Industry News and Analysis

NAS start-ups rely on distributed file systems
Two network-attached storage (NAS) start-ups offering ATA-based systems are targeting the fixed content--or reference information--market, which is expected to grow 92% per year, according to The Enterprise Storage Group (ESG). However, both Scale8 and Spinnaker Networks face an uphill battle against vendors such as EMC and Network Appliance, which have already staked claims in this market.
Start-up joins SRM ranks
Austin, TX-based Deepfile is adding a new twist to stand-alone storage resource management products by offering automated SRM functionality built into a hardware appliance that supports CIFS and NFS. Launched in 2001, the start-up recently began shipments of its Auditor appliance and Enforcer software.
HP boosts NAS performance, slashes prices
Hewlett-Packard is increasing performance and cutting prices on its next generation of StorageWorks network-attached storage (NAS) devices. HP also introduced multi-pathing software to improve storage area network (SAN) connectivity and NAS manageability.
Sony bests LTO, SDLT with 500GB S-AIT drive
Sony recently began volume shipments of Super AIT (S-AIT) tape drives, which the company claims creates a new class of "super" tape drives--a distinction warranted by the drive's industry-high 500GB native capacity.
MaXXan enters storage switch market
Last week, MaXXan Systems began production shipments of an "intelligent switching platform" that promises to move storage intelligence (applications) from hosts and subsystems into the storage network fabric.
TOEs gain foothold in NAS market
Continuing its TCP/IP offload engine (TOE) push into network-attached storage (NAS), Alacritech is now targeting Linux-based NAS by partnering with three software companies: FalconStor Software, Mountain View Data, and OptiFacio Software Services.
Sun launches N1-enabled blade system
Sun Microsystems last month introduced the Sun Fire Blade Platform, the company's first server blade system with Network One (N1) software—the N1 Provisioning Server 3.0 Blades Edition, which virtualizes a rack of blades as though they were one system.
SRM activity picks up
A number of storage resource management (SRM) product announcements over the last couple of months indicate increased end-user interest in a product category that some analysts predict will top $4 billion by 2006. Analysts say SRM will grow rapidly because it not only helps enterprises control how users access and use storage resources, but it also provides ways to reduce costs and improve management efficiency.
Serial interface groups target compatibility
The SCSI Trade Association (STA) and the Serial ATA (SATA) II Working Group have embarked on an agreement that will enable Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS, or Serial SCSI) system-level compatibility with Serial ATA disk drives.
News Bytes
The iSCSI specification has completed is labyrinthian trek through the Internet Engineering Task Force's standardization process and has been approved as a "draft" standard.
Network Appliance becomes early iSCSI Adopter
Hoping to position itself as an early leader in the still-nascent iSCSI market, Network Appliance last month announced native iSCSI support for its F800 filers and FAS900 storage systems.
NAS and SAN converging but debates remain
NAS-SAN convergence may be inevitable, but what it actually means depends on a number of factors, including who you talk to.
How to effectively manage your backup environment
Getting backups done quickly and without application downtime is a big headache for IT administrators—and it is getting bigger.
InfiniBand relegated to niche applications
The buzz around InfiniBand started in 1999, and hype followed quickly as virtually every major server vendor hopped aboard.
HP to merge virtualization platforms
Since its acquisition of Compaq, Hewlett-Packard has been in the difficult position of trying to juxtapose a two-platform storage virtualization strategy—one based on the former Compaq VersaStor platform and the other based on the StorageApps virtualization appliance (now known as CASA).
EqualLogic readies iSCSI disk array
Until recently, iSCSI has not ranked high on end-user priority lists. The absence of a completed standards specification and the lack of native iSCSI target devices (i.e., disk arrays and tape drives) have kept end-user interest levels low.
End users prepare for the next data deluge
One of the biggest problems facing end users today is what to do with all the reference information (or fixed-content data) that is beginning to accumulate within their organizations.
A lot of vendors talk about NAS-SAN convergence (the topic of this month's Special Report) as though it were the second coming of Reese's peanut butter cups—you know, the best of both worlds.
DLT tape scales upward with SDLT 320
The debate over tape cartridge formats is being driven by the need for increased density (capable of delivering library capacities anywhere from a few to tens of terabytes) and increased throughput.
Computer Associates simplifies SAN design
Computer Associates officials say that its acquisition of key assets of Netreon, a provider of storage area network (SAN) software, will be instrumental in furthering CA's vision of end-to-end storage management.
Comparing replication techniques: snapshots and mirroring
Until recently, data replication was, oddly enough, both a luxury and a necessity. Only large enterprises could afford it—and only for their most critical applications.
Business Briefs
Hitachi Data Systems has completed hardware interoperability qualification testing between its storage products and the <b>Cisco</b> MDS 9509 Multilayer Director, the Cisco MDS 9216 Multilayer Fabric Switch, and associated modules.
What about SANs for SMBs?
This is a confounding question, not just for end users, but also for manufacturers of SMB SAN products. The manufacturers I consult for are always asking me to differentiate their SMB products in ways that don't cannibalize their high-end efforts.