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Storage news - 2001, August 8 - 14

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Calabasas, CA - August 14, 2001 - Spirent Communications today introduced a new test suite that provides an easy-to-use interface for configuring, generating, and analyzing traffic used to measure the performance of storage networking infrastructure equipment, including Fibre Channel switches, fabrics, emerging Fibre Channel-over-IP (FCIP) gateways, and DWDM systems. The new SmartFabric software tool works with the company's award-winning SmartBits Fibre Channel modules and SmartBits chassis to emulate hundreds of attached devices per test port, thereby reducing the need for complex test environments.

As Fibre Channel-based SANs continue to grow in popularity and size, the storage networking industry is increasing becoming more concerned with having efficient ways to easily measure the functionality, performance, and scalability of SAN equipment and fabrics. Such needs require a Fibre Channel performance analysis tool, such as SmartFabric, that provides sophisticated, repeatable traffic generation and analysis capabilities. Also, as disaster recovery and remote backup applications drive the merger of storage networking technologies with optical and IP networking, manufacturers and implementers are demanding methods of measuring how well these disparate technologies operate together.

SmartFabric increases testing productivity by allowing users to set up multiple flows of Fibre Channel frames to simulate storage traffic and measure device forwarding rates, latency, latency distribution, delivery and frame loss. Test results are then generated in a tabular form for quick report preparation. SmartFabric provides detailed analysis of the impacts of credit-based flow control mechanisms across individual SAN switches or large-scale storage networks. Specifically, SmartFabric supports full line-rate traffic generation and analysis at 1 and 2 Gbps, up to 192 ports simultaneously, generates up to 512 independent data streams and analyzes up to 64K streams, supports point-to-point and loop topologies, performs loop initialization, fabric login, and name server registration for one or many devices, and emulates up to 126 devices on a loop.

"Up until now, testing the scalability of Fibre Channel switches and systems was only possible by using hundreds of PCs and a massive amount of storage devices costing hundreds of thousands of dollars." said Bahaa Moukadam, vice president of product marketing, Spirent Communications, SmartBits Division. "Using this new Spirent solution eliminates a major headache for our customers while costing a fraction of doing it the old way."

Spirent Communications' SmartBits' SmartFabric will be available in August. ...Spirent Communications profile


Hoboken, N.J., August 14, 2001 - NSI Software today announced its Xcelerate Partner Program for VARs, OEMs and Distributors which enables partners to enhance their investment in NSI Software's Double-Take' and GeoCluster' products and grow additional revenue streams. Under the Xcelerate Program, partners can take advantage of business, marketing and technical resources to deliver high-quality business continuance solutions to existing customers and capture new customers looking for protection from costly downtime and data loss. Champion Solutions Group, IBM's premier Open Systems Storage Solution Provider, is the first partner to join the Xcelerate Program.

Xcelerate partners have access to the business, marketing and technical resources they need to market, deploy and support Double-Take and GeoCluster to grow revenue. This includes a dedicated NSI Software team, including a field marketing, sales and technical support representative, competitive bonuses on top of standard partner discounts; assistance with deployment of business and marketing programs and activities; access to comprehensive training classes to help ensure success in the sales process; and certification classes for NSI Software's Double-Take and GeoCluster products.

"As the first company to join the Xcelerate Partner Program, we recognize the commitment and value NSI delivers to companies looking to keep their applications and mission-critical data continuously available. The benefits offered through the program, combined with the complementary nature of NSI's products and our comprehensive integration offering, is a win-win situation for our customers," said Chris Pyle, president and CEO of Champion Solutions Group. "This partnership assures customers are getting a cost-effective business continuity solution that enables them to focus on running their business rather than worrying whether their data is protected."

"Through strategic alliances with partners who share business initiatives in the areas of business continuity, storage management and server consolidation, and in the vertical segments of financial services and healthcare, the Xcelerate Partner Program allows us to proactively expand our market presence and meet the growing market demand for real-time data protection and continuous availability solutions," said Marlene Frank, director of alliances and partners, NSI Software.

