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Storage news - 2001, October week 4a

Megabyte's selection of storage news
Megabyte was thinking that a week is an awfully long time in the storage market
the Fastest SSDs
the SSD Buyers Guide
What's a Solid State Disk?
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Alacritech Ships Industry's 1st GbE iSCSI Accelerator

Orlando, Fla. - October 22, 2001 - Storage Networking World Conference & Expo - Alacritech. today introduced its 1000x1 Server and Storage Accelerator the industry's first Integrated Storage Network Interface Card (IS-NIC) to simultaneously accelerate both IP storage and standard Ethernet traffic.

Alacritech's new Gigabit Ethernet Server and Storage Accelerator uses the company's patented, standards-compliant SLIC Technology® to offload network processing from software to silicon, delivering proven, enhanced performance of servers, NAS and iSCSI storage devices.

"Efficient network processing is the key enabler of the convergence of storage and networking," said Barry Haaser, vice president of marketing, Alacritech, Inc. "By offloading TCP/IP and SCSI onto the adapter, Alacritech's Gigabit Ethernet accelerator will enable NAS appliances and iSCSI devices to efficiently and reliably deliver full-bandwidth Gigabit Ethernet performance. Alacritech's proven, scalable acceleration solutions solve the I/O bottleneck for both storage and networking systems and provide a strong return on investment."


Quantum|ATL Leads Early Adoption of iSCSI

ORLANDO, Fla., Storage Networking World, October 22, 2001 –Quantum|ATL announced its roadmap for the adoption of iSCSI technology.

The roadmap calls for completion of the Gigabit Ethernet drive interface next month. Beta testing is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of next year, with industry-leading host bus adapter and software companies expected to participate. Quantum|ATL Ethernet tape libraries with an iSCSI interface can be plugged directly into an iSCSI network, with availability in the P-Series libraries scheduled in April 2002, and the M-Series libraries by the third quarter of 2002.


Marathon Technologies and NSI Software Team Up

Boxborough, Mass. / Hoboken, NJ, USA - October 22, 2001 - Marathon Technologies and NSI Software today announced a strategic partnership agreement to deliver the industry's first fault- and disaster-tolerant data replication solution for Windows 2000 environments.

Through this partnership, customers gain continuous access to data and uninterrupted application protection over a LAN or WAN. Proven through extensive testing, this combined solution gives customers the highest level of application availability, data protection and disaster tolerance. NSI Software's Double-Take' product provides data replication over dispersed networks while Marathon's Endurance product ensures fault and disaster protection - for overall maximum coverage and protection of valuable data and business-critical applications.

"We're very excited to partner with NSI Software in delivering this unmatched, one-of-a-kind solution," stated Linda Mentzer, vice president of marketing for Marathon Technologies. "This partnership makes it easy for customers to maintain a 24/7 operation in today's demanding business world while protecting their valuable data and critical applications."

"With e-mail and databases becoming core components of business operations, customers are looking for solutions that both protect their Windows environments and deliver high availability to critical data and applications," said Bob Guilbert, vice president of marketing for NSI Software. "Our strategic partnership with Marathon gives customers a proven solution for their Windows environments with the fault-tolerant and distance replication capabilities they need."

Marathon Endurance products protect businesses from the costs and consequences of business-critical server downtime. With the Load'n Go' feature, customers simply use shrink-wrapped application software and off-the-shelf Windows server operating systems, eliminating additional costly programming expenses. Using leading server brands, Marathon's patented ComputeThru® technology continues computing through all component failures and hot swaps. The No Touch Recovery® feature automatically assimilates new components into the array, restoring full redundancy, without operator intervention. The entire process takes place transparently to users. Marathon's SplitSite® technology delivers site disaster tolerance by permitting geographic separation of the two halves of a system up to 10 kilometers.
Other storage news on this page

