New Products


Inrange unveils Virtual Storage Architecture
Inrange Technologies last month announced a series of storage networking products and services-called IN-VSN, or Virtual Storage Networking-that the company says not only simplifies the management of storage networks, but will also enable end users to scale and extend these networks over time. The idea, explains Sherrie Woodring, Inrange's acting president and CEO, is to provide end users with a platform that will provide more secure, manageable-and hence, less-costly-extensible fabrics.

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The VSN architecture consists of a variety of layered hardware and software services centered on its Storage Network API (see diagram).

  • ClearVSN is the open management component, providing an interface to a variety of third-party storage resource management (SRM), virtualization, data management, and SAN management software packages.
  • ExtendedVSN enables users to increase the port count (from 24 to 256 ports) of FC/9000 directors online and without disrupting the network. This feature is integrated into the operating system of Inrange FC/9000 directors and includes other options such as support for large fabrics, multi-vendor switch interoperability, and global replication of data.
  • PerformanceVSN brings traditional networking principles to storage networking. It provides real-time and historical, application-level statistics about storage usage in open systems and FICON storage networks.
  • SecureVSN provides a set of access control and management security features, including software- and hardware-based zoning, port isolation, encrypted usernames, and passwords between management stations and switches. www.inrange.com.

Microsoft enhances Server Appliance Kit
Microsoft has released the Server Appliance Kit (SAK) 2.0 Add-On-Pack, which includes a multiple device manager (MDM) feature and a role-based user interface. The kit enables OEMs to develop NAS appliances based on Windows.

The MDM module allows administrators to manage multiple devices from a central console and includes the following new features: auto-discovery of new servers, grouping into sets, script and binary execution, audit trail and operations history, security, a Web user interface, command line tools, and specific operations such as "set server name," "reboot," and other operations.

The role-based user interface is designed for Web-hosting environments, allowing administrators to delegate tasks and protect access to the Web service for particular user groups. According to Microsoft officials, Compaq, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Maxtor will incorporate the Add-On-Pack in future NAS appliances. www.microsoft.com.

Storactive upgrades data protection software
LiveBackup 2.5 from Storactive is client-server backup software designed to back up and centralize distributed laptop and desktop data, restore data as recent as the last save, and protect data from viruses. The software is transparent to users and administrators and leverages Microsoft.NET for scalability. The software retains only a single copy of identical files, even if the files come from different systems. It examines the changes made to files as they occur and sends only blocks of data that changed.

Data is automatically backed up whenever the user clicks the Save button. No schedules need to be set for saves, and PCs do not need to be taken offline. The software performs versioning and mirroring at the system level, so it will intercept and track changes to the files that are caused by a virus infection.

Users can restore their own data by using a Windows interface and can recover any previously saved version of a file. Files can also be restored to any point-in-time over a network or the Internet by using the software's system rollback technology.

The LiveBackup 2.5 software is priced from $125 per seat. www.storactive.com.

Executive Software targets appliances
Executive Software recently introduced three products designed for Windows-enabled appliances, including NAS and Web servers. The company's Diskeeper SA defragmentation software is available in Basic and Plus versions. Diskeeper SA Basic automatically defragments single disks ranging in size from 1GB to 100GB every three days.

Diskeeper SA Plus can defrag multiple disks of any size simultaneously. It also features "smart scheduling," which adjusts the frequency of defragmentation jobs based on disk volume fragmentation. The software also uses a browser-based user interface with Microsoft's Server Appliance Kit (SAK).

DiskAlert SA provides automatic early warnings of hard-disk problems and works with software RAID and most hardware RAID controllers.

Undelete SA replaces the software's recycle bin with a recovery bin to capture all deleted files, including files from shared drives, Windows Explorer, file manager, all applications, and the command line. www.execsoft.com.


Quantum offers disk-based backup, debuts library family
Quantum recently made back-to-back product announcements that provide users with a variety of new backup options. Specifically, the company introduced its first disk-based backup system-the DX30-and its first midrange modular library family-the ML2500.

The decision to bring disk into the backup mix has been several years in the making, says Kevin Daly, chief technology officer of Quantum's storage solutions group. "We recognize that a lot of people have invested a lot of time and money in tape backup hardware, software, and operational processes but are looking to expand these capabilities. We had to change to a disk-based architecture to pull this off."

