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storage news - 2002, December week 1

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View from the Hill

StorageSearch.com looks back on 2002

During the worst days of the US IT recession in 2001, most optimistists were looking forward to a recovery in 2002 which would solve all their business problems...

Well, the recovery came, if you believe the economic data, but this didn't mark the end of storage company woes. When I looked at the financial results of the top 1,000 storage companies for my May article the fastest growing profitable STORAGE companies in the US - I found it difficult to find many companies which were actually making money, so the choice was limited. And I concluded that because of competitive pressure, storage prices in most cases were reflecting the aspirations of companies to grow market share rather than achieve profitability. I commented that for many vendors in the storage industry the recovery could be as bad as the recession.

If we needed any clearer confirmation of this, it came loud and clear from a series of financial results from EMC, the darling of the dotcom boom era, which showed that the company was reporting quarterly revenues at a run rate less than half its $9 Billion FY 2000 peak. So in 2002, EMC lost its leadership role as the model of a successful storage company. But was the recession the sole cause? Or were there underlying changes in the way that buyers were viewing storage vendors? My interpretation was that many of EMC's problems could be traced to the hundreds of other storage companies which were nibbling away at its target markets, and that it would never recover its once pre-eminent market share unless it could become the lowest cost supplier.

Still in the land of the giants, the month of May saw the merging of HP and Compaq into the world's largest storage company. By year end the only positives which had come out of the merger were the optimistic sounding aspirational pronouncements in HP press releases. But these sentiments belied the economic data coming out of the company and its partners. If shareholders and users were going to see benefits arising from the merger, they would have to wait another year to find out.

2002 was also the year in which we discovered that the number one emerging technology of 2001, iSCSI, was still mostly vaporware. Although dozens of companies announced their plans for TCP/IP Offload Accelerators, FCIP and iSCSI accelerators during the course of 2002, there was very little shipment of real tangible hardware products to users, something which we discovered when our advertising sales person knocked on the doors of the companies in the industry in the summer. As several distributors neatly summarised:- "If we can't ship it, because the manufacturer hasn't made it, then there's no point in us advertising these products." Manufacturers who were shipping products were shipping so few that they mostly reported they had little or no marketing funds to do any advertising at this stage in the market cycle.

However, the software side of the internet storage market continued growing apace. iSCSI and related software became the fuel for the holy grail of real-time offsite backup and data replication. RAID manufacturers found that by partnering with the right software company, they could find a new theoretical need for their boxes as disk to disk backup systems. The D2d niche originally pioneered by Nexsan Technologies was joined by a growing pack of other companies including Globalstor Data and ASACA. I wasn't sure whether users really would adopt the D2d network backup paradigm in large numbers until StorageTek announced its BladeStore disk subsystem in October. StorageTek, founded in 1969, has been around long enough to see many passing fads and in recent years the company has not the fastest off the starting block. So I reckon that their market research must have confirmed that disk to disk backup really is something that big storage users want to do.

There are no doubts about the #1 emerging storage technology in 2002. It was Serial ATA. We first started running news stories about Serial ATA in February 2001, and created a special directory page, featuring Megabyte's Auntie Wanda in November that year. But interest in Serial ATA remained low. As with most new emerging technologies, it's mainly marketers and systems developers who are interested until there's an imminent prospect of real products appearing. In July, it entered the top 10 directory subjects on STORAGEsearch, and in August hit #1, where it has been parked ever since.

The companies of the year in 2002, measured by STORAGEsearch reader pageviews on their company profile pages, were LSI Logic in the #1 slot, followed closely by Maxtor, IBM, Adaptec and Sony respectively.

That was the upside. On the downside the number of top 1,000 storage companies which had been acquired or gone bust since the millenium passed the 130 mark. Despite that venture capitalists continued to pour funds into even more storage start ups.

Surprisingly this year the number of storage related events didn't seem to drop off.

Our events archive for 2002 looks just as packed as it did the year before. I can only assume that in a market where everything seems to be changing so fast, a lot of people value the insights they get from talking to other people in the same predicament and being able to touch and feel products to get an idea how real they are. As a leading publication in the industry this year we were proud to have sponsored the following storage expos and conferences:- IDC Storage Forum , Network Storage 2002, Storage World Conference 2002, Storage Expo 2002, Storage Visions 2003 and Server I/O 2003 (the latter two events take place next month in January 2003).

2002 was also the year when the rest of the IT publishing market finally caught onto the importance of the storage paradigm, and you could say it was the year of the storage portal bubble.

The number of significant web based storage publications carrying advertising grew from a few dozen in 2001, to more than a hundred in 2002. It's hard to believe that there will be enough advertising dollars to sustain all this frantic activity, but it's going to be a big market, so there are many hopefuls out there.

And how did this affect the mouse site? It was hard to notice any significant change as our readership patterns as our readership once again doubled compared to the year before. And as we ended our 11th year as an IT directory publisher and 7th year as a dotcom, we were pleasantly surprised to see that once again we had achieved double digit revenue growth and were still profitable. Of course, we couldn't do this without the help of the thousands of you readers who contribute articles, ideas and raw content to the site, and without the help of our loyal and growing base of advertisers who have stuck with us in good times and in bad.

To all of you, thanks for taking the time to read STORAGEsearch. We hope you find it useful and will bookmark this web site so you can rejoin us after the holiday in the new year ahead. When, who know? The recovery might be for real.

