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2001, April - week 1, news archive

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article:- Is DVD - the complete storage solution? - by Maxoptix
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Aliso Viejo, California - APRIL 05, 2001 - Myrient™ today announced the availability of its ZIPBackup™ online managed storage product suite. The ZIPBackup product suite has been developed in response to the growing user demand for more efficient and cost-effective managed storage services for businesses of all sizes. ZIPBackup represents a true technology convergence of the latest connectivity, storage device and managed service advances.

ZIPBackup provides an alternative to conventional backup technologies and off-site data storage and data archive solutions by enabling businesses, telecommuters, branch offices, and roaming users with a fully automated, online storage and archiving solution that requires little to no attention. Storage data may be sent over the public Internet, a dedicated connection or through a Real Private Network™ (RPN)™ connection to Myrient's data centers located throughout North America. All users have the ability to instantly restore any version of their data from any location. Additionally, ZIPBackup automatically adjusts the amount of bandwidth it uses to send storage data to prevent other data communication sessions such as E-mail, web access, or Voice over IP connections from slowing down or being interrupted.

"Myrient's ZIPBackup architecture is a breakthrough in the Managed Service Provider space. It provides business users with a completely outsourced managed storage and archival solution that gives IT managers peace of mind over the safety of their critical data," said Bryan Turbow, President and Chief Technology Officer, Myrient. ...Myrient profile


April 5, 2001 - NewTech Infosystems, Inc. (NTI) has entered a definitive agreement that allows Ulead Systems, Inc. to use NTI's CD-Writing engine in its GoDVD! Plug-in and other software products. NTI's engine is an SDK that includes header files and libraries necessary for coding, integration and run-time control. It exports a rich set of well-designed APIs for powerful functionality and easy integration.

"Our fourth-generation engine is based on an architecture used to burn CDs almost since the inception of CD-Rs and CD-RWs,'' said Bill Yao, NTI's president and CEO. ``It is a market-proven solution that has been adopted by a number of developers."

We chose the NTI CD-Writing engine based on its ease of integration and extensive set of powerful APIs,'' said Lewis Liaw, senior vice president of engineering at Ulead. ``Partners like NTI help make it possible for us to provide all-in-one software solutions for our customers.

Ulead's GoDVD! Plug-in is a DVD authoring solution used in conjunction with the company's popular VideoStudio 5.0 and Media Studio Pro 6.0 video-editing programs. This powerful module provides an all-in-one video-editing software system for PC users -- including capture, editing and export. Once edited, the resulting video can be exported to CD-R/RW through the NTI recording engine. ...NewTech Infosystems profile


Tel Aviv, Israel - April 4, 2001 - Tamir Fishman Ventures announced today the signing of an agreement to invest up to $3.2 million in DiskSites Inc. Tamir Fishman Ventures led this round of venture financing in which DiskSites raised $4.5 million. Network Appliance, the leading Network Attached Storage company in the world, co-invested with Tamir Fishman Ventures in this round. Founded in 1999 by Divon Lan, Yuval Hager, Roy Matas and Yoel Matot, , DiskSites develops proprietary solutions for the storage industry enabling wide area connectivity.

"Disksites embodies the three key elements to build a very exciting and significant Israeli technology company: committed and technology savvy entrepreneurs and management team, strong core technology and a very significant addressable market that is wide open. We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Divon and his team and look forward to working closely with the company" said Michael Elias, Partner in Tamir Fishman Ventures. "We are confident that the close association with Network Appliance shall contribute significantly to the success of the company. Network Appliance holds the largest stake in the fastest growing segment of the storage market - Network Attached Storage, with more than US$ $980 million in revenues in the past 12 months. It is clearly the leading player in this market." added Elias.

DiskSites is the 9th company to join the Tamir Fishman Ventures portfolio, since the group's second fund began investing in June 2000. Other new Tamir Fishman Ventures portfolio companies are Allot Communications (QoS bandwidth management), Sagitta (capital equipment for optical components), ModemArt (chip sets for 3g modems), Tashilon (security management platform for web servers), Expand (network communication optimization), Teleknowledge (ISP's and content providers Billing Systems), Coppergate (chip sets and solutions for broadband Home Networking) and Commil (Bluetooth based mobility solutions). ...DiskSites profile, ...Tamir Fishman Ventures


HERNDON, Virginia, April 4, 2001 - Rising Edge Technologies is pleased to announce the availability of a new, scaleable family of image archiving products capable of cost effectively storing vast amounts of imagery in a highly available, easily accessible archive appliance. The LA-100 family of Living ArchiveTM appliances is built from field proven technology that dramatically improves image retrieval while reducing the total cost of storage. Living ArchiveTM is a revolutionary concept from Rising Edge Technologies, designed specifically to achieve a balance between lowering the cost of storing imagery while retaining its long-term value. Rising Edge Technologies is the first company to develop and market modular archive appliances designed specifically for high availability access, ease of management, expandability, and the long term protection of digital images.

