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Adaptec Inc. extended its acquisition spree with the April announcement that it intends to purchase Ridge Technologies. While the $21.2 million price tag could portray Ridge as a minor storage vendor, the pending acquisition holds significant meaning for Adaptec as it looks to diversify its technology and product base.
Looking to expand its scope within the storage market, Ampex Corp. recently announced its intention to acquire RAID and thin-server vendor MicroNet Technology in a stock swap. The announcement represents the first development from a directive made in January by Ampex CEO Edward Bramson, who said the company would look for strategic acquisitions to help increase its technology base and to boost sagging revenues. First quarter sales in 1998 fell more than 20% from the same period in 1997.
According to a number of industry forecasts, Fibre Channel implementation will remain strong and steady through the year and will experience a significant jump in 1999, as compatibility and interoperability issues are addressed and as leading vendors such as Compaq and EMC begin to incorporate the technology into their product lines. In fact, the worldwide market for RAID subsystems with Fibre Channel host connections, reports Dataquest, a market research firm in San Jose, CA, is expected to inc
Last month, HighGround Systems released version 2.0 of its Storage Resource Manager software for Windows NT-based predictive reporting and storage management. (For a hands-on review of the product, see IT/IS Labs review.)
IBM plans to fill in some holes and to expand the reach of its storage management software strategy over the course of this year. For example, the company plans to release a new suite by year`s end. Called Enterprise Storage Resource Management (ESRM), the suite will encompass a number of management functions, including asset, capacity, configuration, performance, policy and recovery management, as well as data/device/ media migration functionality. Although ESRM will be a separate product, IBM
Not to be outdone by virtually every other midrange tape drive manufacturer, Sony Electronics last month unveiled plans for the second generation of its Advanced Intelligent Tape (AIT) technology. The announcement came on the heels of a number of tape-related product introductions, licensing agreements, and road maps, including those from Quantum, Overland Data, Tandberg, and the HP-IBM-Seagate troika (see "Tape Options Expand; Midrange Getting Crowded, "InfoStor, May).
Blame it on increasingly specialized needs of end-users, blame it on vendors, or blame it on El Nino, but the once-clear differentiation between network-attached storage devices (NASDs) and more traditional, yet specialized, servers is blurring.
Andataco Inc. and OANDAO are the new name and ticker symbol (Nasdaq/ Small Cap) for IPL Systems Inc., which was traded under the ticker symbol OIPLS.O The changes result from the June 1997 merger of Andataco and IPL.
As Dell Computer looks to expand its scope into the workstation market, it has selected Quantum?s Viking II Ultra2 SCSI 9.1GB and 4.5GB hard drives. The Viking drives, along with Intel?s new high-speed 440BX processor chip set, will power Dell?s new Precision WorkStation 410 product line.
Computer Associates (CA) announced that PC systems integrator Entex Information Services would employ CA?s ARCserve backup software to help protect more than 100 enterprise servers within its worldwide network.
DataDirect Networks and Prisa Networks recently announced an alliance designed to bring products to the emerging SAN market. By combining Prisa?s Fibre Channel adapter expertise with DataDirect?s networking software and RAID background, several combined products announcements are expected later this year. DataDirect also announced a strategic agreement with Brocade Communications Systems. The pact calls for Brocade?s SilkWorm Fibre Channel switches to be integrated into DataDirect?s network dat
Digital?s StorageWorks RAID Array 7000 and 10000 subsystems are now certified as Cluster/RAID devices by Microsoft?s Windows Hardware Quality Lab. The certification means that the hardware can be combined with other Microsoft-approved devices to create high availability Microsoft Cluster Server solutions under the Windows NT 4.0 Server, Enterprise Edition umbrella.
For corporate and retail end-users, Ingram Micro and Tech Data will also offer Snap! Server to their broad VAR base and through their national retail and catalog reseller partner agreements.
For use in its ADSTAR Distributed Storage Manager software, IBM has tested and is now incorporating the AML/S automated tape libraries from Emass. RAID manufacturer nStor announced it has signed a distribution agreement with Peripheral Technology Group in Chanhassen, MN.
Interface Solutions Group announced it will assist Iomega in developing SCSI Disk Target firmware for its rigid removable storage devices. The firmware handles all of the SCSI hardware interface control and SCSI low- and high-level transport protocols. With the agreement, Iomega hopes to lessen its time to market for its products.
