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Storage news - 2002, April week 2a

. Megabyte's selection of storage news
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Simi Valley, Ca. - April 8, 2002 - NovaStor Corporation announces the release of InstantRecovery 3.0, a simple and cost-effective disaster recovery program for all versions of Windows, Linux and other Intel-based platforms. New support for USB, FireWire and PCMCIA removable storage devices gives users the broadest compatibility for disaster recovery. InstantRecovery is a self contained disaster recovery program that runs directly from CD to create backups of any physical hard drive or partition. Since InstantRecovery does not require installation, it does not interfere with the performance of your day-to-day activities.

Backups of hard drives made with InstantRecovery can be restored on the original hard drive or loaded onto a new hard drive to return the users' computer to its exact state when the backup was run. This allows users to recover from several types of problems like virus attacks, system corruption and hardware failure. New support for USB, FireWire and PCMCIA removable storage devices provides users with a wide array of device selections for performing their routine backups. In addition to the existing support for SCSI and IDE attached hard drives, tape drives and CD-RW drives, InstantRecovery 3.0 adds support for USB, FireWire and PCMCIA-connected tape drives and CD-RW drives. Now, backup images of almost any system can be conveniently made and stored safely in an alternate location. InstantRecovery can also be used as a convenient way for users to upgrade to a new, larger hard drive. Users can copy the entire contents of their original hard drive to their new, larger hard drive to maintain their exact working environment while gaining the additional free space.

Users can download the demo of InstantRecovery 3.0 from NovaStor's web site. InstantRecovery 3.0 is included free with every purchase of NovaStor's NovaBACKUP software or can be purchased separately for an introductory price of $39.95 from NovaStor's web site. Existing InstantRecovery users can upgrade to version 3.0 for only $19.95. ...NovaStor profile

Denver, CO - April 8, 2002 - Plasmon today announced that IBM Tivoli Storage Manager v. 5.1 software now supports the Plasmon 5.25 inch G-Series Magneto-Optical Libraries. The 5.25 inch G-Series Libraries are designed to address data-intensive archival applications found in environments demanding 24X7X365 reliability - a complementary match for IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, creating a high performance solution for protecting and managing your mission-critical business information in an enterprise-wide SAN and traditional network environment. Plasmon's G-Series Library supports the Sony 9.1GB-14x MO Drive for both rewritable and WORM media. The G-Series Libraries are designed to optimize today's 9.1GB-14x drives and tomorrow's UDO drive and media technology. Plasmon's G-Series ranges from 582GB (64 slots) to 5.8TB (638 slots) in capacity and from 2 to 12 drives, and provide industry leading features such as hot swap drives, redundant power supplies and 19-inch rack mounted configurations.

"Many of our IBM Tivoli Storage Manager customers need the benefits that only optical disk libraries can provide when used as part of their offline and nearline storage pool," said Brenda Zawatski, Vice President, Tivoli Storage, IBM Software Group. "IBM's Tivoli Storage is committed to keeping our device support up to date with the latest storage devices. To that end we've worked closely with Plasmon to support their new G-Series MO library." ...Plasmon profile, ...Tivoli profile

PALO ALTO, Calif. - April 8, 2002 - HP today commented on a decision by the Delaware Chancery Court to allow the complaint filed against HP by Walter Hewlett to proceed. "We respect the chancellor's decision to hear the evidence on the issues that have been raised. We remain confident, particularly based on the arguments presented, that once the facts are heard, we will prevail. We remain optimistic we will be able to complete the merger on our current schedule. HP continues its progress in integration planning and looks forward to the receipt of the certified vote result from the HP shareowner meeting, which is expected within a few weeks." ...HP profile

Las Vegas - April 8, 2002 - For those who don't know what it is, blue-ray is the next generation of optical discs that will be rewritable and able to store far more data than current DVDs. In addition, it could be an interchangeable disc, which is not the case today for recordable/rewritable DVDs. It is named after the blue-laser technology that is used to make them and is backed by nine of the leading manufacturers of DVD who, up until now, have offered competing industry standards for recordable/rewritable DVDs. Technical Committee 100 of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is scheduled to begin setting the stage to start discussions on blue-ray discs. Talks will begin in Tokyo, Japan, on 23 April 2002.

TC 100 Chairman Mark Hyman, who is a staff engineer for the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers in White Plains, NY, says: "The IEC is working to ensure that its doors are always open to industry to determine whether suitable multimedia standards can be developed, and this applies to DVD. The IEC has a history of creating very successful international standards for the multimedia field, from audio cassette tapes in the 1970s, to CDs in the 1980s and minidiscs in the 1990s. It is for industry to decide what does and does not get standardized. The IEC provides the structure and the means to do the work."

