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Acorn Software recently introduced version 1.0 of its VirtualBranches storage management software for Windows NT systems. The software provides data library management and concurrent access to robotic storage systems, such as enabling SMB network clients to access MO and CD-ROM data using the Internet. VirtualBranches includes policy management capabilities, and allows administrators to retrieve data regardless of their physical location. VirtualBranches 1.0 is scheduled to ship December 1.
Ancor Communication earlier this month announced two high-end additions to its line of Fibre Channel switches, or directors. ("Director" is a term borrowed from the ESCON mainframe market and generally refers to a high-end switch with full fault-tolerant features.) A 64-port SANbox Director is due in the first quarter (and was demonstrated at this month`s Comdex show), while a 128-port director is scheduled for mid-2000 delivery.
Aimed at IT, broadcast video and pre-press environments, Atto Technology`s FibreBridge Enterprise is a high-end addition to its line of SCSI-to-Fibre Channel bridges. The Enterprise bridges add two GBIC connectors, an LVD option (on two independent SCSI buses), and management enhancements. In addition to SES, the bridges provide RS-232 ports and Ethernet interfaces, supporting SNMP (compatible with the FibreAlliance MIB Version 2.0), Telnet and FTP. A dual FibreBridge Enterprise with redundant p
Due by the end of the year, Axis Communications` StorPoint NAS 100 is a network-attached storage server that supports multiple protocols, enabling heterogeneous file sharing between Windows NT, NetWare (including 5.x and NDS), Unix, Web, and OS/2 environments. With 4GB to 540GB of capacity, the server can be configured in JBOD, RAID 1, or RAID 5. For security, users can password-protect data stored on shared drives, while administrators can assign security and access rights using native NT or Ne
Leveraging its strengths in the visual computing market (such as broadcast, post-production, geospatial and geoscience applications), Ciprico has begun shipments of the FibreSTORE family of RAID arrays, which come with one or two RAID controllers, up to 2.8TB per rack, and Fibre Channel disk drives. Compatible with Silicon Graphics, Sun, and Windows NT platforms, prices start at $46,375 for a 36GB configuration with one RAID controller.
CMD Technology plans to begin production shipments of its CRD-7240 RAID controller in March, with volume shipments scheduled for April. Demonstrated at this month`s Comdex, the dual-redundant 7240 combines Ultra 160 SCSI and Fibre Channel interfaces, and is based on the company`s Titan architecture.
DataDirect Networks provides a bundled storage area network configuration aimed at Web hosting environments. The bundles include SAN components such as disk arrays, Fibre Channel controllers, hubs, cables, management software, and a variety of consulting and integration services. The "WebHosting SAN Solution" configurations include one or two controllers for performance of up to 10,000 I/Os per second, or 1GBps for bulk transfers. Capacity scales from 432GB to 1.25TB. Available in four configura
Data General`s DLT Array 7000+ subsystem combines Quantum DLT7000 drive technology and a RAIT (redundant array of independent tape) controller from Ultera Systems for high-performance, high-availability data storage. At 40MBps, the 7000+ provides twice the performance of previous DG DLTtape arrays, with up to 280GB of compressed capacity.
The Z-9500 Plus series of RAID controllers from Digi-Data feature Fibre Channel switch connectivity and LUN/WWN (World Wide Name) masking for access control and security. The series is available in RAID-3 or RAID-3/5 implementations, with one or two Fibre Channel host connection ports. Features include six disk channels, hardware parity generation, disk failure detection/reconstruction, support for up to 3TB, and a sustained throughput of more than 60MBps in a five-drive configuration.
In an uncharacteristic move for a high-end RAID supplier, ECCS has priced certain versions of its Synchronix 2000 arrays at 10 cents per MB. For example, a 30-drive 1.5TB configuration is priced at $150,000. That includes 256MB of cache memory, 50GB Seagate disk drives, and dual RAID controllers, power supplies, and fan modules.
Last month, Exabyte began offering an optional Ethernet port for its 230D DLTtape Arrowhead library. The port makes it easier for users to integrate Exabyte libraries into storage area networks (SANs) or network-attached storage (NAS) environments, providing the 230D with browser-based, out-of-band remote management capabilities.
