Industry News and Analysis

ADIC adds Fibre Channel to libraries
ADIC may become the first tape library manufacturer to field Fibre Channel-based units this month when it begins shipping its Scalar 218FC. Fibre Channel tape libraries allow users to network-attach libraries and to take advantage of the long cable distances of Fibre Channel.
Sony, Fujifilm announce 200MB floppy
Heating up the race to establish the next- generation floppy replacement, Sony and Fuji Photo Film recently announced their intention to develop a 200MB (formatted) 3.5-inch floppy that is backward read/write compatible with standard 1.44MB floppies. The companies demonstrated their High Capacity Floppy Disk (HiFD) technology at Comdex last month.
Next Up for Fibre Channel: Hubs and Switches
Fibre Channel products are shipping today, but general market awareness is limited. However, in the next six to nine months, a number of Fibre Channel products will dramatically raise end-user awareness of this technology.
nStor ships JBOD version of CR8j
nStor Corp.`s CR8j JBOD (just a bunch of disks, as opposed to RAID) array is a desktop unit (9-inch by 12-inch) that offers up to 72GB of storage per enclosure. Users can daisy-chain up to three CR8j enclosures for a total capacity of 216GB. Based on an Ultra/Wide SCSI interface, the maximum data transfer rate is 40MBps.
Procom speeds up CD-ROM access time
Providing faster access to CD-ROMs while reducing network congestion, Procom`s Hyper-CD 100X delivers data at 15MBps. The network-attached device holds up to 63 CD-ROM drives. Upon power-up, images are automatically transferred to the Hyper-CD module through fast-read bursts, which improves average seek time to 7.5msec. Prices range from $4,995 for a seven-drive C28 module ($7,695 for a rack-mounted model) to $69,255 for a 63-drive module. Contact Procom Technology Inc. at (800) 800-8600, www.pr
Qualstar enters DLT library race
At last month`s Comdex, Qualstar debuted its TLS-6000 DLT library, adding to its stable of libraries that support virtually all midrange tape technologies, including Sony AIT, DDS-2/3, and Exabyte 8mm.
Quantum lowers SSD $/MB
The major barrier to implementing solid state disks--extremely high price--is eroding rapidly. Priced at almost $50 per MB only a year ago, some SSD units are approaching $20 per MB.
Over the next few months, you`ll be hearing a lot about storage area networks (SANs) and network-attached storage (NAS).
SCSI and Fibre Channel: The Coexistence Strategy
Most people would agree that this is a time of significant change in the peripheral interface industry. After many years of promise and development, the combination of serial interfaces and cost-effective fiber-optic transceivers is finding its way into mainstream products, making significant new system and subsystem architectures possible.
SCSI comes to SuperDisk
Mitsubishi and Winstation Systems have teamed up to produce a SCSI version of Mitsubishi`s implementation of the 120MB LS-120 SuperDisk high-capacity floppy drive. Called the SLS-120, the drive is compatible with Macintosh and UNIX platforms as well as Windows-based PCs. SuperDisk technology is read/write compatible with existing 3.5-inch 1.44MB floppies. Available from Winstation, the SLS-120 is priced at $199 for an internal version and $269 for an external version. Drivers are available for W
Seagate ships 7,200-rpm Ultra ATA drives
Designed for desktops, Seagate`s Medalist Pro 9140 disk drives combine a 7,200-rpm rotation speed with an Ultra ATA interface. The 9.1GB drives incorporate fluid dynamic bearing motors, which use a viscous oil rather than traditional ball bearings. The drives are Seagate`s highest-capacity ATA drives.
Seagate to ship 47GB drives
Seagate Technology plans to ship in the next quarter a 5.25-inch drive that packs 47GB. With the Elite 47 series drives, integrators could build a terabyte-size array with only 22 drives. The 5,400-rpm drives are based on the UltraSCSI interface. OEM sampling began last month at $2,995 per drive. Contact Seagate Technology at (408) 438-6550, www.seagate.com.
