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In what appears to be the first comprehensive book on SANs, Tom Clark`s Designing Storage Area Networks is a must-read for anyone considering implementing a storage area network (SAN), as well as those involved in producing SAN components.
With the announcement of Open SAN Solutions last month, ADIC added its name to the growing list of systems providers, storage-centric integrators, and tape library manufacturers offering storage area network (SAN) services. Though the level of SAN support varies from vendor to vendor, all are addressing the underlying implementation and interoperability issues associated with early SAN deployments.
Startup DataCore Software is developing what it refers to as a "storage network operating system" based on its Storage Domain Server software. In beta at several OEM and reseller sites, the software is due by the end of this year.
Dell Computer took a significant step toward offering heterogeneous storage area network (SAN) functionality last month by acquiring San Jose-based ConvergeNet Technologies in a stock swap worth approximately $340 million. The acquisition is expected to close next month.
A flood of vendor roadmap announcements and the growing acceptance of Fibre Channel increased end-user awareness of storage area networks (SANs) during 1999, according to a SAN report released last month by Peripheral Concepts, a market research firm in Santa Barbara, CA.
Addressing two of end users` primary concerns about Fibre Channel and storage area networks (SANs), the Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) plans to showcase interoperability and management at next month`s Comdex show, Nov. 15-19. The exhibit will take place in Room N250 of the Las Vegas Convention Center and will include more than 50 vendors. "The main focus is on interoperability and management, to show that Fibre Channel is ready for prime time," says Michael Fitzpatrick, FCIA chairman
In further testament to the strength of the network-attached storage (NAS) market, Hewlett-Packard late last month added a family of midrange hard-disk servers to its NAS line-up of CD/DVD-ROM towers.
After more than 30 years in development, a working prototype of a removable, holographic disk drive may be produced within two years, say officials with Imation Corp. and Lucent Technologies. Under a recent agreement, Lucent`s Bell Labs research arm in Murray Hill, NJ, will develop the drive technology while Oakdale, MN-based Imation will produce the media.
Maxtor Corp.`s August acquisition of Santa Clara, CA-based Creative Design Solutions (CDS) marks the second disk-drive vendor to buy its entry into the network-attached storage (NAS) market this year. In May, Quantum acquired Scotts Valley, CA-based Meridian Data.
As the optical market begins a new millenium, the fortunes of CD and DVD formats will be moving in distinctly different directions, according to a report from Disk/Trend Inc., a storage market research firm in Mountain View, CA.
At Networld+Interop last month, TapeLabs demonstrated centralized tape backup in both SCSI and Fibre Channel environments. At the center of the architectures is TapeServer, a software-enhanced server that sits between multiple hosts and tape devices, enabling shared backup in cross-platform storage area networks (SANs).
Apcon Inc.`s 4X2 SCSI Switch enables to multiple servers to share a single tape backup device. Based on low-voltage- differential (LVD) SCSI, the switch allows six independent SCSI buses to be selected and electronically connected in any combination via switch circuits, providing access to 28 SCSI peripherals. The switch includes redundant power supplies, fans and RS-232 serial port connections, and an optional LAN port for TCP/IP connectivity. Price: $2,995. www.apcon.com.
Connector Resources Unlimited (CRU) has begun shipping the DataPort V series of disk enclosures with 66MBps ATA66 interfaces. ATA66 is an enhanced version of the Integrated Device Electronics (IDE) interface. The company claims the removable cartridges can withstand 25,000 insertions because of gold-plated DIN connectors. Suggested retail prices range from $118.95 to $136.95, depending on the rotational speed of the 3.5-inch drives. www.cruinc.com.
In its first product announcement, Dot Hill Systems introduced two SAN management software suites: SANpath 2.0 and SANscape 2.0. SANpath 2.0 manages Dot Hill`s SANnet RAID arrays configured in a SAN and provides LUN-masking for resource sharing. SANpath assigns logical unit numbers (LUNs) to servers in a SAN. A filter driver blocks access to non-assigned servers, eliminating contention between data commands.
Just a week following FibreAlliance`s submission of its management information base (MIB) specification to the Internet Engineering Task Force, Gadzoox Networks became one of the first companies to offer a supporting software suite late last month.
Within the next month, Hitachi America Ltd. is expected to begin shipping 2.5-inch disk drives with capacities of 6GB to 18.1GB. The DK23AA family includes three 9.5mm-height drives (6GB to 12GB) and a 12.7mm-height 18.1GB version. All of the drives feature giant magneto-resistive (GMR) heads and Hitachi`s Modified Extended Extended Partial Response Maximum Likelihood (MEEPRML) read channels, which support an areal recording density of 10.79Gb per square inch.
