SNW provides product launching pad

Virtually all storage vendors chose this week's Storage Networking World (SNW) conference in Orlando, FL, to make their Fall product introductions and refreshes. Here's a smattering of announcements from the first couple days of the show.

Brocade announced OEM availability of the SilkWorm 4100 family of switches, which support 4Gbps Fibre Channel in 16-, 24-, and 32-port configurations. The switch is based on Brocade's fifth-generation ASIC technology. Features include hot-swappable components, hot code loading and activation, and support for the 4.4 version of Brocade's Fabric OS, which was also introduced at SNW.

Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and QLogic demonstrated a SAN bundle for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that is expected to be priced around $9,999. Available through resellers, the configuration includes an HP MSA1000 2Gbps Fibre Channel disk array, two QLogic SANblade host bus adapters (HBAs), an 8-port QLogic SANbox switch, and SANsurfer software, which leverages Microsoft's Virtual Disk Service (VDS). The companies claim a 24% price reduction versus buying the components individually.

Emulex announced a family of 4Gbps Fibre Channel Helios I/O controllers and LP11000 HBAs. The devices are backward compatible with 1Gbps and 2Gbps Fibre Channel components. The IOCs and HBAs will go into OEM sampling this quarter.

IBM upgraded a number of software packages in the TotalStorage Open Software Family, including v.2.2 of its SAN File System, v.1.2.1 of its SAN Volume Controller (which doubles cluster sizes and provides up to 560,000 I/Os per second), the 2.1 release of Productivity Center (which can be integrated with Tivoli Storage Manager), and Tivoli Storage Manager 5.3.

MPC Computers (formerly Micron) entered the IP SAN market with a system based on software from LeftHand Networks. The DataFRAME 420 is based on iSCSI and includes 16 250GB SATA drives with 4TB of capacity per 3U enclosure, a 12GB cache, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, and redundant components. Software features include volume over-subscription, virtualization, dynamic pooling, automated snapshots, real-time replication, and dynamic sizing. A base configuration is priced at $19,999, while a fully configured system with all software options is priced at slightly less than $45,000.

In addition to MPC, Silicon Mechanics and Verari Systems also launched IP SAN products based on LeftHand's SAN/iQ software.

Asigra announced BLM and Televaulting ILM-aware, which are backup-and-recovery software packages that can deliver ILM functionality across distributed sites. The software automatically moves data to the most appropriate storage media based on pre-determined policies regarding accessibility, security, and long-term archiving.

LSI Logic demonstrated the 16-port MegaRAID SATA 16, a 16-port iSCSI RAID controller that allows integrators to convert a JBOD disk array into an iSCSI array for IP SANs. The controller is based on Intel's IOP32 I/O processor. In addition, LSI showcased a Serial Attached SCSI tiered storage configuration based on its SAS3442X HBA, which uses LSI's SAS1068 8-port controller. LSI also demonstrated 4Gbps Fibre Channel HBAs.

StoneFly Networks introduced automated zero-window backup and online volume expansion capabilities for its StoneFly Backup Advantage (SBA) solution, which is an IP SAN-based disk-to-disk backup system.

Seagate added SATA disk drives to its NL35 (nearline) family of drives, which already includes Fibre Channel drives. The NL35 SATA drives can be integrated with Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) drives in the same enclosure. Features include 250GB and 400GB capacities, one million hours MTBF, a SATA II 1.0 interface, 16MB of cache, and Native Command Queuing.

Infortrend announced that it is shipping SATA-II versions of its EonStor RAID subsystems based on the company's fourth-generation RAID engine. The subsystems are available with either dual Fibre Channel or dual Ultra320 SCSI host interfaces and up to 6TB of storage in a 16-bay enclosure. Infortrend claims performance of more than 300MBps sustained write operations, up to 450MBps read operations, and support for LUNs larger than 2TB.

Start-up Rasilient Systems announced its 3U RASTOR 4000 SATA subsystem, which is designed for OEMs. Targeted at entry-level market segments, the 4000 is based on custom Linux software that emulates RAID and volume management functionality. The subsystem scales up to 3.75TB, includes 15 SATA drives, and offers either iSCSI or Fibre Channel host connectivity, active fail-over, support for up to 256 LUNs, and RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10.

Broadcom announced the BCM5773 Serial RoC RAID-on-a-chip device and HT-1000 Server I/O Controller, a single-chip HyperTransport-based controller with RAID 5. The company also demonstrated RAID-5 controller spanning across multiple I/O controller types, as well as a converged network interface controller (C-NIC) that combines data networking with iSCSI HBA functionality.

This article was originally published on October 27, 2004