Pillar pushes into SMB market

Pillar Data recently began shipping the Axiom 300, an SMB version of its storage arrays designed primarily for its channel partners.

The Axiom 300 includes a NAS unit, Fibre Channel or iSCSI Slammer storage controllers, capacities ranging from 6.5TB to 13TB using 500GB or 1TB SATA drives, a Pilot policy management engine, and AxiomONE management software.

The array also includes pre-configured and user-customizable application profiles that allow administrators to optimize the systems for specific applications; thin provisioning; and disk utilization rates of up to 80%.

Optional features include Copy Services, such as CloneFS/LUN, VolumeCopy, and VolumeBackup. The company also offers up to three additional capacity “bricks” for a maximum capacity of 52TB

Pillar’s “application-aware” technology identifies and characterizes the I/O profiles of applications, thus simplifying the system configuration and storage provisioning processes. The canned configurations include Axiom Profiles, and are available to users via a drop-down menu in the user interface.

The Axiom 300 also has a new set of application profiles, including optimized configurations for Oracle, Microsoft Exchange, and virtual server environments.

The entry price is approximately $35,000.

Intel debuts SSD drives

At its Intel Developer Forum (IDF) conference last month, Intel’s NAND Products Group took the wraps off solid-state disk (SSD) drives for mobile and desktop platforms, as well as enterprise-class SSDs, based on flash memory technology.

Designed for laptops and desktops, the 1.8-inch X18-M (Mainstream) and 2.5-inch X25-M SSDs are based on multi-level cell (MLC) flash memory and a SATA interface. The drives are available in 80GB and 160GB versions. The 80GB SSD is currently available. Sample quantities of the 160GB version are expected in the fourth quarter, with production volumes slated for the first quarter of 2009.

For the X18-M and X25-M drives, Intel claims performance of up to 250MBps on sequential read operations and 70MBps on sequential writes. Read latency is 85 microseconds, and the mean time between failure (MTBF) rating is 1.2 million hours.

The enterprise-class X25-E (Extreme) SSD is based on single-level cell (SLC) flash memory. A 32GB version is sampling now, with production volumes expected within the next 60 days. Sample quantities of a 64GB version are expected in the fourth quarter, with production scheduled for Q1 2009. The X25-E SSDs come in a 2.5-inch form factor, and include a SATA interface.

For the X25-E, Intel claims performance of up to 250MBps on sequential reads, 170MBps on sequential writes, 35,000 I/Os per second (IOPS) with 4KB reads, and 3,300 IOPS with 4KB writes. Read latency is pegged at 75 microseconds, and the MTBF rating is two million hours.

According to Intel officials, differentiators versus competing SSDs include 10 parallel NAND flash channels and native command queuing (NCQ), which enables up to 32 concurrent operations for higher performance. The company also highlights an Advanced Dynamic Wear Leveling technique for improved reliability and longevity, and Write Amplification Factor technology for high performance in both SLC and MLC flash implementations.

Nexsan goes green

Nexsan recently introduced The Edge, a “green” NAS system that supports CIFS and NFS, as well as the company’s energy-saving AutoMAID (massive array of idle disk) 2.0 technology. The Edge can be used to tier Nexsan’s SAS/SATA disk arrays with file services and iSCSI. The NAS server supports up to 84TB of capacity in a 9U form factor and includes Microsoft’s Windows Unified Data Storage Server (WUDSS) technology.

Promise ships 16-port RAID

Introduced this month, and due within 30 days, Promise Technology’s SuperTrak EX16650 is latest addition to the company’s line of EX RAID controllers. The 16-port EX16650 supports SAS disk drives and virtually all (more than 15) Linux kernel implementations. Capacity can be expanded via Promise’s external VTrak JBOD arrays.

AIC intros iSCSI RAID array

Advanced Industrial Computer (AIC) recently began shipping the XI2000 RAID array, an iSCSI-based system based on iStor Networks’ GigaStor “storage system on a chip.” The XI2000 supports four Gigabit Ethernet ports or one 10Gbps Ethernet port.

AIC has also introduced the G-Series of SAS/SATA storage enclosures with “green” features such as energy-efficient power supplies and SPGC pre-plated steel.

Enhance RAID delivers 800MBps

Enhance Technology’s 3U, 16-drive UltraStor RS SS series supports SAS (15,000rpm) and/or SATA (7,200rpm or 10,000rpm) disk drives, up to 80TB of capacity, and more than 800MBps of throughput when configured with 15,000rpm SAS drives. The model RS16 SS can be expanded via RS16 JS JBOD arrays and includes two SAS host ports and one SAS expansion port. Features include a 64-bit RAID engine, up to 1GB of cache, and support for virtually all RAID levels.

NetCom array supports RAID 6

NetCom USA’s NR6 family of 2U RAID subsystems come with either external PCI or eSATA interfaces and support RAID levels 0, 5, 6, and 10 and capacities ranging from 2TB to 8TB. The company claims throughput up to 400MBps. The arrays are compatible with Windows, Linux, and Macintosh platforms. Pricing starts at $4,649 for a 2TB configuration.

StoneFly supports VMware, Xen

At the LinuxWorld conference last month, StoneFly (a subsidiary of Dynamic Network Factory) announced that its IP SAN systems are certified with the VMware and Citrix/Xen server virtualization platforms. StoneFly also debuted SAN-based encryption capabilities for its Integrated Storage Concentrator (ISC) line of IP SAN systems. The company also introduced the 6.1 version of its StoneFusion software, which provides centralized management and block-level provisioning.

