New products

CA enhances management suite

Computer Associates recently shipped BrightStor r11.5, an integrated set of storage management software modules. BrightStor ArcServe Backup was improved by automating the disk-to-disk and disk-to-disk-to-tape processes, reducing the number of steps required. The company also extended support for 64-bit platforms, as well as for Lotus and SAP on Windows and Linux systems.

Similar to the BrightStor portal is CA’s new BrightStor Storage Command Center, which provides a dashboard-like view of storage environments. The software applies business analytics to the information and reports on four main areas of the environment: inventory, capacity, health, and protection. Also, embedded identity and access management capabilities enable administrators to enforce company-wide security policies.

CA extended device support in the BrightStor suite to include EMC Clariion, HP StorageWorks, and Sun StorEdge disk arrays.

For storage resource management (SRM), CA added caching technology that speeds up data collection. The company also lowered capacity licensing minimums from 10TB to 2TB. www.ca.com.

NetApp targets Oracle backup/recovery

Network Appliance is shipping a controlled release of SnapManager for Oracle software, which is designed to simplify backup and recovery of Oracle databases on NetApp’s hardware platforms. General availability is slated for January 2006.

SnapManager is based on NetApp’s disk-based Snapshot technology and is integrated with Oracle Automatic Storage Management software. Snap-Manager turns a multi-step backup-and-restore process into two commands. NetApp also claims that data can be restored within one minute with no impact to database performance. SnapManager for Oracle automates the cloning of Oracle databases by leveraging NetApp’s FlexClone technology, which is included in the Data ONTAP 7G operating system software. www.netapp.com.

NuView ships D2D recovery tool

NuView’s Data on Demand Manager (DDM) is a data-recovery tool designed to decrease the recovery time objective (RTO) for disk-based backups. DDM works with disk-to-disk (D2D) backup products from Symantec/Veritas, EMC/Legato, CommVault, and others. If a primary server experiences downtime for any reason-virus, administrator error, disk failure, or disaster-individual users can access their files without having to wait for an IT administrator to do a full restore of the system. With traditional tape backup, a full restore could take hours or even days. Access to files can be prioritized by the role of the user and by the criticality of the data.

DDM creates “mini-files” of replicated data on a new primary server as soon as a failure occurs at the original data source. User requests are directed to the new primary server, and individual files are restored as soon as a user double-clicks on the file name. The policy-based full restore then occurs in the background.

In addition to faster restores, DDM can be used for high-speed migrations between heterogeneous systems. NuView claims a reduction in the time required to migrate data from hours to minutes.

(Although NuView partners with Network Appliance on its FLM product, and NetApp resells NuView’s StorageX, there are no current plans for NetApp to resell DDM.)

DDM pricing starts at $10,000 per server protected, regardless of capacity. www.nuview.com.

Mendocino intros CDP software

Mendocino Software recently shipped RecoveryONE, block-based recovery management software that the company claims will return any application, database, or file system to any previous point in time or process. RecoveryONE is continuous data protection (CDP) software that will be distributed by two unnamed “major vendors” that Mendocino claims will make announcements by year-end.

RecoveryONE software uses both event-addressable and time-addressable storage in its recovery management engine. Event-addressable storage helps administrators choose the right recovery time based on user-defined event markers, such as database checkpoints. This minimizes the trial and error that often occurs when trying to find the right snapshot, as in time-addressable storage, from which to recover.

RecoveryONE integrates with backup, replication, and management tools and “de-couples” application protection and recovery from production operations. Because it sits out-of-band, if it fails it won’t affect production. Mendocino considers Revivio and InMage to be its most direct competitors. www.mendocinosoft.com.

(For more information about continuous data protection, see “Evaluating continuous data protection” and “Continuous data protection: Is it about time?”, pp. 28 and 32, respectively.)

Permabit adds archiving modules

The 2.0 version of Permabit’s Permeon Compliance Store modularizes its high-availability and replication features and adds a new retention policy module. Although it is primarily a software product, Permeon is delivered to users as an appliance through Permabit’s OEMs.