Alacritech Ships Industry's 1st GbE iSCSI Accelerator

Quantum|ATL Leads Early Adoption of iSCSI

Marathon Technologies and NSI Software Team Up

Imation Selected by IBM

McDATA Develops Storage Solution Integrated with Cisco

TrelliSoft Announces Channels Program

10 Leading SAN Vendors Form Alliance

Astrum Software Helps Enterprises Overcome Storage Barriers

LSI Storage Announces 2GbpsFibre Channel Host Connectivity

Dell, EMC Sign Multi-Billion-Dollar Enterprise Storage Agreement

StoreAge to expand its US operations

Huge Attendance at Storage Expo

SNIA Open System Fibre Channel SAN Certification Launched
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Guest Nibble

How an $8 billion company knocked 8 hours off its backup cycle by using StorageCentral SRM to prune obsolete data from the network...

Tom Fairhurst, Network Administrator, Boise Cascade, International Falls, Minnesota relates his experience with StorageCentral SRM

article contributed by Steven Toole VP of Marketing for WQuinn

StorageCentral SRM paid for itself right out of the box. It helped reduce our primary file server's full backup window by 30% and, likewise, reclaim about 25% of the wasted space on that server. These two events helped us to better prepare for moving our files to our new storage Xiotech Magnitude SAN. Now, StorageCentral SRM is going to help us keep the cost of this very active file area under control as we pay for only the SAN space we need. Up until now, about 1,200 employees at our plant stored their home directories on a Windows NT, 70-gigabyte Gateway file server. It also houses some shared departmental directories and one directory used by the entire plant. However, the window for a full backup had grown to about 24 hours.

Before we could even think of moving any files to the SAN, we felt it necessary to audit the contents of this server by running StorageCentral SRM reports showing the characteristics of files. Reports, such as duplicates, files older than a year, files by media type, and usage by share, enabled us to pinpoint pockets of wasted space and to isolate the problem. Apparently, most of our employees had been dumping every file they had to their home directory just in case they needed a file down the road. Immediately we launched a clean-up campaign, telling everyone we'd be allocating 150-megabytes for home directory space, and holding everyone to his or her space allocation. We added that they'd have a month to go through their files and get rid of what they didn't need or to us see about having files burned to CD.

If a home directory exceeded the 150-megabyte amount, I used StorageCentral SRM to send the employee a report via (an Excel spreadsheet) listing his or her files. Making sure employees didn't move their files in the departmental shared folders became a key concern to us. Once a week we ran StorageCentral SRM reports to see if the size of the home directories decreased and the size of the shared folders increased. Everyone cooperated; the helpdesk phone didn't get many calls. Those employees who truly needed more space got it. Within a month, we freed up about 20 gigabytes of wasted space. Overall, for every employee whose files we archived, we had six employees who found they didn't need to keep a lot of files.

Reducing this amount of space enabled us to chop eight hours off our backup window. So, we could now do a full back on Friday night rather than waiting for the weekend. During the week, we backup only the changes since the last backup. Next, we turned on StorageCentral SRM's ability to monitor the amount of space everyone used. As employees reach 90 percent of their space allocation, StorageCentral SRM sends them a message saying how much space they have left, and what they need to do in order to free up space. If employees hit their space limit, they can save what they are working, but must free up space or call the helpdesk. Employees understand the reason they need to stay within their limit and take the appropriate measures to do so. Meanwhile, we'll need to use StorageCentral SRM on the SAN to maintain good file management practices to shrink our backup window even further. In fact, since the tape library will be directly attached to the SAN, we can backup files faster than relying on files traveling across the network. To this end, the logistics of avoiding backing up unnecessary files means more to us than the shrinking cost of disk space.

We also plan to use the same type of home directory space allocation and monitoring procedures on the SAN. Of course, we plan to put in similar procedures for shared departmental folders. By running StorageCentral SRM reports across each shared departmental folder, we can easily determine how much space we should allocate to each folder. We also plan to have the alerts go to those employees who are responsible for each folder. StorageCentral SRM's file blocking feature will help us automatically to enforce some of the company's policies for where employees can store their files. For example, employees aren't supposed to store digital images in their home directories, but in shared departmental folders for digital images. With StorageCentral SRM, we can set filters on certain media file types, and designate the areas that are to be blocked from storing these files types, or designate those areas that can accept these file types. If employees try to save a blocked file type in their home directory, they'll get a warning message saying why they can't store that file.