Late last month, Quantum Corporation announced plans to acquire tape-library manufacturer ATL Products for $300 million. The all-stock transaction is expected to be completed in September. Quantum has also inked a supply agreement with Exabyte in which Quantum will supply and support its DLT tape drives for inclusion into Exabyte?s DLT tape libraries and the new Arrowhead line of DLT libraries. Arrowhead products will use Quantum?s DLT4000 and 7000 drives. IBM also recently selected Quantum?s D
MediaLogic has inked a distribution deal with Peripheral Technology Group. PTG will distribute all of MediaLogic?s line of DLT, AIT, 4mm, and 8mm automated data library systems.
Overland Data has signed distribution agreements with Bell Microproducts and Tech Data. The announcements mark the first two national distributor pacts for the company?s line of automated DLT storage products. Both Tech Data and Bell will carry Overland?s entire DLT line, including Loader Xpress, autoloader, LXS mini-library, and Library Xpress.
Shortly following its announcement of the Snap! Server, Meridian Data launched a broad distribution strategy toward both government and civilian end-users. On the government side, GE Capital Information Technology Solutions and Government Technology Services will carry the network-attached storage product on their GSA schedules and other procurement contracts.
Storage Area Network (SAN) Solutions has been formed in Incline Village, NV. SAN Solutions will initially focus on specialized management software tools to assist post-production and broadcast facilities as they move toward high-speed networks.
StorageTek and Compaq will work together as a result of a research and development agreement aimed at enhancing performance of Windows NT-based storage networks. StorageTek officials also announced that its 9730 Library is now integrated with Computer Associates? ARCserve, Unicenter, and TNG solutions to provide fault tolerance across tape media, tape drives, and library components for the Windows NT environments.
Sutmyn Storage Corp. announced an alliance with EMC certifying EMC?s Symmetrix enterprise-level storage systems for use with its Scimitar Virtual Tape Server. Sutmyn America and its partners will distribute the combined products throughout North and South America.
In an effort to reduce storage management costs, Artecon has introduced RAIDScape 1.0, enterprise storage management software designed to centralize administration of distributed network storage. From a single console, RAIDScape can configure, maintain, and monitor Artecon disk arrays attached to multiple server platforms running different operating systems. RAIDScape reports storage system status to enterprise management software such as HP`s OpenView, IBM/Tivoli`s TME, or Computer Associates`
At last month`s N+I show, Brocade Communications demonstrated its zoning service on a Fibre Channel fabric, which the company refers to as a server-storage area network, linked via three Brocade SilkWorm Fibre Channel switches. The fabric was delineated into eight zones, encompassing Unix and NT systems.
Creative Design Solutions (CDS) has introduced the Plug & Stor 300, a hot-pluggable thin server for heterogeneous Windows NT and Unix environments. As the newest entry into the Plug & Stor line, the model 300 is the first thin server from CDS to incorporate user-level security, local tape backup, and NFS support for file sharing across heterogeneous platforms.
Distributed Processing Technology (DPT) jumped into the Fibre Channel arena last month with the SmartRAID V Century Fibre Channel controller, which also includes an Ultra Wide SCSI interface. DPT claims PCI bus data transfer rates of 132MBps burst (66MBps sustained) and a Fibre Channel sustained data rate of 100MBps. The I2O-compliant controller includes an Intel i960 processor and both interfaces on a half-size card with a list price of $1,095. The i960 offloads I/O processing from the host CPU
Exabyte`s new mirroring configurations enable users to make multiple copies of data in the same amount of time it takes to make a single copy. The solutions use Exabyte`s Mammoth drives and SCSI interconnects. The M10 is a stand-alone mirroring controller that connects one host to two Mammoth drives; the M12 includes drives, controller, and hardware for 19-inch or stand-alone mounting.
Within the next month, Hitachi America will begin shipping engineering samples of disk drives with 12,000rpm rotational speeds. Hoping to be first to market with the high-speed drives, Hitachi expects production shipments of Ultra-2 SCSI versions in September, with Fibre Channel models to follow in October.