According to research firm IDC, the data replication software market is expected to grow at a 34.4 percent CAGR to reach $1.3 billion by 2003. "Businesses today are more dependent on data than ever before, so anything that jeopardizes the security or availability of business critical data greatly compromises the performance of the business," said Bill North, research director at IDC. "Business continuity solutions that leverage replication technologies give businesses the confidence that their data will be safe and secure. NSI Software is addressing this need for data protection by combining its Double-Take and GeoCluster products with the experience of partners through its Xcelerate Partner Program."

For more information on the NSI Software Xcelerate Partner Program, call Marlene Frank at 508-229-8405. ...NSI Software profile

Editor's comments:- it's difficult to make partner programs work. Sun Microsystems in the 1990's provided a classic business model for partnering. See also:- my spoof article - Diary of a Workaholic Sun Partners Program Manager


FREMONT, Calif., ­ August 14, 2001 ­ MaxOptix Corp today unveiled another industry first: the first terabyte- capacity autoloader to be priced under $5000. The autoloader is based on Sony¹s award winning AIT Tape Drive. An AIT-1 version is priced under $3500!

The breakthrough value of the 8PAC autoloader is based on a series of state-of-the-art engineering concepts and manufacturing techniques that allow the unit to be produced at an unprecedented low price. Built around Sony¹s AIT technology, the new MaxOptix autoloader delivers up to 1040 GB of automated storage capacity and backup performance of up to 56 GB/hour using AIT-2 drives. The loader is also available with AIT-1 drives. It is designed to grow with a customer¹s increasing storage needs, protecting the user¹s investment in storage automation hardware with seamless support for Sony¹s multi-generation AIT migration path. The new 8PAC autoloader is built around the same reliable robotics technology developed for MaxOptix¹ tape libraries, bringing enterprise-class reliability to workgroup automation solutions. The key to its high reliability is the simple elegance of the MaxOptix robotics design with a chassis-mounted, intelligent robotic mechanism that picks and places tape cartridges with only two motors, enabling years of trouble-free operation. ...Maxoptix profile


San Jose, CA, August 14, 2001 - TrueSAN Networks, Inc. today announced the appointment of Ken Epstein as Vice President of Sales and the deployment of its national direct sales organization. With the opening of offices in New York City, Dallas, and Irvine with senior leaders recruited from several successful storage companies, TrueSAN is well-positioned to rapidly expand its growing list of satisfied customers. Ken Epstein, Vice President of Sales, has over two decades of global information technology sales and sales management experience in the storage industry.

Prior to joining TrueSAN, Ken was Vice President of Sales at Sitesmith where he built the sales organization from inception to over 50 salespeople and contributed substantially to the company's $1.3B acquisition by MetroMedia Fiber Networks. Prior to Sitesmith, Ken was Vice President of Sales for Storage Dimensions (SDI) where he grew revenue from $60 million to over $150 million in two years, managed over 40 sales representatives and sales managers nationwide, and guided SDI to a successful IPO in 1998. Ken's additional sales management experience includes senior positions at Maximum Strategy (acquired by Sun Microsystems), IPL Systems, and QMS.

"I am very pleased to join TrueSAN at such an exciting time in the company's development," stated Ken Epstein, Vice President of Sales. "TrueSAN's vision, technology, and people are world-class and I look forward to building a successful sales organization to accelerate our products into the hands of enterprise customers."

TrueSAN Networks also announced the appointment of three senior executives to head up each of the company's regional offices. Eastman McGovern joins TrueSAN as Director of Eastern Region Sales in the company's New York City office in downtown Manhattan. Charles "Bob" Boggan joins TrueSAN as Director of Central Region Sales from the company's new Dallas location. Glen Forman joins TrueSAN as Director of Western Region Sales. ...TrueSAN Networks profile


Boulder, CO - August 13, 2001 - Ecrix Corporation today announced that an OEM agreement has been reached with Compaq Computer Corporation to sell VXA-1 Tape Drives for its commercial desktops and workstations. Compaq plans to ship both SCSI and high-performance IDE versions of the VXA-1 tape drive within 30 days.