The blue-ray disc (sometimes also called blue laser) allows for recording, rewriting and playing back of up to 27 GB of data on a single-sided, single-layer 12 cm disc using a 405 nm blue-violet laser (in comparison, DVD-Video uses a 650 nm red laser). Blue-ray media can hold more than two hours of digital high definition video and more than 13 hours of standard TV broadcasting. The DVDs could also be used for PC data storage and high-definition pre-recorded video software.

West Lebanon, NH – April 8, 2002 - Platypus Technology, a high-performance solid-state storage system developer, today announced that the company has closed its second round of funding, totaling $7 million. The second round of financing is co-led by Washington-based ECentury Capital and Technology Venture Partners, a leader in information technology and communications funds in Australia. Additional key investors include Mitsubishi, The Carlyle Group and JAFCO Asia, the latter two having been investors in the company's initial round of funding.

Since launching a new product suite in the U.S. last fall, Platypus has secured a significant share of the burgeoning solid-state storage sector. With the new funding in place, Platypus will further extend its current suite of solid-state storage products as well as the company's sales and marketing initiatives, according to Platypus CEO Colin Lillywhite.

"The market growth potential for solid-state disk is increasing as the speed gap between microprocessors and rotating disk drives widens. It is not surprising that funding is being pushed into the solid-state market," said Robert Gray, research director, IDC. "Solid-state storage helps the entire system perform more efficiently. End users can expect to benefit from both reduced server and storage requirements."

According to a recent Web-Feet Research report, titled "Mechanical vs. Solid-State Storage Analysis: A Case for Solid-State Drives, 2001-2006," DRAM-based solid-state drive revenue is expected to reach more than $2 billion by 2006, driven by the substitution of standard disk-based architecture for high-performance, silicon-based alternatives. This prediction, as well as other industry and financial recognition of this growing storage subset, further solidifies Platypus' entrepreneurial stance to educate and encourage the benefits of solid-state storage.

"Because of the Platypus founders' longtime experience in the memory market, they were prescient in anticipating the long term decline of memory costs, and have taken advantage of that decline like none of their competitors," said Tom Dann, managing director, ECentury Capital. "Platypus is an exciting investment for us because the company's cost-driven approach to product engineering has tracked that price decline and yielded a much lower cost solid state storage product. The Platypus product set promises to enable new markets that would not previously have considered a solid-state solution to ease performance bottlenecks."...Platypus Technology profile

ARMONK, N.Y. - April 8, 2002 - IBM today announced that its first-quarter 2002 revenues are expected to be in the range of $18.4 to $18.6 billion compared with $21.0 billion in the first quarter of last year, based on preliminary data. The company said it expects first-quarter 2002 pre-tax income of between $1.650 billion to $1.750 billion. IBM also said that it expects first-quarter 2002 earnings per share will range from $.66 to $.70 compared with $.98 in the year-earlier period. ...IBM profile

Editor's comments:- IBM's stock price dropped about 10% by the end of the day as a result of this announcement.

BOULDER, CO - April 8, 2002 - Exabyte Corporation announced today its new market strategy and tape drive roadmap in the midrange tape storage solutions market. Exabyte will focus on two primary markets: The high-density 8mm and LTO™ automation market, and the DDS replacement market.

Exabyte will offer extremely competitive solutions to the high-density 8mm automation market by utilizing MammothTape™ and VXA™'s advanced reliability, capacity, performance and cost saving features. In addition to high-density 8mm automation, Exabyte will focus on delivering automation products integrated with Linear Tape-Open (LTO) tape drives. These products will be offered in rack mountable solutions with native Fibre Channel connectivity. They will also offer the highest densities at the lowest prices in the industry. Exabyte has updated its tape drive roadmap to compete effectively in these markets.

While the Mammoth-3 product that Exabyte has been developing represented a significant increase over current Mammoth-2 (M2™) specifications, the company has decided that integrating MammothTape and VXA technology will enable Exabyte to deliver an even more compelling product. A product that will leapfrog the competition in price, performance and value. Exabyte has decided to redirect Mammoth-3 development efforts accordingly. The new Mammoth-3 will offer dramatically superior price, performance and reliability features at a compressed capacity of 625 GB and a compressed transfer rate of 60 MB/sec. The drive will be available in two versions; one priced under $3,000 with backward-read compatibility to VXA products, and another with additional backward-read compatibility to M2 at an additional charge.

"This is a pivotal stage for Exabyte, a time of positive change and incredible opportunity. Over the past several months, we have made significant changes to our organization in order to focus on the products and markets that will generate the largest revenue opportunity and bring the company back to profitability," stated Juan Rodriguez, president and CEO of Exabyte. "The revenue opportunities in the 8mm, LTO automation, and DDS replacement markets are tremendous. I am confident that we have the right organization and technology foundation to gain significant share in these markets."