The LA-100 is configurable from 1 TB to 5 TB and, in many cases, will provide supplemental capacity to disk storage and tape library systems. Living ArchiveTM utilizes a storage virtualization technique to map all drives and storage devices into a single volume or drive letter. This single volume access helps eliminate the need for specialized software or device drivers. Applications treat the Living ArchiveTM as a large rewritable hard disk. Living ArchiveTM offers SCSI-based connectivity to a variety of Windows or Unix host platforms. Designed for simplicity and ease of use, Living ArchiveTM provides fast access with ease of installation. An optional NAS interface, supporting 10/100MB Fast Ethernet connections, is also available. ...Rising Edge Technologies profile


Woodside, CA - April 4, 2001 - The DAFS Collaborative, an industry group established to specify and promote the Direct Access File System (DAFS) protocol, announced today that it expects to release DAFS Specification Version 1.0 precisely on schedule, in July 2001. The DAFS Collaborative will hold its 5th Developer Conference on April 12, immediately following Storage Networking World 2001. Representatives will be available to discuss the status of this technology initiative at Storage Networking World, April 9-11 in Palm Desert, CA.

"Last summer, we set out to create the DAFS protocol Spec, and publish it within a year," said David Dale, co-chair of the DAFS Collaborative and industry evangelist for Network Appliance. "I'm pleased to say we're right on schedule. The Spec is 75% complete. We're closing in on the final feature definitions and folding in requirements from key target applications. We expect to release v1.0 of the Spec in July."

The DAFS protocol is a new file access protocol, specifically designed to take advantage of standard memory-to-memory interconnect technologies such as VI (the Virtual Interface Architecture) and InfiniBand in high-performance clustered data center environments. DAFS enables applications to access network interface hardware without operating system intervention, and carry out bulk data transfers directly to or from application buffers with minimal CPU overhead. The result is low-latency, high-performance shared file access between heterogeneous clusters of application servers, database servers and network-attached storage devices, connected via Fibre Channel, Gigabit Ethernet or InfiniBand fabrics.

See also:- Industry trade associations

Myrient™ Announces New On-Line Managed Storage Product Suite

Ulead Systems Software to Use NTI CD-Writing Engine

Tamir Fishman Ventures Leads an Investment of $4.5 million in DiskSites

Rising Edge Technologies Announces Five New Terabyte Storage Solutions

DAFS Specification Development Effort Moves Into Final Phase

Peripheral Concepts Inc announces 2001 edition of the SAN Report

1U and 3U NAS and Storage Solution Presented by American Megatrends Inc. at Storage Networking World

JNI Corp Announces CompactPCI Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapters for Solaris

Snap Appliances Increases Storage Capacities Across Snap Server Product Family

Imperial Technology and Absolute Performance Team Up for NT/Unix Performance Measurement Software Portal

XIOtech First to Offer 11.5-Terabyte Storage Area Network Using Seagate Barracuda 180 Disc Drives

Stash-IT NAS Refragmenter for Linux and Solaris Production Release

earlier news (archive)
Fastest growing companies
Squeak! - The top 10 fastest growing storage companies in the US?
For an experienced player like Megabyte picking winners was just a question of pulling the right handles.
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Nibble:- The Changing Map of the New Storage Frontier

" I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto" - from the movie - Wizard of Oz

Today's system managers would be forgiven for thinking that their predecessors had a much easier time managing storage.

In the 1980's the choices were simple. You only had two types of mass storage to worry about:- disk drives and tape. You ran software on the disks, and backed everything up onto tape. Mainframe managers backed up their systems overnight, Unix systems administrators backed up their networks on Friday afternoons.

That was it. Nice and simple.

In the late 1980's optical disks entered the computer scene. Write Only Read Many times (WORM) drives could be used to archive critical data for people who worried that their tape media might not last more than 10 to 20 years. And Sun was the first Unix company to switch from tape to CD-ROM as the media for distributing software. That meant we all bought CD-ROM drives, but things were still simple (relatively).

High capacity hard drives (200M) were still expensive in those days, so things got a little bit more complicated when Sun introduced the Sun-3 (68020 based) diskless node workstations. These saved money by loading porgrams and data from the ethernet. But that idea quickly faded away, as drives became cheaper, and faster workstations couldn't wait to get data off the network. It was a good marketing ploy though because it made Sun's entry level workstations look cheaper than their rival HP.