"Our large commercial desktop and workstation installations are rapidly migrating from pure SCSI environments towards a mix of SCSI and IDE," stated Keith LeFebvre, director, Workstation and Thin Client Business Unit, Access Business Group, Compaq. "VXA-1, with both SCSI and IDE interfaces, enables Compaq to meet the high reliability and performance needs of this mixed market with one technology in lieu of multiple technologies." Compaq currently sells an IDE version of the Travan drive and a SCSI version of the DDS drive into this market.

"A major OEM endorsement of a new tape technology can have a significant impact on market perception and unit shipments," states Fara Yale, chief analyst, Computer Storage Service, Gartner Dataquest. "The workstation market has traditionally been a stronghold for DDS tape products; however, because no DDS vendor currently plans to develop future generation DDS drives, an opportunity is presented for other tape technologies to succeed in this part of the market."

"With the VXA-1 being the first tape drive to offer SCSI-class features and performance with an IDE interface, Compaq can now address both SCSI and IDE interface needs with one technology," said Bill Almon, vice president, sales and marketing for Ecrix. "Working with a Fortune Global 100 company such as Compaq is a major milestone for Ecrix and VXA technology." ...Ecrix profile


San Jose, Calif., August 13, 2001 — Nishan Systems today announced the signing of seven storage integrators as regional Nishan Alliance Partners for the deployment of Nishan's IP Storage products. Customers requiring data storage solutions can turn to the storage experts at Cambridge Computer Services, Boston, MA; Micro Solutions, Thousand Oaks, CA; NCE Storage Solutions, San Diego, CA; Ovation Data Services, Houston, TX; SICORP, Albuquerque, NM; SoftNet Solutions, Sunnyvale, CA; and Wenzel Data Systems, Stillwater, MN. These integrators now are implementing storage networking solutions with the full range of Nishan products, including the SANvergence™ Management Suite and the SoIP™ family of IP Storage switches.

"Nishan's Channel Partners are now able to provide SAN solutions to an ever wider range of customers," said Bill Lozoff, director of channel alliances for Nishan Systems. "The regions covered by these storage-focused VARs will enable even more broadly based deployments of Nishan's easily managed and highly scalable IP Storage solutions. We look forward to working closely with these partners to develop Nishan solutions." ...Nishan Systems profile


ROY, Utah, August 13, 2001 - Iomega Corporation today announced the availability of its award-winning new Peerless™ drive system with FireWire® interface for Macintosh® and Windows® computers. The versatile new drive, now at retail in the U.S., establishes a new capacity and performance benchmark for removable storage devices in consumer and business applications. Peerless technology represents a new generation in removable storage from Iomega, featuring affordable pocket-sized 10GB and 20GB disks, an ultra-reliable sealed disk design, and interchangeable interface modules. The new FireWire® interface gives the Peerless drive system a sustained transfer rate of up to 15MB per second with a computer equipped with a FireWire® 1394 PCI card.

"The Peerless drive is designed for many different types of users," said Werner Heid, president and CEO, Iomega Corporation. "People who are editing digital video or running other high-bandwidth streaming applications can never have too much backup speed or storage capacity, making the new Peerless FireWire bundle an ideal choice. Users who need broad compatibility with current PC and Mac computers will appreciate the modular design of Peerless, which allows them to swap the FireWire interface module for a USB interface module. The speed, capacity and modular design of Peerless make it one of the most versatile storage solutions on the market today."

The Peerless drive system's unique design also lets users save money as they add capacity. Unlike other portable storage systems, the Peerless system's hard drive electronics are located in the base station, rather than on the disk itself, so users only buy the drive's electronics once - even as their capacity needs grow. This industry-first technology results in disk prices as low as one cent per megabyte.