Our initial research about StorageCentral SRM gave our us the impression it was a top-rated product. Our experience with StorageCentral SRM confirms this to be true.


about the customer site:-

...Boise Cascade Corp, based in Boise, Idaho, ranks as the country's largest integrated manufacturer and distributor of paper and wood products. The company is also a major U. S. distributor of office products and building materials. Boise Cascade owns and manages more than 2 million acres of timberland in the U.S, ensuring the protection of all wildlife, plants, soil, and air and water quality. The company's premier pulp and paper mills make their home in International Falls, Minnesota. In fact, the company is one of the largest employers in northern Minnesota. Boise Cascade had revenue of $8 billion for fiscal year 2000.


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Imation Selected by IBM

OAKDALE, Minn. - Oct. 22, 2001 - Imation. today announced a 3 year agreement with IBM to manage and deliver after-market data storage media distribution services for IBM worldwide.

"Our agreement with Imation is a crucial part of our tape storage strategy to maintain strong relationships with media manufacturers and distributors, and to ensure tape system users are offered superior media services," said Bob Maness, director of worldwide product marketing, tape products, Storage Systems Group, IBM. "Imation provides a worldwide distribution network that strongly supports our distribution strategy for tape. Over the years, we've worked with Imation's strong technical and marketing team to promote IBM tape media offerings. This collaboration is a new phase in our relationship that will benefit our customers."


McDATA Develops Storage Solution Integrated with Cisco

BROOMFIELD, Colo. - Oct. 22, 2001 - McDATA, announced today that in cooperation with Cisco it has developed a fully integrated, enterprise-class storage networking solution that uses iSCSI to fibre channel bridging technology.

The OpenReady™ iSAN™ Solution, which is now available, integrates fibre channel storage and IP networking technologies from Cisco, IBM and McDATA. In addition to the solution announcement, McDATA has joined the Cisco AVVID (Architecture for Voice,Video and Integrated Data) Partner Program as a storage-networking member. Previously, practical costs and technological limitations only allowed IT managers of small to medium sized businesses to utilize high-end servers to access corporate SANs. By adding the OpenReady iSAN Solution IT managers can use iSCSI to cost-effectively extend access to more servers using existing data and storage networking equipment. The iSCSI solution allows businesses to take better advantage of fibre channel SANs by providing greater connectivity between servers and storage networks.

"With this solution, customers can further leverage the investments they have made in SAN technologies", said Jeff Vogel, vice president of solutions and systems integration services for McDATA. "Through the Cisco AVVID Partner Program and McDATA's OpenReady collaboration, customers can utilize mid-range switches to physically or logically consolidate their entire enterprise data infrastructure into a centralized, supportable architecture that will scale well into the future, thereby protecting and enhancing the investments they make today."

The OpenReady iSAN technology transports block-level SCSI data over TCP/IP networks to provide laptops, workstations and low- to mid-tier application servers the benefits of accessing high-performance fibre channel based SANs. The result is significantly improved data access while enabling the centralized management of consolidated enterprise data assets.

In addition to the servers, the key products integrated into the OpenReady iSAN Solution are the McDATA 3000 Series Fabric Switches, the ES-3016 and the ES-3032, the Cisco SN 5420 Storage Router, the first commercially available networking device designed to bridge iSCSI to fibre channel, and the IBM Enterprise Storage Server, code-named "Shark."


TrelliSoft Announces Channels Program

Glen Ellyn, IL – October 22, 2001 – TrelliSoft today announced the founding of the TrelliSoft Channels Program.

TrelliSoft believes that a strong and innovative channels program is essential for it to effectively deliver its SRM software worldwide, as no single vendor can solve all of an organization's complex storage problems. The TrelliSoft Channels Program is designed to encourage the success of these channels through innovative programs such as flexible licensing and revenue sharing for its most successful partners.


