Table of Contents
News Analysis Trends
The recent explosion in capacity requirements has fundamentally changed the way users store and protect critical data. Driven by a new generation of multimedia applications and massive downloads from the Internet, automated tape storage solutions have become critical components of overall data management schemes.
Over the past several years, system administrators have changed the way they back up NT, NetWare, and Unix servers. Instead of backing up individual servers to direct-attached tape drives, they are backing up the whole network over the LAN to central robotic tape libraries. This trend raises new issues when evaluating tape drive technologies for automated environments.
The storage industry has gone to great extents to promote the concept and benefits of storage area networks (SANs), but it has done little to show end users, administrators, and systems architects how to deploy the technology without abandoning existing client/server assets and infrastructures.
With the rise of data warehousing technologies, many sites need to seek a platform for SQL Server that can provide optimal performance in decision-support applications. In a decision-support scenario, database performance is characterized by complex queries generating random 8KB reads and the building of OLAP cubes that involve large (64KB) sequential reads and writes.
Imagine a network-attached storage (NAS) tower that combines CD-ROM and DVD drives, hard disks, tape drives, removable storage, and other types of SCSI devices in a a customized array designed specifically for enterprise or workgroup applications. The platform would be flexible and scalable, managed by a Web interface and would support all network protocols simultaneously.
When the film industry started digitizing special effects, Fibre Channel became popular, primarily because of its 100MBps (200MBps in full duplex mode) transmission speeds. In fact, today, the combined use of Fibre Channel for real-time speeds and RAID arrays for data reliability has become almost a necessity.
New applications, such as data warehousing, are putting exponential pressure on both the capacity and the performances of I/O subsystems. IT managers have long searched for a software silver bullet to instantly boost I/O throughout.
Shipping to OEMs this month, Adaptec`s AAC-364 is a 64-bit PCI-to-Ultra2 LVD SCSI controller that`s based on a 233MHz Intel StrongARM processor, internal 64-bit data path, and four 64-bit Ultra2 SCSI channels. The controller can support up to 60 disk drives (15 per channel) at sustained rates of 200MBps, or 28,000 I/Os per second.
Apcon last month began shipments of its 6 x 4 SCSI switch, which supports the low-voltage differential (LVD) feature of the 80MBps Ultra2 SCSI interface. Designed to connect multiple external SCSI devices to servers and workstations, the switch enables four independent SCSI host ports to be connected in any combination to six peripheral ports, allowing 42 SCSI peripherals to be shared. Available with AC or DC redundant power supplies, the switch is priced at $3,995. Apcon is in Portland, OR.
Artecon`s LynxArray 500 Fibre Channel disk array is now available with 36GB 7,200rpm drives from IBM. The high-capacity drives provide up to 3TB in a single 72-inch rack, a density of 100GB per cubic foot. Artecon (San Diego, CA) isexpected to incorporate the drives in its LynxNSS network-attached storage systems and LynxArray server-attached subsystems within the next month.
Last month, Astrum Software announced the immediate availability of StorCast, a storage asset management tool for Windows NT, 98, and 95 environments. StorCast is designed to manage storage requirements by automatically monitoring and controlling storage consumption while providing system performance management and asset trend information.
This month, CMD Technology added support for low-voltage differential (LVD) to its CRD-5640 line of Ultra SCSI RAID controllers. CMD (Irvine, CA) already sells high-voltage differential and single-ended implementations of the 5640, which is a hot-pluggable device with active-active, dual-redundant controllers.
Smart Storage recently announced its SmartDVD-Maker for Windows NT, a CD/DVD storage and duplication package that enables users to create standard DVD images for mastering and archiving data and applications on DVD media. When used with the company`s SmartCD+DVD 2.6 software, the package allows users to manage CD and DVD media within jukeboxes.
Fujifilm has announced a 250MB Zip 250 disk for Iomega`s Zip 250 drive. In addition to increasing capacity from 100MB, the new disk retains Fujifilm`s advanced super thin-layer and high output metal media (ATOMM) technology. The ATOMM coating provides high-density recording and increased durability. Shipments are expected later this quarter.