Hitachi Data Systems has signed three major distributors (Wyle, Tech Data, and Gates Arrow) and a number of VARs to sell its recently introduced Freedom Storage 5840 disk array, a midrange member of the Freedom series. Capacity ranges from 36GB to 360GB, and six subsystems can be mounted in one rack for a total capacity of more than 2TB. The array features online microcode updates and a TurboLUN feature that locks frequently accessed data in cache. For storage area network implementations, the 5
Hewlett-Packard`s SureStore 125ex magneto-optical (MO) jukebox holds up to 24 5.2GB MO drives, providng 50% more capacity at the same price as the earlier-generation 80ex jukebox. The 125ex connects to Windows NT servers and supports low-voltage differential (LVD) SCSI interfaces. To facilitate connection between disparate systems, the 125ex can automatically switch between LVD SCSI and single-ended SCSI.
Incorporating technology from its recent acquisition of Vinca Corp., Legato Systems last month announced version 1.0 of its OFFSite Archive for NetWare, point-in-time recovery software designed to enhance availability. OFFSite acts a data vaulting suite used with a stand-alone server or added to Legato Standby Server for NetWare. The software provides disaster recovery capabilities to one or more primary servers with a local standby machine, as well as making data available on a remote server in
Last month, Microboards Technology began shipping the Inferno CD-R duplicator tower with ten 8x CD recorders and one 40x CD-ROM reader. To provide complete control over mastering and duplication processes, the duplicator is equipped with automatic CD format detection, one-button startup, and a standard internal hard drive.
MTI Technology continues its push into software and services, but has also added a new series of disk arrays that can be combined with its DataServices hardware/software offerings. Called Vivant, the series encompasses three arrays:
Mylex last month became the first controller vendor to announce products based on the 160MBps Ultra 160 SCSI standard, and hopes to be the first to market by shipping the products before the end of the year.
Network Storage Solutions (NSS) recently began shipments of the uSTOR ("microstor") network-attached storage (NAS) appliance, which can fit in a 1U 19-inch rack unit. Based on 600MHz Pentium III processors and up to 2GB of cache, uSTOR supports up to two internal Ultra2 LVD SCSI disk drives and 100Mbps Fast Ethernet (Gigabit Ethernet is optional). SPANStor software supports Unix and Windows clients. A 36GB version is priced under $5,000.
Last month, Overland Data began shipping DLT8000-equipped Loader Xpress, MinilibraryXpress, Library Xpress, and EnterpriseXpress libraries. The DLT8000 has a 40GB native capacity and a 6MBps transfer rate, shortening backup and restore cycles by as much as 20% compared to the DLT7000, according to Overland officials. The DLT800 also features an improved head life of 50,000 hours, vs. 30,000 for the 7000, and is backward read/write compatible with previous models. MSRP pricing for Overland`s DLT8
Without much fanfare, write-once, read-many (WORM) drives continue to find a home in high-volume, multi-user environments where data integrity and quick access to near-line data are required. One of the few remaining manufacturers, Plasmon LMS next month will begin shipping its 8000 series 12-inch WORM drive. The 8000 improves on the earlier-generation 6000 series with 30GB drives, a SCSI 2 (Fast/Wide) interface, and a sustained transfer rate of 6.2MBps.
The Radion.ha RAID array includes dual hot-swappable controllers, fans and power supplies, with up to 3.75TB of capacity. The 4U rack-mountable enclosure can be configured with either four Fibre Channel host interfaces and six 80MBps Ultra2 SCSI drives or with four Ultra2 SCSI host connections and six Ultra2 SCSI modules. One of the Ultra2 SCSI channels is used as a redundant controller link for live cache syncing. A baseline version costs $17,775 and includes a 19-inch rack with three storage m
At this month`s Comdex show, Smart and Friendly demonstrated several new CD-R and CD-RW drives. The CD Rocket Mach 12 drive offers 12x write, 4x rewrite, and 32x playback speeds, bundled software and a choice of SCSI external or ATAPI internal interfaces. Estimated street price for the SCSI external version is $399, and $299 for the ATAPI version.
Last month, SCH Technologies announced its REELswitch tape management software for StorageTek`s PowderHorn and WolfCreek tape libraries. REELswitch offers several automation and allocation capabilities, including Dynamic Drive Allocation, which provides automatic tape allocation for optimum use.
Last month, Sony announced plans to begin shipping a revamped DTF-2 (Digital Tape Format) drive in February. The GY-8240 is reportedly four times faster, with twice the capacity, than the second-generation model exhibited at last year`s Comdex.
StorActive recently began shipments of LiveBackup 1.0, a client/server backup and retrieval package for Windows 95/98 and NT laptop and desktop systems. LiveBackup provides continuous, real-time client backup, whether the PCs are connected to the network or not.
