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StorageSearch.com - news - 2001, November 1-7

the fastest SSDs
storage news archive
Venture funds in storage
Why did EMC's revenue implode?
how fast can your SSD run backwards?
latency loving reasons for fading out DRAM in the virtual memory slider mix
Megabyte's selection of storage news
Megabyte loved reading news stories about the storage market
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Cambex Announces Letter of Intent to Acquire Super PC Memory, Inc

Waltham, MA, November 7, 2001 -Cambex Corporation (OTCBB: CBEX) and privately-held Super PC Memory, Inc. today announced that they have signed a letter of intent that covers the acquisition of all of the outstanding shares of Super PC Memory by Cambex Corporation.

Under the terms of the letter of intent, Super PC Memory will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Cambex. Joseph F. Kruy, Chairman and CEO of Cambex said, "Cambex's broad product lines in the Storage Area Network and high-end memory marketplace will be well complemented by the memory products and the excellent sales and distribution capabilities of Super PC. The synergism between the two companies and their excellent reputation for quality and customer support are a winning combination for our customers and our shareholders."

Son Pham, President of Super PC Memory stated, "We are very pleased to become a part of Cambex Corporation. Cambex has a history of technological innovation and unparalleled customer satisfaction in the storage industry. Combining the high end storage and memory products of Cambex with our current memory product line will allow our customers to receive total storage and memory solutions from a single source."

Founded in 1991, Super PC Memory provides memory upgrades to a customer base that includes resellers, Fortune 1000 corporations, mid-range businesses and government institutions. Super PC Memory combines immediate product availability, in-depth service and support, and quality product upgrades to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction. Super PC Memory had more than $20 million in revenue in the last 12 months ending September 30, 2001. The company maintains offices in Irvine, California and Westminster, Colorado. ...Cambex profile


Antares announces the release of Active Failover Driver for it's Fibre Channel Adapters

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – Nov 5, 2001 – Antares Microsystems, a leader in Sun-Compatible I/O adapters, today announced the availability of industry leading active failover support on Solaris for it's Fibre Channel host bus adapters (P0036, P0037 and the upcoming P0038).

Foreseeing an inherent problem in Fibre Channel data traffic in a UNIX environment, Antares has developed an active failover driver. In a typical Fibre Channel data traffic, two data ports are available and up to now if a failure occurred on one of the two data ports, then the second port would not act as the backup port unless a hub/switch was used to provide connectivity on both ports; however, up to now this was never actively executed.

"What we provide is active failure support; everything is done actively, without any external intervention and therefore providing increased and improved availability of data," said Al Basseri, Business Development and Marketing at Antares.

The latest driver from Antares has addressed this issue by automatically switching over to the second port once it has detected failure on the first port. This driver is now available on Antares Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapters for use on Solaris UNIX systems. ...Antares Microsystems profile, high availability storage


Zambeel, Inc. Receives $52.6 Million in Second-Round Financing

FREMONT, Calif. - November 5, 2001 – Zambeel, Inc., an enterprise-class data management and storage company, today announced it has received $52.6 million in second-round financing.

Amerindo Investment Advisors and Aurora Technology Funds jointly led this round, which includes investments by Armada Venture Group, Integral Capital Partners, Juniper Networks, Merrill Lynch, Mitsui, Morgan Keegan and Sands Brothers. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and New Enterprise Associates, the two venture capital companies that participated in the first funding round for Zambeel, Inc., also participated in this round. This second-round funding brings the company's total funding to more than $65 million.

"This funding reflects continued interest in enterprise-class storage systems that solve the management hassles associated with scaling network storage," said Darren Thomas, president and CEO of Zambeel. "The funding also demonstrates that Zambeel is tackling real customer problems, and the opportunity is enormous."