JVC`s Professional Computer Products division and Smart Storage have launched the DVD Authoring System, which combines hardware and software to help premaster audio, video, data, and applications onto DVD-ROM. The DVD Authoring System supports UDF formatting, testing, and emulation for developing DVD-ROM discs that can be accessed through DVD-ROM drives and jukeboxes. The system enables multiple users to create content from desktops, and then test the DVD-ROM image over a network using a high-sp
Microboards Technology announced that its Cedar Technologies CD-R publisher is now shipping at 8X speeds. The package includes two 8X recorders, a Cedar autoloader, Cedar CD face label editing software, a Fargo Signature CD color printer, printer alignment posters, power cable, and printer control cable. The multi-format pre-mastering and duplication software contains advanced copying and audio features, fast HFS formatting, and simultaneous recording capabilities. MSRP pricing is $7,995.
MicroNet Technology (Irvine, CA) recently began shipping a "Fibre-Channel-ready" RAID array that can be configured with Atto Technology`s FibreBridge. Factory-configured to user specifications, the Genesis array can be set up in RAID 0, 1, 5, and 0+1 configurations, and capacities up to one terabyte with as many as 28 disk drives. Based on MicroNet`s DataDock technology, the array supports 9GB to 36GB drives and dual controllers in active-active or active-passive implementations. Prices range fr
MTI Technology has made available Volume Mapping software for its Gladiator line of enterprise storage arrays. The Volume Mapping feature is designed to provide additional storage management capability in a Fibre Channel SAN. Volume Mapping provides the ability to partition a storage pool and present it to a variety of host servers. Volume Mapping software is free with the purchase of a Gladiator array.
For CD production and duplication, OTG Software recently introduced the CDXTENDER software suite, which enables network read access with CD recording, duplicating, autoloading, and label printing capabilities. The software allows users to conduct parallel recording on up to eight simultaneous 4X CD recorders from the desktop. CDXTENDER adheres to Red Book, Yellow Book and Orange Book recording standards, and supports CD recording devices and CD-R libraries, including systems from NSM Jukebox, Ko
Plugging the gap between its single-drive and higher-end LibraryXpress, Overland Data`s MiniLibraryXpress DLT library can be upgraded from one to two DLT4000 or DLT7000 drives. With two drives, the library has a throughput rate of 36GB per hour. The MiniLibraryXpress supports a 15-cartridge media magazine, for a native capacity of up to 525GB. Prices range from $10,495 to $26,495.
Rancho Technology`s (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) RTLVD-HVD is an Ultra2 SCSI expander that converts from low voltage differential (LVD) to high voltage differential (HVD) SCSI. The expander incorporates a multimode feature that enables the LVD side of the interface to operate in either LVD or single-ended mode, automatically sensing which interface is connected. It can be used to extend the HVD SCSI bus or to convert from LVD single-ended to HVD. Benefit: Users can operate both HVD and LVD devices on
SCH Technologies introduced dbBRZ/ Exchange, a suite for providing online backup and recovery of Microsoft Exchange databases. The software is designed to reduce downtime. As the database backup component of StorageTek`s REEL storage management software, deBRZ/Exchange can be used by database administrators as a central point of administration for all of their media, including data from other database environments such as Oracle, Informix, Sybase, SAP R/3, and standard UNIX and NT systems, as we
Storage Technology recently began shipping its TimberWolf Tape Library Monitor software, which allows administrators to monitor STK libraries in a network/systems management framework. The company also announced that its 7430 and 97XX libraries have been certified with Hewlett-Packard`s OpenView and Computer Associates` Unicenter TNG for centralized library management.
Packing as many as 18 disk drives (up to 324GB) in a single 19-inch 4U enclosure, nStor`s NexStor 18F Fibre Channel array can be set up in either JBOD or RAID configurations. The array is based on a cable-less, passive backplane supporting Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop (FC-AL). The NexStor 18F can be populated with 7,200rpm or 10,000rpm 9GB or 18GB drives and is available with an optional PCI Fibre Channel RAID controller that can be configured for RAID 0, 1, 4, and 10.