Shipping this month, Land-5`s "full" Fibre Channel enclosure includes three dual-loop Fibre Channel channels for a potential aggregate throughput of 600MBps. Available as an enclosure or in JBOD or RAID configurations, the ICEbox FC 2500 includes up to 18 drives per array; up to 15 arrays can be linked for more than 10TB of capacity. The array is fully redundant, including power supplies and fans, and optional active/active controllers. Pricing starts at $5,495. www.land-5.com.
Available within the next two months, McData Corp.`s EB-1200 FabricGate is a bridge for linking SCSI hosts or storage devices to Fibre Channel-based switched fabrics. The bridge is part of McData`s FabricPak integrated bundles, which include hardware, software, and services. In host mode, the EB-1200 connects up to two servers to a Fibre Channel storage area network (SAN) via SCSI interfaces. In storage mode, the bridge connects SCSI tape or disk devices to the fabric. The EB-1200 works with McD
MicroNet recently announced support for Sony`s AIT-2 tape drives. MicroNet currently offers AIT-2 as an external drive and as a drive module in its DataDock family of subsystems. The second-generation AIT drive features 100GB of compressed capacity and a sustained compressed transfer rate of up to 12MBps. It is backward read and write compatible with first-generation drives and supports Windows, Windows NT, MAC OS, and SGI IRIX. Other features include MIG head technology for improved durability,
Overland Data`s full line of libraries, including the low-end LoaderXpress and high-end EnterpriseXpress, have been certified to support Legato`s Celestra agent architecture, which enables server-less backup.
Last month, Pioneer New Media Technologies began shipping its DVD-114/104S, a 10x DVD-ROM drive. With compatibility with single- and dual-layer DVD-ROM, DVD-R, CD-ROM, and CD-R media, the drive provides random seek times of less than 90ms for DVD-ROM and 70ms for CD-ROM. DVD-114/104S access times are less than 100ms for DVD-ROM media and 80ms for CD-ROM.
Smart & Friendly introduced CD Rocket Mach 12, the first 12x CD-Recorder with CD-RW capability. CD Rocket Mach 12 provides 12x write, 4x rewrite, and 32x playback speeds and is bundled with several software applications, including Adaptec Easy CD Creator 4 Deluxe, Adaptec Toast for Macintosh, PowerQuest Drive Image, Sonic Foundry CD Architect, and Sonic Foundry Sound Forge XP.
Last month, St. Bernard Software released version 6.0 of its Open File Manager (OFM) software. OFM is a utility that enables all major backup programs to capture open files and relational applications. Version 6.0 adds support for Windows 2000 and NetWare 5; integrated CD/Web-based installation, upgrades and registration; and embedded open-file functionality within partner backup products. The software is priced on a per-server and workstation basis. Free trials are available at www.stbernard.co
Based on 9840 drive technology, StorageTek`s 9738 tape library is designed for workgroups and small- to mid-size businesses. STK is positioning the library as an alternative to optical systems, claiming faster throughputs and lower cost. Introduced last December, the 9840 drive stores 20GB (native capacity) per cartridge and has a 10MBps native data transfer rate and an average search time of 11 seconds.
Straightline`s Harrier Plus AIT libraries now include the Harrier Internet Console with onboard web server and Ethernet interface for management over the Web. Internet access provides a virtual view of the library, enabling system administrators to manage the library`s performance and up-time off-site.
Last month, Veritas Software rolled out two software suites that provide backup for remote/mobile users. The release of TeleBackup for Workgroups 2.5 and TeleBackup 2.05 are the first results of Veritas` acquisition of TeleBackup Systems.
Last month, Vixel introduced the model 2100 Zoning Managed Hub, which includes zoning capability for up to four independent Fibre Channel loops. With zoning, which is common with switches, any port can be assigned to any loop. Due to the independence of each zone, a loop initialization primitive (LIP) in one zone does not affect applications running in other zones--a common problem with arbitrated loop configurations. Additionally, devices can be added or removed from the hub without disruption.
News Analysis Trends
Many business contingency plans are untested. In the event of a disaster, would your plan meet the challenge?
Going beyond video applications, a variety of companies are building Fibre Channel storage area networks for a wide range of applications and reasons.
Choosing a failover configuration involves weighing passive and active redundancy and asymmetric versus symmetric designs.
Many organizations that have rolled out client-server infrastructures now have multiple islands of computing. While a local area network (LAN) connects each of the islands and its related storage, direct access to that storage is not always possible. Moreover, this type of infrastructure is expensive, inefficient (duplicate resources), and difficult to manage. And it is almost impossible to enforce standard policies.
