). Ancor officials claim a switch latency of approximately 500 nanosecond
With a native capacity of up to 280GB, the PowerStor L200 is ATL`s lowest storage-capacity offering to date, targeting lower-capacity Unix and NT backup applications. The product is also ATL`s smallest library, designed to operate in less than one cubic foot of space. The library is equipped with one DLT4000 or one DLT7000 drive and has eight cartridge slots. A precision cartridge handling system featuring a side-based roller system limits movement between cartridge magazines and DLT drives for
Smart Storage`s SmartCD Duplicator software for Windows NT now supports CD-R autoloaders from Cedar, MediaFORM, and Mitsui. The suite enables administrators to network the autoloaders to provide automated, on-demand CD duplication as well as pre-master images from desktops and send them to NT duplication servers for duplication and customized labeling. SmartCD Duplicator is also available for CD-R jukeboxes ranging from 100 discs with two CD-R drives to 600 discs with up to 8 CD-R drives. Pricin
Creative Design Solutions (CDS) has announced a group of software suites designed for use with its Plug & Share thin-server line. Kharma and Kharma Pro are client and workgroup versions of mirroring software designed so that once a file is saved, it recognizes the modified file and immediately sends a copy to a Plug & Share device. Its MobilGuard technology insures that files changed on laptops while not connected to the network can be mirrored upon reconnection. Both are compatible with Windows
Creative Design Solutions (CDS) has released Pi, an EIDE-based network-attached storage (NAS) server designed for remote office/business markets. The server runs CDS` Simplicity software, which supports both NAS and storage area network (SAN) architectures. The software includes an operating system layer, device drivers, network protocol layer, and user interface layer. The Pi server includes two drive bays, a Pentium processor, and 10/100 Base-T Ethernet and EIDE interfaces. OEM pricing starts
To facilitate data access between tape libraries and desktops, ADIC has introduced AMASS for Windows NT. The software transparently manages file indexing, media spanning, and data storage/retrieval and enables users to drag and drop files to and from the library. On-line data indexing and advanced caching help maintain performance levels. A library can be configured either as one large "disk" or divided into sets corresponding to a particular project, user, or time span. www.adic.com.
Eurologic`s XL 500 disk subsystem is based on an 80MBps Ultra2 LVD SCSI interface and a JBOD configuration. The subsystems come with SCSI Accessed Fault Tolerant Enclosure (SAFTE) compliance and optional SCSI Enclosure Services (SES) compliance. In addition, the XL 500 is designed for telco compliance, with features such as 48-volt power supplies. www.eurologic.com.
HighGround Systems released Storage Resource Manager (SRM) 3.0, an enterprise version of its Web-based software that centrally monitors the availability, use, and performance of Windows NT and BackOffice storage. HighGround has improved scalability in SRM through its integration with Microsoft SQL Server. To help with various tasks, including NT server rollout, server consolidation, backup/recover, and capacity planning, the console-like interface creates shortcuts to commonly requested reports,
Hitachi America has started shipping its third-generation, GD-2500 DVD-ROM drive. Designed primarily for OEMs and resellers, the drive has a maximum transfer rate of
Due in production volumes in the next quarter, LSI Logic`s 32-bit SYM21002 is a dual-channel PCI-Ultra/Ultra2 SCSI host bus adapter aimed at OEM/VAR markets. The adapter can separate Fast and Ultra SCSI devices (up to 40MBps) on a separate channel from 80MBps Ultra2 SCSI devices. The board supports up to 30 devices and includes LSI`s SCSI Device Management Software (SDMS). OEM pricing is $212.50 in 25,000-unit quantities. www.lsilogic.com.
Mitsubishi Electronics America and Winstation Systems recently introduced MediaPak, which combines a slimline SuperDisk drive and a 24X CD-ROM in a single 5.25-inch unit. Available with IDE or SCSI interfaces, MediaPak can be used with Windows, Macintosh and Unix platforms. OEM quantity pricing for the internal SCSI version is $275, or $318 for the external version. The internal IDE version is $225. www.winstation.com.
NSM Jukebox has announced the Galaxy series of CD/DVD libraries, which allow users to configure up to six CD-R drives (12X read, 4X write), up to 14 CD-ROM (32X Multi-read) drives and/or backward-compatible DVD-RAM drives. The jukebox can hold 410 to 620 discs, or up to 2.9TB, and transfer data at 4.8MBps. Pricing starts at $20,000. www.nsmjukebox.com.
Procom Technology introduced new AIT and DLT autoloaders for NT and Novell workgroups. The AIT line-up includes a four-cartridge autoloader for up to 200GB of compressed capacity and a dual-loader mini-tower for up to 400GB. Both products incorporate memory-in-cassette, a 16Kbit chip that enables instant access to tape directory information for improved access rates. Other features include a 6MBps compressed transfer rate, a file access time of less than 55 seconds, and read-after-write enhanced
Mylex last month began OEM shipments of a $399 (MSRP), single-channel RAID adapter with an 80MBps Ultra2 LVD SCSI interface. The AcceleRAID 150 will be available next month through distributors and resellers, and is expected to compete with low-cost adapters from vendors such as Adaptec and AMI. Mylex officials expect the street price to range from $200 to $300.