During most of the 1990's systems managers simply had to shuffle around the concepts of three types of mass storage:- hard disks (sometimes bundled in RAID), tape drives (sometimes bundled in libraries) and CD-ROMs (sometimes bundled in jukeboxes). The differences in capacity, performance, and cost of this storage trinity were well understood, and the scope for overlap was minimal.

Nowadays things are a lot more complicated...

Not only has a new type of mass storage device - the internet, been added to the list, but everything has gotten faster and comes with more connection and intelligence options. R/W optical drives have got fast enough to compete with tape. Some vendors are now offering disk to disk backup. Jukeboxes have inbuilt disk drives to cache the data. RAID systems can back themselves up onto tape without requiring any server intervention. The storage can work with all your computer operating systems. And any of the storage systems can be placed almost anywhere...

Should you buy hybrid storage systems which integrate several functions? Or single function systems which are tied together by your own SAN software?

When there are so many viable looking combinations, it's no wonder that things are confusing. Which will be winners? And which, like the Sun-3 diskless nodes of the 1980's, will be consigned to computer history as architectural dead-ends?

I hope that's why you'll continue reading STORAGEsearch, as with the help of our hundreds of contributing information partners we continue to explore the new storage frontier and see how the new territories get mapped into their own recognisable states.

The destination may not be Kansas, and the path may not be as simple as following the yellow brick road. But we'll try and help you find it.

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Articles on STORAGEsearch

A Storage Architecture Guide - white paper by Auspex Systems

LVD, SE, HVD, SCSI compatibility - or lack of it - by Paralan

The Cost of Owning and Storing Data - by Overland Data

SAN Applications - by Peripheral Concepts

The Return of Removable Hard Disk Drive Architecture - white paper by DataZone

Squeak! - Breaking the SAN Babble

Squeak! - Will Sun Succeed in the STORAGE market? - part 1

Squeak! - Will Sun Succeed in the STORAGE market? - part 2

Squeak! - Which RAID Manufacturers will Survive?

Backup Technologies Proliferate - by STORAGEsearch
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - April 4, 2001 - Newer applications and advances in technology are fueling an extraordinary growth in high performance external storage, according to the 2001 edition of the SAN Report released by Peripheral Concepts Inc. With revenues exceeding $30 billion, storage will surpass direct server revenue in 2001. Both SAN and dedicated NAS revenues have more than doubled in 2000. They should triple again by 2003, to reach respective revenues of 14.5 billion and 5.7 billion, as indicated in table 1 below. Six leading vendors cover more than 85% of the market revenue.
table 1
Fibre Channel switches have played a vital role in the development of SANs. The switch market has grown 5-fold in 2000, and is expected to each $2.9 billion in 2003, in spite of price dropping 30% per year. Each of HBA and router revenue has grown three-fold in 2000, while the hub market has slowed down showing practically no growth from its 1999 revenue. Two companies make 78% of the revenue. Significant progress was accomplished in the implementation of reliable management of SAN. Virtualization has received considerable attention. It plays a key role in solving centralization problem. Virtualization will help fulfill the need for scalability and availability required by less traditional applications such as e-commerce and storage services.

"Services and service providers are about to revolutionize the way storage is distributed and the way vendors interact with their users and channels," said Farid Neema, president of Peripheral Concepts Inc. "A new business model for storage is born."

The report analyzes the selection criteria a storage service provider applies to product and vendor selection. The total storage management revenue is expected to reach $6 billion by 2003. The share of backup revenue was 64% in 1998 and will decrease to 40% by 2003, while the revenue continues to grow. Storage Resource management is the fastest growing segment. This report analyzes five independent user surveys involving more than one thousand medium and large IT installations, many of which had consolidated storage. A large majority of the sites use several flavors of UNIX, as well as NT platforms.

Forty percent of the IT organizations have no plans to deploy a SAN in the foreseeable future, 15% have installed a SAN and another 12% to 15% are in the process of implementing and will have it running in less than one year. Among the barriers to acceptance is the perception that SAN is intrinsically expensive, complex and immature. Just about when dust seemed to be settling after SAN had crossed its life cycle chasm enjoying a year of mainstream deployment, a new significant development is upon us. It is referred to as SAN over IP, IP storage or IP-SAN, and it alludes to the ability to transfer blocks of data over an IP-based SAN configuration. IP-Storage appears today as a potential longer-term competitor to FC SAN, a trend that no vendors can afford to ignore.

