PolyServe touts ‘UnAppliance’ strategy
Fresh off the heels of a potentially lucrative OEM deal with Hewlett-Packard, and armed with PowerPoint slides with a bunch of “NotApp” boxes, PolyServe is taking direct aim at Network Appliance (and EMC) with an “UnAppliance” strategy and the 3.0 release of its PolyServe File Serving Solution-NAS-based cluster software for Linux.
The key element in the new release is a new cluster volume manager (CVM) that the company says enables higher storage utilization rates and increased performance. The clustering software, which can be used to corral industry-standard file servers, is positioned against high-end “monolithic” NAS filers. PolyServe claims 6:1 price-performance advantages and 8x performance advantages versus some stand-alone NAS appliances.
Hewlett-Packard resells PolyServe’s shared data clustering software, or symmetric cluster file system, as part of the HP Enterprise File Services (EFS) Clustered Gateway, which competes with high-end NAS servers from EMC and Network Appliance (see “HP enters new markets,” InfoStor, June 2005, p. 1). The Linux-based software runs on HP’s ProLiant DL380 servers. PolyServe also has partnerships with Dell, IBM, Microsoft, and Novell.
The CVM enables administrators to group (and re-allocate) storage into logical, shared pools that can be centrally managed across a cluster of up to 16 Linux or Windows servers. Other features in File Serving Solution 3.0 include support for file systems up to 16TB, the ability to grow storage capacity online, and support for hardware-assisted snapshots. The company claims near-linear scalability in performance as Intel-based nodes (servers) are added to the cluster. www.polyserve.com.
BlueArc extends software portfolio
BlueArc recently announced a wide-ranging software suite for its Titan NAS storage systems. Key components in the suite include the following:
Virtual servers: This feature allows administrators to create up to eight logical servers in one physical system. Each virtual server can have its own separate IP address, multiple management policies, and dedicated port bandwidth. Administrators can move virtual servers between Titan systems in either stand-alone or clustered configurations to match workloads, usage patterns, availability, and other requirements.
Policy-based data migration: The Data Migrator feature uses rules, parameters, and triggers to move data between storage tiers. It includes “what if” analysis tools that administrators can use prior to moving the data. It also provides policy templates based on last access time, so that data not accessed in a specified time period can be moved to less-expensive storage devices. This feature also has a scheduler so that migration can be done on a one-time-only or on a recurring or test basis.
iSCSI support: BlueArc officials say that support for iSCSI enables users to receive the virtualization, data protection, and data management features found with NAS, but with block-level storage. Each Titan can support more than 8,000 LUNs, enabling users to consolidate applications. “Users can add Microsoft Exchange, databases, and stranded DAS servers to their NAS systems,” says Jon Affeld, BlueArc’s director of product marketing.
Remote volume mirroring: This feature allows two systems to create block-level, real-time copies at two different locations up to 10km apart for metro configurations, or up to 500m in campus environments. The remote volume-mirroring feature is available in asynchronous or synchronous versions.
The software suite also includes support for a write-once, read-many (WORM) file system that prevents data from being modified or deleted for user-specified time periods. www.bluearc.com.
Bus-Tech upgrades virtual tape
Last month, Bus-Tech announced enhancements to its “tape-on-disk” controller with the release of Mainframe Appliance for Storage (MAS) 2.0. The MAS system is offered by EMC through its Select Program and is available with FICON or ESCON versions that work with EMC’s Centera content-addressable storage (CAS) and Celerra NAS platforms.
The 2.0 versions provide at least a 35% performance improvement over previous MAS models, according to Bus-Tech, via an 800MHz front-side bus, dual symmetrical processors, 2GB of memory, hardware RAID, high-performance disk drives, and a PowerPC channel processor. The systems can emulate up to 256 tape drives, and provides dynamic path recognition. www.bus-tech.com.
Infortrend adds FC RAID arrays
Infortrend recently added two redundant-controller Fibre Channel systems to its line of EonStor RAID subsystems. The 3U, rack-mount 16-bay enclosures support Serial ATA (SATA) II and Fibre Channel disk drives. Performance has been increased via a PowerPC 750FX-600 as well as Infortrend’s ASIC266 processor. The EonStor A16F-R2221 Fibre Channel-to-SATA unit has a sustained read rate of up to 697MBps and sustained writes up to 386MBps. The ES F16F-R2021 FC-to-FC subsystem reaches sustained reads of 730MBps and sustained writes of 487MBps, according to the company. www.infortrend.com.