Ricoh Consumer Products Group has announced the MediaMaster MP7040A, a 4X CD-R/CD-RW drive, with a 2MB buffer and 4X recording speed on write-once media, 4X recording and re-writing on Ricoh`s 4X media, and up to 20X reading speed for all CD media. The drive supports CD-Digital Audio, CD-ROM, CD-ROM + CD-DA, CD-ROMXA, Photo CD, CD-I, CD-Extra and Video CD. Suggested retail price: $399. www.ricohcpg.com.
Solid Data Systems` Excellerator Ultra is a solid-state-disk subsystem that supports 40MBps Ultra SCSI, 14-microsecond access times,10,000 I/Os per second, and 536MB to 17.4GB capacities. An Excellerator 800 model comes with 526MB ($25,010) or 5.36GB ($78,180). An Excellerator 1000 starts at 1.07GB ($46,610) and scales up to 17.36GB ($226,050). www.soliddata.com.
At Comdex last month, Sony Electronics` recording media and energy group exhibited SuperStation, a tape backup solution for PC applications. SuperStation uses either 6.6GB or 10GB quarter-inch minicartridges and has a maximum transfer rate of 50MB per hour. The desktop solution is available this month in internal and external configurations for a suggested retail price of $149.99 and $179.99, respectively. Cartridge prices start at $24.99 for a single 6.6GB pack. www. sony.com.
Via a bridge, Spectra Logic has added Fibre Channel connectivity to its Spectra 10000F tape library, which is based on Sony`s Advanced Intelligent Tape (AIT) technology. Instead of OEMing a bridge--sometimes called a converter or controller--from vendors such as Crossroads, Spectra Logic developed its own bridge, based on QLogic`s 64-bit chips and Spectra Logic`s 64-bit PCI memory controller. The Fibre Channel option has a price premium of $1,900 over a differential SCSI interface ($3,150 vs. $1
St. Bernard Software has expanded its open file management product line by introducing Open File Manager (OFM) 5.2 for Netware 4.x. The utility works with existing backup software and enables any backup program or operating system copy function to capture open files even as they are changing. Pricing starts at $575. www.stbernard.com.
Last month, Sterling Software introduced SAMS:Vtape, a virtual tape suite designed to provide scalable, easy-to-use storage and to eliminate compatibility issues among MVS host-based networks. SAMS:Vtape creates virtual tapes and devices within MVS systems and reduces the need to mount physical tapes. When data is transferred to tape, it is buffered and written to physical tapes under the software`s control, ensuring that tape media is fully used. Pricing starts at $25,000. www.sterling.com.
Last month at Comdex, Verbatim introduced the 4420 CD-RW drive. In addition to formatting a CD-RW disc in less than 30 seconds, the Verbatim 4420 offers random- erase technology that enables users to erase or directly overwrite individual files. The drive features 4X writing to CD-R and CD-RW media, 4X overwrite to CD-RW, and 20X read ability for CD-ROM, CD-R, and CD-RW media. MSRP is less than $400. www.verbatim.com.
Acer America and Tandberg Data inked an OEM agreement where Tandberg`s 32GB MLR1 tape drive will serve as a storage option for Acer`s new Altos 1100 network server.
Artecon and Gadzoox have entered into a reseller agreement whereby Artecon will resell Gadzoox` line of Fibre Channel hubs and switches. Artecon also plans to incorporate QLogic`s QLA2100 PCI- to-Fibre Channel host adapter into its SuperFlex7000FC Fibre Channel RAID system.
Avnet announced plans to distribute a variety of drives from Fujitsu Computer Products of America. Under the agreement, Avnet will distribute Fujitsu`s enterprise, desktop and mobile hard drives, magneto-optical drives and tape drives.
Dell Computer has entered the network-attached storage (NAS) market by signing an OEM deal with Network Appliance, an agreement that is expected to broaden the market for networked file servers. Dell`s NAS products are due next year.
Gadzoox Networks announced a "storage switch" technology designed to lessen the cost and complexity associated with SAN switch products. Companies supporting the technology include 3Com, Clariion, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi Data Systems, Intel, and Seagate Technology. Gadzoox also recently introduced the GAIN (Gadzoox Associates In Networking) channel partner program. Designed to help develop the SAN market, GAIN offers technical training and certification to assist distributors and their res
Gordian Partners and the Taiwan-based Media Press have formed New Techology Development (NTD), a Laguna Hills, CA, company that will manufacture and market network-attached CD-ROM jukeboxes. NTD officials anticipate shipping 1,000-disc jukeboxes in April.