The DDS replacement market was created when limitations inherent to DDS (DAT) technology prevented DDS manufacturers Hewlett-Packard, Sony and Seagate from developing a next-generation product. This has left millions of DDS users in need of a next-generation tape storage solution that offers the same price point as DDS. Exabyte believes VXA products are the ideal replacement for DDS technology. ...Exabyte profile

Hopkinton, Mass.- April 8, 2002 - EMC Corporation has introduced new low-cost/high-density and high-performance drive technology for the EMC CLARiiON® line of enterprise storage systems to meet the wide and expanding range of storage requirements and applications. Today's announcement includes 181GB 7,200 RPM and 36GB 15,000 RPM disk drives, extending EMC's lead in delivering the investment protection and flexibility required by today's diverse, rapidly changing information storage environments. These two additions to the CLARiiON drive portfolio complement the current 73GB drives—offering customers the widest choice of capacity and performance.

The new 181GB drives more than double the maximum CLARiiON capacity (from 9TB to 22TB) per system and significantly reduce storage acquisition cost. In typical CLARiiON FC4700 configurations, for example, customers can now purchase the same hardware capacity for 30% less cost. Savings can grow to over 45% in larger configurations. The new high-speed 36GB drives directly complement the 181GB drives by providing maximized customer value in high-performance I/O situations such as online transaction processing (OLTP) environments. Testing has shown an average performance increase of up to 46% over the 36GB 10K counterpart in such environments. ...EMC profile

Walnut Creek, Calif. - April 8, 2002 - As businesses attempt to build airtight, cost-effective data backup and disaster recovery operations, EVault's CTO and V.P. of Operations, Ray Ganong, will deliver a presentation at AFCOM's Spring Conference & Expo that will address that very issue. Ganong's presentation, entitled "Cost-effective Data Backup and Recovery Does Not Lie in the Spool of the Tape," will take place on April 16 at 9:15am & 10:30am. The conference will be held April 14 – 18 at The Rio All-suite Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas.

The presentation will focus on how companies can leverage the Internet to implement an efficient data backup and disaster recovery plan that is more secure and effective than traditional "tape-to-truck" methods. Ganong will discuss how online data backup tools can make it easy and inexpensive for IT managers to transfer crucial data in an instant to secure, off-site vaults, whether that data is taken from a corporate server or an individual MS Exchange mailbox. It will also illustrate how managers can quickly retrieve data within minutes, without having to rely on more time-consuming and costly tape-based solutions. Finally, Ganong's presentation will show how managers can remotely coordinate data backup online, and how technology can make it easier for them to monitor backup operations across an entire organization.

"There are two universal truths when it comes to today's business environment, and those are that companies remain in belt-tightening mode, but they also recognize the need to implement a reliable, secure data backup and disaster recovery plan," said Ganong. "The purpose of this presentation is to show how online backup and recovery methods can help them store and retrieve crucial data within a matter of minutes, not hours or days, while cutting down on man-hours and other costs associated with more traditional means. It will demonstrate how online backup and recovery solutions present the perfect balance between security and cost-effectiveness." ...eVault profile

BOTHELL, Wash. - April 8, 2002 - Vixel Corporation (Nasdaq:VIXL) announced today an agreement under which Fujitsu Softek will acquire Vixel's SAN Management software business for up to $10 million. The agreement includes Vixel's SAN Management software, SAN InSite, associated intellectual property and key development team resources. Vixel has also announced that it is aligning its operations to reduce operating expenses by approximately 20% in fiscal year 2002 as compared with fiscal year 2001. This alignment will enable Vixel to focus its emphasis upon the Embedded Storage Switch and Rich Media SAN markets. ...Fujitsu Software Technology profile, ...Vixel profile

LAS VEGAS, NV [NAB 2002] – April 8, 2002 – DataDirect Networks announces the debut of a Silicon Storage Appliance that delivers a plug and play, cost-effective solution to creating SANs for workgroups and production environments: the S2A 3000 Silicon Storage Appliance. Each S2A 3000 Silicon Storage Appliance supplies an aggregate bandwidth up to 400 megabytes per second (depending on requirements) to workgroups typically consisting of one to eight Linux, Unix, Windows NT/2000, Sun, AIX, HP-UX and SGI compute nodes. The S2A 3000 can easily manage storage network environments ranging in capacity from 500 GB to 7 Terabytes. Deploying a workgroup SAN using the S2A 3000 is virtually plug and play, with users easily connecting servers and workstations into one side of the 1U high appliance and commodity-priced JBOD disks into the other side. System configuration and network virtualization is done in a quick, three-step process. Scaling of the storage network and activation of additional software modules (included in the S2A 3000) can be quickly and non-disruptively activated with a software key.