StorCase introduces SATA-SATA enclosure
StorCase Technology last month introduced its five-bay InfoStation desktop system-a high-density RAID enclosure that supports up to five removable SATA II drives and integrated SATA II Port Multiplier. The enclosure supports RAID levels 0, 1, 10, and JBOD, adapts to transfer rates of 1.5Gbps or 3Gbps and supports twice the SATA-specified external cable length. The device includes a 64-bit PCI-X 133MHz host bus adapter (HBA) and a shielded 2mm cable with standard eSATA external connectors. Two InfoStation units can be mounted horizontally in a standard rack. www.storcase.com.
WD delivers SATA drives
Western Digital is now shipping hard drives with Serial ATA (SATA) interface featuring 300MBps burst data-transfer rate. The WD Caviar SE16 drive has 16MB of cache-2x to 8x the cache size of standard desktop hard drives-and rotates at 7,200rpm. The unit is designed for high-performance computers, multimedia, and gaming systems. Model WD2500KS, with a 250GB capacity, is priced at $199. www.westerndigital.com.
Cepoint ships 12TB RAID systems
Cepoint Networks’ 12TB enterprise storage systems for VoIP, video, and telephony support RAID levels 0, 1, 5, and 10, as well as JBOD configurations. The units come with Fibre Channel or iSCSI Gigabit Ethernet ports. The Rx524 SATA RAID array has built-in encryption, manageable from a remote client via a secure connection that uses RSA SecureID and IPSec.
The Rx524 iSCSI NAS system comes in a 5U, 24-bay rack-mount enclosure with 12TB of capacity. Although the Rx524 is designed as NAS, it can also be used in clustered and SAN environments. The system is configured with 24 500GB SATA hard drives. R-Stor models ship with optional SCSI, or iSCSI or dual 2GBps Fibre Channel host interfaces with up to a 400MBps transfer rate. Multiple units can be daisy-chained for up to 180TB of capacity. A 3.77TB version is priced from less than $7,000; 9.6TB and 12TB versions are priced at $10,500 and $12,050, respectively. www.cepoint.net.
Broadcom features software upgrades
Broadcom’s RAIDCore 4410/4810 Serial ATA (SATA) RAID controller cards, or HBAs, can be upgraded via software license keys to add RAID-specific features, including RAID 5. The eight-channel BC4810 is priced at $205, while the four-channel BC4410 is priced at $180. Software upgrades cost $199 or $180, respectively. Without the software upgrade, the controllers support RAID 0, 1, 10, and JBOD configurations. www.broadcom.com.
Nimbus enhances IP SAN
Nimbus Data Systems recently added a number of enhancements to its iSCSI appliances, including Serial ATA (SATA) drives for the IPS-1200 and IPS-1600 systems with capacity of up to 8TB and dual Ethernet ports with automatic fail-over and load balancing through link aggregation. Other features include redundant components, CHAP authentication, and IPSec encryption. Pricing starts at about $8,000.
Nimbus also added a Hot Mirror feature to the IPS-1200/1600 appliances that provides synchronous mirroring and fail-over between two systems. The Hot Mirror option is priced at $2,500 per system, and a bundled SAN with 1.6TB is priced from $25,000. The company also added an Offsite Replicator option ($2,500), which provides asynchronous replication. www.nimbusdata.com.
Open-E releases iSCSI software
Open-E is shipping software that enables developers to build iSCSI target subsystems for IP SANs. Features include support for IPSec encryption and authentication, 10Gbps Ethernet, and a variety of operating systems, including Windows 2000/XP, Linux, Unix, Mac, and NetWare. www.open-e.com.
Unitrends expands DPUs
Unitrends’ DPU2000-1500 data-protection unit comes bundled with Unitrends’ software suite, including its backup/restore and bare-metal recovery software, enabling the recovery of an operating system as well as permissions, passwords, and settings within minutes, according to company claims. Priced at $9,995, the appliance features unlimited client licenses and can hold up to 2.5TB or more of compressed data on six Serial ATA (SATA) hard drives in a 2U rack-mount unit. Half the disks can be “hot-swapped” and removed, enabling off-site disk-to-disk protection as well as rapid data recovery. www.unitrends.com.