FalconStor teams with Virtual Iron

FalconStor Software and Virtual Iron, a provider of server virtualization software, have formed an alliance to streamline storage and server virtualization deployments. By jointly certifying their products, the companies aim to enhance business continuity capabilities. On the storage side, the software combo includes FalconStor’s IPStor platform.

The combined solution is geared toward improving data-center resource management by increasing utilization of existing physical assets, optimizing virtual infrastructure performance through real-time data migration, and delivering more cost-effective high availability and disaster-recovery capabilities.

The partnership leverages the software suites of both companies to deliver the following virtual infrastructure and data-protection benefits:

Better utilization of existing physical assets. Thin provisioning of disk resources maximizes disk space and optimizes storage management in virtual environments. The technology allows administrators to permit two or more storage resources to share their capacities. For example, if one array is at 75% of its capacity and the other at 25%, both could be virtually combined, and data could be distributed across both machines, allowing organizations to maximize utilization of existing physical resources without impacting the virtual resources. The virtual machines run without knowing that they’re sharing a storage resource.

Bernie Wu, VP of business development at FalconStor, says, “Resource utilization both on the server and storage side, using thin provisioning, is a key reason companies will want to go to a completely virtualized environment.”

Real-time migration optimizes performance. The alliance will also allow users to seamlessly migrate data between servers and storage arrays. In addition, the availability of hot migrations increases performance. “Because we can present the virtual storage layer directly to the virtual machines within the Virtual Iron servers, we can perform hot migrations,” says FalconStor’s Wu. “With the ability to do synchronous mirroring, data can be sent from one array to another without downtime to the virtual machines. Reasons for hot migrations might be that the array’s lease is up, or an organization might want to move to a higher-performance array.”

BC delivers DP and DR. Whether the main concern is high availability, data protection, disaster recovery, or all of the above, the FalconStor/Virtual Iron solution is designed to help users expand their business continuity strategies. For example, FalconStor uses a snapshot agent that ensures the data to be mirrored is in a recoverable state.

FalconStor’s continuous data protection (CDP) software journals every “write” coming off the virtual-machine disk and puts it in storage. If a corruption exists at 11:00 AM, the IT administrator can roll the disk back to 10:59 AM by reversing the writes. FalconStor also has a process that de-duplicates data over WANs.

Nexsan targets Apple Xserve market

Click here to enlarge image

Next month, Nexsan Technologies is expected to begin shipping a RAID array designed specifically for the Apple Xserve server/storage market. The company is emphasizing density and energy efficiency, as well an Xserve look and feel (management software GUI and hardware aesthetics).

Configured with 42 1TB SATA drives, Nexsan’s SATABeast Xi packs up to 42TB in a 4U form factor. The RAID array has four external iSCSI ports and four Fibre Channel ports (two of each per controller in a dual-controller configuration).

For energy efficiency, the SATABeast Xi can be configured with Nexsan’s AutoMAID (massive array of idle disks) technology, which powers down (but not off) drives that are not in use in order to conserve energy. AutoMAID is available on Nexsan’s other SATABeast RAID array models. Bob Woolery, Nexsan’s senior vice president of marketing, estimates that approximately 30% of the company’s current customers are using the AutoAID option.

The SATABeast Xi is optimized for use with Apple’s Fibre Channel implementation, and Nexsan claims wire-speed performance for both 4Gbps Fibre Channel and 1Gbps iSCSI. Nexsan is positioning the array for either primary storage (and applications such as uncompressed real-time HDTV, multi-stream and analog TV signals, and HD video editing) or secondary storage applications (such as disk-to-disk backup). The subsystem supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 6 (dual parity), 10, 30, and 50.

The SATABeast Xi will be available through Nexsan’s reseller channel, with pricing starting at about $1,200 per terabyte.

Samsung enters Enterprise HDD market

Previously known primarily as a manufacturer of hard disk drives for the mobile/desktop markets, Samsung will enter the so-called “enterprise” segment of the drive market next month with shipments of the 1TB Spinpoint F1 RAID (F1R) series of 3.5-inch drives. The F1R series is available in capacities ranging from 250GB (single-platter design) to 1TB (three platters).

According to Hubbert Smith, director of enterprise storage at Samsung, the company hopes to differentiate itself from established players such as Seagate, Hitachi GST, and Western Digital primarily in the areas of performance, power consumption, and density.