Designed for device/file sharing and RAID mirroring, TD Systems` (Northborough, MA) OmniServe 3 SCSI servers have been extended for connection distances of up to 2,600 feet (about a half mile) via a fiber-optic SCSI extender developed by Paralan Corp. (San Diego). TD Systems also added support for dual and triple busses, each of which can be differential, single-ended, or fiber optic. Up to six SCSI initiators can share a bus. Prices for the OmniServe 3 range from $3,560 to $4,500, with no extra
Toshiba America Electronic Components (TAEC) has introduced three 2.5-inch disk drives for the mobile market: the MK3212MAT (3.2GB, one platter), MK6411MAT (6.4GB, two platters), and MK1011GAV (10GB, three platters, or 3.3GB per disk). Areal density ranges up to 6.1Gb per square inch. The low-end drive uses dual-stripe magneto-resistive (DSMR) head technology, while the other two drives are based on giant magneto-resistive (GMR) head technology. Common features of the three drives include an ave
Veritas Software recently announced its Global Data Manager for NetBackup suite, designed to offer centralized, enterprise-wide management of all backup and recovery. Global Data Manager provides administration of backup policies, configuration of tape devices and libraries, device management, scheduling information and monitoring, reporting and analyzing of backup and recovery operations.
ATL Products announced last month that SKYDATA Corp. will distribute its PowerStor tape libraries throughout Canada. The PowerStor libraries will also be integrated into SKYDATA?s own DLTtape product line. Additional warranty programs will be included as well. ATL also inked a deal with Wyle Systems to distribute the PowerStor series throughout the U.S.
Box Hill Systems, Legato Systems, and StorageTek formed an alliance last month in an effort to provide turn-key storage area network (SAN) solutions to its customers. Box Hill will integrate its Fibre Channel RAID system with Legato NetWorker and Legato SmartMedia backup software and StorageTek?s selection of tape libraries, Fibre Channel disk, and networking components.
Computer Network Technology (CNT) and Brocade Communications Systems are planning on partnering to eventually provide disaster-tolerant SAN solutions for distributed environments. Under a multi-year OEM agreement, CNT will offer the Brocade?s Silkworm Fibre Channel fabric switches as part of its UltraNet family of SAN solutions. In addition, both companies will undertake joint marketing and product development activities to drive the adoption of disaster-tolerant SANs over wide area networks.
DellWare, a division of Dell Computer, is planning to resell several product lines from Procom Technology. Plans call for reselling Procom?s network-attached products lines, including DataFORCE, CD FORCE, and its ATOM series of hard drive upgrades for notebook computers.
EMC and Hewlett-Packard announced a three-year extension of its strategic reseller partnership. HP will continue to resell EMC?s Symmetrix Enterprise Storage systems and software with its own HP 9000 Enterprise Servers, HP 3000 servers, and HP NetServer systems. EMC officials estimate its partnership with HP has generated more than $1.3 billion in revenue for EMC.
Iomega is expected to complete within the next month its acquisition of the assets of bankrupt rival SyQuest for approximately $9.5 million. The move would encompass SyQuest?s intellectual property, inventory and fixed assets, but Iomega is not expected to assume SyQuest?s material obligations or liabilities. The two companies announced they will drop their patent infringement lawsuit, which would have gone to trial in April.
JNI (formerly Jaycor Networks Inc.) last month completed its acquisition of Adaptec?s Fibre Channel assets. The deal encompassed intellectual property, patents, and product lines, as well as staff in San Jose and Irvine, CA. As part of the deal, Adaptec and JNI entered into a joint manufacturing and sales agreement to support current customers.
Last month, Nortel Networks announced plans to incorporate Tandberg Data?s 8GB SLR5 tape drive into its CallPilot unified messaging system. Nortel?s CallPilot system will enable users to access and manage voice, FAX, and e-mail messages throughout an enterprise.