Pricing S2A 3000 Silicon Storage Appliance-enabled solutions (appliance plus storage, rack and enclosures) start from $39,000 (with 500 GB storage) and $49,995 (with 1 TB storage). ...DataDirect Networks profile
Other news on this page

NovaStor Improves Disaster Recovery with New InstantRecovery 3.0

Plasmon Announces Tivoli Support of 5.25 inch G Series Library

HP Comments on Court Decision to Proceed on HP-Compaq Merger Voting Process Complaint

Multimedia Tower of Babel or Lingua Franca?

Platypus Technology Announces $US 7 Million in Second Round Funding

IBM statement on first-quarter 2002 results

Exabyte Announces New Strategy and Tape Drive Roadmap

EMC Drives up Clariion Capacity and Performance, Reduces Acquisition Cost

EVault CTO to Offer Thoughts on Online Data Backup and Disaster Recovery at AFCOM Spring Conference & Expo

Fujitsu Softek to Acquire Vixel's SAN Management Software Group

DataDirect Networks Debuts S2A 3000 Silicon Storage Appliance

earlier news (archive)
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Nibble:- Re: Why It's Good to be Paranoid
About Getting Your Data Back

The title of a talk in a recent EVault press release ("Cost-effective Data Backup and Recovery Does Not Lie in the Spool of the Tape") got me thinking again about data recovery strategies. I take very seriously Intel founder, Andrew Grove's premise, which appeared on the cover of one of his many books that "Only the Paranoid Survive." In that context Grove was writing about business survival, but the concept is transportable to data backup and recovery.

We're now living in an age where a large part of most business activity revolves around the linchpin of corporate data. Without that data, most of us are like those many sad actors you see on talk shows. Without a script, you would not pay to watch them for very long... Our customers would soon think we were less than wonderful, if we forgot to ship their products, or even forgot who they are. The magic of data driven customer service would soon disintegrate into a tragic farce.

One of my customers, from data recovery company ActionFront Data Recovery recently commented about the peculiar nature of their business. They promote data recovery, by a variety of methods, but no one considers themselves to be in the market for data recovery until disaster strikes. So much of that advertising goes unnoticed. Now you may say that having a proper backup strategy would avoid many of those problems which require a data recovery company. But that just shows that you're probably not paranoid enough. In a way having a backup strategy is like fire insurance. You know it's a good idea, and you hope that the insurance will pay to rebuild your house if it burns down. But how many of us ask the critical question... "How long will it take?"

There are problems with every type of backup method, and I'm going to list just a few below which are all based on real life examples.

  • The backup tape broke. Then the alternative backup tape broke. Then we found there was a problem with the tape drive and it was chewing up all the tapes.
  • The new web backup company went bust.
  • Someone broke into the building at the weekend. They stole all the PC's, and servers, and the tape drives.
  • We regularly did backups, but only discovered when we tried to restore, that we weren't backing up most of our critical information. Just stuff for applications which are really old and which we no longer use.
  • We used a new style of disk to disk backup system. Then a new kind of worm entered our network and trashed our data, and the backup.
  • The new business plan was on the marketing VP's notebook, which got stolen.
  • There was an electrical fault in our jukebox/tape library which caught fire overnight. Although it self extinguished, many of the optical disks/tape cartridges got somewhat melted.
  • We used an internet based data replication scheme. But the electrical storm which knocked out our server, also knocked out the connections to our local ISP. It will be days before we can reload data down the wires.
  • Our old server broke, so we got a replacement model. The new version of the server OS doesn't recognise or work with our old backup system.
  • The systems administrator who knows all the passwords for restoring everything, is out of communication for two weeks on a walking holiday in the Gobi Desert. He left some notes with someone who got run over by a police car this morning.
  • The systems administrator was tired and accidentally overwrote all the new files with old data.

Are you starting to feel paranoid yet?

If so that's a good thing. It's better to start worrying now before you encounter a real problem. All data protection schemes work some of the time, some of them work most of the time, but no single method of data protection works all the time. If your corporate survival depends on the survivability of your data. then start looking at a diversity strategy now. Use more than one method to reduce the rsiks of the most convenient method letting you down. Is that paranoid? Maybe so. But to recap the references I used at the start:- "Cost-effective data backup and recovery does not lie in the spool of the tape" and "Only the paranoid survive."

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Data Storage Depot is a leading supplier of new Disk, Memory, RAID, NAS and Tape products for SUN workstations and servers.

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