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ADIC recently introduced a family of AIT-2 libraries, with 2 to 250 drives and from 2TB to 7 petabytes of capacity. AIT-2 provides throughput of more than 40GB per hour per drive, capacity of up to 100GB per tape, and an average time to data of less than 30 seconds.
American Megatrends Inc. (AMI) last month introduced the MegaRAID Explorer 500 Fibre Channel-to-LVD SCSI external RAID controller. Based on a 64-bit Intel i960RN processor and 64-bit bus architecture, the controller comes in a 3.5-inch form factor with two FC-AL channels for host connections and two Ultra2 LVD SCSI channels for drive connections.
ATL recently announced three Fibre Channel solutions in support of its Network Storage Systems strategy: 1) an embedded, factory-installed Fibre Channel interface option for its P1000 and P3000 series, 2) a Fibre Channel field upgrade kit for existing P1000 and P3000 libraries, and 3) a Crossroad`s 4200 external Fibre Channel bridge for its non-PRISM-based PowerStor L200, PowerStor L500, 520 series, 7100 series, and 2640 series.
Camintonn Corp.`s memory modules boost the main memory capacity of Compaq`s Alpha Server ES40 systems with up to 2GB per kit, or a maximum of 16GB per system. A kit contains four modules in configurations ranging from 256MB to 2GB. Pricing starts at $550.
On the heels of announcing its intent to be acquired by EMC, Data General`s Clariion division this month began shipments of a low-end member in its FC5000 line of "full" Fibre Channel disk arrays. In Clariion`s other arrays, the controller resides in the Disk Processor Enclosure (DPE); in the new FC5300, the controller resides in the Disk Array Enclosure (DAE). The primary advantage is cost savings, according to Clariion officials. The FC5300 costs approximately half of the FC5500 on a per-MB ba
Finisar`s Network Products Division has begun evaluation shipments of the Opticity 3000, a fiber-optic link extender and multiplexer for Fibre Channel and/or Gigabit Ethernet networks. General availability is scheduled for November.
Broadening the breadth of its backup solutions, Hewlett-Packard last month introduced a new family of tape libraries for the enterprise. HP SureStore and HP SureStore E libraries are designed to meet the high-performance, high-capacity needs of such applications as E-commerce.
Version 2.7 of Transoft`s FibreNet SAN management software includes a number of enhancements, including support for Digidesign ProTools 4.3, added progress indicators for shutdown and volume mounting, a single driver for striped and non-striped volumes, automatic unmounting of FibreNet-controlled volumes at shutdown, auto-mounting of volumes at system startup, and enhancements for Avid and Media 100 systems. FibreNet is software that allows data sharing in Macintosh, Windows NT and Silicon Graph
Supporting all Fibre Channel topologies (point-to-point, fabric and arbitrated loop), I-Tech`s IFC-3 Fibre Channel Emulation System analyzes SCSI-FCP traffic and is capable of error injection at both the SCSI-FCP and FC-2 layers. The device is designed for development, qualification and production testing of Fibre Channel disk drives and peripherals. Hardware features include data pattern generators, on-board data buffers and FIFOs, error injection, and data compare circuitry for comparing incom
Eastman Kodak introduced a series of new CD-R and DVD media last month. The Kodak CD-R Ultima 80-minute CD can store up to 700MB of data per disc, exceeding typical CD capacity by 50MB. In mode 1, the CD can handle up to 86 minutes of digital audio. Orange Book-compliant, the CD-R disc employs Kodak`s InfoGuard protection system, a coating that resists damage from scratches, dirt, or other handling problems.
Last month, KOM Inc. released version 3.6 of its OptiStorm optical jukebox management software, which is designed specifically for Windows NT. The software is integrated as a device driver, taking advantage of the NT File System (NTFS), as opposed to a proprietary file system. New features in the 3.6 version include enhancements in WORM handling, mount point support, speed, and restricted-write functionality. OptiStorm works with virtually all types of optical drives and media, and has client su
Mylex Corp., which is in the process of being acquired by IBM, last month released Workstation Array Manager software for its low-end AcceleRAID line of controllers. Designed for workstation-based RAID, the installation and management tool monitors the performance of controllers, drives and RAID subsystems. Users can change RAID levels or add storage without bringing down the system.
Following the trend toward RAID vendors providing integrated storage area network (SAN) configurations, MTI Technology is offering the NorthStar series, which combines Fibre Channel switched fabric technology and management services with the company`s Gladiator 6700 RAID arrays. Taking a page from EMC`s book, MTI is offering a number of software and firmware features, including:
QPS Inc. last month announced the Que! PC-USB CD-Rewritable (CD-RW) drive. The 4x2x8x external drive is designed for users to easily record, erase and rewrite CDs. The Que! PC-USB drive provides 2MB of buffer memory, 4x writing speed of 600KBps, 2x rewriting speed of 300KBps, and 8x reading speed of 1,200KBps. A disc recorded on the drive can be played back on any CD-ROM or audio player. The new drive comes with CD mastering software and CD-recordable/rewritable media. The suggested price is $29
This month, Solid Data Systems introduced the first solid state disk to support the Fibre Channel host interface. The Excellerator 800 FC supports Unix and Windows NT platforms, and allows administrators to add high-speed, DRAM-based solid state disk (SSD) to storage area networks (SANs). The subsystems include Solid Data`s Data Retention Systems, which protects data in the event of a power loss. Prices range from $27,225 for a 536MB model to $80,550 for a 5.4GB version.