The FireWire-based Peerless drive bundle for Macintosh and Windows computers is available for a suggested $359 (U.S. retail, 10GB bundle) or $399 (U.S. retail, 20GB bundle). It is compatible with Windows 98SE, Me, and 2000, and with Mac OS 8.6 through 9.x. Certification with Windows XP and Mac OS 10.x is in progress. ...Iomega profile


EL SEGUNDO, Calif. ­ August 13, 2001 ­Imperial Technology, announced today that MailerMailer LLC, has selected solid state storage accelerators from Imperial to manage the company's extensive emailing service for small and large businesses.

MailerMailer, based in Rockville, Md., provides a low-cost email list management service that enables users to create and send personalized, targeted emails based on their subscribers' interests or demographics, or on custom-defined questions. Companies can use the service to send precision-targeted newsletters, alerts, announcements or promotions using the demographic information they collect from their list members. It tracks clicks on each link in an email message, including who clicked and when, so list owners get live feedback on what their subscribers find useful. MailerMailer selected a 1GB MegaRam-2000 to ensure near-instant delivery of the vast number of email messages it processes each day on behalf of its clients.

Emanuel Allen, president of Imperial Technology, said that using solid state disk technology for email management is an often underrated application, yet companies like BlueLight.com and EarthLink, the nation¹s second largest ISP, have used Imperial's products to process email faster. "For great volumes of email, conventional hard disk storage systems can become overburdened and sluggish due to their mechanical latencies. Our solid state accelerators can increase the performance of Web and email servers, allowing the services like MailerMailer to operate at full mail handling capacity." ...Imperial Technology profile

See also:- Solid state disks


ROSEMONT, IL, August 10, 2001 - Comdisco, Inc. announced yesterday that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois approved consensual bidding procedures proposed by the Company related to the proposed sale of Comdisco's Availability Solutions (Technology Services) business to Hewlett-Packard Company. The bidding procedures were supported by the Company's Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors and several prospective bidders that had earlier filed objections to the bidding procedures.

Among other matters, the Court accepted Comdisco's proposed bid deadline of September 30, 2001 and auction date of October 11, 2001 for competitive bidding to determine whether a higher or otherwise better offer should be considered, and set October 23, 2001 as the sale hearing date to consider approval of the Hewlett-Packard or alternative transaction. In the event that the Court approves the proposed sale to Hewlett-Packard, the transaction is scheduled to close on November 16, 2001, approximately thirty days later than the original closing deadline.

As announced on July 16, 2001, Comdisco has reached a definitive agreement to sell this business to Hewlett-Packard Company for $610 million. Simultaneously with entering into the agreement with Hewlett-Packard on July 16, Comdisco, Inc. and 50 domestic U.S. subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for relief under chapter 11 of the U.S. Bank­ruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The filing will allow the company to provide for an orderly sale of its services business, while resolving short-term liquidity issues and enabling the company to reorganize on a sound financial basis to support its ongoing businesses. ...HP profile


DULLES, Virginia — August 9, 2001 — INLINE Corporation announced today the release of a new line of NAS devices. The new INLINE NAS Appliance products are targeted to multiple segments of the storage market. The NAS Appliance 2000 (NA 2000) series and NAS Appliance 4000 (NA 4000) series are targeted to the low-to-mid and mid-to-high storage markets respectively.

The NA 2000 is an attractively priced but powerful choice for companies and workgroups that need to quickly expand storage on their networks. With a Gigabit Ethernet connection and up to 2 Gigabytes of RAM, as well as an option for Fibre Channel, the NA 2000 series outperforms other devices competing in the same market.

