Industry News and Analysis

All Eyes on the Enterprise
General-purpose trade publications have done a good job of (over) covering some of the more visible features in the forthcoming Windows NT 5.0. But those publications have ignored the wealth of storage features being integrated into 5.0. Where it lacked the talent, Microsoft tapped a number of storage-savvy third parties--most notably Eastman, HighGround, Seagate Software, and Veritas--to build a number of "enterprise-level" storage functions into the operating system. In reality, the built-in s
Legacy ships network- attached array
Legacy Storage Systems` Universal Data Storage System (UDSS) disk array is a network-attached storage (NAS) device, which Legacy refers to as direct network attach (DNA). Aimed at the market for consolidated Windows NT storage, the eight-bay 144GB UDSS can be daisy chained for more than 1TB of capacity. Features include Ultra Fast and Wide SCSI interfaces and up to 128MB of cache. A 63GB RAID-5 version is priced at $18,900.
Unisys enters NAS market
Unisys recently entered the network-attached storage (NAS) server market with the PrimeStor NAS2000 product line. The introduction marks a major move for Unisys, which plans to transition 60% to 70% of its business into the NAS area over the next three years.
The State of Solid-State Disks
Solid-state disks are high-speed, random-access storage peripherals based on DRAM technology. Originally developed to get memory-speed response from storage devices and to increase the reliability of storage devices, today these disks are used to ease I/O bottlenecks in computer systems running relational database applications. As such, they are sometimes referred to as database accelerators.
Sun targets data centers, challenges EMC, IBM
Aiming to double its storage business by 2001, Sun Microsystems recently introduced its Intelligent Storage Network (ISN) architecture and StorEdge product line.
Startup enters high- speed RAID race
Claiming a blazing 50,000 I/Os per second, startup XIOtech Corp. recently entered the crowded RAID market. The company`s Magnitude array includes support for up to eight host (Windows NT or NetWare) connections and 1TB of capacity. Company officials attribute the subsystem`s speed in large part to its REDI software technology, which includes:
Spectra Logic adds AIT library
Based on Sony`s Advanced Intelligent Tape (AIT) technology, Spectra Logic this month introduced the oddly-named TreeFrog entry-level tape library. (Spectra Logic also sells Travan-based tape libraries under the TreeFrog name.) Capacity: 375GB (native) in an 8.5-inch high rack-mountable enclosure. With dual drives, the TreeFrog provides a native data transfer rate of 6MBps. Spectra Logic claims an average 2.6:1 compression ratio using the ALDC algorithm. A single-drive TreeFrog configuration is
School District Increases Performance, Data Protection
Multi-streaming storage management and backup provides centralized management, better data protection, and increased throughput.
Rewritable DVD: Deja Vu All Over Again?
The battle lines are being drawn over rewritable DVD formats. Will it be a replay of the VHS vs. Beta battle?
Quantum in volume with Ultra2 SCSI LVD drives
Quantum last month hit volume shipments of its Viking II disk drives, which use the Ultra2 SCSI low-voltage differential (LVD) interface. The 3.5-inch drives are available in 4.5GB or 9.1GB capacities and are compatible with host adapter boards from vendors such as Adaptec, Atto Technology, Diamond Multimedia, and Symbios. Ultra2 SCSI doubles the data transfer rate of existing SCSI implementations to 80MBps.
Procom launches RAID, AIT devices
Add Procom Technology to the growing list of RAID vendors who support Fibre Channel. Procom`s Reliant 1000 RAID array, its first entry in the RAID market, scales from 90GB to multi-terabytes. The subsystems include dual controllers, fans, and power supplies. Prices range from $28,995 for a 10-drive unit to $191,795 for a fully configured 50-drive version.
Overland puts price pressure on DLT library market
Starting at $4,995, Overland Data`s LoaderXpress DLT library may introduce overdue price competitiveness in the low-end DLT market. The desktop library, or "loader," uses a cartridge magazine design typically found in higher-end libraries. An entry-level configuration includes a DLT4000 drive with a five-cartridge magazine, for a native capacity of 100GB. The high-end model 710 is based on a DLT7000 drive and 10-cartridge magazine, for a native capacity of 350GB and a maximum throughput of 18GB
NT Requires Enterprise Storage Management
Particularly with the introduction of Windows NT 5.0 later this year, IT managers should prepare for implementing enterprise storage management.
NT Drives Cluster Adoption
Clusters are beginning to take hold at Windows NT sites. Here`s how to take advantage of Microsoft Cluster Server (MSCS).
NT 5.0 Boosts Enterprise Storage Management
Windows NT 5.0 includes a wealth of storage management features that should ease integration while reducing the cost of ownership of storage resources.
nStor adds support for Sun
nStor last month added support for the SunOS and Solaris operating systems in its AdminiStor software, which is used to manage the company`s CR8e RAID subsystems and Ultra SCSI-to-SCSI RAID controllers. The new Unix utilities are an upgrade to nStor`s AdminiStor Storage Management Software Suite, which supports Windows NT, NetWare, SGI Irix, and Sun platforms. The AdminiStor Unix Utilities for Sun are priced at $600.
JVC combines CD library, duplicator, printer
Scheduled for shipments in May, JVC`s MC-Printer Model 200 is a CD-ROM library that bundles six CD-ROM/CD-R/DVD-ROM drives, Windows NT-based disc duplicator software, and an optional 720-dpi label printer. The Windows NT-compatible system holds up to 200 discs for a capacity of 130GB. The duplicator copies up to six discs simultaneously. A CD version of the library is upgradable to DVD. Including the optional printer, the MC-Printer Model 200 is priced at $16,395.