The Retention Policy Module allows administrators to define policies for retention filters. The filters specify whether files should be marked “read-only” and for how long. It also supports revisions to the policies for changes in government regulations. Files can be transitioned from read/write to read-only as business policies change.

For the High Availability Module, originally released in April, Permabit added automated fail-over. The Permeon Compliance Store high-availability feature is designed to prevent loss of data. The Replication Module features point-in-time replication for one-to-one or many-to-one configurations. www.permabit.com.

Overtone reduces e-mail overhead

Overtone Software claims it can reduce total overhead costs of e-mail archiving by 30% to 50% by not using the journaling feature in Microsoft messaging environments. Traditional approaches to compliance require journaling (copying) of all messages to an additional mailbox.

Overtone’s ManageTone for MS Exchange works with Exchange 2000 and above. The real-time e-mail archive solution uses the customer’s existing platforms to achieve compliance with government and corporate regulations.

ManageTone captures all event notification on each e-mail, without turning on journaling. The Overtone server can process requests through the event notification, without “crawling” the Exchange server. When the data is out of the Exchange server and converted to an open file format, such as XML, administrators can use a search engine to find a particular e-mail. In contrast, some other e-mail archiving solutions convert e-mails to a proprietary format.

Policies can be set so that, for example, if a document hasn’t been viewed in 90 days it is sent to secondary storage. Policies can also be based on the size of e-mails. ManageTone pricing ranges from $10 to $40 per mailbox. www.overtonesoftware.com.

Quest suite manages Exchange

Quest Software last month began shipments of the Quest Storage Suite for Exchange e-mail management software, which integrates a number of the company’s software products under a management console based on the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). The Quest Management Console allows administrators to manage Quest and Microsoft tools from a single console.

The Storage Suite provides traffic analysis and reporting; consolidates e-mail storage; and archives and recovers data. The suite includes the Quest

  • MessageStats for traffic analysis and reporting;
  • Archive Manager for Exchange for managing mailboxes and archiving; and
  • Recovery Manager for Exchange, which discovers and recovers message-level items.

Pricing for Storage Suite for Exchange starts at $40 per managed mailbox. To download the software, visit http://wm.quest.com/products/storagesuiteexchange.

DataCore enables iSCSI remote boot

DataCore Software and emBoot introduced a solution that allows administrators to remotely boot Windows servers off an iSCSI-based IP SAN using standard Ethernet cards. The combination uses DataCore’s SANmelody or SANsymphony software along with emBoot’s netBoot/i software and eliminates the need for local, internal disk drives.

Two main benefits of the solution involve disaster-recovery improvements and cost savings. The combo enables administrators to “emergency-boot” a server from the SAN if a physical boot fails. Cost savings are realized from simplified management derived from diskless remote booting.

If a system crash occurs, the application server’s BIOS can boot from a SANmelody or SANsymphony-based IP SAN’s virtual boot disk, eliminating the need for local, internal disk drives and host adapters. Administrators create a snapshot of a single netBoot/i boot volume and copy the volume to multiple iSCSI targets, so that when needed they can boot from the IP SAN and be operational in minutes.

Since administrators create a snapshot of a single netBoot/i boot volume and then copy the volume to multiple iSCSI targets, servers and their storage devices can be available in minutes. netBoot/i has been tested on VMware Workstation, GSX, and ESX servers, as well as with Microsoft’s Virtual PC and Virtual Server.

DataCore claims to lower operating costs through centralized data consolidation and enabling assignment of blade servers to remote applications. By booting servers from the SAN, storage management and provisioning is simplified by separating operating system data from the hardware, eliminating the need for a boot disk on the server or on a blade.

Features of the DataCore-emBoot combo include diskless network boot of Windows operating systems; boot from a shared volume; network boot to iSCSI targets from within VMware and Microsoft Virtual PC virtual machines; support for CHAP authentication; and system snapshot tool for copying local boot volume to iSCSI target. www.datacore.com.