"Zambeel dramatically reduces the cost of managing storage by giving enterprise customers a single view of their storage while enabling them to address multiple business units or customer requirements from a single system," said Vinod Khosla, General Partner of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. "Zambeel's approach to enterprise-class storage, and strong management team with deep storage experience, made this round of financing an easy decision for our partnership." ...Zambeel profile, VC funds in storage


Cisco Systems Reports First Quarter Earnings

SAN JOSE, Calif., November 5, 2001 - Cisco Systems, Inc. today reported its first quarter results for the period ending October 27, 2001.

Net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2002 were $4.4 billion, a sequential increase of 3% from the $4.3 billion in net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001. This compares to $6.5 billion in net sales for the same period last year, a decrease of 32%. Pro forma net income, which excludes the effects of acquisition charges, payroll tax on stock option exercises, net gains (losses) on investments, and an excess inventory benefit, was $332 million or $0.04 per share for the first quarter of fiscal 2002, compared with pro forma net income of $163 million or $0.02 per share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001, and $1.4 billion or $0.18 per share for the first quarter of fiscal 2001.

...Cisco continues to see positive momentum in the storage market as customers begin deployments of the industry's first commercially available iSCSI platform, the Cisco SN 5420 Storage Router. Key customers in this area include Komatsu, University of Houston, and Data Peer. Cisco announced certification and interoperability for its storage solutions with 10 key storage vendors including Brocade, Intel, McData, and Veritas. ...Cisco Systems profile

Editor's comment:- in my January 2001 article I predicted that Cisco would be one of the top 10 storage companies by the end of 2003. Although Cisco has started to mention "storage" in its releases its revenue and momentum are a long way down from where I expected them to be when doing that original analysis. It's almost certain that Cisco will drop out of my projected top 10 storage list based on their current results when the article is updated in January 2002, and it would be risky to assume otherwise. But there's no shortage of contenders to replace them in that slot.



QLogic 2Gb End-to-End Fibre Channel Solutions Achieve SANmark Open Standards Compliance

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. - November 5, 2001- QLogic Corp. today announced that its SANbox2 switches and SANblade QLA2300 Series host bus adapters (HBAs) passed the most recent round of SANmark™ compliance tests.

The SANmark program was developed cooperatively by the University of New Hampshire and the Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA), and is based on American National Standards Institute (ANSI) T11 specifications.

The QLogic SANbox2 switch is the first production-level 2Gb switch product to receive a SANmark compliant rating. In addition to the successful results of QLogic's 2Gb Fibre Channel products, the company's previous-generation products also passed SANmark testing. Other products to pass were the SANbox 16, SANbox 16HA and SANbox 8 switches as well as the SANblade QLA2200 Series and SANblade QLA2100 Series HBAs. ...QLogic profile


Crucial Technology Joins NASBA As Executive Sponsor

Meridian, Idaho, November 5, 2001 - Crucial Technology, one of the world's largest memory upgrade suppliers, announced today its executive sponsorship of NASBA, an association of system builders and integrators.

The sponsorship gives thousands of system builders and integrators easy access to Crucial's high-quality, factory-direct computer memory upgrades in a trusted environment.

"Crucial offers many benefits designed for NASBA's sophisticated network of system builders and integrators," said Dwayne Cripps, Crucial's System Builder Sales Manager. "We offer dedicated customer support, fast and easy online ordering, and password-protected access to account history and order status. We're particularly excited to introduce NASBA members to the DDRevolution program. This program assists qualified system builders with perks like preferred allocation on emerging products, volume discounting on DDR SDRAM, and marketing materials to help promote DDR SDRAM-based systems."

"Crucial's partnership with NASBA brings a unique benefit to our members," said Robert Danese, NASBA Executive Director. "Crucial is known for consistent, high-quality memory products, as well as outstanding service and support. We're thrilled to bring their factory-direct products and programs to our member base." ...Crucial Technology profile, ...NASBA profile


EMC and Oracle Team to Safeguard Customers Against Data Corruption

Hopkinton, Mass. and Redwood Shores, Calif.- November 5, 2001 - EMC Corporation and Oracle Corporation today unveiled EMC Double Checksum, the first software product that leverages Oracle's data integrity features for a true end-to-end safeguard against data corruption.

