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Industry News and Analysis

Sonasoft provides fast recovery for SQL Server
The SQL Server Worldwide User's Group recently awarded five out of a possible five stars to Sonasoft for its data-protection console for SQL Server databases. The Sonasoft appliance, called SonaSafe, was introduced in January for SQL Server, and the company is expected to release a version for Exchange next month. Support for Microsoft flat files is due early next year.
EMC and Documentum: A marriage made in heaven?
Whether or not you think EMC's acquisition of Documentum is a masterstroke or a billion-dollar-plus blunder, you have to admit that the move is unprecedented. For the first time, an independent storage company has reached well outside its own backyard to grab a content management software applications provider.
Emulex to acquire Vixel
Last week, Emulex announced its intent to acquire Vixel Corp., a manufacturer of embedded Fibre Channel switch devices. The deal is expected to be completed next month.
HDS emphasizes information life-cycle management
This week, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) announced plans to begin shipping a modular disk array (the Thunder 9580V) with twice the raw capacity, Fibre Channel connections, and LUNs and nearly twice the bandwidth of the Thunder 9570V.
User-group options multiply
If you're a storage end user with a desire to join an association of your peers, your alternatives are expanding. On Tuesday, the Association of Storage Networking Professionals (ASNP) became the newest end-user organization dedicated to storage issues.
iSCSI planning: Apps, performance, and initiators
While Fibre Channel storage area networks (SANs) are best-suited for high-end, high-throughput applications that require 100 or 200MBps throughput (such as enterprise-level OLTP, data mining/warehousing, visualization, and video editing), there are a range of low-end and midrange business applications that typically require less than 20% of these throughput rates.
The importance of a multi-tiered DR strategy
When IT managers prioritize upcoming projects, implementing or improving disaster-recovery plans is always high on the agenda. However, because of the high cost of monolithic storage systems and shrinking IT budgets most organizations do little more than make minor updates to disaster-recovery plans, if they're able to do anything at all.
StoreAge touts snapshot capabilities
Analysts say that the way StoreAge Networking Technologies performs snapshots, in conjunction with its out-of-band storage virtualization, is a key differentiator for the three-year-old storage management software vendor.
Storage Networking World preview
The Storage Networking World (SNW) conference and exhibition, which is endorsed by the Storage Networking Industry Association, opens next week (Oct. 27 to 30) in Orlando.
SGI stages storage comeback
After an extended period of silence, SGI last month re-emerged on the storage scene with a new suite of products and expanded services for application developers and distributors, highlighted by a recently inked deal with storage management software provider AppIQ.
NetApp moves toward blade architecture
With the recent release of its FAS200 "unified storage" system, Network Appliance is moving toward a blade architecture by packaging its operating system, storage controller, and software on a 9-inch card installed in a storage shelf.
McData squares off against Brocade, Cisco
Analysts say that McData's acquisitions of Nishan Systems and Sanera may level the playing field in the brewing battle among Brocade, Cisco, and McData.
Mapping technologies to business needs for business continuity
One of the biggest mistakes companies can make when it comes to disaster recovery or business continuity is doing nothing because of budget constraints.
Low cost lures users to IP SANs
Leveraging existing Ethernet-IP infrastructure is saving money for users who want the advantages of a storage area network (SAN) but cannot afford a Fibre Channel SAN.
LeftHand Networks adds IP SAN options
LeftHand Networks recently announced support for iSCSI and is shipping a new IP-based storage area network (SAN) and remote IP replication software.
Evaluating options for disk-to-disk backup
Tape has been a fixture in corporate data centers over the last fifty years as a data backup-and-restore media. However, backup windows are shrinking, or disappearing, and enterprises are demanding that restores for critical applications complete within minutes.
IBM raises the bar for enterprise tape
With the release of its TotalStorage Enterprise Tape Drive 3592 last month, IBM has made it possible for its customers to use a single tape technology for both capacity- and access-intensive applications.
Extending storage over WANs
Many companies are considering extending storage over long distances using a WAN (100 miles or more) to meet business continuity and disaster-recovery needs. Locating recovery centers closer than that (in the same metro area, for example) may be too risky for some companies.
EMC debuts Windows-based NAS
This month, EMC began shipping its first network-attached storage (NAS) device based on Microsoft's Windows Storage Server 2003, which became available last month. Several other OEMs also recently released products based on Microsoft's new operating system.
Disk-to-disk backup will not replace tape
Magnetic tape technology debuted as a data storage medium 50 years ago, and ever since then alternative technologies claiming to be a better solution than tape have appeared.
Digital archiving versus backup: They're not the same
Many people use the terms "digital archiving" and "backup" interchangeably since they both relate to electronic data storage. The distinction lies solely in the purpose. Specifically,
Compliance beyond e-mail: Approaches for structured data
Many IT managers are concerned about the legal and regulatory compliance issues posed by electronic documents and e-mail. However, they may not realize that these risks and requirements also apply to the structured data in their accounting and ERP applications. With the advent of new technology, companies can meet these requirements using approaches that minimize the cost of compliance.
Cisco adds low-end Fibre Channel switches
Cisco recently rounded out its Fibre Channel switch line with 20-port and 40-port MDS 9100 series fabric switches. Previously, the MDS 9216 was the company's low-end offering. However, the 9216 can be scaled from 16 to 32 or 48 ports and can handle multiple protocols and add-in line cards.
Candera controller tackles SAN problems
Milpitas, CA-based start-up Candera claims that users can address key storage area network (SAN) issues (e.g., interoperability, capacity utilization, provisioning, etc.) with a pair of its SCE 510 network storage controllers.
AMCC acquires JNI
Applied Micro Circuits Corp. is acquiring Fibre Channel host bus adapter (HBA) vendor JNI Corp. for approximately $190 million, or $7 per share of JNI stock. In terms of 2002 revenues, JNI was the fourth-largest vendor of Fibre Channel host adapters, behind Hewlett-Packard (including Compaq HBA revenues), QLogic, and market leader Emulex, according to International Data Corp. (see chart).
2D or not 2D? That is the question
Disk-to-disk (D2D) backup/recovery is one of the hottest trends, and controversial topics, in the storage industry these days. Whether 'tis nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous tape backup, or to take arms against this sea of troubles and turn to cheap disksU
The virtual tape option for D2D backup/recovery
In the past, IT discussions about backup and recovery of critical data focused primarily on the cost of downtime. Downtime costs are still critical, but the focus now is on the value of data, and a different set of criteria has been established for assessing risk.