SNW product highlights, Day 1

By Kevin Komiega

-- Over the next few days the InfoStor team will be bringing you product highlights from the Storage Networking World (SNW) trade show in Dallas.

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) kicked off SNW today with the launch of a new line of midrange storage systems and software enhancements for its Universal Storage Platform V (UPS V) and USP VM platforms, including hardware-based encryption for data "at-rest."

The new Adaptable Modular Storage (AMS) 2000 Series systems are 4× faster than previous models and support iSCSI, NAS, and Fibre Channel connections. The AMS 2100, 2300, and 2500 feature Dynamic Load Balancing Controllers, a 3Gbps SAS backplane and power-saving "Spin down; Spin up" technology that enables disk drives to be powered down when not being accessed by applications.

Entry pricing for a base configuration of the AMS 2100 is just under $20,000 and includes dual controllers and management software. The AMS 2100 and 2300 are available now, while the AMS 2500 will be available later this year.

In the enterprise-class arena, HDS is now offering controller-based encryption for data at-rest. A new back-end "director," or controller, encrypts data on all internal drives without degrading system performance. Additionally, integrated key management can be used to export encryption keys that can be backed up and stored at an off-site location or with a commercial key escrow service for added security.

Hitachi also announced enhancements to its Dynamic Provisioning software, including dynamic online virtual volume expansion for Windows servers and extended support for Hitachi TrueCopy Remote Replication and Universal Replicator software. The extended support enables pair operations between dynamically provisioned volumes and static volumes, and online Dynamic Provisioning volume capacity expansion.

Hewlett-Packard is also focused on disk encryption. The company today introduced hardware encryption for data at-rest on the HP StorageWorks XP24000 and XP20000 disk arrays and a new key management platform that generates and manages encryption keys for any storage device.

From a management perspective, HP unveiled a new version of its Secure Key Manager (SKM) hardware product, the SKM 1.1, which now supports up to two million keys and automates encryption key management for HP's LTO-4 tape libraries. The SKM provides identity-based access, administration and logging, lifetime key archival, and automatic multi-site key replication.

Encryption for the XP24000 or XP20000 will be available in December, with the option to add the encryption feature to existing disk arrays. Pricing will start at $23,000 and will vary depending on models and configuration. Secure Key Manager 1.1 will be available in December 2008 at a list price $28,500.

FalconStor Software announced today that its Network Storage Server (NSS) works with Windows Server 2008 Multi-Site Clustering to support disaster recovery over WANs in both physical server and Hyper-V virtual server environments. 

Fadi Albatal, FalconStor director of marketing, says the combination of Windows Server 2008 Failover Clustering and Hyper-V virtual servers enables automatic fail-over of applications running on geographically dispersed physical and virtual servers, and lowers the overall cost of recovery from server failure.

With FalconStor's NSS software, users can replicate to a remote site using nearly any vendor's storage equipment at either location.

Start-up Axxana came out of stealth mode at SNW today and launched a so-called "indestructible black box" that protects data from disasters. The product is based on Enterprise Data Recording (EDR) technology and creates something similar to a flight data recorder for business critical information. Axxana's first EDR system combines the data-recovery certainties of synchronous replication with the distance and cost advantages of asynchronous replication.

The result, according to Axxana CEO Eli Efrat, is rapid post-disaster application recovery, with no data loss. The technology also expands the scenarios under which synchronous replication protects data, such as an on-site communication link failure or regional disaster.

The Axxana Black Box connects to a storage array directly, through a switch, or through a replication appliance.

Keeping with the theme of disaster recovery, InMage Systems launched a new version of its flagship software product, DR-Scout 4.2. Enhancements include support for Windows 2008, Windows on Itanium, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, VMware ESX, HP-UX 11iv3, and AIX 6.1.

Also new to DR-Scout 4.2 are expanded audits and operational reports, role-based access control, support for local direct synchronization of data for faster resynchronization times across WANs and LANs, capacity-based licensing, and application support for MySQL on Linux and Oracle on Linux and Windows.

Additional features include Profiler and Analyzer, which assist disaster-recovery and storage managers in capacity planning for storage and the WAN circuits that connect the primary production and secondary recovery facilities. Bandwidth utilization can be adjusted based on the time of day, and DR-Scout accommodates WAN outages by queuing data changes until the connection is re-established. DR-Scout is platform-independent and offers heterogeneous storage support for DAS, SAN, NAS, and iSCSI.

STORServer released a new e-mail archiving appliance based on Mimosa's NearPoint dynamic content archiving software. The STORServer Email Archiving Appliance includes tools for e-discovery, disaster recovery, regulatory compliance, business continuity, and storage optimization.

The appliance supports systems ranging from 100 to tens of thousands of mailboxes. A hot-plug modular architecture allows servers and storage to be added or removed as required to match performance needs, without breaking the logical consistency of the archive information. Archive storage capacity grows automatically, and default configuration and wizard-driven menus simplify deployment and management.

Cleversafe is widening its reach beyond block-level data to include files, and announced a new data storage appliance and software upgrades for its core Dispersed Storage Network (dsNet) technology.

Cleversafe's technology divides data into "slices" using Information Dispersal Algorithms and disperses those slices to multiple storage nodes on a dsNet. The sum capacity of the slices is significantly less than maintaining multiple copies of the original data.  The new dsNet technology features a second vault structure with file-object orientation to complement the already-supported block vaults.

Compellent Technologies announced it will offer continuous, coordinated access to all data stored on Compellent SANs between remote locations with a new automated business continuity feature called Live Volume.

Bob Fine, Compellent's director of product management, says Live Volume will allow enterprises to manage disparate storage sites as one virtual data center. Live Volume will let IT managers automatically migrate storage volumes as they move applications from one physical or virtual server to another for maintenance, local site issues, or disaster recovery.

Live Volume integrates with virtual server platforms, giving them the ability to share centralized storage resources regardless of the actual location or virtualization platform.

Compellent also announced that its suite of virtualized storage applications will support solid-state disk (SSD) drives. Compellent SANs will reserve frequently accessed, active blocks of data for "Tier-0" storage for applications like transactional databases that can take advantage of the performance gains of SSDs, and move inactive data blocks to lower storage tiers.

Compellent Storage Center with SSD support and Live Volume will be available in early 2009 through the company's international channel partners.

This article was originally published on October 13, 2008