With EMC Double Checksum, EMC is delivering the first data integrity application under Oracle's new Hardware Assisted Resilient Data (HARD) initiative, a comprehensive program designed to detect and prevent data corruptions before being written to disk. The Oracle database management system includes a standard data integrity feature that calculates a checksum — a unique identifier for each write request. With EMC Double Checksum, once the data passes through the multiple components of the storage network and reaches the EMC Symmetrix Enterprise Storage system, the Symmetrix calculates it's own "double check" checksum and compares it with Oracle's. If the two match, the data is committed to disk. In the event that data is altered or compromised between the server and the Symmetrix, the system administrator can either take immediate action or initiate a follow-up repair procedure.

"Today's complex networked storage environments require data to flow through many components, including servers, storage systems, switches and host adapters," said Chuck Hollis, EMC Vice President of Markets and Products. "Each component has the potential to compromise the integrity of data before it reaches the storage system. With EMC Double Checksum software, data corruption can be identified and corrected, saving businesses millions in compromised information, added service costs and lost revenue." ...EMC profile, ...Oracle profile, data integrity challenges in SSDs


Progress Software Acquires PeerDirect, an Innovator in the Data Replication Market

BEDFORD, Mass. - Nov. 5, 2001- Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ:PRGS) today announced the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of PeerDirect Inc., developers of a distinctive heterogeneous database replication system for high-speed and reliable distribution of business information.

Terms of the acquisition are undisclosed, but all current PeerDirect employees have accepted employment with the Progress Software family of companies. These employees will continue to enhance PeerDirect's technology, including adding support for the Progress database, and they will continue to support current and future PeerDirect users.

PeerDirect offers a replication system for securely distributing and synchronizing data stored on databases within the enterprise, as well as over the Internet. In acquiring PeerDirect, Progress will further extend the capabilities of its OpenEdge e-business platform, which includes its leading embedded database, Fathom and other proven products for application development, that aid in integrating disparate sources of data within business-critical applications. PeerDirect will remain headquartered in Toronto.

"PeerDirect has a revolutionary and patented database replication architecture," said Rick Reidy, senior vice president of products, Progress Software Corporation. "PeerDirect's sophisticated system for distributing and synchronizing relational databases, delivers powerful industry-leading replication capabilities to our own products. In addition, PeerDirect has great potential as an independent player in the heterogeneous database replication market." ...Progress Software profile, list of 500+ gone-away storage companies


ADIC Announces Support for AIT-3 Format Across Library Family

November 2, 2001 - Redmond, Washington - Advanced Digital Information Corporation (ADIC) today announced plans to offer Sony's new AIT-3 tape technology across ADIC's entire line of intelligent, storage network-enabled Scalar® and AML™ automated storage libraries in a move designed to provide IT departments with powerful new tools to manage their rapidly growing data.

The new AIT-3 technology offerings will double the capacity, throughput, and storage density of ADIC's entire line of AIT storage systems. The new technology will also make available the largest tape storage system ever created: with AIT 3 installed, the ADIC AML2 library can store up to 7,666 TB (native) of data in a single unit. In addition to offering new industry benchmarks, the new AIT-3 technology also protects end-users' storage investment by providing full backward read and write compatibility with earlier generations of AIT drives and media.

"ADIC is committed to providing our customers with access to the very best technology choices for storing and protecting their critical data," said Bill Britts, ADIC executive vice president for Sales and Marketing. "AIT-3 is an important leap forward for an advanced drive technology that has demonstrated significant value to the marketplace by combining high performance and capacity with field-proven reliability. ADIC will bring this technology to its entire AIT product line to provide storage solutions for a full range of SCSI, SAN and NAS storage environments."

