Industry News and Analysis

Apcon: storage-focused NT clustering
Apcon Inc.`s PowerSwitch/NT 4.0 is a multi-node (up to 16) failover clustering solution for Windows NT environments that automatically fails over data, applications and SCSI peripherals to a secondary server in the event of a server failure. Recent enhancements include additional monitoring tools, including a SCSI bus monitor; a notification engine that provides administrators with reports on network status; TCP/IP pinging; and messaging functions such as automatic paging.
SCSI and Fibre Channel: a comparison
For I/O performance, Fibre Channel may not offer that much benefit over SCSI, but it does have clear-cut advantages.
NetApp ships caching appliance
Network Appliance is now shipping the C720s caching appliance. Incorporating NetApp`s NetCache 3.4 software, the C720s is designed for enterprise customers, such as Internet Service Providers, who need a more cost-effective answer to administering Internet access policies, managing network infrastructure and mission-critical data. The C720s includes two 9GB disk drives and 256MB of RAM. Pricing starts at $18,000. www.netapp.com.
NovaStor releases backup beta
NovaStor has released beta version 3.0 of its NovaNet-WEB backup software package, which enables network administrators to back up data stored on desktops and laptops.
Overland Data recently certified its full line of tape products for SAN compatibility. The
Overland Data recently certified its full line of tape products for SAN compatibility. The announcement completes the first phase in Overland`s Fibre Channel Connectivity Initiative announced late last year. Also, Overland announced that international science and technology publisher Elsevier, which standardizes on Overland systems for its worldwide network systems, recently purchased an Overland.
Performance characterization of FC-AL loops, part 2
A loop gets "larger" as the number of devices physically connected to the loop increases. In this study, the number of disk devices is increased from 1 to 96 for a total of 97 nodes including the host bus adapter. Performance measurements are taken with 12, 24, 48, and 96 disks on the loop. In order to get very detailed information about events on the loop, analyzer traces are taken for many of the tests.
Polaris bridges mainframes, open systems
Polaris Communications has introduced a line of channel emulators that allow Windows NT and Unix servers to drive mainframe peripherals such as storage devices and printers. The 7100 Bus & Tag Channel Emulator and 7950 ESCON Channel Emulator are PCI interface cards that simulate mainframe channel processors. Both emulators are priced at $7,995. A software developers kit is available for $23,000. www.polariscomm.com.
Q&A with HP
InfoStor: You describe EMC`s SAN strategy as overly proprietary. Why is their SAN approach any more proprietary than other vendors` SAN approaches?
Quantum acquires Meridian; enters NAS market
Quantum Corp. last month announced plans to acquire Meridian Data, marking its entrance into the network-attached storage (NAS) market and its continuing expansion into the storage systems business.
Seagate expands Travan line-up
Last month, Seagate added a 20GB SCSI Hornet tape drive and a TapeStor Travan 20GB SCSI value bundle to its Travan line-up.
Mylex Corp. added Microland Electronics to its list of distributors. Microland offers Mylexs line
Mylex Corp. added Microland Electronics to its list of distributors. Microland offers Mylex`s line of internal PCI RAID controllers, including the AcceleRAID, eXtremeRAID, and DAC960PGM models to its VARs and systems integrators.
Sony enhances jukebox management
Last month, Sony Electronics announced plans to bundle storage management software to improve the performance of its CDL1100 Desktop Library product line.
Sony offers DDS-3/4 and AIT solutions
Sony Electronics last month introduced PCBacker and LANBacker, two new lines of Digital Data Storage (DDS) and Advanced Intelligent Tape (AIT) storage solutions for workstation and network environments. PCBacker comes in internal (10000I) and external (10000e) DDS-4 configurations and is bundled with Computer Associate`s ARCserve Workstation Solution for Windows NT, Cheyenne Backup for Windows 95/98, and Inoculan anti-virus software.