Daly says its DX30 backup system addresses current backup challenges-most notably, the time required to perform backups, confidence that backups are done completely and within the backup window, and the time it takes to restore data.

The company claims that the 2U-high disk system can improve backup speeds to 40MBps and reduce restore latency to less than 10 seconds. The device supports 1Gbps Fibre Channel (for data transport) and Gigabit Ethernet (for management and auxiliary features) and has a 3TB capacity (on 128GB ATA drives).

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The system's core architecture-Adaptive Disk Array Management (ADAM)-has been optimized for large data transfers, not disk-to-disk copy. The device, which works with all leading backup software and emulates a P1000 tape library, replaces tape as the primary backup target, relegating tape to archival.

The system has been designed to be rack-mounted next to Quantum's ATL ML1500 and new ATL M2500 libraries, although there is no direct interface to either product. Quantum expects to begin shipping the M2500 in the second half of this year.

The M2500 library can be configured with up to three M2500 modules or a mix of M1500 and M2500 modules for up to 30TB of native capacity (see figure). A separate linking mechanism-StackLink-reportedly moves cartridges between modules in less than seven seconds. Remote management and Fibre Channel connectivity are enabled by the library's PRISM architecture.

Each M2500 module is 13.5U high and supports one to six DLT8000, LTO Ultrium, or SDLT 220 drives and up to 100 cartridges for a total native capacity to 10TB and a native throughput to 810GB per hour (using LTO Ultrium drives and media).

Quantum expects end users to start out with a single M2500 module and to integrate additional 1500 or 2500 modules as their storage needs scale. A four-drive M2500 module lists from $88,000. www.quantum.com.


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StorCase array meets government specs
StorCase Technology's second-generation InfoStation disk enclosure features an all-steel design and a key-lock feature for removable disk carriers. The enclosure is now available in four- and nine-bay (4U) con figu rations, in addition to an existing 14-bay configuration. Users can upgrade from a JBOD chassis to a redundant, active-active RAID configuration.

Features include Ultra160 SCSI or Fibre Channel controllers (single or dual channels) and dual 450-watt power supplies. StorCase is part of Kingston Technology's Storage Product Division. www.storcase.com/infostation/ifsii.asp.

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Finisar analyzes FC, iSCSI, InfiniBand
Finisar Systems' GTX-Notebook is a laptop-sized storage area network (SAN) analyzer that can be used with Fibre Channel, iSCSI, and InfiniBand networks. For InfiniBand, the bit-error rate tester (BERT), error injector, and generator support 2.5Gbps clock rates. The unit displays link performance metrics and error conditions in real time, capturing data on both ports of a duplex link. The analyzer is designed primarily for field service and application engineers. www.finisar.com.

Adaptec targets channel with Ultra160 RAID
Adaptec has begun shipments of an Ultra160 SCSI RAID card-the 5400S-that has a 64-bit, 4-channel controller that supports RAID 0, 1, 0/1, 5, 0/5, and JBOD. Supporting as many as 60 SCSI disk drives, the card includes up to 128MB of cache memory, a battery backup module, and a dedicated XOR chip. Standard software features are RAID level migration and online capacity expansion. MSRP is $1,540. www.adaptec.com.

Nexsan: D2D backup at $0.01/MB
Due to a capacity boost of 60%, Nexsan Technologies' InfiniSAN ATAboy RAID system is now priced at $0.01 per MB in some configurations. The company positions the device as a disk-to-disk (D2D) backup alternative to traditional tape devices.

The subsystem is available in eight- or 14-drive models with 120GB disk drives for a total capacity of up to 1.68TB in a 3U rack-mount unit. The array comes with event-based real-time backup software and can also be used with traditional backup software packages from vendors such as Computer Associates and Legato.

Separately, Nexsan has inked reseller deals with systems integrators Cambridge Computer Services (www.camcom.com), Fusion Data Management (www.fusiondm.net), RedBridge Technologies (www.redbridge.net), and USI Corp. (www.usicorp.com). www.nexsan.com.

This article was originally published on March 01, 2002