Seagate, Tecmar ship Travan NS 20
Keeping pace with the road map for Imation-developed Travan tape technology, Seagate and Tecmar recently began shipments of Travan NS (Network Series) 20 drives, which store 20GB at a transfer rate of 2MBps, assuming a data compression ratio of 2:1. Tecmar`s NS 20 drives include read-while-write technology, which decreases the time required for backup by reducing the need for a verify pass, and are based on a Fast SCSI interface. Volume shipments are scheduled for the next quarter, at a suggeste
Sony, Exabyte map out 8mm plans
At Comdex last month, Sony and Exabyte demonstrated working models of next-generation 8mm tape drives. For the midrange tape market, the new drives could mean more capacity and better performance as early as the first half of 1998. But given the sketchy track record of the tape industry in delivering products on time, don`t hold your breath.
Startup Fields Data Mirroring System
Addressing the need for fault-tolerant disaster recovery at large enterprises, startup Ark Research last month announced a system that provides local or remote mirroring of data. The CDAS/2000 (Continuous Data Availa- bility System) is a platform-independent, real-time mirroring--or replication--platform for ensuring continuous data availability. Data replication occurs without disruption to ongoing operations.
MTI enters NAS market
MTI Technology plans to begin shipping by the end of this month its first entry into the fast-growing market for network-attached storage (NAS), an alternative to server-attached storage. Strategic Research, a consulting firm in Santa Barbara, CA, predicts that as much as one third of all storage could be network-attached by the year 2000.
Sterling Software ships SAMS:Vista
Sterling Software began shipping this quarter SAMS:Vista, an automated storage management tool for tape systems. Its reporting, monitoring, and alert/management capabilities enable fast, detailed tape analysis for optimum tape silo usage. SAMS:Vista can also be used to implement virtual tape systems (VTS) and to optimize tape mount management (TMM) strategies. It complements both tape stacking and VTS implementations and works in conjunction with Computer Associate`s CA-1, Storage Tek`s Host Sof
STK to ship VSM
Storage Technology is expected to ship late in the next quarter its long-awaited Virtual Storage Manager (VSM). VSM will compete with IBM`s Magstar Virtual Tape Server and Sutmyn Storage Corp.`s Scimitar.
Storage Dimensions brings RAID to entry-level PC servers
Storage Dimensions` RAIDPro LC is an external array for Windows NT and NetWare/ IntranetWare servers. Key features include:
Storm Clouds Form over DVD
DVD storage technology will soon be hitting the market in a big way. Home DVD-video players are now being mass-advertised, first-generation DVD-ROM drives are already available, and DVD-rewritable drives should start to appear in volume early next year.
Sun goes full Fibre, DEC plots Fibre plans
Fibre Channel pioneer Sun Microsystems recently began shipments of full-speed (100MBps per loop) Fibre Channel arrays, including dual-ported FC-AL drives. Meanwhile, relative newcomer Digital Equipment laid out its plans for delivering Fibre Channel subsystems in the next quarter.
Symbios goes scalable
Capitalizing on one of the main trends in the storage industry--scalability--Symbios Logic last month introduced a new line of MetaStor arrays that scale from 8GB to terabytes. The modular architecture is centered on two building blocks: the CM1000 command module and theDM1000 drive module. The CM1000 comes with one or two controllers and Ultra SCSI or Fibre Channel interfaces. The dual-active controller configuration has dual I/O paths and automatic fail-over capability.
SyQuest raises removable ante
SyQuest this month began shipping its 4.7GB Quest removable hard-disk drive. The company achieved the capacity boost primarily through the use of dual-stripe magneto- resistive (MR) heads. Early adopters are expected to be audio, video, and multimedia production studios for applications such as DVD mastering and editing.
System vendors dominate, but Indies growing stronger
Systems vendors continue to overwhelmingly dominate the disk subsystem market, but a few independents (EMC, Box Hill, and MTI) are expected to maintain positions in the top 24 when year-end revenues are tallied, according to International Data Corp., a market research firm in Framingham, MA.
