Industry News and Analysis

A 10-step plan for deploying SANs
In many IT environments, the most acute problem is backup and restore, which clogs the corporate network, causes administrative nightmares, and contributes to overall TCO.
SNIA targets SAN interoperability
Since re-dedicating their efforts earlier this year, members of the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) are continuing plans to develop SAN interoperability standards and to educate end users about the merits of storage networking.
NovaStor upgrades tape software, releases backup beta
Last month, NovaStor announced immediate availability of NovaXchange 2.0 and NovaBackup for Windows NT Server. Tape-handling and data-exchange software, NovaXchange 2.0 provides data migration from legacy architectures to Windows systems. Version 2.0 adds a TAR/CPIO plug-in, which enables users to read/write those particular tape versions. The TapeCopy Plug-In allows users to make several tape copies in one pass. These plug-ins add to the software`s ability to read and write from a variety of fo
OnStream enters server arena with 35GB drive
At PC Expo last month, OnStream exhibited the ADR70, an Advanced Digital Recording (ADR) tape drive targeting the 8mm/DLT space. The drive features a 35GB native capacity and a 4MBps maximum transfer rate, thanks to newly added ALDC hardware compression. ADR70 is read and write compatible with 15GB, 25GB, and 35GB ADR cartridges and has a Wide Ultra2-compatible SCSI-3 interface, which integrates LVD technology for improved signal integrity and data transfers. Supported operating systems include
Optical media maintains growth path
Before the introduction of the CD, it would have been hard to state that optical storage had taken the mass storage industry by storm. Conflicting MO formats were the rule, rather than the exception...a situation that foreshadowed the turbulence regarding DVD formats. Purchases were delayed as the IT community waited out the survivors of the conflict. But with the staggering success of the CD, and the undeniable popularity of CD-R, it is possible to identify optical technology as a storage strat
Optical media options
The optical storage market includes a wide variety of formats. Here`s a quick rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of the major technologies.
Optical storage at a crossroads
A clear winner on the desktop, optical still serves enterprise application niches well, but is struggling to expand its reach.
Pioneer announces FlexLibrary
With volume shipments expected in August, Pioneer New Media Technologies recently announced the DRM-7000 FlexLibrary. The optical storage device is designed modularly to facilitate a mix-and-match approach of DVD-R, DVD-ROM, CD-ROM, or CD-R drives and media based on user requirements.
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.
QPS releases CD dupe tower
Last month, QPS introduced the Que! Dupe, a stand-alone CD audio, data archival, and duplication system. The Que! Dupe tower holds eight 4X, 6X, or 8X write-speed CD drives and is compatible with Windows and Macintosh platforms. At 8X speed, the tower can simultaneously produce eight CDs in less than 10 minutes. Que! Dupe can host four slave towers for administrators who need to daisy chain up to 32 drives.
Software differentiates RAID arrays
Users are increasingly viewing RAID arrays as commodity devices, and are finding it more and more difficult to distinguish among the myriad offerings. As a result, vendors are trying to differentiate their products with software.
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
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.
STK addresses VSM issues
With the release of Virtual Storage Manager (VSM) 2.0, StorageTek says it has overcome installation issues that have plagued the software since its December announcement. VSM is an integrated disk and software solution that maximizes total storage capacity by making more efficient use of tape cartridges.
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.
Storage is big business
Since you subscribe to a storage-specific publication, I`m sure you`re aware of the increasing importance of storage on the IT landscape. But what`s really amazing is the sheer size and growth of our market.
Terascape optimizes database performance
Terascape last month announced StorageVision, a suite designed to optimize Oracle database performance on EMC`s Symmetrix arrays.
Toshiba ships DVD-RAM drive
Responding to growing customer demand for DVD drives in imaging and storage applications, Toshiba America Electronic Components introduced the SD-W1111 DVD-RAM drive last month. The SD-W1111 drive reads and writes to DVD-RAM media at rates of 1.35MBps and reads DVD-ROM and CD-ROM media at 2.7MBps and 2.4MBps, respectively. To improve the read/write speed of larger data blocks, the SD-W1111 includes a 2MB cache buffer. The cache also optimizes 20MBps burst transfers in SCSI synchronous mode. When
Ultera controller boosts performance and data reliability
Library Master, a first-of-its-kind tape-array controller from Ultera Systems, gives leading tape automation products a performance and data reliability boost. Providing "RAID-like" functionality, Ultera claims the controller enables users to run up to five drives in parallel for up to a 400% increase in library speed. Additionally, Library Master uses varying levels of striping to ensure guaranteed data recoverability in the event of damaged or lost tape media.
Western Scientific: tape duplication system
Western Scientific last month released AcceleRAIT tape duplication system. With features similar to RAID striping, mirroring, and parity, AcceleRAIT creates up to five copies of AIT, DLT, 4mm DAT, or 8mm tapes in a single pass. Developed for mid- to high-end applications, the 5.25-inch module integrates into standard RAID enclosures and tape library systems and connects to the host platform through a single device. The base system starts at $14,900.
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.