STK array supports Unix, OS/390
Storage Technology Corp.`s 9393 Shared Virtual Array (SVA) supports mainframe and Unix (Solaris, HP-UX and AIX) servers, and dynamically allocates storage via a virtual architecture that STK claims reduces required storage capacities by as much as 40%. The array is designed for heterogeneous servers that are "co-located" in consolidated data centers.
StorageTek releases VSM 2.0
StorageTek announced the availability of version 2.0 of its Virtual Storage Manager (VSM) software suite. The new version has expanded mainframe OS support and an improved installation process.
Sutmyn enhances virtual tape capabilities
Sutmyn last month introduced Virtual Tape Server Extended (VTSE) option and Scimitar/VTS release 3.8. The extended option enables direct tape and library attachment as well as volume stacking, and supports data set stack mode. The combination, claims Sutmyn, gives users a choice of stacking technologies, while enabling them to still create MVS-compatible tapes. Sutymn is currently certifying leading libraries and a range of drives; first shipments are expected this summer.
Tape formats proliferating
Once the undisputed tape storage solution for low-end server and workstation markets, 4mm DDS faces stiff competition from a new crop of tape technologies. Admittedly, newcomers Benchmark Tape Systems, Ecrix, and OnStream face an uphill battle against entrenched products like DDS and, to a lesser degree, Travan NS, AIT/8mm, and SLR. But to their credit, the new technologies in some cases offer equal--if not higher--apacity and performance at competitive price points.
Tape: the media is the message
In this roundtable discussion, representatives from leading tape media manufacturers tackle technology issues.
Mylex debuts RAID controller
Priced at $499, Mylex`s AcceleRAID 150 is an entry-level PCI RAID controller aimed at OEMs and distributors. The Ultra2 LVD SCSI controller includes a 33MHz Intel RISC processor, 4MB of cache, and support for RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 3, 5, 10, 30, 50, and JBOD configurations. Features include automatic detection of failed drives; transparent rebuild of failed drives; online capacity expansion; and support for SMART and SAF-TE. The AcceleRAID 150 ships with Mylex`s EzAssist software, which is designed to
Meridian intros NAS CD-ROM server
Next month, Meridian Data plans to begin shipments of CD Net Universal XP Cache, a network-attached, CD-ROM server. Targeted at the small business, remote office, school or library in capacity and price, the CD Net server offers higher-speed throughput by enabling up to 30 CD titles to be cached onto a single, 9GB SCSI hard drive.
Ark Research intros remote mirroring appliance
Ark Research is now shipping the Ark/2000 series of platform-indepen-dent server appliances designed to provide remote and local mirroring and other backup capabilities for enterprise and e-commerce storage environments.
HBA vendors tackle next-generation SANs
Fibre Channel host bus adapters are an integral part of OEM system and enterprise SAN capabilities.
Arrays incorporating 50GB drives
A number of subsystem vendors have announced incorporation of 50GB, 7,200rpm disk drives, including DataDirect Networks, LSI Logic`s MetaStor division, and XIOtech. DataDirect is integrating the high-capacity drives in its MegaDrive EV Fibre Channel and Ultra2 LVD subsystems at prices as low as 10 cents per MB. LSI includes the drives in its MetaStor line of SCSI and Fibre Channel arrays, which can pack 5TB in a 72-inch cabinet. And XIOtech is integrating 50GB drives in its Magnitude arrays, whi
Box Hill, Artecon to merge
Reflecting ongoing consolidation in the RAID market, New York City-based Box Hill Systems and Artecon Inc., in Carlsbad, CA, have agreed to merge, a deal that is expected to close late next month. While financially Box Hill is acquiring Artecon, officials on both sides depict it as a melding of complementary RAID vendors.
Chaparral Technologies last quarter signed a distribution deal with Consan. Consan will distribute
Chaparral Technologies last quarter signed a distribution deal with Consan. Consan will distribute the company`s Fibre Channel and Ultra2 SCSI external
Clariion steps up direct sales efforts Introduces LAN-free SAN backup
In back-to-back announcements last month, Clariion unveiled a storage initiative that includes aggressive plans to build its direct sales business, as well as the immediate availability of SANbackup, its foray into the increasingly contested SAN market.