Tape arrays stay cool
Land-5 Corp.`s PolaRAID tape arrays can be configured in RAID-0, RAID-1, or RAID-3 levels. The TA4 (200GB) and TA7 (350GB) tape arrays transfer data at up to 20MBps. Both systems use Polaris` PolAIRis thermal management technology, which the company claims enables the arrays to operate at up to 50 degrees cooler than some other arrays. Available in five-drive configurations, entry level systems start at $39,995. Contact Land-5 at (619) 566-2512, www.land-5.com.
The Virtues of Virtual Tape
Potential benefits of virtual tape systems include increased performance and a sharp reduction in the number of tape cartridges, drives, and libraries required.
Veritas rounds out storage management strategy
Veritas Software plans to deliver by the end of next month a key building block in its soup-to-nuts approach to storage management. The upcoming Storage Manager software will allow administrators to monitor distributed storage devices from a central console. The policy-based software interfaces to Veritas` other storage management tools, including the Veritas File System, Hierarchical Storage Manager, Volume Manager, and NetBackup.
Vixel intros Fibre Channel hub
At last month`s Comdex, Vixel demonstrated the Rapport Hub 2000, the high-end member of its Rapport line of Fibre Channel storage interconnect solutions.
Mylex commits to Fibre Channel
Within the next quarter, Mylex plans to ship to OEMs a Fibre Channel RAID controller and related ASIC technologies. Similar to Mylex`s DAC960SX, the Fibre Channel controller will include active/active failover for fault tolerance. The technology was demonstrated at Comdex last month.
Micropolis bites the dust
Micropolis ended a 21-year run in the disk-drive business last month when parent company Singapore Technologies shut the doors on the struggling drive manufacturer. Singapore purchased Micropolis in March of last year. The remainder of the company was spun off as StreamLogic Corp.
Ai adds libraries for AS/400
American International Business Technologies (Ai) is shipping an 800GB (compressed) autoloader for IBM AS/400 platforms. The autoloader uses Exabyte 8mm and Mammoth tape technologies and is backward-compatible with all 8mm tapes. The Ai 2xOE and 2xOM offer 10 or 20 cartridge slots and have a transfer rate of 1MBps. Ai claims a compressed transfer rate of 6MBps. Ai`s autoloaders compete with IBM`s 3570 library. Prices start at $12,300.Contact Ai at (800) 243-4433, www.ai-inc.com.
Fibre Channel Charges into Network Storage
The worlds of storage and networking are beginning to merge as never before. After more than two years in the lab, and a few corporate beta sites, a handful of Fibre Channel vendors are preparing to roll out high-speed networking technology designed to link multiple storage devices into "virtual storage reservoirs" that scale to tens of terabytes--hundreds of times larger than today`s SCSI-based arrays.
AIWA gives RAIDstack series a boost
AIWA`s RAIDstack series now supports up to eight 9GB drives for 63GB of fault-tolerant storage. The latest version also has an improved power source for increased output and a more efficient cooling system. The disk array features a scalable modular design and two high-power SCSI Fast and Wide interfaces and supports RAID levels 0, 1, 3, 5, 10, and 50. Choose between a PCI bus-based array subsystem and a high-performance hardware array subsystem. The RAIDstack is priced at $12,730--depending on
Artecon, Clariion "first" to support 18GB drives
Both claiming to be the first to support 18GB drives, RAID vendors Artecon and Clariion began shipping arrays last month based on IBM`s 18GB 7,200rpm disk drives. Clariion incorporates the drives in its TeleStor arrays and the Fibre Channel-attached Series 3000 arrays. Due to the density of the 18GB drives, Clariion claims a 38% reduction in cost per MB and a 1.6TB capacity in less than five square feet. Contact Clariion at (800) 672-7729, www.clariion.com.
Atto embraces Fibre Channel
Branching out from its SCSI roots, Atto Technology introduced a number of Fibre Channel products at last month`s Comdex. The ExpressPCI FC is a 64-bit PCI-to-Fibre Channel host adapter that supports up to 126 devices in an Arbitrated Loop configuration. The board uses Atto`s Advanced Data Streaming (ADS) technology, which includes such features as full multiple block buffering, an embedded RISC processor, optimized Fibre Channel and SCSI-3 algorithms, and an improved data interleave architecture
Back Up to the Net
For small companies and remote offices, backing up to the Internet may be more efficient than traditional backup methods.