Curtis Inc.`s ClipperII solid state disk (SSD) provides a data access time of 0.1 millisecond, integrated two-level battery backup system, and a SCSI-2 LVD (80MBps) interface. Available in capacities ranging from 512MB to 4.3GB, the SSD occupies two half-height 5.25-inch drive bays. The company claims 50MBps throughput on a low-end Pentium system. Retail prices range from $4,495 for the 512MB version to $12,595 for a 4.3GB model.
TrueSAN Networks (formerly Synapsys Digital) has begun shipments of its first product, a "full" Fibre Channel RAID array dubbed TrueSAN 6000FC. The subsystem is based on 64-bit RISC technology and 200MBps Fibre Channel from the host to the disk drives. The company`s SANengage technology provides host-independent SAN connections with access privileges, volume locking, and LUN mapping capabilities. Load-balancing technology provides 200MBps over one segment, according to the company.
Sutmyn last month announced the general availability of two enhancements to its Scimitar/VTS and VTSE packages. Release VTS 3.8 now comes standard with Performance Maximizer and support for eight ESCON channels. Additionally, all VTS groups are licensed to support 8 ESCON channels. Upgrades are available for installed systems.
This month, Toshiba America Electronic Components (TAEC) began volume shipments of the SD-R1002, the first CD-RW/DVD-ROM combination drive. The drive writes at 4x speeds for CD-R and CD-RW, while reading (or playing back) at 24x for CD-ROM and 4x for the DVD-ROM format.
Unison Information Systems` RAID I/O Fibre disk subsystem provides more than 3TB when configured with up to 60 hot-pluggable drives. With a single RAID controller, sustained transfer rates are spec`d at 92MBps on a single host loop, or 190MBps on a dual-host loop. An additional controller can be added for fault tolerance. The arrays can be managed remotely with Unison`s Global Array Manager (GAM) software. Pricing starts at $19,700.
This month, Vitesse Semiconductor began shipments of a repeater/retimer that includes an integrated port bypass circuit (PBC) for developers of Fibre Channel JBOD and RAID disk arrays. The VSC7127 allows for configuration of the integrated clock recover unit (CRU) as a repeater or retimer with the flick of a mode pin. Benefit: existing multiple-chip designs can have both modes of operation without requiring redesign.
After successful integration testing, Overland Data announced its full line of tape automation libraries is now available with Quantum `s new DLT 8000 drive technology.
Atto Technology joined the FibreAlliance consortium, which now numbers 19 member companies. Spearheaded by EMC, the FibreAlliance is defining an SNMP-based Management Information Base (MIB) for storage management and monitoring.
Box Hill Systems has completed its merger with Artecon, and changed the name of the new company to Dot Hill Systems Corp. Philip Black, chief executive officer at Box Hill, and James Lambert, CEO of Artecon, will serve as co-CEOs. Black will focus on international operations, while Lambert concentrates on domestic operations. Dot Hill headquarters and primary manufacturing facility are in Carlsbad, CA.
Data General`s Clariion storage division and Brocade Communications Systems entered into an OEM agreement under which Clariion will bundle Brocade`s SilkWorm Fibre Channel fabric switches in storage area network (SAN) configurations. Also as part of the collaboration, Data General`s Professional Services organization will become an authorized service provider for Brocade products. EMC`s impending acquisition of Data General is not expected to alter the deal.
Following storage networking companies Brocade Communications and Gadzoox Networks to the stock market, Austin, TX-based Crossroads Systems filed for an initial public offering last month. While the exact number of shares has not yet been determined, Crossroads plans to offer up to $46 million of its common stock. SG Cowen Securities Corp. is the lead manager of the offering. Dain Rausher Wessels, and Morgan Keegan & Co. are co-managers.
In a transaction valued at approximately $240 million, IBM has agreed to acquire Mylex Corp., a vendor of RAID controllers, adapters, and software. Under the terms of the agreement, Mylex will become a wholly owned subsidiary of IBM.
Last month, MetaStor Storage Solutions certified Vixel Corp.`s 8100 fabric switch with its S-Class storage system.
LSI Logic Storage Systems entered into a multi-year OEM agreement with Hewlett-Packard. LSI Logic will supply Fibre Channel controllers to HP for use in its disk arrays.
Procom Technology has selected Imation Corp. to provide onsite installation, warranty, and post-warranty service for Procom`s network-attached storage (NAS) products in Europe and Canada.