Quantum expands management tools

Quantum has broadened the scope of its Vision management and reporting software, which covers the company’s tape- and disk-based backup products, with features such as trend analysis of performance, data de-duplication ratios, capacity utilization, and replication functionality. Vision licensing for management of two Quantum disk or tape systems starts at $7,500

Quantum also introduced an entry-level 9TB version of its DXi7500 disk-based backup system. Users can choose between what Quantum calls adaptive de-duplication (where data is de-duplicated during ingest), fully deferred de-duplication (data is de-duplicated post-process), or native VTL/NAS mode (no de-duplication). Pricing for the DXi7500 with 9TB of capacity is approximately $135,000.

Sans Digital adds 2-bay RAID

Sans Digital’s TR2UT-B is a two-bay member of the company’s line of TowerRAID arrays. The subsystem supports USB 2.0 and eSATA connections, and RAID 0, RAID 1, spanning, and JBOD configurations. The TR2UT-B is based on Silicon Image’s 5744 chipset and a cable-less design. The TowerRAID series also includes four-, five-, and eight-drive models.

D2D for 64-bit OSes

Advanced Vault’s disk-to-disk (D2D) backup appliances are designed to replace complicated manual tasks with automated data protection and recovery. The company recently announced that it is extending those capabilities to include support for 64-bit operating systems, including 64-bit editions of Windows, Linux, Mac, and FreeBSD.

The Vault appliance family is available in four models:

  • Vault 500: a single-drive device with 500GB of capacity and RAID 0;
  • Vault 1500: a 1U rack-mount appliance with up to 1.5TB in a RAID-5 configuration;
  • Vault 3000: a 1U rack-mount unit with up to 3TB and RAID 5; and
  • Vault 7000: a 2U system with up to 7TB of capacity, RAID 5 and redundant power supplies.

All of the appliances have dual Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and remote replication software.

The Vault appliances also include continuous data protection (CDP) software for servers and desktops in mixed platform environments. The system captures, encrypts, and compresses data for secure transmission to an off-site appliance as soon as data changes, or based on advanced scheduling.

Advanced Vault also provides bare-metal recovery (BMR) agents that support server and desktop recovery and both physical and virtual data migrations.

Vault appliances can be purchased at a single, one-time cost with additional per-agent perpetual licenses. The approximate entry price for the 500GB Vault 500 is $1,495, with server agents priced from $295 and desktop agents from $145.

Asempra upgrades recovery tool

Asempra Technologies has announced a new version of its Business Continuity Server (BCS) with expanded application support and performance and scalability upgrades for recovering applications in Microsoft environments.

BCS 2.7 ensures continuous data accessibility and instantaneous data and application recovery in the event of a failure. It extends the BCS platform with support for Microsoft Exchange 07, Windows File Server, and SQL 2005 on 64-bit architectures. Additionally, the software supports backward compatibility with SQL 2000
on Windows 2003.

Asempra’s aim is to provide live backup and instantaneous recovery of applications and their respective data sets while keeping users online.

BCS 2.7 also features a flavor of data de-duplication dubbed in-file de-duplication. The system is file-based and sends byte-level changes to the recovery site. Once the changes are received, BCS performs a second sweep to eliminate redundant files.

The software now supports up to 16 Windows hosts and 2TB of data per server. The software is priced on a capacity basis, with an entry-level price of $19,500 for 500GB of protected data.

Asempra signed a pair of OEM deals earlier this year, including a joint development partnership with BakBone Software and a reseller agreement with Hitachi Data Systems (HDS).

Spectra Logic targets SMEs

Spectra Logic has released a new version of its T50 tape library, which is based on LTO-4 technology and includes features such as drive-level encryption and key management. The 4U T50e library stores up to 80TB, and allows users to scale from 10 cartridge slots to 50 slots via the company’s Capacity-On-Demand technology. For larger storage requirements, users can double capacity via Spectra Logic’s TranScale technology to the T120 library. A Media Lifecycle Management feature offers proactive notification of faulty tape media. Pricing for the T50e starts at $10,800.

iStor upgrades management tool

iStor Networks has released new management software for its iSCSI-based integraStor IP SAN systems. The integraSuite/MC Management Center software includes features such as virtualization (which presents a common pool of storage that can be carved up into customized volumes), provisioning, allocation, and interface options such as a Java-based GUI, command line interface, and Microsoft’s Virtual Disk Services (VDS) interface.

Cleversafe goes commercial

Cleversafe has announced the first commercially available Dispersed Storage Network (dsNet), a platform for storing and archiving digital content. Built using Cleversafe’s appliances, the dsNet was created by a group of the company’s service provider, telecommunications, and hosting partners and will serve as the foundation for new online data-protection services aimed at SMBs.

The new dsNet totals 48TB in capacity, half of which is being used for Cleversafe’s internal storage and test and development needs. The remaining 24TB has been divided evenly among Cleversafe’s Dispersed Storage Provider (DSP) partners to be used as the enabling infrastructure for storage services.

Each of the company’s partners—onShore Networks, FastRoot International, Merrimac Solutions, PinPoint Network Solutions, and Cyber Development Group—has deployed Cleversafe appliances and is operating those components as part of a multi-site production dsNet.

A Dispersed Storage Network is built by inter-connecting three appliance-based components—CS Slicestor, CS Accesser Dispersed Storage router, and CS Manager Dispersed Storage network manager.

The CS Slicestor provides 3TB of raw storage capacity per 1U server, while the CS Accesser slices up and moves the data. The CS Manager functions as an out-of-band network appliance that manages, monitors, and produces statistical reports on capacity utilization and error conditions.

A CS Slicestor appliance costs approximately $11,300, while both the CS Accesser and CS Manager appliances cost about $12,300. A typical configuration of eight Slicestors, two Accessers, and one Manager delivers 24TB of raw capacity.

The company did not disclose exact pricing for storage services hosted on the dsNet, but says it will rival those of Amazon’s S3 storage service.

This article was originally published on September 01, 2008