RAID recap: From ATA to SCSI to FC
Chaparral Network Storage recently began shipments of the latest in its StratisRAID family of disk arrays. The F-AT DISK is a Fibre Channel-to-ATA disk subsystem that scales from 1.9TB (12 160GB drives in a 5U enclosure) to 11.5TB (72 drives in 25U).
Chaparral claims a sustained read rate of 275MBps, sustained write rate of 150MBps, and 16,000 I/Os per second. The system is available with single or dual controllers in active-active or active-passive fail-over modes.
The F-AT DISK is based on Chaparral's 2Gbps JFS RAID controllers and Maxtor's eXP-6000 subsystems and supports all RAID levels as well as JBOD configurations.
Pricing is as low as $0.01 per MB in some configurations. For example, a five-enclosure system with 11.5TB is priced at $128,000. A low-end version with dual 2Gbps Fibre Channel-to-ATA controllers, 512MB of cache, and 12 160GB drives is priced at $28,000 (MSRP). An ATA expansion enclosure with 12 160GB drives costs $20,000. www.chaparralnet.com.
Raidtec is shipping the six-bay FlexArray HI 6 Ultra160 SCSI direct-attached disk array, which includes two external LVD Ultra160 SCSI ports that can be configured as either two host ports or one host port and one disk expansion port. It includes up to 12 Ultra160 SCSI drives in capacities ranging from 9GB to 180GB (for a total of more than 2TB) and spindle rates ranging from 7,200rpm to 15,000rpm. The FlexArray can be configured with up to eight RAID sets with RAID levels 0, 1, 10, 3, or 5. The unit is priced from $4,545. www.raidtec.com.
Arena MaxTronic's Indy2600 16-bay RAID subsystem supports RAID levels 0, 1, 10, 3, or 5, three 320W power supplies, an Intel i80303 RISC processor, dual channels, data-transfer rates of up to 160MBps, and 128MB (upgradable to 512MB) of cache. www.maxtronic.com.
Nexsan enters iSCSI IP storage market
Nexsan Technologies has entered the IP storage arena via a reseller agreement with start-up StoneFly Networks. Nexsan is reselling StoneFly's iSCSI virtualization appliance, re-branded as the Veriture iP. A bundled hardware/software appliance, including the Veriture Volume Manager Server and Veriture MultiView snapshot copy software, is priced at $22,500.
The appliance works with Nexsan's InfiniSAN ATAboy2 disk arrays connected over Gigabit Ethernet networks. Nexsan officials claim that the main benefit to end users is a reduction in storage management costs via centralized management and virtual volume allocation. In addition, iSCSI provides an alternative to Fibre Channel storage area networks (SANs), which may be more costly than IP SANs.
A single Veriture IP SAN appliance can manage up to 15 ATAboy2 disk arrays, which can provide more than 25TB of storage capacity. (For more information on StoneFly's "storage concentrators," see "StoneFly virtualizes IP SANs," InfoStor, June 2002, p. 15.)
Separately, Nexsan has added 2Gbps Fibre Channel support to its 3U ATAboy2F arrays, which are priced at less than $0.01 per MB in some configurations. The company claims performance of 170MBps (sustained) on RAID 5 reads, and 25,000 I/Os per second. Capacity ranges up to 1.68TB. www.nexsan.com.
3ware ships ATA RAID controllers
3ware has added an ATA-based version to its line of Escalade RAID controllers. The Escalade 7500-12 includes 12 ATA disk drive attachments and supports almost 2TB per controller.
The RAID-5 controller is based on 3ware's StorSwitch network packet switching technology, which gives each drive a dedicated port and cable. The company claims that this reduces the need for expensive on-board cache, eliminates shared-bus arbitration, and decreases CPU loading. Priced at $699 MSRP, the controller includes SCSI features such as tag command queuing, scatter/gather, command reordering, parallel seek, and dynamic sector repair. www.3ware.com.
QLogic intros PCI-X FC HBAs
QLogic's SANblade QLA2340 is a 2Gbps Fibre Channel host bus adapter (HBA) that is compatible with 133MHz PCI-X systems. The company claims performance of up to 80,000 I/Os per second and more than 700MBps throughput.
Operating systems supported include Windows NT/2000, NetWare, Solaris, Red Hat Linux, and SuSE Linux. The adap ter is based on QLogic's ISP2312 architecture and is available in single-, dual-, and quad-channel versions. Unlike some other PCI-X HBA designs, the QLA2340 does not use a bridge, which can impose performance penalties. Pricing from QLogic's distributors is expected to start at $1,495. www.qlogic.com.