MTI intros continuance suite
MTI Technology introduced DataSentry last month, a replication tool for disk arrays. DataSentry is designed to keep mission-critical applications running in the event of a server or array failure. DataSentry replicates data to multiple servers, which enables users to access and test data with minimal network impact.
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, such as 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.
Enterprise media management for open systems
With distributed open systems, keeping track of tape and optical media requires mainframe-caliber management software.
Ark Research intros remote mirroring appliance
Ark Research is now shipping the Ark/2000 series of platform-independent server appliances designed to provide remote and local mirroring and other backup capabilities for enterprise and e-commerce storage environments.
Arrays incorporating 50GB drives
A number of subsystem vendors have announced incorporation of 50GB, 7,200rpm disk drives. Early adopters include DataDirect Networks, LSI Logic`s MetaStor division, and XIOtech.
Business Briefs
The EMC-HP storage relationship is grinding closer to a complete halt. Late last month, Hewlett-Packard announced that its reseller arrangement with EMC will end on June 30. The announcement came only one month after HP said it would continue to resell EMC Symmetrix arrays despite introducing its own high-end array (InfoStor, June, p. 1). According to Marilyn Edling, general manager of HP?s Enterprise Storage Division, EMC did not like the arrangement and felt "uncomfortable" divulging future Sy
Compaq expands StorageWorks line
Last month, Compaq added two tape libraries and an autoloader to its StorageWorks family of backup solutions, targeting small- and medium-size businesses. The three products are based on technology from Overland Data and are part of Compaq`s Enterprise Network Storage Architecture (ENSA).
Compaq ships replication software
Compaq Computer last month began ship- ping StorageWorks Virtual Replicator, a backup soft-ware building block in the company`s Enterprise Net-work Storage Architecture (ENSA) strategy.
Computerm extenders target SANs
Computerm recently announced two channel-extension products--VMC 8800 RemoteCopy and VMC 8250 channel extender--which increase the distance of mirroring and vaulting applications, respectively, between two remote sites or across geographically-dispersed SANs or mainframe environments. Without channel extension, distance is limited to 66 kilometers.
DG rolls out management tools
Data General (DG) recently introduced DG/ManageSuite, a suite of enterprise management tools for its AviiON server line and storage arrays from its Clariion division.
Drive makers face stiff competition
Facing increasing pressure to deliver higher-capacity drives at competitive prices, disk-drive manufacturers reported a combined revenue loss of 5.2% last year, despite an overall 16.1% gain in unit shipments, says Jim Porter, president of Disk/Trend Inc., a storage market research firm in Mountain View, CA.
Exabyte repositions, targets SANs
In an attempt to reinvent itself as something more than just a tape drive/library supplier, Exabyte recently announced the NetStorM (Network Storage Management) SAN program, which relies heavily on channel partnerships. However, like all vendors trying to capitalize on the trend toward SANs, Exabyte faces a tough challenge in trying to distinguish itself from other SAN players.
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. Now capable of storing up to 32GB, the models include version 2.0 of Meridian`s custom operating system, which includes compatibility with the AppleTalk protocol, making the server compatible with all major platforms.
FC RAID controllers making headway
Fibre Channel RAID controllers come in many flavors, including "full" Fibre Channel and SCSI/Fibre Channel hybrids.
Fibre Channel changes management methods
Until standards emerge, vendors are taking unique--and often proprietary--approaches to providing management functionality.
HP announces DVD+RW drive
Hewlett-Packard announced the HP DVD Writer 3100I, its first rewritable DVD+RW drive. The SCSI-compatible drive reads and writes to 3GB DVD+RW discs, which hold the equivalent of 100 minutes of digital video. The drive reads and writes data at a rate of 1.7MBps, which is about 11 times faster than the write speed of a CD-RW drive. HP DVD Writer 3100I also reads DVD-ROM, DVD movie, CD-RW, CD-R, CD-ROM, and CD-Audio formats. Expected retail price is $699. Shipments are expected this fall.
HP announces next-generation DDS/Travan drives
This fall, Hewlett-Packard will begin volume shipments of two follow-on tape drives: HP SureStore DDS-4 DAT40 and HP Colorado 20GBi/e. Designed for small to medium-size networks, SureStore DAT40 is based on drive specifications developed by the DDS Manufacturers` Group, of which HP, Seagate, and Sony are members.
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. The PCI interface operates at 33MHz, with burst rates of 264MBps. The controllers include a 64-bit Intel i960RNO processor.
Intel ships NAS appliance
Earlier this month, Intel introduced a low-cost network-attached appliance, which makes sharing files and increasing storage capacity easy for small businesses and workgroups. Priced in the $1,000-$1,500 range, the InBusiness Storage Station automates backup and provides 12-24GB of supplemental storage without taking down or buying more servers or arrays.
Jaycor Networks launches HBA 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.
Luminex ships DVD-RAM recording tool
Luminex Software recently announced the availability of its network-enabled NET-DVD recording suite. Based on Luminex`s Fire series for Unix software and NET-CDR product, NET-DVD offers automated DVD-based archiving, data duplication, and distribution.
Windows NT clusters: the basics
Clusters offer clear advantages over server mirroring, and Fibre Channel may be the best interconnect.