The NA 4000 is a high performance series that will prove attractive to the middle and high end of the market. With up to 4 Xeon processors, 8GB of cache and 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports, the NA 4000 series easily outperforms competing high-end producting including the Network Appliance F840. Connectivity and security are also superior to offerings from NetApp, the current market leader in Network Attached Storage. The NA 4000 series includes the standalone NA 4100 and the NA 4200 a high-availability, clustered version that allows a NAS head to pick up the workload of another, that has unexpectedly gone offline, successfully eliminating a single-point-of-failure (SPF). INLINE Corporation storage products have long focused on eliminating SPF and increasing reliability and availability.

Paul Lueders, Team Leader for INLINE Corporation's NAS Development Group, expects the NA 4000 series to be very popular with storage customers. "The NA 2000 is a great offering for a significant part of the market, but we expect the NA 4000 product to be really attractive to more than 80% of the customers out there who are looking for Network Attached Storage," Mr. Lueders said. In the last several years Network Attached Storage has taken an increasingly large share of the overall storage market. NAS devices have become popular because they set up quickly and easily, are simple to manage, and provide storage for many users. The NAS Appliance Series from INLINE continues this trend, with less than 15 minutes to set up, an easy to use browser-based management tool, and simultaneous connectivity for multiple operating systems such as Windows, Unix, and Linux based systems. ...INLINE profile

Editor's comments:- INLINE's previous NAS products were very much high end systems. These new systems bring that kind of technology to a wider market... NAS's for the masses.


PALO ALTO and TORRANCE, Calif. - Aug. 9, 2001 - Hewlett-Packard Company and Trinagy, Inc. today announced the companies have signed a definitive agreement under which HP will acquire Trinagy, a privately held supplier of advanced network performance management software for enterprise and service provider customers. Trinagy's software will augment the HP OpenView e-services management software portfolio and further its position as one of the industry's most comprehensive offerings.

The Trinagy business will be integrated into the HP OpenView Business Unit. The acquisition is part of HP's ongoing strategy to enhance its powerful software portfolio to help customers adapt quickly to change, manage complexity and transform their businesses for success. Trinagy's solutions complement the HP OpenView portfolio by being modular, highly scalable and built on open architectures. In addition, Trinagy has a strong presence in the service provider market, in which HP OpenView solutions already manage the top 10 U.S. service providers. ...HP profile


TORONTO, CANADA and BOXBOROUGH, MA, August 9, 2001 - Eurologic Systems announced that it has appointed an authorized representative for the company's advanced network storage technology in Canada. Eurologic has appointed Mr. Bob Anderson as its authorized representative in Canada. He will play an instrumental role in expanding Eurologic's presence in various markets throughout Canada.

Mr. Anderson has over 20 years of experience in the high technology market in Canada. For the past five years, Mr. Anderson has been instrumental in developing North American channel strategies for a number of storage and film and video products, including Eurologic's network storage technology.

According to recent market research, the storage market in Canada represents approximately $3 billion per year. Eurologic is actively developing its OEM and channel business throughout Canada in markets ranging from information services, imaging, and prepress, to telecommunications.

Mike Stolz, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Eurologic Systems, said, "Canada has been a strong market for Eurologic over the past few years, particularly in film and video applications. As a partner to many of the world's leading server and communications infrastructure providers and vertical market applications solutions providers, Eurologic now is looking to aggressively expand the scope of our presence in Canada. Bob Anderson has been an undeniable champion for Eurologic's products in Canada, and we welcome having him as a member of the Eurologic team." ...Eurologic Systems profile


MILPITAS, Calif. - August 8, 2001 - LSI Logic Corporation today announced full production volumes for its single, dual and quad board Fibre Channel 2 Gbit host adapters. The LSI44929 is the industry's only dual port, Fibre Channel host bus adapter available in a low profile form factor. With release, LSI Logic sets the industry performance standard for production 2 Gbit host bus adapters.

"These Fibre Channel boards deliver a reliable, high performance solution for clustered environments, SANs and workstations," said Bob Anderson, director for LSI Logic's Host Adapter business. "We've hit over 72,000 I/Os per second with small block reads using two channels. That's a real performance edge."