Legato Systems expanded its OEM agreement with Germany-based Siemens AG to include its Legato SmartMedia software. Siemens licensed SmartMedia source code for both Windows NT and UNIX platforms in hopes of helping customers with broader requirements with media and device management, especially in the SAN environments. Legato also recently announced plans to OEM SmartMedia to CommVault Systems. CommVault plans to integrate the suite into its line of storage management and SAN software.
Plasmon Plc., the British parent of Minneapolis-based Plasmon IDE, has purchased Philips LMS, a maker of tape and optical drives and optical media, for an undisclosed sum. The new division, to be known as Plasmon LMS, is expected to help the combined companies generate more than $100 million in 1999 revenues.
Separately, StorageTek has signed an OEM agreement with UniTree Software. The terms call for StorageTek?s Central Archive Manager software to be bundled and integrated with UniTree?s Central File Manager, a hierarchical storage management tool. The bundled suite is designed to provide enhanced flexibility, space, and speed for backup/restore and storage management requirements.
Tech Data and Computer Associates announced a domestic software distribution agreement that enables Tech Data to offer CA?s Enterprise Edition products to resellers in strategic vertical markets. Newly available Enterprise Edition products through Tech Data include AimIT (asset and inventory management), DirectIT (directory management), ShipIT (automated software distribution), ControlIT (remote control), ARCserveIT (storage management), GuardIT (network security), InoculateIT (antivirus), Prote
The Travan NS20 tape storage drive from Tecmar Technologies has been selected by Silicon Graphics (SGI) as a factory option for the SGI 320 and 540 visual workstations introduced last month.
To facilitate the growth of its FabricPaks, McData Corp. has partnered with Emulex Corp., Jaycor Networks, and Crossroads Systems. The terms of the agreement call for the three vendors to supply customized host-bus adapters and Fibre-Channel-to-SCSI bridges for FabricPaks, a Fibre Channel switched fabric solution.
Late last month, Auspex Systems introduced a series of network-attached storage (NAS) servers expected to transform its product line--and perhaps its financial fortunes. A pioneer in the specialized NAS market, the Santa Clara, CA-based company suffered product development problems in 1998, which contributed to fiscal year losses of $17.3 million.
Over the past 18 months, the enterprise storage management software market has gained momentum as an increasing number of vendors have introduced architectures to manage the ever-increasing amount of data and devices. To facilitate interoperability among these independent architectures, as well as storage hardware and network devices, Sun Microsystems recently launched Project StoreX.
On the heels of announcing its Enterprise Network Stor-age Architecture (INFOSTOR, January, p. 1), Compaq last month released the first products to fit into its broad storage area network (SAN) strategy. The new products include two StorageWorks Fibre Channel RAID arrays, a hub, switch, and software. In addition, Compaq for the first time announced IBM mainframe connectivity solutions through partnerships with Bus-Tech (Burlington, MA) and Computer Network Technology (Minneapolis, MN).
The markets for Fibre Channel equipment and storage area networks (SANs) are poised for significant growth this year, according to recent reports from International Data Corp., a market research firm in Framingham, MA. For example, IDC predicts that by 2002, 40% of all multi-user and workstation disks shipped will be Fibre Channel. And, while the compound annual growth rate for SCSI disk drives is pegged at only 4.3%, IDC is projecting a 153% CAGR for Fibre Channel drive shipments. That would tr
The Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) formed a subcommittee last month to begin developing a read compatibility specification among the divergent rewritable DVD formats. By the end of the year, members of the Writable DVD Subcommittee plan to deploy a specification that enables conforming CD and DVD optical drives to read specified writable DVD media from competing formats such as DVD-RAM, DVD+RW, and DVD-RW.
If 1998 was the Year of Fibre Channel, December was the Month of SAN Strategy Announcements. One by one, major storage vendors announced SAN plans that were, with some exceptions, long on vision and short on execution. And the rapid succession of announcements continued into this year, with Legato earlier this month becoming the latest vendor to roll out a SAN strategy.
If the past few months are any indication of the level of storage area network (SAN) activity we can expect--and analysts say it is--1999 may very well turn out to be the year of the SAN. Industry players across the board have the fever, including tape library manufacturers.