10 Leading SAN Vendors Form Alliance

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - October 22, 2001 - 10 leading hardware and software storage vendors today announced the formation of an alliance to launch the Open Storage Management Resources (OSMR) program.

The new program was created to help ensure product-to-product compatibility and deliver simplified SAN solutions to market. The first certified SAN package available through the OSMR program, "E-Z SAN", provides up to 1.1 terabytes of easily managed storage and will be demonstrated at Storage Networking World 2001 in Orlando, FL, October 22-24, 2001, booth P1. The E-Z SAN solution is comprised of the following products:
  • BakBone's NetVault backup/restore software
  • FalconStor's flagship software solution, IPStor
  • OTG's DiskXtender 2000 and SANXtender storage virtualization and file management software
  • Sanbolic's advanced volume sharing software, Kayo
  • Chaparral's 2GB Fibre Channel-to-Ultra 160 SCSI JFS224 RAID Controller
  • Hitachi's 73GB 10,000RPM U160 Disk Drive
  • JMR's FORTRA 10 Raid subsystem
  • JNI's 64-bit Single Port PCI-to-Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapter (33 MHz), FCE-6410
  • QLogic's 64-bit Dual Port PCI-Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapter (33MHz)
  • Vixel's 16-port 7200 and 8-port 7100 Fibre Channel Switches
"Networking Storage remains an intimidating task for most organizations, " Greg Mangold, vice president of marketing for Chaparral Network Storage observes. "The Fortune 5000 businesses have managed to develop expertise in-house to do it. However, the benefits of using storage networking are every bit as great in midrange companies. Chaparral's partnership in the OSMR initiative gives these businesses a plug-and-play E-Z SAN."

Editor's note:- it's difficult for second tier storage companies to get visibility in the market and convince users that they are a viable alternative to the top 10. Many SAN software companies have disappeared into the maws of systems companies this year, and I think the market will polarise into two segments:- open and proprietary. The kind of meta marketing described in this press release from BakBone Software will become more common as the "open" part of the market fights for greater recognition.


Astrum Software Helps Enterprises Overcome Storage Barriers

Orlando, Fla., October 22, 2001 - As the annual Storage Networking World conference kicks off, Astrum Software today unveiled StorCast for the Enterprise.

Based upon Astrum Software's flagship StorCast product, StorCast® for the Enterprise provides IT departments working in both Windows NT/2000 and UNIX environments with the intelligence to proactively manage and optimize current storage resources while improving data availability in a heterogeneous, multi-vendor environment. In the process, it helps managers more accurately prepare for such tasks as consolidation, disaster recovery, backup and capacity planning. StorCast for the Enterprise's new installation technology allows agents to be deployed across the enterprise on remote systems, from a single location, in less than 30-seconds.

StorCast for the Enterprise features Astrum Software's proprietary FAS™ scanning technology. FAS allows quick retrieval of vital information regarding storage and system resources, enabling IT managers to instantly create a data repository for policy management and storage reporting. FAS is able to scan Windows NT/2000 storage at industry-leading speeds of up to 2.0 TB per minute, collecting detailed file attribute information.

StorCast for the Enterprise includes a notification system that automatically alerts IT managers to problems within the network, preventing outages before they occur. In addition to providing Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) alerts, StorCast for the Enterprise can also trigger a command file that will address any breached storage policies, an automated action which ensures server and data availability and improves IT efficiency.

"Enterprise storage needs are extremely complex and dynamic. This is especially true for fast-growing companies," explained Robert Infantino, president and CEO, Astrum Software. "As these organizations continue to expand, it becomes increasingly difficult to predict and manage storage needs in an efficient and cost-effective manner, which is why StorCast for the Enterprise is so necessary."

"With StorCast for the Enterprise I am able to automate many manual and time consuming tasks, enabling my staff to focus on providing better service," said Kevin Harris, CTO and vice president of technology and services, Amerivault, Corp, a provider of online backup for business worldwide. "We are able to manage our 12TB of storage and pass the savings on to our clients."


