Mellanox ships multi-protocol gateway

In an effort to position InfiniBand as a converged network fabric technology, Mellanox recently began shipping BridgeX gateways, which support Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and InfiniBand on a single 40Gbps fabric.

The BridgeX BX4000 combines low latency, a lossless fabric, and 40Gbps performance in a 1U form factor with 12 ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) or 16 ports of 2, 4, or 8Gbps Fibre Channel—or, a mix of both. The BX4000 gateway supports up to 40Gbps network speeds on the hosts, and connects lower speed Ethernet networks and Fibre Channel SAN fabrics.

The BX4000 uses the InfiniBand transport to allow port groups to be configured and dynamically changed as 10GbE or Fibre Channel. When the BX4000’s uplink ports are configured as 10GbE, the system operates as a Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) to Fibre Channel gateway.

Gilad Shainer, director of technical marketing at Mellanox, says BridgeX makes it possible for companies to migrate to converged data center fabrics without scrapping legacy gear.

“You typically see multiple networks in the data center—Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and InfiniBand—with multiple adapters, switches and bridges,” notes Shainer. “Multiple networks create a lot of inefficiency and are not the way toward green computing. BridgeX lets you run every application and transport what you need on a single wire. It provides I/O unification.”

Shainer says consolidating multiple networks on a single wire saves costs by reducing the number of adapters and switches in the data center. He also says operational expenses can be reduced through simplified network management.

Additionally, Shainer says, BridgeX is aimed at blade server environments where it can be paired with a 10GbE or InfiniBand switch blade to provide Fibre Channel SAN connectivity from an FCoE or Fibre Channel over InfiniBand (FCoIB)-based network adapter.

Pricing for the BridgeX-based BX line of gateways starts at $9,995.

Hifn delivers dual-function NIC

Hifn’s Express DS 4100 is the latest addition to its family of multifunction PCI NICs, with bandwidth optimization and encryption features aimed at storage applications that move data across Ethernet networks.

The Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) NIC—available with dual-port copper or optical-fiber connections—automatically offloads data compression and encryption processes to save CPU cycles and bandwidth for replication, mirroring, and cloud storage applications, as well as moving data across Ethernet in IP SAN and NAS environments.

Hifn’s PCIe-based Express DS 4100 NICs offload CPU-intensive applications to minimize performance latency, which can affect backup windows. The cards compress data using IPComp (LZS) and IPsec (AES, 3DES) for encryption.

The Express DS 4100 uses Hifn’s FlowThrough processor architecture to deliver these functions transparently by performing a full offload of all security and optimization operations, including IPsec and IPComp processing, SRTP, Internet Key Exchange (IKE), IP, TCP and UDP checksum operations.

Hifn is currently shipping samples of the Express DS 4100 to OEM partners, with general availability expected in the second quarter. Pricing for the DS 4100 is $395 in OEM volume quantities.

The initial release of the Express DS 4100 NIC includes Linux and Windows Server 2003 and 2008 software and driver support, with additional software support slated for future releases.

Quantum upgrades D2D backup

Quantum has augmented the capacity and replication features of its DXi7500 disk-based backup system with a round of upgrades for the de-duplicating platform.

On the hardware front, Quantum increased the usable disk capacity of the DXi7500 by more than 20% through support for 1TB SATA drives. The addition of 1TB drives is accompanied by an upgrade to double-parity RAID-6 technology (from RAID 5) to increase overall data protection. The largest model now offers a maximum capacity of 220TB.

On the software front, Quantum expanded its replication options for multi-site environments and tightened its ties with backup and replication software from EMC, Oracle and Symantec.

The new software release includes enhancements for more granular replication and synchronization of data, providing replication at the cartridge or file/directory level and automatically making data available immediately at the target for restores. Steve Whitner, Quantum’s product marketing manager, says this approach allows users to restore data from just-completed file backups, and offers improved scheduling and access control.

“Our old system dealt with a whole partition as a unit,” says Whitner. “The whole unit would have to be replicated before users could do anything with it. More granular access to data gives users at a target site more flexibility to work with data on a cartridge-by-cartridge or file-by-file basis.”

Quantum has integrated the DXi7500 with Symantec’s OpenStorage (OST) API, which automates the replication process for Veritas NetBackup users and increases control and visibility of data across multiple locations. In addition to its support for NetBackup, the DXi7500 now provides application-aware tape creation support through EMC NetWorker 7.5, facilitating the direct transfer of data from the DXi7500 to tape while under the application’s control. This feature lets NetWorker track multiple copies of the same data set on both disk and tape. For backup applications without application-aware tape capabilities, Quantum’s Shadow Tape Creation has been updated to enable direct tape creation from the DXi7500 to a tape library in conjunction with a range of backup applications.

The DXi7500 also supports Oracle’s Recovery Manager (RMAN), delivering a 4x increase in de-duplication ratios, according to Whitner.

Pricing for the DXi7500 starts at approximately $98,000.

Arkeia targets virtual servers

With the Version 8.0 release of its Arkeia Network Backup software, Arkeia Software has added a virtual appliance to its options for backup and recovery deployment. The company’s backup/recovery software already runs on a physical appliance and as a traditional native application.

