Industry News and Analysis

Adaptec unveils RAID for Windows NT
Adaptec recently unveiled the AAA-131CA array adapter and the ARO-1130 RAIDport II card for the Windows NT PC workstation market. The products feature a RAID coprocessor that manages 16MB of onboard cache. Both solutions support RAID levels 0 and 1 and up to 15 Fast/Wide Ultra SCSI peripherals. The AAA-131CA kit is priced at $599; the ARO-1130CA kit at $399.
RAID, I2O, and NT: Making the Synergy Happen
The next generation of high-performance I/Os is coming to Wintel platforms by way of I2O, or Intelligent I/O. I2O provides an I/O device-driver architecture that is independent of the type of device being controlled and the host operating system. However, I2O will have the greatest effect on the Windows NT market.
ODI to double tape capacity/speed
In a move that could potentially have far-reaching ramifications for the tape drive market, Overland Data Inc. last month unveiled technology that it claims can double the capacity and transfer rate of any tape drive that`s based on linear recording. That includes digital linear tape (DLT), Magstar, and quarter-inch cartridge (QIC) formats such as Travan, Single-channel and Multi-channel Linear Recording (SLR/MLR) data cartridge, and minicartridge. And, the technology does not require new head o
Overland Data ships LoaderXpress
Overland Data has added a new desktop backup solution--the DLT LoaderXpress--to its product line. The LoaderExpress accommodates one DLT4000 or DLT7000 tape drive and a 5- or 10-cartridge magazine. It has a native capacity of 350GB and a throughput of up to 18GB per hour. The LoaderXpress is designed for unattended backup and restore and is compatible with Unix, Windows NT, and NetWare.
Pioneer offers DVD-R drive
Pioneer has introduced a bevy of new products, including a DVD-R drive and media, a second-generation DVD-ROM drive, and a 32X CD-ROM drive. Compatible with version 1.0 of the DVD-R standard, Pioneer`s DVR-S101 drive offers 3.95GB of storage--roughly six times more than a CD-R disc. The drive also features a 1,385 KBps transfer rate and a data buffer capacity of 6MB, which means a complete 3.95GB drive can be written in about 50 minutes. The drive comes with five DVD-R discs and pre-mastering so
QLogic ships chip-to-board Fibre Channel solutions
QLogic has begun sampling its 66MHz ISP2100A PCI-to-Fibre Channel chip, which the company claims can sustain PCI data transfer rates as high as 528MBps. An enhanced version of QLogic`s 33MHz ISP2100 chip, the 2100A has a 64-bit PCI host interface, a RISC processor, Fibre Channel protocol engine, dedicated transmit and receive frame buffers, and 100MBps serial transceivers implemented on a single chip.
Qualstar expands DLT libraries
Qualstar last month began shipping a new family of DLT automated tape libraries. The TLS-6000 series, which includes five models, comes with up to four DLT4000 or DLT7000 tape drives and 60 tape cartridges for a total capacity of 4TB. The libraries support concurrent reading and writing for maximum throughput and use brushless DC motors and
RAID Boosts Data Availability
Fault tolerance and continuous data availability are the battle cries for IT managers increasingly faced with 7x24 operations.
RAIDers of the Lost Blocks
Evaluating RAID used to be a ridiculous task of sifting through vendors` confusing performance claims (how relevant are I/Os per second, anyway?). But IT managers have figured out that, if you want performance--and you have deep enough pockets--there`s more than enough to go around.
Mitsumi Electronics ships DVD-ROM
Mitsumi Electronics recently unveiled its DR200M DVD-ROM internal drive for desktop PCs, which conforms to the enhanced IDE architecture. The drive features a dual-laser pickup that allows the playback of several compact disc technologies, including CD audio, CD-ROM, CD-R, and CD-RW. It delivers a data transfer speed of 2,700KBps (2x) for DVD and 3,800KBps (24X) for CD-ROM. The drive supports multiple block transfers for faster throughput and transfer rates of up to 16.7MBps. Average access time
Raidtec intros FC-AL RAID subsystem, controller
Raidtec`s family of RAID products now includes Fibre Channel-Arbitrated Loop (FC-AL) subsystems and PCI controllers. The FibreArray subsystem consists of seven drive bays, three power supplies, and three fans--all of which are hot-swappable. As many as 16 subsystems can be cascaded together, supporting 112 drives for up to 1TB of storage. FibreArray implements single- or dual-port bypass modules. The subsystem works with a variety of FC-AL controllers, including Raidtec`s FibreRAID-PCI, and come
Startup ships IEEE 1284-compliant controller
Warp Nine Engineering has begun shipping to OEMs an IEEE-compliant peripheral interface controller for connecting PCs to peripherals such as CD-ROM drives, tape backup devices, printers and scanners. Also shipping is the IEEE 1284 Device Driver Toolkit, which starts at $5,000.