LSI Storage Announces 2GbpsFibre Channel Host Connectivity

Milpitas, Calif., October 22, 2001 - LSI Logic Storage Systems. today announced general availability of 2Gbps Fibre Channel host connectivity in the new MetaStor E4600 storage system.

The MetaStor E4600 storage system supports up to 4 concurrent Fibre Channel host connections at a rate of two gigabits per second each. Because of its higher transfer rate and an increase in I/O operations per second, customers can attach more and faster servers from many vendors to a single E4600 with larger quantities of disk storage, including new, 180 gigabyte disk drives.

In database-intensive environments, the MetaStor E4600 can deliver up to 110,000 IOPs. The MetaStor E4600 can also deliver 390MB/s of sustained throughput for applications requiring very high bandwidth such as seismic processing, streaming media and video, and computer-based research and modeling.


Dell, EMC Sign Multi-Billion-Dollar Enterprise Storage Agreement

AUSTIN, Texas and HOPKINTON, Mass.- October 22, 2001 - Dell and EMC today announced a five-year, multi-billion dollar strategic alliance agreement to accelerate the growth of both companies' storage systems businesses in a market expected to reach $100 billion by 2005.

The agreement pairs the industry's leading computer systems company with the leader in networked information storage systems to serve customers worldwide. Under the agreement, Dell and EMC will co-brand EMC's CLARiiON line of enterprise storage systems. The alliance will make Dell the leading reseller of the CLARiiON product line, which will become Dell's standard offering for SAN and high-end NAS installations.

The relationship enables Dell to address a broader range of customer needs with storage products that provide additional enterprise-class features, including support for Unix operating systems. For EMC, the relationship builds on its strategy to work with partners to significantly increase its market presence in the rapidly growing Windows NT and Windows 2000 storage markets.

The companies have also agreed to work together when opportunities in Dell's enterprise customer base require the advanced features and functions of EMC's flagship Symmetrix line of enterprise storage systems and software. The companies will collaborate on the definition and explore the joint development of future open, networked storage systems. Additionally, Dell and EMC will look for opportunities to use Dell's procurement and manufacturing capabilities in the production of EMC CLARiiON products.

"We expect Dell's direct sales model will increase EMC's reach and capability to better service enterprise-class CLARiiON customers, including a much broader set of small and medium-sized businesses," said Joseph Tucci, EMC president and CEO. "The midrange information storage market alone last year was about a $15 billion opportunity, and we were barely scratching the surface with an industry-leading product. The new relationship with Dell will give us an edge to more rapidly gain market share."

"We believe this agreement effectively doubles Dell's market opportunity in the data storage business," said Kevin Rollins, Dell president and COO. "EMC's storage systems complement our own portfolio of enterprise computing systems and services, and customers will be the beneficiaries."

Dell will continue to offer its industry-leading PowerVault direct- and network-attached storage systems and EMC will continue to offer its industry-leading Symmetrix and CLARiiON family of enterprise storage systems and software, directly and through partners, to customers worldwide. Dell plans to begin offering the EMC products, which include the FC4500, FC5300, FC4700 and IP4700, to customers in November.

Editor's comments:- this agreement can be seen as both a strategic response to the HP/Compaq merger and as a short term fix to EMC's recently reported collapse in revenue.

In my January 2001 article I predicted that Dell would be one of the top 10 storage companies in 2003, a target which it was on course to achieve from its own resources. This EMC deal, just makes Dell's mission easier. The long term risk for EMC is that end users will perceive their storage as being Dell rather than EMC branded, and Dell could substitute its own products in the future. But EMC does have to switch from a direct sales, to a channel based marketing model to survive in a market where Terabyte storage systems have become commodity products. This deal provides an excellent business building opportunity for both companies.


StoreAge to expand its US operations

Orange County, CA - Oct 22, 2001 - StoreAge Networking Technologies has announced today a significant investment to expand its U.S. operation.

