Industry News and Analysis

ADIC array packs in storage
ADIC`s new tape array--an extension of its DS97000 product line--is designed to fit into a 19-inch rack for users who want to mount a large number of drives in a small space. Available in a five-drive DLT4000 or DLT7000 configuration, the Tape Array 5 allows up to 350GB of storage capacity, with a backup rate of 180GB per hour (both with 2:1 compression). The objective, says Steve Whitner, director of marketing, "is to pull data off the drives as quickly as possible. This allows you to do it wit
JVC intros DVD premastering system
JVC Professional Computer Products recently introduced the DVD RomMaker premastering system, which is designed to define, emulate, verify, and produce DVD-ROM images in the standard UDF format. The premastering system includes a Pentium II system running Windows NT 4.0, an MPEG-2 encoder/decoder, DVD RomMaker software, DVD-ROM drive, and optional RAID and DLT tape storage.
Transoft bolsters file-sharing software
Transoft Networks, which recently merged with G2 Networks, last month introduced its third-generation file-sharing software for storage area networks (SANs). FibreNet DataShare allows file sharing among heterogeneous clients, including the ability to read and write to the same file using byte range locking. Platform support includes Windows NT, Unix and Macintosh. The software is based on the NT File System (NTFS).
Toshiba Offers Optimistic DVD Road Map
While DVD is discussed more in consumer electronics stores than in IT shops, DVD drive and media manufacturers such as Panasonic and Toshiba America continue to build their commercial vendor coalitions by first delivering product, then addressing vertical markets and offering road maps. Toshiba, for example, last month divulged its rewritable DVD (DVD-RAM) technology road map and introduced a DVD-ROM kit for VARs and system integrators. (Toshiba`s 4.8X SD-M1202 DVD-ROM drive has been shipping s
Tandberg ships SLR6
Late last month, Tandberg Data introduced a 12GB (native) single-channel linear recording (SLR) tape drive for network, workstation, and midrange computing applications. Tandberg is positioning the drive to compete against DDS-3 (digital data storage). The drive features a 16-bit Fast Wide SCSI-2 interface and TapeAlert diagnostic software, and is available in internal and external configurations. SLR6 is backward compatible with SLR4 models and scalable up to MLR3. Pricing starts at $1,023.
Support building for DVD-RAM
DVD-RAM drive and media manufacturer Panasonic last month sponsored DVD-RAM Day, a mini-conference to highlight the growing number of hardware and software vendors introducing products and support for the emerging technology. Since Panasonic`s LF-D101 DVD-RAM drives are compliant with DVD Forum specifications--and perhaps just as importantly--are shipping, company officials maintain that vendors are now confident to build applications based on the standard. They point to the more than 160 hardwa
Sony announces CD-RW drive
Sony Electronics announced its first CD-RW multifunctional drive, the Spressa CRX100E/CH, which offers 4X recording onto CD-R media, 2X recording to CD-RW media, and up to 24X read speed.
Seagate announces backup software
Last month, Seagate Software announced the availability of its RAIDirector tape backup suite. When used in conjunction with Seagate Backup Exec for Windows NT, RAIDirector is designed to improve backup performance and increase fault tolerance by creating a RAID-like storage subsystem linking SCSI tape drives.
Quantum Announces Second Source for DLT
In what has begun to resemble a game of strategic one-upmanship between Quantum and the LTO triumvirate (Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Seagate), Quantum last month signed a manufacturing license and marketing agreement with Tandberg Data. The agreement provides for a long-awaited second source for digital linear tape (DLT) drives, and secondarily gives Tandberg the right to market a full spectrum of DLT products, including drives, media, and tape automation products. The door`s also been left open f
QLogic expands FAS line
Aimed at RAID and tape devices, QLogic`s FAS368M is an Ultra SCSI controller with 16-bit multimode LVD. The controller is firmware-compatible with the company`s FAS366 and FAS366U. In addition to LVD, it supports 40MBps single-ended Ultra SCSI.