StoneFly ships low-cost IP SAN

Breaking the $10,000 price barrier, StoneFly Networks’ ValueSAN is based on the company’s Storage Concentrator i3000 array, which provides block-level provisioning and centralized management and monitoring of logical storage volumes. The system scales to 19.2TB per node and includes synchronous mirroring and snapshots. Optional upgrades include integration with StoneFly’s Backup Advantage turnkey IP SAN with backup/recovery software and Replicator CDP software for application-aware continuous data protection.

An entry-level ValueSAN configuration is priced at $8,995 and includes two Storage Concentrator i3000 disk arrays with 960GB of capacity, snapshot and synchronous mirroring software, virtualization, and management software. www.stonefly.com.

JMR enters IP SAN market

Designed in collaboration with Intel, JMR Electronics’ Z-IPSAN is based on iSCSI and includes 16 hot-swap Serial ATA (SATA) disk drives for 8TB of capacity per 3U enclosure. The array supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, and 50. In addition to dual Gigabit Ethernet connections for IP SANs, the system is available with optional 2Gbps Fibre Channel connections. An entry-level configuration with 750GB is priced at $14,000.

Software features of the Z-IPSAN include thin provisioning (pay-as-you-grow capacity allocation), clustering between multiple Z-IPSAN arrays, replication, automated snapshots, and disaster-recovery capabilities. www.jmr.com.

Chelsio claims 400,000 IOPS

Chelsio Communications’ new iSCSI target stack software, in conjunction with its iSCSI adapters, delivers more than 400,000 I/Os per second (IOPS), according to company claims.

Chelsio sells chips, such as the Terminator ASIC, to OEMs, as well as adapters to end users, OEMs, and integrators. The adapters include the quad-port Gigabit Ethernet T204 and single-port 10Gbps Ethernet T210. Both adapters include the Terminator ASIC, iSCSI accelerators, TCP/IP offload engines (TOEs), and support for PCI-X systems. Both the controllers and adapters come with iSCSI target-mode support.

Company officials say that a number of applications can benefit from high-speed iSCSI, such as video streaming (e.g., postproduction environments), image processing, backup, and point-to-point replication over WANs.

To achieve its IOPS performance numbers, Chelsio used a quad-port Gigabit Ethernet T204 adapter in a link-aggregated configuration in an iSCSI target mode server with dual 2.4GHz Opteron processors, iSCSI target stack, and a RAM disk. The target mode server was connected to 16 Windows 2003 servers with Microsoft iSCSI initiators. The test relied on Intel’s Iometer benchmark tool for measuring 512-byte initiator reads and writes. Chelsio officials claim that the T204 adapters delivered bandwidth of up to 3.9Gbps with less than 20% CPU overhead using standard 1,500-byte Ethernet frames.

The iSCSI target stack comes with the T204 and T210 adapters and is now available for Linux.

A single-port, 10Gbps T210-CX copper adapter is priced at $1,695, while a quad-port, Gigabit Ethernet copper adapter lists for $1,495. www.chelsio.com.

Netgear launches SoIP

Netgear’s Storage Central is the first commercial offering of Zetera’s Z-SAN Storage-over-IP (SoIP) technology. While Storage Central is targeted primarily at the consumer and SOHO markets, both Bell Microproducts and StorCase are expected to introduce similar products for SMBs next month. (Rather than making its own hardware, Zetera licenses its technology to storage and network equipment vendors.)

Zetera’s technology uses the standard IP transport, but does not rely on iSCSI or Fibre Channel protocols. Z-SAN eliminates the need for physical transport gateways and disk controllers, which can be costly and can create bottlenecks and single points of failure. Z-SAN virtualizes storage at the IP layer, disaggregates physical drives into multiple virtual partitions, and creates virtual drives that span multiple physical drives.

According to Zetera officials, instead of striping data across disk drives in a RAID controller, Z-SAN swipes data across disk drives through a switch. It can scale to hundreds of drives without being limited by the number of ports on a RAID controller or the number of expansion modules. Z-SAN can theoretically scale up to 128 petabytes.