Beta vs. VHS all over again?
The nice thing about revolu . . .uh . . .new storage technologies is that they enable end-users to solve problems while busting open new markets for vendors and their channel partners. If you`ve been integrating optical solutions, and are starting to feel the limitations of the laser, start thinking DVD. With its capacious capacity and decent performance, DVD-ROM is poised to replace CD-ROM.
Beyond Mammoth
Until Comdex, Exabyte`s plans for its next-generation 8-mm product were anyone`s guess. Still smarting from a costly year-long delay in shipping the Mammoth line, Exabyte`s taking a somewhat more aggressive, yet cautious approach this time around.
Breece boosts DLT library capacity
At last month`s Comdex, Breece Hill Technologies introduced a DLT library that theoretically can scale to 118TB and 12 DLT drives. Breece also introduced the DataIQ architecture, which is designed primarily for server- level fault tolerance by eliminating single points of failure. The architecture also has user-replaceable modules to minimize downtime.
Brocade lowers Fibre Channel switch prices
Good news for large sites getting ready to implement Fibre Channel storage networks: Brocade Communications recently dropped the prices of its SilkWorm Fibre Channel switches, bringing the cost down to $1,875 per port.
Cheetah runs at 10,000 rpm
Seagate Technology plans to ship over the next few months the second generation of its 10,000-rpm Cheetah family. In comparison, most high-end drives top out at 7,200 rpm.
Cygnet add deskside CD jukebox
Cygnet Storage Solutions` id 100 CD jukebox holds up to 100 discs and can be configured with up to four CD drives--either CD-ROM or CD-R. The network-attached jukeboxes have five removable disc magazines with 20 CDs each. Drive combinations include 12X CD-ROM and 4X CD-R. Pricing for the SCSI-2 jukeboxes begins at $5,000. Contact Cygnet Storage Solutions at (408) 954-1800, www.cygnet.com.
Emass adds "low-end" DLT library
Expanding the scalability of its libraries, Emass has added a 12-drive module--the AML/S--with 158 DLT7000 cartridges that can be expanded to a four-module configuration with 48 drives and 788 cartridges. Maximum capacity is 27.6TB (native) with an aggregate throughput rate of 864GB per hour. Although
Eurologic enters Fibre Channel market
Dublin, Ireland-based Eurologic Systems demonstrated at last month`s Comdex its first entry into the Fibre Channel array market. The company`s XL-400 operates at full FC speeds (100MBps or 200MBps in full-duplex mode) and supports direct connection of up to 126 devices.
Fujitsu announces FC drive plans
Fujitsu Computer Products of America plans to ship "in the first half of next year" drives based on the Fibre Channel and Ultra2 LVD interfaces. Seagate is currently the only drive manufacturer shipping Fibre Channel drives.
MDI offers "first" MultiRead CD-ROM Towers
At the end of the month, Micro Design International will begin shipping the "first" CD-ROM towers and cabinets to meet the MultiRead specification. Recently approved by OSTA, the MultiRead spec enables all types of CD disc--even CD-Rewritable media--to be read by current and future CD and DVD drives. MDI will offer the MultiRead-compliant CD-ROMs within its LAN-connect CD-ROM tower and server-based CD-ROM tower and cabinets. Early next year, the company will begin shipping the DVD equivalent. Co
Gadzoox extends SANs
This month, Gadzoox Networks will begin shipping Fibre Channel hubs and switches that will allow users to expand their storage area networks (SANs).
GEMS 1.0 addresses centralized management
Legato Systems` Global Enterprise Management of Storage (GEMS) Version 1.0 provides centralized management of distributed storage resources. GEMS tools allow administrators to manage multiple Legato "data zones," including policy-based administration, software distribution, media management, and software licensing. Prices start at $3,000. Contact Legato Systems Inc. at (415) 812-6000, www.legato.com.