Navisphere manages Fibre Channel
Now that most disk array vendors are shipping Fibre Channel-equipped hardware, emphasis is shifting to software tools to manage the new subsystems. For example, Clariion recently began shipping its Navisphere set of software modules for centralized management of the company`s Fibre Channel disk arrays. A version of the software for SCSI devices is due later this month.
Mylex adds 233MHz RISC CPU
Featuring a 233MHz Intel StrongARM RISC processor, 80MBps Ultra2 SCSI LVD and a 266MBps (burst) 64-bit PCI bus, Mylex`s eXtremeRAID controller is a souped up version of the company`s DAC960PJ controller. The company claims 6,000 I/Os per second for the eXtremeRAID 1100, compared to 2,500 I/Os per second for the DAC960PJ. A single controller supports up to 810GB of capacity, as many as three Ultra2 SCSI channels, and up to 64MB of cache. Compatibility with Microsoft Cluster Server is due within t
MTI augments Fibre Channel line
MTI Technology recently added the Gladiator Enterprise 3600 to its line of Fibre Channel RAID arrays. The subsystems, which can scale to more than one terabyte, are fully redundant, including power cords. The Gladiator series is based on MTI`s Scalable Modular Architecture (SMA), and includes the company`s RAIDManager management software. An entry-level RAID-5 system with 91GB is priced at $57,140. A 1.1TB configuration is priced at $413,365. The Gladiator 3600 supports RAID 0, 1, 0+1 and 5 conf
Midrange Tape: Backing Up to the Future
For many years prognosticators have predicted tape, as a data storage medium, would be replaced by rewritable optical technologies and low-cost hard drives. While these technologies have increased in performance and capacity, tape storage still remains a much lower cost alternative to disk or optical.
Mercury ships "SAN OS"
At last months Fibre Channel Technologies Conference, Mercury Computer Systems introduced what the company calls the first storage area network operating system, dubbed SANergy. The software plugs into standard file systems, and provides file sharing for heterogeneous systems, incuding NT, Mac, and Unix platforms. SANergy is media-independent, and can work with Fibre Channel, SSA or SCSI interconnects.
JMR styles enclosures
With aesthetic features such as brushed aluminum bezels, JMR Electronics` latest line of storage enclosures (introduced at this month`s Comdex show) support Fibre Channel, Ultra2 LVD SCSI, and single-ended interfaces with SCA drives. The line ranges from 2- to 8-bay desktop units, to 10-drive rackmount and 10- to 20-device pedestal configurations. Other features include hot-swappable drives, redundant power supplies, centrifugal blower units for improved cooling, and passive drive canisters. JMR
ATL brings "intelligence" to tape libraries
At Comdex next month, ATL will unveil an "intelligent" plug and play alternative to routers for configurating Fibre Channel libraries. ATL has built a PCI expansion bus into the backplane of its P1000 and P3000 tape libraries, which are based on the company`s Prism architecture. Users can plug a standard host into the bus to achieve Fibre Channel connection or to upgrade from SCSI to Fibre Channel. The bus supports Class 2 Fibre Channel for guaranteed data delivery and Class 3 Fibre Channel for
Hello, goodbye to Quantum 5.25" drives
Quantum recently announced its 5.25-inch Bigfoot TS disk drives and not so publicly acknowledged that the series will be its last in this form factor. Quantum officials estimate they will supply Bigfoot drives for about 18 months.
Happy Birthday, InfoStor!
This issue marks our first year anniversary. When we launched the magazine last October, the idea of a storage-specific publication seemed dicey. There are a slew of trade publications vying for readers` attention, from the general-purpose IS/IT newspapers to the business-oriented channel publications. But the IS/IT and channel magazines pay scant attention to storage, despite the fact that it now accounts for about 50% of overall system expenditures. And the total storage market exceeds $50 bil
Finisar extends links
Finisar`s FLX-2000 can increase Fibre Channel, Gigabit Ethernet or ATM links--typically 50 meters--to 120 kilometers. The devices convert multi-mode fiber or copper connections to single-mode fiber connections via a Digital Signal Conditioner. Applications include remote storage, disaster recovery and extended campus LANs and gigabit-rate data services.