Dubbed Aegis (as in the shield of Zeus), StorageTek`s new tape library family includes mixed-media units specifically designed for storage area network (SAN) environments. The L700, the first in the series, supports up to 12 STK 9840 or 20 Quantum DLT/SuperDLT drives and is expected to support 20 Ultrium LTO drives when that technology becomes available next year. The library is also expected to support native Fibre Channel 9840 drives by the end of the year.
This quarter, TDK Electronics Corp. will ship the veloCD Model 8432ai, an internal CD-RW drive with 8x write, 4x rewrite and 32x data-read speeds and an ATAPI/IDE interface. The 8x speed allows a CD to be recorded in about nine minutes. Suggested retail price is $349.
This month, startup Troika Networks Inc. will begin shipping a host bus adapter that supports as many as three protocols on one PCI-to-Fibre Channel board: FCP-SCSI, FC-IP, and FC-VI. In a multiprotocol implementation, SCSI would be used to connect hosts to storage devices, while IP handles networking or in-band management and the VI (Virtual Interface) protocol is used for server clustering and remote mirroring. All of the protocols run over Fibre Channel.
One by one this fall, tape library manufacturers are announcing library platforms engineered for storage area network (SAN) and network-attached storage (NAS) environments. For example, ADIC earlier this month introduced the Scalar 100 with plug-in SAN/NAS modules, and Spectra Logic last month unveiled Gator, which uses integrated Quad Interface Processors (QIPs) for SAN/NAS functionality.
Online PC and remote backup software services are slowly carving a niche as more corporate employees who telecommute or work from the road require easy and immediate access to their data. Using the Internet as a data repository and having data accessible through a browser is also gaining appeal in small and medium-size companies lacking IT expertise.
With its Comdex announcement of a second-generation Mammoth tape drive, Exabyte hopes to check its recent downward spiral. With a 12MBps native transfer rate, the drive`s speed is perhaps its greatest attribute, significantly outperforming competing midrange products such as Sony`s AIT-2 and Quantum`s DLT8000. Product shipments are expected this month.
Hewlett-Packard and Qwest Communications International recently announced a three-year initiative to deliver storage on-demand services through Qwest`s nationwide Web hosting facilities. Customers will use a broadband Internet connection to access data stored on HP hardware and software located at Qwest`s CyberCenters.
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.
Optical drive vendors continue to take advantage of rewritable CD`s (CD-RW) popularity by introducing drives boasting performance improvements and additional interface capability. Demand for CD-RW and recordable CD (CD-R) is expected to grow from more than 6 million drives in 1998 to 15 million drives this year, according to forecasts from Dataquest, a market research firm in San Jose, CA.
A number of recent partnership deals have underscored the growing trend toward storage outsourcing, in which vendors attempt to provide "storage utility" services to IT organizations. Examples include Hewlett-Packard`s teaming with Qwest Communications and Intera (see related story on this page); StorageTek`s partnering with ISP Fron-tier GlobalCenter and Level 3 Communications; and the ongoing efforts of StorageNetworks Inc. (SNI) and services providers such as Comdisco and Sungard.
Squeezed by razor-thin margins and fierce competition, it`s getting more and more difficult for disk drive manufacturers to make money these days. Recent quarterly reports from major disk drive vendors reflect losses, and steep PC price declines aren`t making matters any easier. To reverse the trend, the conventional wisdom is to improve densities and reduce drive parts count. And nowhere is this effort more evident than in the push to dominate the sub-$1,000 PC segment.
News Analysis Trends
To preserve existing investments, it`s sometimes necessary to link hub-based loops with switched fabrics.
Enabling LAN-free, server-less, and zero-window backup, SANs are expected to pave the way for easier backup.
This month`s Comdex marked a major ramp-up in the emerging Fibre Channel disk drive market as multiple drive vendors announced immediate plans to join Seagate in full production of Fibre Channel drives. Comdex also served as the focal point for a number of Ultra-160 SCSI introductions.
There are a variety of ways to control storage access, each with advantages and disadvantages depending on application requirements.
There is a lot of hype about storage area networks (SANs), but under what circumstances do they make sense? An ideal SAN environment is one in which a large amount of data is shared using fast transfers between multiple systems.
Several technologies are still required to provide the kind of functionality required for next-generation global SANs.
Eleven FibreAlliance member companies have implemented the group`s recently developed management information base (MIB) spec. The MIB, submitted earlier this fall to the Internet Engineering Task Force as a standards draft, is a software technique to monitor and control heterogeneous interconnect devices within Fibre Channel-based SANs, such as hubs, switches, and host bus adapters.
Exabyte Corp. announced a service support agreement with IBM, under which IBM Global Services will broaden the on-site services available to Exabyte`s U.S. and Canadian customers.