Hewlett-Packard this month began shipping the SureStore CD-ROM Server/Tower 7 and 7Plus, which allow users to share CDs over a network. Based on thin-server technology, the CD-ROM server operates independently of host file servers. The servers also support DVD-ROM. Features include:
Clocked at 7MBps (up to 15MBps compressed), IBM`s Magstar MP 3570 "Model C" subsystem is three times faster than previous models equipped with "B" drives.
Intelligent Computer Solutions (ICS` Image MASSster disk duplication system now supports the NT File System (NTFS) for copying Windows NT to multiple drives. Working with ICS` IQcopy technology, the system duplicates data-only sectors--not blank sectors. The company claims administrators can simultaneously duplicate NT from a source drive to as many as 16 target drives in less than one minute.
JMR Electronics recently began shipping a line of RAID enclosures for 3.5-inch drives. The Wildcat enclosures include hot-swap locking canisters, front-panel drive activity and power-on LEDs for each slot, audible and visual alarms for temperature, power and fan failure alerts, and Narrow and Wide SCI ports. The five-bay model comes with three 65W hot-swap power supplies and a 92mm fan; the three-bay design offers a 150W power supply and an 80mm fan.
Claiming a data transfer rate improvement of 400%, JVC Professional Computer Products Division`s MC-1200 (200 discs) and MC-1600 (600 discs) are based on a 32X CD-ROM reader. Data transfer rate is spec`d at 4.8MBps, vs. 1.2MBps for previous models. Average data access time is 85 milliseconds, a 26% improvement. The MC-1200 ($10,395) and MC-1600 ($16,095) can store 130GB to 390GB, respectively.
Broadening the partnership between the two companies, Legato Systems has added support for Digital Unix and Digital NT/Alpha platforms to its NetWorker, BusinessSuite, and GEMS software.
Micro Design International (MDI) this quarter announced new network-attached and server-based DVD-ROM product lines. Second-generation DVD drives provide access to all media types and offer data access to and from DVDs and CDs. Users can choose between tower or rack configurations and can add MDI`s SCSI Express software to manage the various media. Pricing ranges from $399 to $65,995.
American Megatrends Inc. (AMI) last month introduced the MegaRAID Cluster Enabler Bus Extender, which increases SCSI cable lengths to 20 meters. The expansion is possible by electrically isolating both the external and internal SCSI buses. The bus extender can operate in synchronous or asynchronous transfer mode, with internal or external mounting capabilities. Based on a Symbios 120 chip, the 2.5-inch x 4-inch extender provides device status and SCSI activity information via four LEDs.
Mitsubishi Electronics and a number of its partners have enhanced the SuperDisk LS-120 while making it easier to integrate the drive into older PCs. Mitsubishi and Maxell, for example, recently announced the availability of the PCMCIA SuperDisk, a half-inch 10-ounce implementation based on Mitsubishi`s slim-line SuperDisk design for notebooks. SuperDisk packs 120MB, is backward compatible with standard 1.44MB diskettes, and competes with removable storage devices from Iomega. Available this mont
Mylex last month announced the AcceleRAID 200 series adapters, which add hardware RAID functionality to Intel motherboards with on-board SCSI. General availability is slated for the third quarter. The adapters include a 66MHz Intel i960RD processor, monolithic Windows NT driver, and Mylex`s 86238 controller chip and are based on the company`s DAC960PJ controller architecture. The AcceleRAID family will be available in two versions: The model 200 uses the SCSI channels on the motherboard; the mod
Adding to the growing ranks of vendors shipping NAS devices, Network Storage Solutions recently began delivery of its SPANStor-SE, -FT and -GT servers. The devices scale from single Network Processor-based units delivering 2,500 network operations per second at under 8-millisecond response times, according to NSS, to servers based on four Network Processors that can handle more than 10,000 network operations per second.