Storage Computer targets high-end NT RAID
Taking aim at the market for Windows NT clustered servers and multi-host environments, Storage Computer last month announced its OmniRAID Cluster Array, which supports NT, Unix, and NetWare. Potential customers include sites that are either migrating from Unix/NetWare to NT or consolidating NT servers and storage subsystems. Storage Computer officials claim that OmniRAID Cluster Array eliminates additional storage management overhead while maintaining performance levels.
Sutmyn beefs up virtual tape
Anticipating the forthcoming entry of Storage Technology into the market, Sutmyn Storage Corp. this month will begin enhancing its line of Scimitar virtual tape systems. Scimitar will support up to eight ESCON channels, 64 virtual tape drives, and up to 1.5 terabytes (assuming 2:1 compression) of cache. In a virtual tape system, cache is implemented in a RAID array; in the case of Sutmyn`s Scimitar, the array is based on a subsystem from Data General`s Clariion unit.
Tandberg boosts MLR drive to 50GB
This month, Tandberg begins production shipments of its MLR-3 tape drive. The second-generation drive offers 50GB (25GB native) and a 4MBps transfer rate. The new drive features thin-film MR heads and new media that supports higher capacity and performance. The MLR3 is available as a stand-alone drive (external and internal) or as a bundled package with Seagate Software Storage Suite for Desktop and Servers, a 25GB Imation MLR tape cartridge, and cables for connection to a 16-bit SCSI interface.
The RAB Guide to Nonstop Data Access
Continuous data availability is an increasingly important goal at 7x24 IT shops. Here`s a checklist to help you evaluate the ability of RAID subsystems to withstand failures.
Toshiba unveils DVD-RAM
This quarter, Toshiba will begin shipping volume quantities of DVD-RAM drives. The two new drives, the SD-W1001 (SCSI interface) and SD-W1002 (ATAPI interface) store 2.6GB on single-sided and 5.2GB on double-sided DVD-RAM discs. The drives are read-compatible with current DVD media (DVD-ROM, DVD-R, and DVD-RAM) and all CD-ROM media (including CD-R and CD-RW) and feature a 1,352KBps transfer rate when reading DVD-RAM media. Both drives are half-height internal units. List price: $799.
NSM adds 12X CD drive
NSM Jukebox last month added support for 12X CD drives in its Mercury line of jukeboxes. The jukeboxes are based on NSM`s TDD technology, which the company claims reduces queue time from four seconds to a few hundred milliseconds. The Mercury series, available in read-only or read-write versions, holds up to 150 CDs and two to four drives. Pricing starts at $14,000.
Midrange Backup Strategies
Midrange backup technologies are more plentiful than ever. Here`s how large and small sites are using some of the leading alternatives.
Aiwa boosts tape, RAID subsystems
Aiwa America`s Computer Systems Division adds two Travan tape drives, an autoloader, and a compact RAID subsystem to its product lineup. The first product, the TD-80001 Travan NS8 tape drive, transfers data at speeds up to 90MB per minute and stores up to 8GB (compressed) on a single minicartridge. The TD-8001 incorporates a read-while-write feature that eliminates the need for a separate data verification pass to improve overall backup speed. The drive is backward read compatible with previous
Data cartridges gain renewed respect; Compaq endorses SLR5
Following the recent endorsement by Compaq of its Single-channel Linear Recording (SLR) technology, Tandberg Data this month expects to begin production shipments of its high-end MLR3 (Multi-channel Linear Recording) tape drives. SLR and MLR are branded product lines that fall into the general category of quarter-inch data cartridge tape drives.
Array shipments to top 1.5 million by 2000
RAID arrays are becoming further entrenched in midrange markets and making significant headway onto the desktop.
