Industry News and Analysis

Ai brings low-cost 3490 to AS/400
American International Business Technologies has introduced a $17,970 IBM 3490 E/F- compatible tape drive for AS/400 hosts. The Ai/3490 has a 3 MBps transfer rate, a 157 inches-per-second search speed, and a 23 GB capacity. The drive is also compatible with 3480 tape formats.
IT Requirements Drive Information Sharing
Enterprise storage and information-sharing software promise to provide unfettered access to corporate data, regardless of platform or technology.
The X factor
Meanwhile, the X race continues in the CD-ROM market. About a year ago, 8X drives were the norm; now, 24X drives are the best sellers. And you can expect a slew of 32X CD-ROM announcements at next month`s COMDEX show. However, 32X drives may be the last hurrah for CD-ROM, as DVD begins to eclipse CD-ROM. (For more information on DVD, look for the Cover Story in the December issue of InfoStor.)
Tecmar pushes Travan
Based on Imation`s new NS (network series) of Travan minicartridges, Tecmar Technologies` TS420 Travan NS 8 drives pack up to 8 GB in compressed mode at a maximum data transfer rate of 1.2 MBps. Features include read-while-write recording, which reduces the need for a verify pass after backup. Travan NS 8 technology is aimed at entry-level servers and high-performance workstations. Suggested retail price for the drive is $453; cartridges are priced around $50.
Storage Concepts FibreRAID aimed at video apps
Claiming sustained data rates of up to 80 MBps, Storage Concepts recently began shipping its FibreRAID 823 array, which can store almost 90 minutes of uncompressed video. In addition to the video market, Storage Concepts is targeting medical imaging and pre-press applications. Capacity: up to 184 GB per subsystem. The FibreRAID 823 comes with dual Fibre Channel Standard (FCS) interfaces for redundancy or separate data paths and is compatible with Silicon Graphics or NT/PCI hosts.
STK bridges NT, high-end libraries
For the first time, users can attach Windows NT servers to Storage Technology`s high-end Nearline tape libraries, including PowderHorn, WolfCreek and TimberWolf (models 9710 and 9740 only). STK last week began shipping its LibAttach software, which runs on NT servers. Previously, NT servers attached only to STK`s low-end Nearline libraries.
Sony launches DVD-ROM bundle
Sony Electronics last month introduced the DDU100E series of DVD-ROM drives. The bundles include Sigma Designs` REALmagic Hollywood PCI video card, driver software, audio cable, and multimedia software. The drives can output MPEG2 streams to PC monitors, bypassing the PC`s CPU and SVGA video card, or to TVs. Sony`s DVD-ROM drives are backward-compatible with CD-ROM and CD-R drives at 8X speed. Suggested retail price: $599.
Serial vs. Parallel: The Case for SSA
For many years, much of the storage sold for open systems has been based on SCSI. The original SCSI bus was 8-bits wide and operated at a nominal data rate of 5 MBps. Fast SCSI doubled the clock rate and Wide SCSI increased the width of the bus to 16 bits so that today Fast/Wide SCSI operates at 20 MBps. Ultra SCSI again doubles the clock rate, allowing 20 MBps on an 8-bit bus or 40 MBps on a 16-bit bus.
QLogic fields PCI-to- Fibre Channel adapter
QLogic`s QLA2100 PCI-to-Fibre Channel host adapter can sustain 95 MBps with no more than one host interrupt per I/O operation. Based on QLogic`s ISP2100 chip, the adapter works with 32-bit and 64-bit PCI systems and has been tested by such vendors as Ciprico, Data General`s Clariion unit, and Seagate Technology. QLogic claims I/O rates in excess of 9,400 I/Os per second. Pricing starts at $699 in single units.
Procom mixes CD, DVD
Procom Technology`s CD/DVD Force includes 28 bays in a "mixed-ROM" subsystem that supports CD-ROM, Procom`s Hyper CD-ROM, CD Changer, or DVD-ROM drives. The unit packs up to 140 CDs or 28 DVDs and has four modules of seven bays for a total of 28 drives. Typical configurations of the network-attached SCSI system range from $2,135 to $10,195.
Ontrack brings Disk Manager to Windows
Ontrack Data International`s Disk Manager is now available for Windows and Windows 95 systems. The disk installation utility supports the Windows 95/FAT 32 file allocation table, variable cluster sizes, and any IDE/AT hard-disk drive. Suggested retail price: $39.95. Contact Ontrack Data International at (800) 872-2599.
New Twists in Tape Libraries
Check out some of the more recent innovations in the hottest segment of the tape automation market--DLT libraries.
Mylex extends RAID-5 controllers
Claiming performance of up to 2,400 I/Os per second, Mylex last week announced its top-of-the-line RAID-5 controller, the DAC960PJ. OEM evaluation units are available now, with production shipments due in the first quarter.
MTI doubles performance with active/active controllers
The latest member in MTI`s Gladiator family of high-end RAID systems, the 3200 ESS, includes dual active/active controllers that MTI claims double the performance of the 3100. Based on a differential Ultra SCSI interface, the Gladiator 3200 stores up to 2 TB of data. In a 1 TB configuration, the system supports up to 8 GB of read cache, 2 GB of write cache, and 32 host channels. A configuration with eight host connections, 1 GB of two-tiered cache, and 582 GB of user storage is priced at $472,52
Mapping a Disaster Recovery Plan
A bulletproof disaster recovery plan requires backup and restore, disk disaster recovery, off-site media management, virus protection, data replication, and more.