Finding Your Way through the Tape Maze
By this time next year, more than a half-dozen new tape formats will be shipping in volume, adding to the wide array of technologies already on the market. With 18GB to 100GB of capacity and transfer rates from 6MBps to 24MBps, the new drives are targeted at traditional tape applications such as disk backup, archival, and data interchange, and for newer applications such as hierarchical storage management, remote backup, and network storage.
Fibre Channel Testing Challenges
As momentum builds behind Fibre Channel storage networking solutions, testing requirements remain an often-overlooked aspect of developing and deploying devices and systems. The complexity of Fibre Channel makes it difficult to predict required testing capabilities, which in turn makes it difficult to select the appropriate test equipment. Choosing the wrong equipment early on in a project could increase expenses and delay product launches.
Fibre Channel cluster demo proves VIAbility
Last month, a group of vendors demonstrated for the first time a working cluster based on the Virtual Interface (VI) Architecture in a Fibre Channel storage area network (SAN). VI is a specification that defines an interface for low latency, high-bandwidth communication between servers and storage devices within a cluster. Implemented in software, it significantly reduces latencies in message-passing operations. Result: low-cost clustering for Intel-based servers.
FCLC Boosts Interoperability Testing
The Fibre Channel Loop Community and its partners are working hard to ensure interoperability among products from different vendors.
Exabyte introduces compact autoloader
At Comdex Enterprise last month, Exabyte announced the EZ17 autoloader containing one Mammoth drive and seven cartridges. The EZ17 has a native capacity of up to 190GB and a native transfer rate of 3MBps. Occupying less than one cubic foot of space, the autoloader fits on a desktop or server, or in a standard 19-inch rack. For twice the capacity and performance, two autoloaders can be mounted side-by-side in the same vertical space.
DPT unites FC, SCSI
Distributed Processing Technology (DPT) last month unveiled the latest controller in its SmartRAID line. The SmartRAID V Millenium comes with one, two, or three 80MBps Ultra2 SCSI channels or with one Ultra2 SCSI and one 100MBps Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop (FC-AL) channel via expansion modules.
Digi-Data combines FC, RAID 3 & 5
Digi-Data Corp.`s Z-9502 RAID-3 and Z-9552 RAID-3 and-5 controllers both support the Fibre Channel interface. The 9502 provides two Fibre Channel host connections, while the 9552 adds support for I/O-intensive RAID-5 applications. Digi-Data claims a sustained throughput for both controllers of more than 55MBps (using four drives) for RAID-3 applications such as video, picture/text retrieval in digital prepress and medical environments, and large file movement for Internet service applications. V
Defining Enterprise Storage Resource Management
The growing importance of managing an organization`s storage resources resembles the challenge faced by classical musicians learning a new symphony. No matter what their talent, or the quality of their instruments, they need a conductor who can meld them into an orchestra and interpret the composer`s work so it`s worthy of a concert hall performance.
CMD enhances RAID controller
CMD Technology has added support for low voltage differential (LVD) to its line of CRD-5500 SCSI-to-SCSI RAID controllers. The CRD-5500 supports up to nine channels, of which up to four can be host interfaces with the remaining channels used as disk interfaces. With the LVD option, any or all of the channels can support LVD SCSI. A key advantage of LVD is bus lengths up to 12 meters.
Business Briefs
The Federal Trade Commission approved the $760 million sale of Symbios from Hyundai Electronics America to LSI Logic. Symbios will be incorporated into the newly created LSI Logic Storage Systems Division.
Benchmarking an NT Fibre Channel Cluster
From storage on Fibre Channel to NT 5.0 clusters, server scalability is rapidly becoming a non-issue.
Trimm ships Ultra2 enclosures
Targeted at OEMs, VARs, and systems integrators, Trimm Technologies last month introduced its Ultra2 3000 series of enclosures, which support the Ultra2 LVD (low voltage differential) interface, as well as 10,000rpm single-connector attachment (SCA) disk drives, transfer rates up to 80MBps, and bus lengths up to 12 meters.