With over ten years of Fibre Channel experience, LSI Logic offers an industry-leading product line that's price-efficient, scaleable and proven. The LSI Logic GigaBlaze™ core technology is recognized as an industry standard for performance. The LSI Logic quad board is rated at 100,000 I/O's per second.

The single channel LSI40919, dual channel LSI44929 and quad ITI7004G2 boards are built using Fusion-MPT™ architecture, a common binary software that supports Fibre Channel, SCSI and emerging technology interfaces such as InfiniBand and SerialATA. This eliminates the need to develop, install and qualify separate device drivers and ensures interoperability. The LSI40919 and LSI44929 products are designed in the low profile PCI form factor and are available with the low profile PCI bracket or standard height bracket. Optical and copper interfaces are also available.

LSI Logic offers a complete family of Fibre Channel host adapter products for mission critical enterprise applications for all topologies and multiple service classes. Fibre Channel technology is being advanced by industry leaders such as Sun, HP, IBM, and Brocade. The LSI Logic 2 Gbit host bus adapter product family builds on a 10-year history as the dominant supplier of Fibre Channel silicon and demonstrates a continuing commitment to the Fibre Channel market. LSI Logic host bus adapters are also available through distribution channel partners such as Avnet, Bell Microproducts, Insight Electronics, and Arrow Electronics. ...LSI Logic profile


MILPITAS, Calif., Aug. 8, 2001 - Quantum Corporation today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire certain assets of Connex Inc., a provider of NAS products and a subsidiary of Western Digital Corporation. Quantum intends to leverage Connex's complementary technology to enhance the range of features currently offered in Quantum's Snap Server® product line and build on the leadership position Quantum has established in workgroup NAS. The acquisition also reflects Quantum's strategy to broaden its storage solutions portfolio.

Under the terms of the agreement, Quantum will purchase key complementary technology, intellectual property and other assets of Connex in an all-cash deal valued at $11 million and integrate them into Quantum's Snap Appliances business. In addition, Western Digital will supply hard disk drives to Snap Appliances on a non-exclusive basis. The agreement does not involve SANavigator, a wholly owned subsidiary of Connex. The acquisition is expected to close by mid-August, subject to satisfaction of certain closing conditions.

"The Connex acquisition reinforces Quantum's strategic focus on providing a broader range of storage solutions for networked environments," said Michael Brown, chairman and CEO of Quantum. "It will enable us to accelerate our movement into higher-value, higher-growth segments of the NAS market by offering customers increased capacity, availability and performance at a lower total cost of ownership."

Since entering the NAS market just two years ago, Quantum has become the leader in workgroup NAS (sub-$10,000 market category). To date, over 70,000 Snap Server units have been shipped worldwide. Quantum is the largest supplier of NAS units across all NAS markets and is among the top NAS revenue leaders, having increased revenue well over 100% on a year-over-year basis in the most recent fiscal year. With the Connex acquisition, Quantum will strengthen its ability to extend its NAS leadership beyond the workgroup. ...Connex profile, ...Quantum profile, ...Western Digital profile


Burnaby, BC - August 08, 2001 - Merlin Software Technologies International, Inc. today announced a purchase order for 55 units of its Essential Server NAS+, from L&M Products and Services Inc. of British Columbia (in Canada).

"We are pleased to welcome L&M as Merlin's first reseller of the Essential Server NAS+," said Robert Heller, CEO of Merlin. "This is a significant purchase order, from a company focused precisely at our target market of small to medium-sized companies. L&M has a solid track record in this market, and has provided valuable feedback to Merlin's product marketing team. I believe the L&M and Merlin relationship will prove profitable for both parties."