With strong support from several powerful industry leaders, IP-Storage development stands today where FC was 4 years ago, but its development is likely to be faster than FC. No one can clearly predict how fast things will move, but figure ES-11 and table 2 below indicate the company's best estimate of the trend. The evolution will depend on how fast standards are approved, and the price differential that will exist between the infrastructure of SAN and GbE and 10GbE. As with other nascent technologies, storage-over-IP solutions face major challenges. Putting storage on the IP network raises also the usual difficulties involving standards that must be addressed before storage and networking vendors make it the connection of choice among storage networks. The report identifies companies driving the move to IP-storage.
table 2
Just like in any major new development, there won't be one technology that fits everyone's needs. There will be complementary technologies that address different market segments. The proper solution will likely differ by application, connectivity requirements, scalability, performance and price sensitivity.

Fibre Channel SAN is still in its early development stage, but it has acquired enough momentum to ensure its continued high acceptance rate for the next three years. For any architecture to be successful, it will have to guarantee continuity/integration with Fibre channel.

The report contains more than 400 pages. It identifies more than 50 companies that are leading the development of SAN, and are candidate for partnership. Characteristics of nearly 50 products are detailed in Feature matrices that allow product comparison. Click here for executive summary. ...Peripheral Concepts profile


ATLANTA, April 3, 2001, American Megatrends Inc. (AMI), today announced its storage products – including 1U and 3U NAS - will be on display at Storage Networking World, April 9-10 in Palm Desert, Calif. The StorTrends 1108-N is a 1U NAS solution with eight hot swappable drive bays, two hot swappable power supplies and features AMI's optional Indium embedded motherboard controller that provides a scalable, high-performance platform that addresses many applications, including NAS, web servers and other embedded environments. The 1108-N includes optional custom-designed NAS software that resides on a network-upgradable flash memory device, leaving all hard drives 100 percent available for user data. The AMI-designed 1108 1U chassis with front panel LCD and LEDs provides proper thermal management and is mounted on rails with hinged cover for fast access. All drives are mounted using the revolutionary ''eZswap'' (patent pending) lever action hold down. New drives are installed by simply inserting them straight out of the box -- without screws, rails or carrier assemblies -- and then latched in place with no mounting accessories or assembly.

''SNW allows AMI to showcase its entry into the growing NAS and storage market, as well as its continuous strength of product with its Ultra160 SCSI RAID lines,'' said Siamak Iranpour, AMI director of OEM sales. ''These high-performance NAS and RAID offerings allow AMI to continue its mission in providing advanced products to the storage industry.''

The StorTrends 1108 (1U) and StorTrends 1312 (3U) will be available for evaluation and ordering in May 2001. AMI Backplanes sold separately require custom chassis. Mechanical dimensions and programmers' guide available under NDA. ...AMI profile

See also:- Events & trade shows


SAN DIEGO, April 3, 2001 – JNI® Corporation today announced a new family of Fibre Channel host bus adapters featuring the CompactPCI interface. The new 2 Gb Ready™ FibreStar® FCC2-6460 Fibre Channel-to-CPCI host bus adapter (HBA) is based on JNI's new Emerald™ IV Fibre Channel controller. Available in Q3 2001, the HBA will initially run on Sun Microsystems Solaris platforms. Subsequent driver releases will include Windows NT and Windows 2000, Hewlett Packard HP-UX, IBM AIX, Novell NetWare and Red Hat Linux.

The 2 Gb Ready FibreStar FCC2-6460 will be available by the end of Q3 2001. Pricing will be competitive with existing dual-port 1 Gb Fibre Channel host bus adapters, with costs varying depending on configuration and quantity. ...JNI profile

Editor's note:- see also - fibre-channel adapter cards for more Sun compatible cPCI vendors. Compact PCI SPARC processor cards have been a very popular form-factor for several years in the rackmount SPARC systems market, because they are the basic building blocks in most telco server farms.


SAN JOSE, Calif., April 2, 2001 - Snap Appliances, Inc. today announced that its Snap Server® product line has been enhanced to deliver up to 33 percent more storage capacity to customers at no additional cost. The portable Snap Server 1000 has been upgraded to 20GB ($499 MSRP) and 40GB ($799 MSRP) capacities. The desktop Snap Server 2000, featuring RAID 1 or 0, increased to 80GB ($1,399 MSRP). The 1U rack-mountable Snap Server 4100 with RAID levels 5, 1 or 0 increased to 160GB ($2,999 MSRP) and 300GB ($4,499 MSRP).