This month, Quantum will begin production shipments of the next generation of its Fireball desktop disk drives. The 3.5-inch Fireball EL includes Quantum`s Shock Protection system (SPS), which addresses the issue of drive reliability with a redesigned mechanical system. Available in capacities of 2.5GB, 5.1GB, 7.6GB, and 10.2GB, the drives include a 512KB buffer. Other specs include a 5,400rpm rotational speed, 9.5ms average seek time and an Ultra ATA interface. Suggested retail pricing ranges f
Joining the trend toward thin servers, Raidtec`s RAIDserver is a network-attached storage device that can be linked directly to any 100 Base-TX or 10 Base-T LAN. (For more information on NAS, see "Users Embrace NAS Benefits,"InfoStor, April, p. 14) Features of the RAIDserver include support for RAID levels 0, 1, 3, and 5, TCP/IP with SNMP management, and support for SMB and NFS. The server is available in tower, mini-tower, and rack mount configurations, with pricing starting at $3,195.
Priced at $979, Simple Technology`s 5GB hard drive for notebook computers comes in a 2.5-inch form factor with an EIDE interface. The drives come bundled with EZ Drive software, which provides backward compatibility with older generation laptops. The software also provides data mirroring for transferring files to the new drive.
Xyratex`s Fibre Channel Protocol Analyzer Plus (PA+) is a dual-channel protocol test system targeted at the broadcast and video post production markets. The PA+ provides tools for real-time capture and monitor, off-line viewing, and analysis of traffic at gigabit speeds in arbitrated loop, point-to-point, and fabric topologies.
News Analysis Trends
In an era of planned obsolescence and surging technological advancements, the longevity of software investments is all too often measured in months, not years. But data protection is so critical to business operations that companies cannot afford to have a short-term view when it comes to storage management. In fact, with corporate resources at risk, anything less than a long-term storage management solution is simply no solution at all.
Five vendors. Five solutions. One goal: to provide access from heterogeneous platforms to a common pool of data.
Competition in business was dynamic in the last decade, is extremely intense today, and promises to become downright fierce as we enter the next millennium. This competitiveness has, in part, been fueled by deregulation in the telecommunications and transportation industries and by market globalization.
Electronic data vaulting may be a less costly and cumbersome approach to backing up data at offsite locations.
The advent of Fibre Channel appears to have divided the storage world into two camps: serial Fibre Channel vs. parallel SCSI. In reality, relatively short field experience with Fibre Channel products has given rise to a third camp that calls for the coexistence of the two interfaces. The fact is SCSI and Fibre Channel will coexist for the foreseeable future.
Scalability may be the key to a solid data warehouse storage foundation, but there are a number of other factors to consider.
These are times of great innovation in storage systems. But without major improvements to the way data is stored and managed, there are serious practical limits to the scalability of these systems. The storage industry is working to create an infrastructure that meets future requirements. Though there is much left to do, a technology exists that changes the way storage and data associates with servers. The concept is dedicated networks, or storage-area networks (SANs).
A recent survey by the Meta Group consulting firm of Stamford, CT, revealed that 30% of data warehouse projects "meet or exceed expectations," 50% "meet expectations to some degree," and 20% are considered "abject failures."
In the past, each functional department within a company collected its own data. Manufacturing was the keeper of parts and supplier data; marketing had all the information about recent trade shows and ad campaigns; and sales knew how much product was sold when and where. Although you could get useful data from your own department, you could not access that of other departments for a complete picture of your company`s business.
Reader I O
Let me see if I really understand Steve Hammond`s article regarding rewritable DVD [March, "Deja Vu All Over Again?"].
I read the April issue of InfoStor and have a follow-up question that you may be able to address. Does anyone have real data describing the storage lifetimes of these media: magnetic tape, CDROM, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD, DVD+RW, DVD-RAM?
I`m a consultant with Actium, a systems integrator based in Conshohocken, PA. I picked up your magazine at a client site and have found it to be very worthwhile. I wasn`t particularly aware of network-attached storage prior to reading your publication ["Users Embrace NAS Benefits," April cover story], but I am a firm supporter of the concept. I tend to specialize in databases, and the benefits of NAS for fault tolerance and hot backups is considerable (mostly in the Unix environment since NT d
You can never have enough up-to-the-minute--or at least up-to-the-hour--information about the state of all on-line, fixed-media storage in a large enterprise environment. That is the philosophy behind Storage Resource Manager (SRM) from HighGround Systems.
As InfoStor continues to grow, we continue to add sections and departments. This month, we kick off our labs reviews. The testing is actually performed by the IT/IS Labs staff at our sister publication, BackOffice, which focuses on the Windows NT market. (For more information or to subscribe, head for www.backofficemag.com.)