The AIT-3 tape format stores up to 100GB native (260GB with 1:2.6 compression) on each 8mm format tape. Native data transfers speeds of 12MB/second and average file access times of less than 30 seconds give AIT-3 the performance needed both for high-speed backup and for near-line applications that use the capacity of tape to replace more expensive disk storage resources. ...ADIC profile, tape libraries


Sony Debuts S-AIT Technology Platform

SAN FRANCISCO - Nov. 2, 2001 - Sony Corporation today announced the development of the S-AIT format, a new tape-based data storage technology platform that will enable up to 500GB of native capacity to be stored on a single-reel, half-inch tape cartridge by the end of 2002.

The S-AIT drive will leverage Sony's scalable and reliable AIT architecture in a 5.25-inch extended drive form-factor. It is expected to deliver the industry's highest capacity tape drive, storing up to 500GB of uncompressed data on a single tape cartridge and featuring a sustained native transfer rate of up to 30MB per second uncompressed.

Matsushita Kotobuki Electronics Industries, Ltd. (MKE) and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (MEI), known for Panasonic-brand products, will provide the market with alternative manufacturing sources for S-AIT drives and media, respectively.

In addition, leading tape library manufacturers, such as ADIC, Qualstar and Spectra Logic have expressed their intention to support the integration of S-AIT drives and media into half-inch tape automation solutions. Several of these companies are expected to join an S-AIT Alliance under the established AIT Forum to promote the adoption and integration of S-AIT into a wide range of storage solutions.

Based on advanced helical-scan recording technology, which is known for its high data density, outstanding data transfer performance, as well as reliability and durability advantages, the S-AIT technology platform has a forward-looking roadmap with the potential to scale to up to four terabytes of uncompressed capacity in a single cartridge. The first generation S-AIT drives incorporated into automation solutions will provide uncompressed capacities ranging from four terabytes in a 2U rack-mountable configuration to more than 500TB in a 1,000 cartridge freestanding library.

"The explosive growth of digital content together with more data being generated electronically by businesses of all sizes, has led to a tremendous increase in demands for storage. The S-AIT technology is being launched to meet these needs in a very scalable and cost-effective way," said Steve Baker, vice president of marketing for the tape storage solutions division of Sony Electronics' Core Technology Solutions Company. "S-AIT marks a significant paradigm shift for tape storage technology by delivering up to five times the capacity of conventional tape formats in the market today."

Pricing and Availability S-AIT drives are expected to be available late next year at a list price of under $10,000. ...Sony profile

Editor's comments:- although the tape library market is under attack from a wide range of technologies at the low and mid range capacity segments from optical jukeboxes and hard disk based RAID backup, this new media announcement from Sony draws a new line in the sand and says that the tape industry intends to retain the high end market. Sony has lined up an impressive array of tape library manufacturers and other supporters for its new technology at launch time.


Bell Microproducts Europe snaps up Pan European distribution for Quantum SNAP

November 1, 2001 - Bell Microproducts Europe today announced the signing of a pan-European distribution deal with Quantum SNAP.

Through this unique agreement, Bell will distribute Quantum SNAP products across several key storage markets; France, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Italy, Sweden and the UK.

President of Bell Microproducts Europe, Ian French comments: "Quantum SNAP is internationally recognised as a leader in solutions for network attached storage which makes it an ideal partner for Bell Microproducts. Accounting for over 65% of all NAS units purchased in Europe, Quantum has proved that it is a very significant player in this arena. Quantum Snap has always been a key player in our NAS strategy and we believe that we can add real value to Quantum and its resellers and help increase their market share further."

The Quantum SNAP portfolio of products is one of the broadest available with capacities ranging from 40GB to 960GB.

Graham Paterson, vice president European operations at Quantum's Network Attached Storage Division added: "Ideal Hardware, Bell's UK operation, has been very successful with the SNAP products in and over the past two years has become our biggest distributor in this country. We are looking to grow this relationship in Europe, building on the expertise and understanding that Bell Microproducts has with our solutions." ...Ideal Hardware profile


Texas Memory Systems Unveils Industry's First Network Attached Solid State Disk

Houston, TX. - November 1, 2001 - Texas Memory Systems, Inc. announced today the NAS-250, the first network attached solid state disk.