Custom Revolutions requires custom storage solutions
The customdisc.com Web site needed a roll-your-own combination of RAID, optical and tape libraries, and special software.
Dell delivers on NetApp OEM deal
Continuing its rapid assembly of an enterprise storage product line, Dell Computer last month announced the availability of PowerVault network-attached file servers. The announcement marks the fruition of an OEM agreement signed with Network Appliance in November and Dell`s entry into the specialized, network-attached storage (NAS) market.
Fujifilm first with DDS-4 data cartridge
Last month, Fuji Photo Film began manufacturing media for next-generation DDS-4 drives. The cartridges are based on Fujifilm`s ATOMM (Advanced super-Thin layer and high-Output Metal Media) technology--the foundation of DDS-3, DLTtape IV, Zip 100 and 250, and HiFD media. The DDS-4 cartridge features:
HDS weighs in with SAN plan
One of the last of the major systems/storage vendors to articulate a storage area network (SAN) strategy, Hitachi Data Systems recently outlined its Freedom Data Networks (FDN) vision. According to Andrew Hogg, product marketing manager for SANs, HDS plans to differentiate itself from primary competitors Compaq, EMC, IBM, and StorageTek in the areas of services and interoperability.
Meridian Data ships 32GB Snap!
Shortly before being acquired by Quantum last month, Meridian Data launched the second generation of its plug-and-play, network-attached Snap! server.
HP aquires Transoft
Continuing its push into the storage network market, Hewlett-Packard last month acquired Santa Barbara, CA-based Transoft Networks, a developer of management software for storage area networks (SANs), including the flagship SAN Manager suite. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
HP enters high-end disk array market
In a bold?and risky?move that may have negative consequences for long-time partner EMC, Hewlett-Packard last month announced a far-reaching OEM deal with Hitachi Ltd. and its global marketing arm Hitachi Data Systems (HDS). Hitachi and HP have developed a high-end disk array, based in part on HDS` Freedom 7700E, that analysts say could provide stiff competition for EMC`s Symmetrix arrays, which HP resells. Future joint development efforts of the three-year HP-Hitachi agreement will focus on stor
HP unveils optical NAS servers, tower
Shortly before the introduction of its HP Equation SAN architecture last month, Hewlett-Packard rolled out a series of network-attached storage (NAS) devices in a comparatively quiet announcement.
ICP ships 64-bit PCI-FC controllers
Last month, ICP vortex began shipments of 64-bit PCI-Fibre Channel RAID controllers with optional clustering support. The GDT7519RN (one Fibre Channel port), GDT7619 (one FC port and clustering support), GDT7529RN (two FC ports) and GDT7629RN (two FC ports and clustering) support RAID levels 0, 1, 4, 5, and 10.
Jaycor Networks launches host-bus-adapter card utility
Jaycor Networks Inc. (JNI) is currently shipping EZ Fibre, a Windows NT-based configuration and management utility suite that works with host bus adapter (HBA) cards utilizing the vendor`s new Emerald III Fibre Channel architecture.
Legacy Storage ships FC-SCSI RAID
With as many as seven 80MBps internal bus channels, Legacy Storage Systems` UDSS-2 Fiber/LVD DiskARRAY combines Fibre Channel and Ultra2 LVD SCSI. The subsystem supports 6 to 30 LVD drives for more than one terabyte per chassis. The array includes hot-swap RAID controllers, and is available with a network-attached storage (NAS) option. Pricing starts at $2,499. www.legacy.ca.
Legato Systems announced that its NetWorker storage management software now supports Red Hat
Legato Systems announced that its NetWorker storage management software now supports Red Hat Software`s Linux 5.2 on Intel platforms.
Turnkey DVD creation from JVC
JVC Professional Computer Products has combined with Minerva Systems, Zapex Technologies and Smart Storage to introduce True Video DVD Systems, a turnkey kit for creating DVD-ROM and/or DVD-Video discs. The devices enable multiple users to create content from their desktops, and then test the DVD image on the network by utilizing a high-speed network card.