Reorganizing to take aim at the enterprise storage resource management market, BMC Software created a Recovery and Storage Management (RSM) business unit, which encompasses two product lines. The storage management software line features the SpaceView suite of capacity and performance monitoring tools. The recovery management software line encompasses a variety of packages, including Recovery Manager, SQL-BackTrack and LogMaster. BMC also introduced the Resolve brand name, which encompasses all
Shortly before the announcement of its acquisition by EMC Corp., Data General`s Clariion Advanced Storage Division announced that its FC5700 Fibre Channel storage array completed the Oracle Parallel Server for Windows NT certification program. The Clariion FC5700 is the first Fibre Channel storage device to be certified for the program.
Texas Instruments licensed a suite of DVD and CD-RW optical write technologies from Calimetrics Inc., a semiconductor and storage technology developer in Alameda, CA. The agreement provides TI with access to Calimetrics` Universal Write Strategy (UWS) technology. TI will in turn design and manufacture ICs that implement Calimetrics` Multilevel Optical Storage products.
This month, Tandberg Data began shipping of DLT8000 tape drives, which store up to 80GB in compressed mode and transfer data at 12MBps (43.2GB per hour) compressed.
Ultera Systems announced in August that Qualstar certified its LibraryMaster for Qualstar`s TLS series of AIT tape libraries. The certification means Qualstar is now recommending LibraryMaster as an option for its worldwide reseller channel.
Ultera Systems, a manufacturer of tape array controllers and arrays, signed Boston-based Cambridge Computer Services as a value-added reseller. Cambridge Computer also resells products from ADIC, ATL, Qualstar, StorageTek, Legato, Veritas, and Computer Associates.
Veritas Software recently acquired the assets of NuView Inc., including the ClusterX Windows NT clustering management product. Veritas officials anticipate the purchase will expand its high availability management software for Windows NT and improve its overall enterprise storage management offerings for heterogeneous and distributed environments.
Breaking its yearlong silence, Boulder, Colorado startup Benchmark Tape Systems earlier this month disclosed full product and pricing information for its DLT-derivative tape family. Like newcomers Ecrix and OnStream, Benchmark is targeting the high-growth low-end server market currently dominated by DDS.
In announcing EMC`s intention to acquire Data General, EMC chief executive Mike Ruettgers alluded to opportunities in network-attached storage (NAS), saying that the acquisition "could accelerate our formal entry into the NAS market." EMC has for some time sold a NAS product called Celerra, but has not marketed it heavily. "Using some Clariion technology would allow us to move into broader markets in the first part of next year," Ruettgers said.
Last month, EMC announced its intention to buy Data General, including both the Clariion and Aviion divisions, in a stock pooling deal valued at roughly $1 billion. The accord sent shivers through the RAID vendor community, but was generally regarded as good news for the IT buying community.
A number of competing Fibre Channel switch vendors are collaborating to accelerate standards for interoperability between switches from different vendors. Participating in the Open Standards Fabric Initiative (OSFI) are Ancor Communications, Brocade Communications Systems, Gadzoox Networks, McData, and Vixel.
Last week, IBM began shipments of the Enterprise Storage Server (ESS) disk array, marking a return to its "not invented here" stance and an aggressive strike at its primary competitors, including arch rival EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, Hewlett-Packard, and StorageTek. Analysts say that the high-end disk array, formerly code-named Shark, is competitive in areas such as performance and capacity (up to 11.2TB), but that IBM is just playing catch up in other areas, such as multiplatform support.
After months of contention, the two groups proposing specifications for a successor to the PCI bus standard have agreed to develop a common specification and protocol. Last month, the Next Generation I/O (NGIO) and Future I/O coalitions announced they will form an industry group--called System I/O--that will produce the new spec by the end of the year. Products based on the System I/O standard are expected in 2001.
In order to understand StorageTek`s response to IBM`s ESS launch, a little history is in order. In 1996, the two companies entered into an OEM arrangement where IBM would resell STK`s virtual disk array as the Ramac Virtual Array (RVA) while STK handled most of the engineering effort. Anticipating IBM`s ESS introduction and the fraying of the partnership (a la HP and EMC earlier this year), STK in January resumed direct sales of its mainframe arrays, and in April launched the Shared Virtual Arra
Whether it`s to help manage a multi-terabyte IT shop or the accountability of having "one throat to choke," more and more companies are turning to storage-specific systems integrators to provide customized one-stop installation and consulting services for their storage environments.
News Analysis Trends
Network-attached storage can be used as a stepping stone to storage area networks, or it can coexist with them.
LAN-free and server-less backup may not be "killer apps," but they are driving forces with immediate benefits for backup operations.
Combining hard disk and tape results in lower cost of ownership, reduced management, improved asset utilization, and better data access.
"Storage domain management" meets management challenges in today`s heterogeneous storage area networks.
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.
Just as the vacation season peaked, the storage industry percolated. The IBM story (see p. 1) seemed big in early August, but the mid-month EMC-DG acquisition announcement was enough to send any RAID vendor out of the beach chair and back to the cell phone.