"I was pleased to be given the opportunity to preview the Essential Server NAS+ product and provide a beta test opportunity to Merlin," replied Peter Lee, President of L&M Products and Services. "The NAS+ is a perfect fit for many of my dealers and clients, and I am sure we are going to be successful in selling this product." to contact L&M Products and Services phone 604-944-7888, ...Merlin Software Technologies profile

Editor's note:- Merlin Software Technologies announced this new product recently August 1. One of the effects of the IT recession in the US, is that vendors are working harder to get business in other markets which speak English and have a positive attitude to buying US products such as Canada and the UK. Some helpful hints here for newbie international marketers... don't say your favorite tv show is South Park while in Canada, and don't enthuse too much about republics and 4th July when trying to sell systems in England.


SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 8, 2001 — Sony Electronics today announced that a free customized version of NovaStor's TapeCopy™ v2.0 Library Edition tape conversion and duplication software specifically optimized for automated solutions, and valued at $799, is currently shipping with Sony-branded Advanced Intelligent Tape™ (AIT) library and autoloader models. Sony is already shipping TapeCopy software with all of its branded stand-alone drives, and selected TapeCopy v2.0 Library Edition software to accompany its automated storage solutions because it allows users of virtually any tape format, to easily upgrade and duplicate their data to the Sony AIT format.

"Users often have to think twice about migrating their data due to the costs, labor and time involved," said Steve Baker, vice president for the tape storage solutions division of Sony Electronics. "We're furnishing new AIT library and autoloader customers with TapeCopy software so they can easily and securely transfer their valuable data to the AIT format. AIT offers an ideal next step for DDS customers who are looking to migrate to a tape technology with future scalability, a comparable 3.5-inch drive form-factor, enhanced reliability and extensive automation support."

According to a recent report issued by Freeman Reports, the number of companies moving from stand-alone tape drives to automated tape libraries is immense. The report forecasts that shipments of 8mm tape libraries will nearly double, from 11,000 units last year to more than 21,000 units in 2006.

NovaStor's TapeCopy v2.0 Library Edition software is designed to accommodate the particular data duplication nuances of automated solutions. For instance, it can automatically duplicate numerous tapes within the same library or migrate tapes from an older tape library to a new Sony-branded tape library or autoloader. As a result, customers upgrading to automated AIT solutions from Sony can enjoy the unattended transfer of an entire library of tapes to their new format in one simple and sequential process.

Sony's AIT Library and Autoloaders leverage a small 3.5-inch form factor and 8-mm compact cassette with entry level systems costing under $5,000. At the top of the range, the Sony AIT Library 304 system houses two AIT-2 drives (expandable up to four) and 30 cartridge slots (one fixed magazine with 10 slots and two removable magazines with 10 slots). The library's total storage capacity is up to 3.9TB (with average 2.6:1 compression) and data transfer rates of up to 224.6 GB per hour (compressed) are designed to meet data-intensive back-up and archive requirements at an affordable price point of under $17,000. ...NovaStor profile, ...Sony profile
Other news on this page

Spirent Communications Introduces SmartFabric for Fibre Channel SANs

NSI Software Launches Partner Program

Maxoptix Unveils New Low-Cost AIT Autoloaders

TrueSAN Networks Rolls Out National Direct Sales Organization

Compaq to Ship Ecrix VXA Tape Drives in its Commercial Desktops and Workstations

Nishan Systems Adds Key Regional Storage Integrators to its Alliance Partner Program

Iomega Delivers FireWire-Based Peerless Drive System For Macintosh and Windows Computers

MailerMailer Selects Solid State Storage Accelerators from Imperial Technology to Manage Massive Email Queues

Comdisco Receives Court Approval for Sale of Availability Solutions to Hewlett-Packard

INLINE Corporation Releases Network Attached Storage Product Line New Solutions For Low-End and Middle of the NAS Market

HP Acquires Trinagy, Inc. to Expand HP OpenView e-Services Management Software

Eurologic Systems Appoints Authorized Representative in Canada

LSI Logic sets the performance standard for 2Gbit host adapters

Quantum Corporation To Acquire Strategic Assets of Connex Inc.