The 7,200rpm drives have a maximum media transfer rate of 175MBps, 16MB or 32MB of cache, a 3Gbps SATA-II interface, and native command queuing (NCQ). The company claims a mean time between failure (MTBF) rating of 1.2 million hours. Based on perpendicular recording technology, the F1R drives pack 334GB per platter and consume an average of 6.7 watts in idle mode or 7.2 watts in random seek mode. The drives are available from distributors such as Bell Micro.

Server/storage system supports SAS/SATA

AMAX’s StorMax is a hybrid server-storage platform with 14 2.5-inch SAS/SATA drive bays and six quad-core Intel Xeon 5400 processors and up to 12MB of cache memory. The systems support RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, and 50 and are based on Intel’s Modular Server technology.

Enhance intros iSCSI arrays

Enhance Technology’s UltraStor RS16 IP-4 RAID arrays come in a 3U form factor and can be configured with 16 drives and four Gigabit Ethernet connections. Other features of the iSCSI subsystems include a 64-bit RAID controller, support for 1TB SATA drives, a 1GB cache, RAID 6, and software features such as snapshots, n-way mirroring, automatic background data regeneration, online volume expansion, and support for Microsoft’s Multi-Path I/O (MPIO).

NAS appliance starts at $899

Buffalo Technology’s 2U TeraStation Pro II NAS device is priced at $899 for a 1TB version; $1,299 for 2TB; and $2,299 for a 4TB configuration with 7,200rpm SATA drives. The rack-mount units support RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10, as well as JBOD configurations. The appliances come with Memeo’s AutoBackup software and support Microsoft’s Active Directory and Ethernet jumbo frames.

iQstor’s iSCSI RAID array scales to 240TB

iQstor Networks’ iQ2850 iSCSI RAID array includes software features such as volume management-based virtualization, snapshots, mirroring, remote replication, storage provisioning, and policy-driven capacity expansion. The iQ2850 can be populated with up to 15 400GB Fibre Channel drives (for 6TB of capacity) or 15 1TB SATA drives, and can scale to 96TB (Fibre Channel) or 240TB (SATA) via connection to iQstor’s JBOD enclosures. The systems are due next month, with prices starting at $14,400.

Quantum debuts half-height LTO-4

Claiming performance equivalent to full-height LTO-4 tape drives, Quantum has begun shipping the half-height LTO-4 HH tape drives, with up to 800GB of native capacity and a transfer rate of up to 432GB per hour.

The devices include AES 256-bit native encryption, a SmartVerify feature that verifies all data written to tape, and a SAS interface. MSRP starts at $3,849, including Symantec’s Backup Exec QuickStart software.

DataCore offers low-cost SAN for virtual servers

DataCore Software has introduced a VM Starter SAN version of its iSCSI-based SANmelody software that includes features such as thin provisioning, SAN- motion data migration, caching software, snapshots, synchronous mirroring, and asynchronous replication. The software runs on virtualization platforms from vendors such as VMware, Microsoft, Oracle, Sun, and Citrix, as well as on physical servers. The VM Starter SAN software is priced at about $4,000 per server.

Infortrend ships SFF RAID

Infortrend is shipping two small-form-factor (SFF) RAID arrays-the SAS-to-SAS EonStor B12S- R/G1030 and the Fibre Channel-to-SAS B12F-R/G1430. The 2.5-inch SAS drives draw 40% to 50% less power than conventional 3.5-inch drives. The 1U, 12-bay EonStor B12 SAS subsystems include SAS expansion connections for linking to as many as four of Infortrend’s JBOD arrays, which can be configured with 3.5-inch SATA drives. The B12 RAID arrays come with one or two controllers.

Last month, Infortrend began shipping two SAS-to-SATA RAID arrays-the single-controller A24S-G2130 and the dual-controller A24S-R2130, both of which are 4U, 24-bay units that can be connected to the company’s S16S-J1000 SAS-to-SAS JBOD arrays. The A24S subsystems support all RAID levels, including RAID 6, and come with four ports on the single-controller version and eight ports on the dual-controller version. Users can scale up to 264TB by cascading subsystems and expansion units using 1TB SATA drives.

Toshiba to ship 128GB solid-state drive

This month, Toshiba and its Toshiba America Electronic Components (TAEC) subsidiary entered the market for NAND flash-based solid-state drives (SSDs) with multi-level cell (MLC) flash memory. A 32GB version is due this month, followed by 64GB and 128GB units over the coming months.

Available in 1.8-inch or 2.5-inch form factors, the SSDs are based on 56nm process technology and have a maximum read speed of 100MBps and a maximum write speed of 40MBps. Drives come with a 3Gbps SATA II interface.

This article was originally published on February 01, 2008