Groupe Bull has selected the Emulex LightPulse LP7000E PCI host adapter as the Fibre Channel solution Bull will offer with their Escala servers.
Harbor Systems Management and St. Bernard Software have extended their reseller relationship. Harbor will resell St. Bernzard`s Open File Manager suite as part of its line of storage management software. This version is configured for use with Harbor Backup and will also work with its recently announced Harbor Network Storage Manager.
Hitachi Data Systems announced that its enterprise Hitachi Freedom Storage 5700E subsystem is now certified by Microsoft to support the Windows NT environment.
IBM has agreed to license the Removable Storage Manager (RSM) software that HighGround Systems developed for Microsoft`s Windows NT 5.0. IBM will use RSM for development of applications that share media, devices and libraries among distributed, heterogeneous storage environments.
InRange Technologies recently signed a licensing agreement with Ancor Communications. InRange will incorporate Ancor`s Fibre Channel technology into its products, such as the CD/9000 Channel Director, which provides linking between ESCON hosts and peripherals. InRange also signed a joint technology licensing deal with CoreData Inc. The companies plan to address the remote and mobile PC market by running CoreData`s RemoteWorx remote user backup software with InRange`s ESM/9000 storage management
Last month, BMC Software announced plans to acquire Boole & Babbage in a stock deal worth about $900 million. The merger could be finalized as early as next month.
Legato Systems an-nounced plans to acquire FullTime Software for approximately $69.4 million. Formerly known as Qualix Group, FullTime provides distributed, enterprise-level software that manages application service-level availability. Upon completion of the acquisition, Legato plans to integrate FullTime`s complete product suite. Legato also announced its SAN Ready Program, which makes implementing advanced storage management faster by helping Legato customers easily identify interoperable SAN
LSI Logic Storage Systems and Spectra Logic Corp. have announced an agreement where Spectra Logic will provide integrated backup and restore functionality for LSI`s MetaStor NAS products. The two companies will combine efforts on a NAS robotic tape library and backup software.
Mylex Corp. unveiled its new reseller program last month. The Mylex Reseller Services Program will include an exclusive reseller-only Web site, a product evaluation program, lead referrals, expanded sales and marketing tools, a quarterly newsletter and priority technical support.
Quantum Corp. and its Japanese partner, Matsushita-Kotobuki Electronics (MKE) will dissolve their recording heads joint venture, MKE-Quantum Components, based in Shrewsbury, MA. The two companies may sell the operation.
RAID vendor Digi-Data Corp. is offering a guaranteed sustained data transfer rate for its Fibre Channel and SCSI RAID controllers. If a Digi-Data RAID controller fails to deliver the sustained data transfer rate quoted to the customer, the company will refund the purchase price.
Seagate Software announced the selection of Network Associates as an anti-virus software supplier for integration into its storage management products. Seagate now incorporates Network Associates` VirusScan API with all shipments of Backup Exec for Windows NT 7.2 and version 7.0 of Backup Exec Small Business Server Suite for Windows NT.
The I20 Special Interest Group has released version 1.5 of the I2O specification to all industry product developers. The I2O specification is an open, standards-based approach to the design of intelligent I/O subsystems, which can eliminate the need for OS-specific drivers.
Unisys Corp. unveiled plans to OEM ADIC`s FastStor DLT storage device as a backup system to complement its line of servers.
Veritas Software has announced several recent distribution, OEM, and sales/support agreements. The first is with Sun Microsystems, which will distribute, sell and support Veritas Editions, NetBackup, and HSM suites. Under a new OEM, technology development and distribution agreement with Dell Computer, the two companies will collaborate on future disk and tape management technologies. Veritas also announced that NetBackup now supports Sony Electronics` PetaSite mass storage library and DTF tape d
News Analysis Trends
Amid all the hype surrounding DVD and other emerging optical technologies, CD-Recordable (CD-R) and CD-ReWritable (CD-RW) continue to meet the demand for increased data storage capabilities. In fact, CD-RW drive demand is on a steep growth path, with shipments expected to spurt from about two million units this year to 14 million in 2002, according to Dataquest, a market research firm in San Jose.
Near-field recording`s competitive position may be slipping due to product delays, but the technology still holds great promise.
Service level agreements and the right software facilitate management and availability planning for backup and recovery.
A look at the key trends that shaped the storage industry over the last year in the interface, tape, optical, and software markets.
In the second of a two-part series, we look at emerging management strategies for storage area networks.
When we planned this issue`s cover story a few months back, TeraStor assured us that shipments of its much-anticipated near-field recording (NFR) drives were on schedule and due "by the end of the year." As the story was being filed, TeraStor announced that product delivery would slip--this time to the second quarter of next year. Bear in mind that NFR drives and media were originally due early this year.