High-capacity floppies expected to surge
Shipments of high-capacity floppies are expected to surge over the next few years, led by Iomega`s popular 100MB Zip drive and the emergence of the 120MB SuperDisk (formerly the LS-120).
Hitachi announces Fibre Channel drives
Possibly being the second to market with native Fibre Channel drives, Hitachi America recently announced plans to ship FC-AL drives sometime next quarter. Fujitsu has announced plans to ship Fibre Channel drives sometime in the first half of next year.
Hitachi releases 32X CD-ROM drives
Boasting an average access time of 80msec and data rates of 14X to 32X, Hitachi`s 650MB CDR-8430 CD-ROM drives read data recorded on all types of CD media, including CD-R and CD-RW. Like previous CD-ROM drives from Hitachi, the CDR-8430 uses a constant angular velocity (CAV) rotation technology, which spins discs at a constant rate. As a result, data transfer rates increase as the optical reader head moves from the inner to the outer track of the disc.
HP, IBM, Seagate hint at new tape format
Three leaders in the tape industry were long on promises and short on details last month when they announced plans to develop a new tape format that will address everything from single servers to enterprise networks. Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Seagate Technology joined forces in an effort to develop and promote a single standard in a market where multiple, incompatible formats have reigned for some time.
IBM + GMR = 2.6Gb/sq. in.
IBM hit a milestone this month when it shipped the first disk drives based on Giant Magnetoresistive (GMR) heads. The result is 2.6 billion bits per square inch, or 16.8GB in a 3.5-inch desktop disk drive. IBM claims GMR technology can take them to 10 billion bits per square inch by the year 2001 and ultimately to 20 or even 40 billion bits per square inch. GMR heads are about twice as sensitive as conventional MR heads.
IBM brings SSA to Sun
As Sun ramps up its second-generation Fibre Channel arrays (see News and Trends in this issue), IBM recently announced the availability of its Serial Storage Architecture (SSA)-based arrays for Sun platforms. The announcement comes on the heels of IBM`s claim to have shipped more than two petabytes of SSA storage or, as the press release says, "the equivalent of 1,200 round trips from Earth to the sun paved with text on standard printer paper laid end-to-end."
IBM ships ADSM V3
IBM recently enhanced its Adstar Distributed Storage Manager (ADSM) software with a Version 3 release that includes:
Is DVD Ready for Business?
DVD is poised to eclipse CD, but to gain acceptance in the corporate market, DVD still has a number of hurdles to clear.
Jaycor adds Solaris driver to FC adapters
Jaycor Networks Inc. has added a Solaris device driver for its FibreStar PCI-to-Fibre Channel adapter. The board/driver combo works with Sun Ultra 30 workstation, Sun`s first PCI-based desktop. The FibreStar board is based on Hewlett-Packard`s Tachyon chip set and supports point-to-point, arbitrated loop, and switched-fabric network topologies Price: $1,995 with a copper interface module or $2,730 with an optical module. Contact Jaycor at (619) 535-3121, www.jni.com.
Law Firm Clears the Paper Jungle
An optical jukebox and document imaging software reduce costs and space requirements and improve client response times.
Maxtor packs 8.4GB on E-IDE drives
Maxtor`s DiamondMax 2160 3.5-inch Enhanced IDE disk drives stores 2.1GB per platter, or a total of up to 8.4GB in a desktop drive. The drives include UltraDMA compatibility, which (compared to PIO Mode 4) doubles data transfer rate to/from the interface to 33MBps. Key features include MR heads, PRML read-channel technology, a 9.7msec average seek time, 256K cache buffer, and compliance with the Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART) spec. Estimated retail price is $499. Conta
We Only Need One DVD-Rewritable Standard!
The DVD-RAM format, defined by the DVD Forum, is the only commercially available rewritable/ removable optical storage technology that meets the computer industry`s immediate and long-term requirements for reliable, high-capacity storage. Plus, it`s read compatible with all types of DVD media.