Merlin Secures First Significant Purchase Order for Essential Server NAS+ with Vancouver-based Value Added Reseller

Sony Provides NovaStor Tapecopy Software with Sony-Branded AIT Libraries and Autoloaders

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Nibble

Centralizing Server I/O Infrastructure with InfiniBand


by InfiniCon Systems

In this article, the benefits of applying InfiniBand to create a centralized server I/O infrastructure, along with the implications of disaggregating the I/O subsystem from the processor complex, are examined.

To achieve optimal performance in current-generation servers, a dedicated I/O subsystem, typically based on the PCI local bus, must be tightly bound to each processing complex. The InfiniBand architecture, which provides an industry-standard framework for connecting devices via a very low latency, high bandwidth link, enables the creation of a sharable, centralized I/O infrastructure. Multiple next-generation servers can be connected to this I/O infrastructure via InfiniBand links, resulting in many potential benefits, including data center space savings, bandwidth migration, decreased deployment cost, simplified systems management, and improved cable management.

Due to the high cost associated with providing a truly secure and reliable environment for housing computer equipment, maximizing the utilization of data center space is becoming increasingly important. Server density has improved dramatically, and this trend will continue with the introduction of server-blade technology. Applying InfiniBand to create a sharable, centralized I/O subsystem will accelerate this trend by allowing designers to replace the dedicated I/O subsystem associated with each server with InfiniBand connections scaled to meet the bandwidth and reliability requirements of the server. This will enable further reductions in the size of each server, resulting in significantly improved data center space utilization.

In many application environments, the I/O activity generated by a specific server tends to be somewhat uneven. Periods requiring high I/O throughput are generally followed by periods of lower demand. Servers are often configured with sufficient dedicated capacity to handle the peak bandwidth requirements, but this can result in low average link utilization. An important benefit of the shared I/O subsystem approach is that it allows the bandwidth provided by the shared links to migrate to the servers with the highest demand, providing those servers with significantly higher instantaneous bandwidth than would be feasible with dedicated resources, while simultaneously improving link utilization.

In addition to increasing the bandwidth that can be made available to any given server, the shared I/O model can also significantly reduce the total cost of deployment with respect to a server cluster. In high-availability environments, servers often support redundant connections to multiple infrastructures, including the storage area network, the local area network, and sometimes a separate inter-process communication network. While effective in eliminating single points of failure, this can be a costly approach that requires additional dedicated server ports as well as additional infrastructure ports. The centralized I/O model allows the I/O bandwidth to be matched to the requirements of the entire cluster, reducing port count and complexity, with cost savings of approximately 50 percent.

The reduction in port connections results in significant business and technical benefits for CIOs and data center managers as well. Maintaining and growing high-bandwidth data centers has become increasingly complex and expensive. By deploying a sharable I/O infrastructure, data center topologies can be simplified, reducing the amount of equipment to be managed by system administrators. The growing complexity of the data center cabling matrix can also be substantially reduced.

"Companies have spent thousands of man-hours and millions of dollars deploying their existing data center networks. Therefore, solutions involving InfiniBand must be non-disruptive to the current infrastructure, as well as provide compelling benefits with respect to incumbent technologies," explained Philip Murphy, president and co-founder, InfiniCon Systems. "InfiniCon Systems is focusing its development efforts on these types of solutions."

"Our studies show that a great deal of mindshare has been generated about InfiniBand. However, system administrators are wary of 'yet another fabric in the data center,'" notes John Lawler, directing analyst for E-Business Infrastructure at Infonetics Research. "By positioning its first generation of products as an extended system backplane and not a new LAN technology, InfiniCon Systems avoids these potential barriers to adoption."

InfiniCon Systems will continue to address topics regarding InfiniBand in the data center in future articles as part of its ongoing education campaign.

See also:- article:- What is the InfiniBand Ecosystem? - by InfiniCon Systems
Springtek
Springtek manufactures the Little Big Box multi-platform RAID family designed for use with Sun Microsystems, Macintosh, SGI or PC workstations.
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