"At a time when IT budgets are in decline and storage demands continue to rise, Snap Appliances is offering its customers one of the industry's best price-to-performance solutions for network storage," said Jim Schraith, chairman and CEO of Snap Appliances. "These higher capacities, along with the enhanced feature-set of the Snap Operating System, give our customers an extremely high return on investment versus traditional NT-class server purchases." ...Snap Appliances profile


EL SEGUNDO, Calif. ­ April 2, 2001 ­ Imperial Technology today announced a strategic relationship with Absolute Performance to provide Imperial's customers with proactive performance measurement software designed to detect and alert users to debilitating I/O bottlenecks. The new service enables existing or prospective users to simply download the performance measurement software through a dedicated software portal. Once installed, Absolute's System Shepherd seamlessly and transparently monitors system performance data, which is then fully analyzed to identify existing or potential performance issues. The user receives a complete analysis including a model to predict the level of performance gained through the use of an Imperial solid state accelerator.

"One of the biggest challenges in creating high transaction rates in an Oracle, Sybase, or SQL database environment is ensuring the infrastructure, both hardware and software, is capable of handling the workload," said Craig Harries, VP of Marketing and Alliances for Imperial Technology. "There are database tools that can fine-tune a front-end database to perfection, but if the back-end storage infrastructure is not capable of keeping up with the transaction flow, there can be serious performance problems."

"We're excited that Imperial Technology has selected Absolute Performance for this partnership based on our performance measurement software expertise and inherent product modularity," said Jerry Champlin, Founder and CTO of Absolute Performance. "We've designed a scalable, fully customized solution portal with state-of-the-art performance analysis tools which require virtually no product knowledge on the part of the user to install." ...Absolute Performance profile, ...Imperial Technology profile

See also:- Solid state disks


SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. and EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – April 2, 2001 – Seagate Technology and XIOtech Corporation today announced that Seagate's 180 gigabyte Barracuda 180 disc drives have been tested, certified and are immediately available for integration with XIOtech's MAGNITUDE SAN. By incorporating Seagate's Barracuda 180 disc drives, a single XIOtech MAGNITUDE SAN's total usable storage capacity increases by more than 150 percent, from 4.6 terabytes (TB) to more than 11.5 TB. This landmark capacity makes the XIOtech MAGNITUDE SAN the largest storage solution available to date using Seagate Barracuda 180 disc drives.

The 180-gigabyte drives are available in new MAGNITUDE systems and as upgrades for systems already installed by customers. A unique benefit for customers is that they can add the Seagate Barracuda 180 disc drives to their existing MAGNITUDE SAN, utilizing the new drives' entire capacity even while continuing to use older, smaller capacity drives in the same system. This protects customers' current investment in storage and enables the efficient use of all drives purchased. ...XIOtech profile


Basingstoke, UK, April 1, 2001 - the Prickly Spine Software Company today announced the production release of their Stash-IT NAS Refragmenter (SNR) software for Linux and Solaris environments. Stash-IT is aimed at SSPs who provide storage on demand services via the internet or as an in-house managed service. It addresses the needs of business development managers who have made huge investments in storage and server farms and are worried about the effects of technical developments, recently announced by third parties which provide massive compression of Oracle databases and upto ten times improvements in the compression of audio (MP3) and video (DVD) files. Features include:-
  • rapidly increases the amount of storage space required by typical applications such as Oracle databases, MP3 files and DVD video
  • will typically double the amount of user storage required every 30 days, even when the latest generation of compression software is being used.
  • storage stealth wizard (patent pending) will defy the best efforts of all current SRM packages to figure out what's really going on. Stash-IT literally stashes encrypted copies of data all over the managed NAS system and uses naming conventions which are impossible to unravel.
  • Stash-IT's unique demand enrouter ensures that all files are accessed as if the requests were coming from genuine data users. Storage customers are therefore forced into buying more storage because all of it looks like it's important, and none of it can be safely archived to tape or jukebox.
Prickly Spine Software's CEO and chief software architect Spel LeByte says "Many business managers looked at the IDC and Gartner market size forcasts for managed web storage, which along with the EMC funded research on storage growth, suggested that selling storage on demand would be a great basis for a business plan. We know many people who rushed out and spent upwards of $100 million on NAS with the idea of making a quick killing in these emerging markets, just based on the information they saw in the press releases, and without reading the in-depth market research reports. The combination of the recession in the US, and the new generation of compression software based on fractious technology, which means that data can fit into less than one tenth of the space previously required, are causing serious headaches for many SSPs, and the pages of job sites like Monstor.com are filling up with resumés from storage marketers. Our new product addresses that problem, so that the SSP marketers responsible for the overinvestment in storage capacity can keep their jobs." ...Prickly Spine Software profile

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