Users can plug additional arrays into the switch and use management software to assign the extra capacity. Users can carve out a partition and name it, and then it shows up to the operating system as a local drive, although it’s actually connected over the network. Users can also add new storage space to an existing drive without rebooting. The technology on the switch keeps track of where the disk drives are and what their IP addresses are, and then virtualizes all of them as a single volume.

Netgear Storage Central costs $129 without drives. www.netgear.com and www.zetera.com.

Quantum adds SDLT/LTO libraries

Quantum recently began shipments of the PX500 series tape libraries, which includes the PX502, PX506, and PX510. The products feature SDLT 600, LTO-2, or LTO-3 drive/media technologies. The PX502 (7.6TB to 15.2TB of native capacity) is designed primarily for workgroups and departments; the PX506 (20TB to 40TB) for large workgroups and data centers; and the PX510 (40TB to 80TB) for data centers. When compared to Quantum’s P7000, the company claims the PX510 offers 600% higher density at a price point of $1 per gigabyte vs. $5 per gigabyte.

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The PX500 series will replace Quantum’s M-series libraries (M1500, M1800, and M2500). The PX500 line has common hardware and firmware so users can mix and match the libraries in any combination. The tape libraries feature Quantum’s FlexLink Scalable Library Architecture, so when two or more units are joined together the bottom unit’s robot reaches up into the unit above it, enabling cartridges to be exchanged between libraries. Previously, users had to buy an external robot, or elevator, to move tape cartridges from one chassis to another. Additional hardware and cabling are not needed for aggregation. A Web-based management console allows administrators to manage the units either separately or as a single library. www.quantum.com.

Anthology NAS includes LAN switch

Anthology Solutions’ P400T Yellow Machine is a 1TB (expandable to 2TB) NAS appliance that includes an 8-port LAN switch and WAN router, built-in double firewall (NAT and SPI), secure Internet gateway, automated backup, custom ASICs, and support for RAID 0, 1, 1+0, and 5. MSRP is $1,499. www.anthologysolutions.com.

MaxTronic ships SATA II RAID

The Janus series of RAID arrays from Arena-MaxTronic is based on the SATA II specification and includes an Intel i80331 processor, dual Flash ROM components on each controller, up to 7.5TB of capacity with 16 SATA drives, Ultra320 SCSI or 2Gbps Fibre Channel host interfaces, and up to 2GB of cache memory in a 3U form factor. In addition to all traditional RAID levels, the Janus series (models 6640 and 6641) supports RAID 6 (to protect from two drive failures), RAID TP (triple parity, which provides protection for up to three drive failures), and NRAID. Optional software includes Pathguard MPIO, which provides multiple paths to each drive, I/O path fail-over and fallback, and dynamic I/O load balancing. www.maxtronic.com.

Spectra debuts entry-level library

Spectra Logic’s S50 tape library has up to 40TB of capacity (50 LTO tape cartridges) in a 4U (seven inches) form factor and can scale to a throughput rate of 576GB per hour. The library is rack-mountable and can be configured with up to four LTO-2 half-height drives or two LTO-3 full-height drives.

LTO-3 tape cartridges provide write-once, read-many (WORM) capability. External connection options include Fibre Channel or SCSI. Pricing starts at $9,500. www.spectralogic.com.

Tandberg targets SMB backup/recovery

Tandberg Data’s InteliStor is a backup/recovery appliance that integrates the company’s InteliNAS filer (which is based on Windows Storage Server 2003), StorageLoader LTO2 tape autoloader or 420LTO tape drive, and Symantec’s Backup Exec software. The 1U disk-to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T) appliance comes in three capacities: 480GB, 1TB, or 1.6TB. Pricing ranges from $5,999 to $12,500, depending on capacity. www.inostor.com.

Fujifilm adds Super DLTtape II

Fuji Photo Film U.S.A.’s Fujifilm-branded Super DLTtape II tape cartridges are designed for use with Quantum’s SDLT 600 tape drives and provide a native capacity of 300GB and support for drive-transfer rates of up to 36MBps. When coupled with Quantum’s DLTIce technology, the cartridges can be turned into WORM cartridges. www.fujifilm.com/tapestorage.

This article was originally published on October 01, 2005