Managing Storage over the Web
Web-based storage management offers a wealth of potential benefits, including platform flexibility, reduced costs, and decreased network bandwidth consumption.
InfoStor magazines premiere issue is here!
We`re here because storage systems are a critical part of today`s enterprise computing landscape. Each configuration, hardware or software, plays a specific role in the data access speed and the reliability of shared information.
Ciprico, Jaycor target UltraSparc
Ciprico is bundling Jaycor Networks` FibreStar Sbus-to-Fibre Channel host bus adapters in its Ciprico 7000 Series Fibre Channel disk arrays. The bundled array, called Halo, is compatible with Sun Microsystems` UltraSparc workstations and ser-vers. Ciprico`s Fibre Channel arrays are de-signed for high-performance imaging and digital media applications.
EMC expands SMTF platform support
EMC Corp. has added support for three additional UNIX implementations in its Symmetrix Multihost Transfer Facility (SMTF) information-sharing software. In addition to HP/900, IBM RS/6000, and Sun SPARC servers, SMTF now supports Sequent Symmetry and NUMA-Q, Digital Equipment Alpha and NCR WorldMark servers. SMTF enables MVS mainframes and open systems connected to a common Symmetrix storage system to transfer data between environments. Prices range from $30,000 to $65,000. Contact EMC at (508) 4
CNT embraces SAN strategy
Branching out from its mainframe roots, Computer Network Technology last month climbed into the budding market for storage area networks (SANs) for heterogeneous systems. The SAN market was pioneered by EMC.
CommVault vaults into enterprise
Going head-to-head with storage management heavyweights such as HP, IBM, Legato, and Veritas (see chart), CommVault Systems last month introduced the Vault98 enterprise storage management suite. One of the lesser known of the storage management software vendors, CommVault was spun off from AT&T Bell Labs in mid-1996.
Cybernetics claims 30 MBps disk arrays
Cybernetics` XP disk arrays are available in 10.2/25.6/51.2GB capacities and can be configured in RAID-0/striping mode or in RAID-1/mirroring for increased fault tolerance. In mirroring mode, peak throughput is 15 MBps and maximum capacity is 25 GB. In a RAID-0 configuration, maximum capacity is 51.2 GB and throughput can reach 30 MBps. Based on an Ultra SCSI controller, the XP series ranges from $3,995 for the 10 GB array to $11,995 for the 51.2 GB configuration.
Digital ships Ultra SCSI arrays
Digital Equipment last month revamped its StorageWorks RAID array family by adding support for Ultra SCSI controllers that the company claims double the performance of its existing arrays. RAID vendors such as Amdahl and MTI Technology have been implementing Ultra SCSI for some time.
DVD to encroach on CD-ROM territory
DVD`s been a long time coming, and is still plagued by incompatibility issues, but the DVD-ROM version is now poised to make a run at the market dominated by CD-ROM technology.
EMC EDM provides hot backup of Oracle databases
EMC has added a Symmetrix Connect option to its EMC Data Manager (EDM) tape backup and recovery software that enables EDM to connect directly to Symmetrix Enterprise Storage systems. The software enables hot (on-line) backup of multi-terabyte Oracle databases. EDM is compatible with Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems servers. Compatibility with other platforms and databases is due in future releases. EDM pricing begins at $280,000.
Faster I/Os, improved connectivity
Digital claims that its Ultra SCSI arrays offer faster I/O rates than Fibre Channel arrays (up to 24,000 I/Os per second in the high-end ESA 10000 array). "We would argue that close to 99% of today`s applications, including high-bandwidth applications, will be more than satisfied by Ultra SCSI," contends Blanchard.
I2O Cuts RAID Costs
The I2O spec promises to cut PCI-RAID costs for OEMs and end-users, while reducing storage integration hassles.
Fibre Channel: A Bus Is Born
The labor pains are over. Now it`s a matter of matching interfaces to applications, and here`s why there may be more fibre in your future.
Firewire, Firewhy, Firewhen?
The 1394 ("Firewire") desktop I/O interface promises blazing performance and a bunch of other benefits, but don`t hold your breath. Meanwhile, fire up Ultra ATA.
Fujitsu ships 2.5-inch drives to channel
Branching out from its OEM distribution strategy, Fujitsu Computer Products last month began shipping 2.5-inch disk drives to the channel via its distribution partners. The 1.6 GB M2724 comes with an ATA-3 interface and has a list price of $255. The drives are designed for portables and notebook upgrades.
Heads-up! Tech Primer Inside TeraStors NFR
Near-field recording (NFR) is a new technology offering great promise to a storage industry caught in the convergence of the digital information age. As data storage requirements begin to soar beyond the reaches of today`s storage media, new technologies are needed.
HighGround centralizes NT storage management
HighGround Systems last week began shipping Storage Resource Manager (SRM) software, which provides a centralized Web-based storage management tool for managing distributed storage devices. HighGround is best known as the co-developer--with Microsoft--of the Windows NT Media Services (NTMS) programming interface, which will be included in Windows NT 5.0.
I/O, I/O, the Channel Is Too Slow
Once a simple choice, selecting the appropriate I/O channel has become a challenge for storage integrators. It is no longer as easy as choosing IDE for PCs and SCSI for servers and workstations.
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