The Arkeia Virtual Appliance currently integrates with VMware’s virtual server platforms via ESX plug-in agents installed on the ESX hypervisor. (Support for Hyper-V and Xen is due later this year).

The software leverages VMware’s ESX snapshot functionality for hot backups and restores. The Arkeia Virtual Appliance delivers the company’s backup and disaster recovery software as a system image for a VMware virtual machine (VM), and comes with a pre-configured disk-based virtual tape library (VTL), Arkeia’s backup agents for specific applications, and an optimized Linux operating system. The appliance can also be integrated with the company’s replication software.

Four models of the virtual backup appliance are available, ranging from a configuration with 250GB of VTL-based disk capacity, three bundled backup agents and a tape drive license (model AVA-250), to a high-end configuration with support for up to 2TB of disk capacity, ten bundled client agents, encryption, and a tape automation license (model AVA-2000). Pricing ranges from $2,000 to $9,600.

Other features in Arkeia Network Backup 8.0 include expanded reporting capabilities and simplified tape library management.

The company’s Central Management Server can be used to manage all three deployment modes for the Arkeia Network Backup suite.

Overland enhances libraries

Overland Storage’s E-Series (200E and 4000E) tape libraries include support for SCSI, Fibre Channel or SAS connections, as well as such embedded functionality as integrated partitioning. NEO libraries can be integrated with Overland’s REO line of virtual tape libraries (VTLs), Snap Server NAS appliances, and Ultamus RAID arrays. The libraries also support half-height LTO tape drives.

MicroNet adds SAS/SATA arrays

MicroNet last month introduced a new line of Genesis V SAS/SATA RAID arrays. Leading the lineup is a 3U, 16TB (with 1TB SATA drives) subsystem that supports all RAID configurations and includes a 64-bit Intel IOP341 RAID processor, dual 4X mini SAS host interfaces, up to 400MBps of throughput (with SAS drives), and support for up to 128 LUNs per RAID set.

MicroNet also introduced a 2U, 8/16-bay Ultra 320 SCSI-SATA system and a 3U, 12/16-bay FC-to-SATA/SAS array.

Pricing for the Genesis V RAID arrays starts at $3,529.

StorMagic creates virtual SANs

StorMagic has wrapped its iSCSI SAN management software in a virtualized format to turn unused storage capacity on VMware servers into a virtual SAN.

The company’s SvSAN is a virtual storage appliance that aggregates existing server storage capacity and presents it as a shared SAN, allowing end users to take advantage of the high-end features of VMware environments, such as VMotion, without the need for an external SAN.

SvSAN starts with 2TB of managed capacity and scales to unlimited storage. Available for less than $2,000, the SvSAN lets administrators create, manage and provision data stores directly from VMware’s vCenter management console. Users can subsequently manage the StorMagic iSCSI SAN and the internal RAID controller from one interface.

“We have taken our iSCSI SAN software and fit it into a format so that it will run as a virtual machine [VM],” says Mike Stolz, StorMagic’s vice president of marketing. “When in a VM form factor, the software leverages the storage resources of ESX servers and presents that storage as a virtual SAN.”

Stolz believes the SvSAN is a simple alternative to direct-attached storage (DAS) for smaller companies that want to use advanced VMware features but lack the necessary shared-storage infrastructure.

“There are a significant number of customers out there using DAS, which may be a barrier to adoption of VMware,” says Stolz. “When you turn on shared storage in a VMware environment, it allows you to use more advanced services like VMotion.”

StorMagic is following the lead of companies such as Symantec and VMware by offering the base SvSAN software at no charge. More advanced features, such as active-active mirroring for high availability and additional capacity management licenses, are optional and start at $995.

Virtual SAN appliances for Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer environments will be available in the future, according to Stolz.

Unitrends targets SMBs

Unitrends’ Recovery-300 disk-to-disk backup and recovery appliance stores up to 1.125TB in a desktop form factor. The device includes software-based data compression and data encryption, a quad-core processor, 4GB of memory, and four 1.5TB drives in a RAID-10 configuration. Pricing starts at less than $4,500.

Procedo releases migration software

The third generation of the Procedo Archive Migration Manager (PAMM) Suite includes a set of enhancements designed to streamline the movement and management of archived data from one storage platform to another.

The PAMM Suite is an ‘any-to-any’ archive migration tool that supports automated data movement between heterogeneous storage, archive, and cloud computing platforms and applications.

The latest version of the software includes a centralized management and reporting system that tracks and validates the progress and completion of migration projects. The software also features clustering capabilities to reduce system bottlenecks and eliminate points of failure.

At the heart of the system is the PAMM Core, which uses a SQL Server database to track all relevant object information and maintain chain of custody between all supported environments. E-mail messages and attachments that are moved by PAMM maintain full original message content and digital signature as they are migrated.

PAMM also uses application-specific migration modules called Archive Transfer Agents (ATAs) to pull data out of old archive systems and move them to newer technologies.

Pricing starts at $5,000 per TB of migrated data.

This article was originally published on March 01, 2009