Running multiple protocols--such as SCSI and IP--saves slots and cabling, and opens up new network storage management opportunities.
Multiple backup tape copies and a redundant array of independent libraries (RAIL) provide continuous operation and data protection.
SAN management involves multiple layers, from SNMP-based device control to enterprise-level systems/network management frameworks.
Chaparral Network Storage and nStor recently announced an OEM agreement that calls for nStor to integrate Chaparral`s Ultra2-to-Ultra2 RAID controller into its NexStor 8Le RAID array.
Continuing to assemble a nation- wide storage facility network, startup StorageNetworks Inc. (SNI) last month entered into an alliance with Comdisco. Comdisco will provide the facilities, personnel, servers, and network resources to connect SNI`s StoragePOP data storage centers to Comdisco`s business continuity facilities.
Data General`s Clariion Storage Division is offering SAN-based information sharing through an agreement with Mercury Computer Systems. Integrating Clariion Fibre Channel storage subsystems with Mercury`s SANergy software is designed to address the rapidly expanding data sharing segment of the SAN market.
EMC and Lucent Technologies entered into a joint marketing and qualification agreement last month. EMC`s storage systems are the recommended high-availability choice for Lucent`s line of Distributed Network Control Platform (DNCP) servers.
Exabyte recently became an associate membership in the FibreAlliance, an association of Fibre Channel hardware and software vendors.
Intel selected Emulex`s LightPulse LP8000 host adapter and LH5000 digital hub for use with its eight-way servers based on the Profusion chipset. The selected products are part of a recommended system solution backed by Intel, Clariion, and LSI Logic.
Last month, Ancor Communications announced it will offer switches for NetWare Cluster Services (NCS) for NetWare 5 in Fibre Channel environments. Ancor also announced a deal with Advanced Digital Information Corp. (ADIC) to provide its eight-port GigWorks MKII Fibre Channel switches for ADIC`s Open SAN Solutions.
Last month, Bull Information Systems formed a Storage Server Business Unit (SSBU) and the StoreWay suite of hardware, software, and practices to target storage area networks (SANs). The SSBU is located in Phoenix, and is part of the company`s Server Division. Bundled systems and services in the StoreWay initiative include Fibre Channel infrastructures, disk arrays, remote data vaulting, SAN-enabled backup and restore, disaster recovery and centralized SAN management. Bull co-developed HighGround
Last month, Legato launched the Continuum program of software and services to help customers maintain data availability. The program offers four levels of service: Standard Backup and Recovery; Transparent Data Protection, addressing server-less backup and data recovery; Fault Resilience, which provides automated response capabilities to minimize application interruptions; and Continuous Operations, providing remote site failover in the event of a site outage.
Last month, San Diego-based JNI Corp. filed for an initial public offering. JNI plans to offer up to $80 million of common stock.
Merisel last month became a distributor for Fuji Photo Film`s Fujifilm-branded products, including floppy and Zip disks, CD-R discs and 4mm, 8mm and DLTtape data cartridges.
Microsoft awarded its "Designed for BackOffice" logo certification to CommVault Systems for its Vault98 Windows NT storage management software. The certification means Microsoft recognizes the software`s compatibility with Microsoft Exchange Server, SQL Server, and NT file systems.
Novell also selected Gadzoox Networks` Capellix Fibre Channel switch for use in NetWare Cluster Services (NCS) for NetWare 5. Also on the Novell front, RAID array vendor XIOtech has announced support for NetWare Cluster Services for NetWare 5.
Separately, Legato and Network Appliance have entered into a partnership. As part of the agreement, Legato developed NetWorker ClientPak for NetApp, a backup application for high availability and disaster recovery protection for Unix and Windows NT.
The I2O Special Interest Group has a new web site for system developers who use I2O technology. The site enables developers to register on-line, download the specification, and find answers to development questions. The site is located at www.i2osig.org.
Vixel`s 8100 fabric switch has been certified for use with S-Class disk arrays from MetaStor Storage Solutions.
E-commerce is growing dramatically due to increasing numbers of Internet users who appreciate the speed and convenience of online transactions. As a result, most companies are expanding beyond bricks-and-mortar storefronts to online sites that extend traditional business models. Data is flowing across networks in unprecedented levels as transactions are logged, verified and stored for later use. This explosive growth in e-commerce is driving demand for storage solutions that can accommodate all
In the past six months, the buzz surrounding outsourcing for applications, networks, and data centers has intensified dramatically. For IT managers, the multitude of options for working with outside providers can be overwhelming, especially given the high stakes of bringing external partners into a critical portion of the IT infrastructure.