To lead this expansion StoreAge has appointed Mark Spowart as President of the company reporting to Eli Shapira, CEO. Spowart brings over 20 years of storage industry experience to the task. As VP of Sales at Quantum/ATL, he was instrumental in growing the company from a start-up to revenue exceeding $300M. Recently, while VP of Sales and Customer Service at QLogic Corporation, revenue doubled in less than 18 months and he ushered in a customer support structure capable of supporting end-to-end SAN solutions. Prior to Quantum/ATL he held management positions at Auspex Systems and Memorex Telex.

" Mark's significant experience in all the facets of the storage industry will serve us well as we build our U.S. presence, says Eli Shapira, CEO. " He helped ATL thrive in an emerging market very similar to what we face with the storage virtualization market."

StoreAge is opening a new sales/marketing headquarters in Orange County California and a few regional offices in addition to its support center in Scottsdale AZ.


Huge Attendance at Storage Expo

Weybridge, UK - October 22, 2001 - Exhibition organiser Imago Communications and exhibitors taking part in Storage Expo were overwhelmed by the reception to this launch event at the NEC in Birmingham, UK, last week.

The event, which sold out months before taking place, was projected to attract around twelve hundred visitors. Instead, actual attendee numbers almost doubled that figure. Everyone taking part agreed that it was a resounding success and proof that storage is probably the hottest area of IT, and least affected by the current economic and political climate.

Giles Mallon, Show Director, comments, "We were absolutely delighted that the response from the user market was every bit as enthusiastic as the vendors, when we first approached them about the idea of staging Storage Expo in the UK. Over two thousand people packed the hall over the two days, more than exceeding our expectations. More importantly anecdotal comments from the exhibitors were particularly complimentary about the well educated audience, who had obviously done their homework and arrived with a specific agenda in mind."

...10 years later:- the 2011 event was cancelled.
Storage Expo
Storage Expo 2002 is set to take place again the same week in October at the NEC in Birmingham. Imago has announced that its Account Manager, Harvey Bremner, has been promoted to Show Manager for next year's event. "We are trying hard not to let all of this go to our heads right now, because we feel that there is a lot more we could be doing to help bring vendors and user communities closer together," comments Bremner. "At the same time it is very pleasing to hear such a ringing endorsement from attendees and exhibitors alike that live events can form an integral part of for the IT purchasing process." ...List of Exhibitors at Storage Expo

Editor's comment:- I get lost very easily, which is why I don't travel much. After visiting LSI Logic Storage Systems, I walked all the way round the Expo, to reach my next destination:- the Auspex booth, which, was in fact just opposite where I started, as you can see in the picture.


SNIA Open System Fibre Channel SAN Certification Launched

October 22, 2001 - Infinity I/O and the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) announced today the launch of their Level 1, professional, and level 2, practitioner, certification program that will test IT professionals skills in Fibre Channel-based SANs.

Reacting to a strong industry demand worldwide for a single uniform standard by which an individuals knowledge of systems level, vendor-neutral, heterogeneous, open system network storage technologies may be judged, Infinity I/O initiated the creation and development of the Fibre Channel Storage Area Network Certification programme as the initial module of SNIA's overall network storage certification program.

Under a contract with SNIA, Infinity I/O is the exclusive developer and provider of Fibre Channel SAN certification for the SNIA.

"Assessing skill levels of Fibre Channel SAN Professionals in an Open System environment has presented some complex challenges. The combination of Infinity I/O's experience of Open System Training and SNIA's industry wide perspective has produced this unique certification program," said Robert "Sam" Samuel, co-founder and Executive Vice President of Corporate Development of Infinity I/O. "This is a major initiative for the industry which will benefit both suppliers and users of Fibre Channel SANs."

Rainer Hilsenbeck, Chairman of SNIA Europe's Education Committee said, "this is a very ambitious programme which shows the importance of having an organisation such as the SNIA to bring forward Open System certification. No one vendor could have done this on their own. Our co-operation with Infinity I/O has meant that we have been able to leverage upon expertise within the industry to create this industry 'first' for networked storage." He added "This certification programme is complementary to vendor product certification and provides a base on which vendors can base their own product certification."

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