Artecon launches network- attached FC RAID
Joining the growing ranks of RAID suppliers supporting Fibre Channel, Artecon last month began shipments of its network-attached LynxNSS storage server. The RAID-based servers support Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop (FC-AL) and Fibre Channel switched-fabric topologies. Additional network interface support includes 10/100Base-T Ethernet, FDDI, and CDDI. File transfer protocols supported include NFS, SMB/CIFS, and HTTP. The systems include Artecon`s AerREAL realtime file-server software, an operatin
Avatar intros SCSI Shark 250
Avatar Peripherals has introduced a SCSI version of its Shark 250 mobile hard-disk drive. The Shark 250 works off the parallel port of a PC and stores up to 250MB on a 2.5-inch HARDiskette. Data transfer rates average 2.5MBps, with average seek times of less than 12 ms. The Shark 250 allows burst speeds up to 10MBps. The drive is priced at $249.
Basic Tips for Evaluating Tape Libraries
If you haven`t undertaken the arduous task of evaluating large-scale tape libraries, here are some tips to get you started.
Clustered File Systems Go Beyond Failover Software
Clustered file systems are on the horizon, and they may boost performance, cut costs, and provide better file sharing.
Cybernetics adds encryption to tape subsystems
Adding another level of data protection to its tape subsystems and libraries, Cybernetics now supports a data encryption option that prevents unauthorized access to selected data. The encryption technology can be used in conjunction with access card keys. The encrypted information can only be accessed if the tape is read on the encryption drive on which it was created, with the appropriate access card inserted to permit authorization. Encoded card keys designate three levels of authorization tha
Data Movement vs. Data Sharing
As the song goes, "Everything old is new again." Mainframes, said to be on the decline since the advent of open-systems superservers and the increasing popularity of networks, are back in vogue due to the very factors that once made them popular: reliability, speed, and huge storage capacity.
MDI expands optical offerings
Micro Design International has added a number of optical hardware and software products, mostly in the CD-ROM arena. MDI now supports 24X Multiread CD-ROM drives in its line of standalone drives, towers, cabinets, and racks. Multiread technology ensures compatibility with all types of CD and DVD devices. (For more information about Multiread, go to www.multiread.com.) Drive access speed is 75ms; the data transfer rate is 3,600KBps. The CD-ROM enclosures can be configured as server-based or netwo
Evaluating RAID for VLDB
In the first of a three-part case study, IT administrators examine the basics of RAID and the tradeoffs of various configurations.
Fibre Channel picks up steam; EMC joins ranks
Momentum behind Fibre Channel is building steadily, and investment houses are taking notice. One financial institution that`s particularly bullish on Fibre Channel is Morgan Keegan & Company Inc., an investment bank in Memphis.
Four vendors achieve RAB top rating
So far, only four RAID vendors have achieved the highest classification for extended data availability and protection (EDAP), as defined by the RAID Advisory Board (RAB): EMC (Symmetrix), Comparex (T2000), Hitachi Data Systems (HDS 7700), and MTI Technology (Gladiator ESS). The RAB`s highest classification for EDAP is referred to as Disaster Tolerant Disk System Plus (DTDS+) and requires a disk array to meet 21 criteria for data protection.
Fuji extends storage media lineup
Fuji Photo Film U.S.A. recently expanded its storage media product line with Zip disks, DLT tape cartridges, DDS3 DAT cartridges, CD-Recordable optical discs, and magneto-optical media. The 100MB Zip disk is based on the company`s ATOMM (Advanced super Thin layer and high Output Metal Media) technology and is priced at $19.95.
How to Manage Disk Media Errors
The basic function of RAID is to provide protection against disk-drive failure. The goal of high-availability storage systems is to combine RAID techniques with a hardware and firmware implementation that ensures the highest degree of data accessibility possible. RAID is the cornerstone of high availability storage systems, but there`s a lot more to the picture.
Imation to ship Travan NS 20 cartridges
Later this quarter, Imation will begin shipping the Travan NS 20 cartridge, the newest addition to the company`s NS cartridge series. The cartridge incorporates Imation`s new Guiding System, which increases track densities by 150%. The NS cartridge has a capacity of 20GB (compressed) and features Imation`s proprietary Blackwatch backcoating, which protects data from static and wound-in debris. Price: $49.99 per cartridge.
Making the Transition from SCSI to Fibre Channel
For most enterprises, there`s no need to rush into Fibre Channel. Taking advantage of SCSI extensions and hybrid solutions may be the most prudent course.
www.infostor.com: Now Available from Your Web Browser
You`re a storage integrator who`s experiencing tape incompatibility problems in your enterprise. You`re frustrated, confused and want to talk with someone--BUT--it`s 2:00 am. You click onto www.infostor.com`s open forum and ask for advice.