In a separate announcement, Imation officials said they plan to work with Network Integrity, serving as a storage provider for the LiveVault Internet-enabled backup service.
Inacom Corp. recently selected OTG Software as a strategic partner for Inacom`s Professional Services Knowledge Management business unit. Under the reseller and distribution agreement, OTG`s DiskXtender storage management software will be included in Inacom`s imaging and document management products.
Kofax Image Products announced plans to launch the Kofax Professional Services Group. The group plans to offer needs analysis and implementation services for certified resellers of its Ascent line of production document and data capture applications.
Last month, Amdahl continued its move into the open-systems market, signing a reseller pact with Network Appliance. Under the terms of the agreement, Amdahl will resell the NetApp F700 network-attached filer as well as the Snapshot, SnapMirror, and SnapRestore backup and disaster recovery suites. Earlier in the month, Sterling Software signed up Amdahl as a reseller of its SAMS storage management software suite. Amdahl will also use SAMS in its consulting services. Amdahl also announced support
Last month, Imation announced plans to expand its storage and information management consulting services. The rollout is comprised of media and professional services and Internet-delivered solutions. Up first is media consulting, which provides troubleshooting, planning for technology transitions, and data recovery. More services are expected to be announced next month.
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.
Network Storage Solutions (NSS) recently selected Legato Systems` BudTool as the backup engine for its SPANStor line of thin-server appliances. With BudTool, a Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP)-enabled software suite, NSS will be able to leverage NDMP`s ability to provide high-speed local backups of enterprise data and decrease backup times and network traffic. Early next year, NSS plans to support Legato`s NDMP-enabled Networker software.
Qualstar announced plans to support Linear Tape-Open (LTO) technology in its automated cartridge tape libraries, as well as plans to integrate LTO in future generations of its TLS-Series family.
Smart Storage released SmartStor Archive API earlier in the quarter. The file system software manages data recording and access to optical storage devices, presenting each device to the network as a single drive letter.
Tape drive vendor Ecrix Corp. also recently announced an Internet sales and distribution channel: www.ecrix.com.
Tecmar Technologies inked a distribution pact with national retailer Micro Center to sell the Ditto Max Professional 10GB tape drives and media.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) T10 Working Group has agreed to draft a standard for SCSI carried over Schedule Transfer (ST). The protocol was originally conceived to provide a flexible and efficient commodity storage protocol allowing for connection-independent SANs.
The I<SUB>2</SUB>O Special Interest Group has a new web site for system developers who use I<SUB>2</SUB>O technology. The site enables developers to register on-line, download the specification, and find answers to development questions. The site is located at www.i<SUB>2</SUB>osig.org.
Unisys announced plans to use Qlogic`s QLA2100 series Fibre Channel host bus adapters in its Aquanta ES enterprise servers. Sun Microsystems also chose Qlogic`s ISP2100 64-bit PCI-to-Fibre Channel controller for use in its StorEdge Fibre Channel arrays.
Veritas Software and NCR Corp. entered into a licensing, development, and sales agreement that officials say will lead to enterprise backup capabilities for NCR customers using both MP-RAS (Unix) and Windows NT. NCR will offer Veritas NetBackup as the first integrated backup solution under its Open Teradata Backup program. Microsoft also recently standardized on Veritas Backup Exec for Windows NT.
Vixel Corp. recently launched the Vixel Integration Partner (VIP) Program. The VIP Program is designed to increase the market presence of Vixel resellers through sales training courses, competitive information, discounted demo equipment, and early access to new products.
Though prevalent in the consumer world, DVD optical technology is starting to make headway into business markets. DVD-RAM, a rewritable version of DVD, is being positioned for backup and multimedia applications, among others. Additionally, DVD-RAM`s capacity, speed, and price make it attractive for many of the same applications traditionally served by magneto-optical (MO), including document imaging, data archival, and hierarchical storage management.
In today`s business environment, effective utilization of information is vital to the success of any enterprise. To develop competitive advantages, businesses require convenient access to readily available information. Unlike other basic utilities such as electricity and the telephone, accessing and utilizing digital information remains challenging. Fibre Channel storage area networks (SANs) create the infrastructure capable of delivering such a utility, making information available on tap.
This year wasn`t the Year of the SAN (that`ll be next year), but it`s clear that many organizations are moving from the planning stages to the implementation phases of SAN deployment. As such, InfoStor is redoubling its efforts to provide end users and storage integrators with information about Fibre Channel, the key enabling technology behind SANs.