Andataco adds management software
Following the trend toward centralized management of storage resources, Andataco recently released a storage management tool called Client/Server Storage Manager (Client/S). The software allows users to monitor and manage Andataco`s GigaRAID/HA storage arrays from a single workstation. Client/S runs only on Sun Solaris platforms. Version for HP-UX and Windows NT are due within the next month. Price: $895.
Jaycor brings Fibre Channel to Symmetrix
Jaycor Networks Inc. last month released an implementation of its FibreStar Sbus-to-Fibre Channel adapter for EMC`s Symmetrix Enterprise Storage systems. The adapters provide Fibre Channel connections between Symmetrix arrays and Sun Solaris servers.
HSM Makes Slow Inroads
Hierarchical storage management is the Rodney Dangerfield of storage management software, but the arrival of NT 5.0 may give HSM some overdue respect.
HP announces complete CD-RW solution
Bundled with 10 software applications from manufacturers such as Adaptec, Adobe, Corel, Documagix, HP, and Norton, HP`s SureStor CD-Writer Plus 7200 drive is a complete CD-RW solution for home and business use. The software applications enable users to create audio and photographic CDs, to store and transport large files, and to create a virtually paperless office. The package also includes the latest data protection and virus protection software.
How to Evaluate RAID for VLDB
In the last of our three-part series, two IT administrators evaluate key RAID attributes, including performance, redundancy, scalability, portability, configurability, and manageability.
Fibre Channel Means Business
Here`s a rundown of the key business benefits of Fibre Channel and the applications that are driving its adoption.
Exposing Fibre Channel
In the parable about the emperor`s fine clothes, it took a child to point out that the emperor was wearing no clothes. Today, the storage industry is so enamored with the fine-spun yarn of Fibre Channel vendors that it seems it`s now time to ask: Are they wearing any clothes?
Emulex enhances PCI Fibre Channel adapters
To boost performance, Emulex has added "Superfly" ASIC technology to its line of LightPulse LP7000 PCI Fibre Channel host adapters. Emulex claims to have achieved more than 11,000 I/Os per second in a Windows NT environment. "Superfly" is based in part on the company`s "Firefly" architecture. The adapters use 233MHz StrongARM processors with on-chip instruction and data caches. Emulex provides software drivers for Windows NT, Solaris, AIX, Unixware, and NetWare. Production shipments begin this m
EMC tackles NT, adds Fibre Channel
Following its mission to consolidate storage across disparate platforms, EMC last month introduced a number of products aimed at the high end of the Windows NT storage market. Examples include Fibre Channel connectivity on its Symmetrix Enterprise Storage arrays (EMC already supports Fibre Channel for HP and Sun Unix platforms), support for NT in the Symmetrix Manager for Open Systems software, and compatibility with Microsoft Cluster Services (MSCS).
Emass enters NT software arena
Emass this month begins shipments of a Windows NT version of its Amass archival software, a file system that allows NT users to directly access tape libraries and optical jukeboxes. Amass was previously available only for Unix. The software can be used with third-party backup and hierarchical storage management (HSM) packages, such as those from Legato and IBM. The initial release of Amass for Windows NT will support Hewlett-Packard and Plasmon optical jukeboxes. Versions for other secondary and
DPT ships fault-tolerant RAID array
Distributed Processing Technology (DPT) recently began shipping the RAIDstation7 Storage Array subsystem. Available in tower or rack-mount versions, the array supports 40MBps Ultra-Wide SCSI SCA-2 (single connector attachment) drives. DPT`s Ultra SCSI Extension Card incorporates SCSI bus repeater and transmission converter technology. The repeater increases SCSI bus lengths and can be used to daisy chain two arrays. The transmission converter converts differential SCSI signals from
Disk drives: shipments up, prices down
What`s bad news for disk drive manufacturers is good news for storage buyers: Prices for hard disk drives have dropped to less than a dime per megabyte -- a trend that should be reflected at the subsystem level over the next few months. Analysts at Disk/Trend Inc., a market research firm in Mountain View, CA, expect drive prices to plummet to less than two cents per megabyte in 2000.
Digital, MicroNet add 18GB drives
- An 18GB drive that boosts the capacity of StorageWorks subsystems to 2TB. The 18GB drives are based on the Ultra-SCSI interface and have a disk rotation speed of 7,200rpm.
CA enhances optical management software
Computer Associates last month released the 2.0 version of its File Jockey software for accessing and managing optical jukeboxes. Supported technologies include magneto-optical (MO), phase-change and write once read many (WORM) optical devices, and Intel or Alpha-based servers running Windows NT 4.0. The software makes jukeboxes appear to administrators as a single drive. File Jockey is part of CA`s ARCserve family of storage management software packages.
Andataco supports Fibre Channel
Joining the growing ranks of RAID vendors supporting the emerging Fibre Channel interface, Andataco last month added support for the emerging technology to its GigaRAID line of disk arrays. Andataco is targeting specific vertical markets, including oil and gas exploration, video, data warehousing, and on-line transaction processing database environments.
Veritas Brings Data Replication to Unix
This month, Veritas Software rolled out a data replication tool for automated data distribution. The Veritas Storage Replicator (VSR) is a software-only solution that competes with more expensive hardware-software combos such as EMC`s Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF) and database replication tools such as those from Oracle and Sybase. Unlike database replicators, VSR replicates all system data.