LSI delivers cPCI HBAs
LSI Logic's LSI7202CP-LC is a 2Gbps Fibre Channel HBA for CompactPCI (cPCI) systems. The dual-channel adapter can handle more than 75,000 I/Os per second on dual channels and is also available in a single-channel version. The card is based on LSI's Fusion-MPT (Message Passing Technology) architecture and an ARM processor. www.lsilogicstorage.com.
Atto bridges 2Gbps FC, SCSI
Atto's FibreBridge 1290E is a bridge that links 2Gbps Fibre Channel networks to SCSI storage devices. The bridge supports the SNIA Extended Copy command and the FCP-2 protocol and is backward-compatible with 1Gbps Fibre Channel. Serverless backup functionality is optional and provides the ability to back up data directly from primary storage to secondary storage. www.attotech.com.
New twists on NAS
Vancouver-based Merlin Technologies recently made its debut in the U.S. with the Linux-based EssentialServer 3.0 network- attached storage (NAS) device, which includes built-in backup via an Ecrix tape drive (with an optional CD-RW or DVD drive). The device scales from 80GB to 1TB; supports RAID 0, 1, and 5 and Gigabit Ethernet; and has a journaling file system.
The PerfectCopy backup utility provides synchronization and automatic backup of desktops and laptops connected to the NAS server. Automatic system monitoring alerts administrators to hardware problems. EssentialServer 3.0 is priced from $2,500 to $12,000. www.merlinsoftech.com.
TEAC recently introduced a wireless NAS device, the Vendotto Microserver, which connects desktops and remote laptops via wireless LAN cards. The NAS device can also be used as a file server, Web server, print server, or Internet router for shared Internet connections or wireless LANs.
The Microserver connects to existing LANs and can be split by users and groups with quotas per application. The device scales from 80GB to 240GB and provides Ethernet 10/100 connectivity, dual NIC cards, and support for Windows, NT, Mac, Linux, Solaris, and Unix. www.teac.com.
Barcelona-based Mast Storage is offering a NAS line that includes IDE-based devices that scale from 160GB to 640GB. The devices offer hot-swap drives and hot spares, support for RAID 5, and load balancing. Automatic IP address configuration can be performed via a Web browser. www.maststorage.com.
SANcastle adds Fibre Channel native firewall
SANcastle Technologies has added Fibre Channel native firewall technology to its line of fabric border switches. The feature is referred to as Autonomous Regions with Domain Address Translation (AR/DAT) and is designed to enable global SAN scalability while simplifying Fibre Channel fabrics.
SANcastle's border switches connect local or remote SAN "islands" into a single fabric (via the FC SW2 E_Port standard), keeping intact the independent domain address spaces and zoning functions of the individual fabrics.
AR/DAT eliminates the penetration of Registered State Change Notifications (RSCNs) from one Fibre Channel fabric to another, which eliminates the propagation of disruptions beyond individual SAN borders. www.sancastle.com.
Qualstar offers management tool
Qualstar recently announced availability of the Q-Link library management tool for its tape libraries. Q-Link lets users manage, configure, and monitor disparate TLS and RLS Series libraries from a single location via a browser-based interface. Functions include the ability to assess backup/
restore performance, check the status of tape drives, and perform firmware updates. It has a suggested retail price of $750 and is available from Qualstar's resellers. www.qualstar.com.
StorageTek expands virtual tape system
Last month, StorageTek announced several enhancements to its Virtual Storage Manager (VSM) tape management system, as well as an entry-level model-the VSMe. Features include off-site vault disaster recovery, improved data management, and increased capacity and performance. Prices start at $253,000.
Separately, STK announced that its midrange L180 and L700e libraries now support ESCON, SCSI, and Fibre Channel tape drives. For sharing library resources between open systems and OS/390 mainframes, StorageTek now offers the T9840B ESCON tape drive. The device has a native 19MBps data-transfer rate, provides access to data in less than 12 seconds, and has a 2Gbps fabric-aware interface. The drive is priced from $34,400. www.storagetek.com.
Peer Software ships Save-N-Sync 2.0
Peer Software's Save-N-Sync 2.0 file management software provides backup, synchronization, replication, and restoration of desktop data. Users can configure and map relationships between desktops, laptops, NAS devices, and servers within minutes. The Windows-compatible software leverages the core file management features of the company's flagship PeerSync software.