The NAS-250 is the network attached storage device for performance demanding networks. With two fast Gigabit Ethernet ports, the NAS-250 accesses its files in microseconds instead of milliseconds (for disk based NAS). As servers and networks become faster, it is imperative to provide high-performance storage units that complement rather than constrict the rest of the system. Since the NAS-250 incorporates fast memory access techniques for its data storage, both Gigabit Ethernet ports can service over 40,000 storage requests per second. The NAS-250 makes for an ideal Internet edge content server. As SDRAM memory prices decrease and CPU chip's speed increases, the NAS-250 becomes a cost-effective method to speed up storage access. The NAS-250 is targeted at customers who demand more performance from their storage and storage networks.
Growing interest in SSDs
Readers of StorageSearch.com have increased their interest in Solid State Disks (SSDs) this year by a staggering 500%.
  • In January/February 2001, 1.3% of readers visited the SSD pages.
  • In October 2001, over 6% of readers visited the SSD pages.
As we've got a larger readership than any other enterprise storage portal, and because SSDs are a well established feature on this site (since 1998), it's reasonable to assume that the growth in reader interest is significant and probably indicates a real market trend.

SSDs are not new (the first SSDs appeared in military systems in the 1980's), but I'm speculating that there are two likely reasons for the recent surge in interest.
  • the increasing use of SANs. SAN's give higher throughput and better network utilisation of storage assets, but... response times are slower than using directly attached storage. SSDs enable users to cache time critical parts of their network storage to overcome this problem.
  • the Sun installed base of servers has been starved of faster processor clock speeds in 2001, with most new SPARC systems typically offering 900MHz instead of the 2GHz which the market actually needs.

    Traditionally many Sun users would have upgraded their servers by now. Market data shows that has not happened. The Sun server market declined much more steeply than the Intel Pentium server market. The only realistic options for Sun users who needed application speed ups have been to buy more of the (slower) processors, or tune their system performance using products like SSDs.
The first analysis above (SAN), suggests that SSDs will eventually become mainstream network storage tools. The second (lack of fast enough SPARC upgrades) would result in a temporary increase in SSDs as a system speed up. We'll report on this again later to see how the trend is going.

See also:- Solid state disks
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"The majority of existing NAS filers offer limited cache," according to Woody Hutsell, Marketing Director, Texas Memory Systems, "Our objective is to provide a stand-alone solid state disk for enterprises that have already committed to NAS or want to accelerate their teams that are using file servers." news image NAS-250 from Texas Memory Systems
Texas Memory Systems anticipates marketing this product to customers in the Internet, Entertainment, Energy, Financial, and Government industries. These industries have demanding requirements for very low latency and high storage throughput from their networks. The NAS-250 will support file sharing for UNIX and Windows. Tight integration of the NAS filer functions with the solid state disk enhances system performance.

"The NAS-250 will give Texas Memory Systems customers added flexibility as they attempt to solve storage bottlenecks," said Holly Frost, CEO of Texas Memory Systems, "They can choose between our RAM-SAN solid state disks for Fibre Channel Storage Area Networks or they can select the NAS-250 for easy attachment to Gigabit Ethernet networks."

While both products can be shared by heterogeneous host operating systems, it is easier to share files on the NAS-250. The NAS-250 is an excellent choice for companies concerned with the best in availability, scalability, size and performance for their storage. The NAS-250 allows system administrators to implement a two-level storage hierarchy. Hard disk based NAS units will provide the capacity needed for regularly accessed files and the NAS-250 will provide the fast access storage needed for the frequently accessed files. The NAS-250 will deliver 4x to 10x better access times than typical NAS devices.

Texas Memory Systems expects to start delivery of the NAS-250 in December. The NAS-250 will be on display at Comdex (Booth #L1447, Las Vegas, November 12-16, 2001) and at SuperComputing, (Booth #727, Denver, November 12-16, 2001). ...Texas Memory Systems profile, rackmount SSDs
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