Other features include real-time file change detection and synchronization (which allows users to continue to work during synchronization and to synchronize open files), detailed file/folder activity and problem reporting, and bi-directional synchronization. www.peersoftware.com.
Tantia upgrades backup software
Last month, Tantia Technologies announced the addition of several new packages in the Harbor NSM product suite. Harbor NSM v6.2 on OS/390 allows users to consolidate disparate backup domains into a single management domain. When used with the Windows upgrade (see below), the software lets users centrally manage backup domains in field offices. All backup agents are managed by a single policy database.
Harbor NSM v6.3 on Windows enables LAN-less backup-and-restore capabilities by using the HMDE (RapidXchange) feature in disk subsystems from Hitachi Data Systems, Hewlett-Packard, and Sun.
Harbor NSM Client v5.4 for Windows allows complete backup of Windows files and system-state variables on remote computers. Other new features include support for the Distributed File System (DFS) and the ability to back up and restore the Cluster database as part of the System State backup for Windows 2000 Advanced Server.
Harbor NSM Client v5.4 for Novell eDirectory provides support for Novell NDS databases. The Harbor NSM product suite is available from Tantia or its channel partners. www.tantiatech.com.
ONTRACK debuts e-mail tool
ONTRACK Data International, a provider of data availability software and services, recently introduced PowerControls 1.0. The software works with Microsoft Exchange Server backup software to restore message-level items from any previous full backup of archived mailbox data. The company claims that the product can reduce the time it takes to manage e-mail backup/restore tasks from hours or days to minutes by eliminating the need to back up individual mailboxes and to restore individual e-mail files from full server backups. The software is compatible with Exchange Server 5.5 and 2000. The program is available online at www.ontrack.com for $950.
Exabyte continues to target DDS market
Exabyte recently announced that it has begun shipping VXA-2 tape drives. The drives, the second in the company's VXA family, have 80GB native capacity and a 6MBps native transfer rate, making it at least twice as fast as DDS-4 drives and four times as dense, officials says. VXA-2 drives are available with Ultra2 Wide SCSI, IDE/ATAPI, and FireWire interfaces, support leading computing platforms and operating systems, and are backward read and write compatible with VXA-1 drives. Four cartridge capacities are available: 40GB, 80GB, 120GB, and 160GB. VXA-2 drives have a list price of $999; 160GB media is priced at $26.95 per cartridge. www.exabyte.com.
Send brochure/conference information to Marcy Koff, firstname.lastname@example.org or fax: (603) 891-9297.
Networld+Interop Conference and Exhibition-Atlanta, GA
This year's conference includes tutorials, workshops, exhibits, and special interest days, one of which highlights network storage strategies. Jon Toigo, consultant and author, discusses NAS, SAN, and hybrid technologies, focusing on what they can do today, what problems they solve, how they can be deployed, and how networked storage can be managed. Keynote speaker is Sanjay Kumar, CEO of Computer Associates. For more information, check out www.interop-comdex.com.
Storage Networking Seminar-Washington, DC
Sponsored by the Evaluator Group, this seminar is intended for those involved in the selection of enterprise storage systems. The interactive format provides attendees with the knowledge required to develop a comprehensive set of technical and business requirements for their environment, understand the strengths and weaknesses of the currently available product offerings, and make an informed recommendation/decision that best satisfies their unique requirements. For more information, visit www.evaluatorgroup.com.
Storage Decisions 2002-Chicago, IL
Sponsored by searchStorage.com, this member conference highlights the needs of storage managers in enterprise environments. Sessions focus on the storage outlook for 2004; storage virtualization; networked storage, backup and recovery; SAN expenses; storage security; and SAN/NAS convergence. For more information, browse www.storagedecisions.com.
Managing and Optimising Enterprise Storage Technologies-London
This event features case-study-based presentations and informal debate on the key enterprise storage issues from end users and industry experts.For more information, browse www.marcusevans.com/EVENTS/telecomsCFEventinfo.asp?EventID=6534.
Forum STOCKAGE 2002-Paris, France
Featuring 30 conferences, eight roundtables, and 20 workshops, the storage event is expected to attract more than 120 exhibitors. For more information, browse www.stockage2002.com. Tel: +33 (0)1 45 23 08 16, fax: +33 (0)1 48 24 01 81.