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Worldwide Disk Storage Systems Factory Revenues Decline 3% Sequentially in Third Quarter, According to IDC

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. - December 6, 2002 – Worldwide disk storage systems factory revenue was $4.7 billion in the third quarter of 2002, down 3% compared with the second quarter of 2002, according to IDC.

Overall, HP maintains its total storage revenue leadership with 27% share, followed by IBM with 20% share. Hitachi, LTD and IBM had the strongest sequential quarterly revenue growth, with 23% and 7% respectively. The top 5 disk storage systems vendors in Q3 2002 were:-
  • HP - $1,294 million
  • IBM - $952 million
  • EMC - $505 million
  • Dell - $278 million
  • Hitachi - $277 million
  • Others - $1,439 million
"The failure to gain revenue momentum in Q3 is yet another indication that a rebound in the disk storage systems market is not imminent," said Charlotte Rancourt, research director of IDC's Disk Storage Systems program. "The third quarter is consistent with an emerging trend whereby growth in gigabyte per unit does not offset the unrelenting decline in dollar per gigabyte."

The NAS and Open SAN storage market declined more in revenue than the overall market, 10% and 6% sequentially. Competition continues to be healthy, however, resulting in a number of market leadership changes. Network Appliance took the lead in the NAS storage market with 38% revenue share, while EMC, the leader for the past several quarters, fell to the number 2 position this quarter with 31% share. In the Open SAN storage market, HP edged out EMC for the number 1 position with 30% revenue share, while EMC followed with 27% share. EMC continues to maintain its leadership in the total network storage market (NAS combined with Open SAN) with 28% revenue share.

"Customers took advantage of the scalability of installed SAN and NAS solutions to increase capacity at lower cost," said John McArthur, group vice president of Storage Research at IDC. "The declining revenue picture can sometimes be misleading. The trend towards networked storage continues, which means that suppliers have to look beyond revenue to see that capacity growth of networked storage exceeds the growth of direct-attached storage." ...IDC profile


ADIC to Supply Tape Libraries to Sun

REDMOND, Wash - December 6, 2002 - ADIC today announced that the company will supply tape libraries to Sun Microsystems through a new OEM agreement.

The agreement covers both DLT and LTO drive technologies, and it includes products based on one existing ADIC library and one new platform. Shipments of initial library units are scheduled to begin during December 2002 and January 2003. ...ADIC profile, ...Sun Microsystems profile


Promise Expands its Distribution Channel in UK with Hammer PLC

Eindhoven, The Netherlands - December 6, 2002 - Promise Technology Europe has signed Hammer PLC to become part of its distribution channel for the United Kingdom.

Through this partnership, Promise Technology Europe will expand its worldwide market leadership in ATA and ATA-RAID storage solutions and improve the availability of market-leading storage technology in the UK.

"With our continued growth in ATA-RAID and Serial ATA, we were looking to expand distribution in the United Kingdom, and with Hammer plc we have appointed the right distributor. Hammer PLC has many years experience marketing storage solutions and has had great success in SCSI-RAID solutions," said Paul Devine, Sales & Marketing Director of Promise Technology Europe BV. "Together we see great opportunities in the expanding ATA-RAID and RAID subsystem market for the United Kingdom." ...Hammer Distribution profile, ...Promise Technology profile


RadixProtector Recovers PCs from Crashes VIRUS Attacks and Even Accidental Disk Format Within Seconds

earlier news (archive)
Burlington, MA - December 6, 2002 - Radix America, LLC. introduces to the U.S. market the RadixProtector solution.

The solution recovers Personal Computers' data instantly without the need to reload software applications or the operating system. The recovery is completed in 10 seconds or less simply by restarting the Personal Computer. The RadixProtector solution uses a software and hardware combination that takes a snapshot of an entire Personal Computer; operating system configuration, installed applications and CMOS setup. Once the snapshot is saved the computer can be recovered from any type of damage even a low-level disk format such as FDISK.

Since the RadixProtector solution saves the entire PC configuration and can recover it within seconds, it is extremely beneficial to large organizations that have numerous Personal Computers that need constant Help Desk support. Organizations with critical PC uptime such as Call-Centers, Education Facilities, Public Libraries, Brokerage Firms and large enterprises can recover their desktop PC from operating systems malfunction, virus infections, accidentally formatted hard drives, damaged boot sectors, etc. with a simple reboot.

Organizations who implemented the RadixProtector solutions are experiencing the ROI benefits immediately by saving on manpower, drastically reducing costly Help Desk support calls and by eliminating time spent re-installing and re-configuring PCs. RadixProtector proves to be useful also as a configuration management solution. Since Personal Computers performance degrades over time due to incomplete installations, full temporary directories, malicious code, etc., it is a common practice to "wipe out" the entire PC content and reinstall it. This kind of cleanup process is time consuming and may not be as smooth as planned. The RadixProtector performs the PC cleanup operation in 10 seconds or less. RadixProtector product comes in a standalone version for individual use and a network version for remote control by a System Administrator ...Radix America profile


Fibrenetix Appoints CMS to Distribute its Products in UK

Crawley, UK - December 5, 2002 - Fibrenetix has appointed storage specialist CMS Peripherals as an official distributor of its products throughout the UK.

Announcing the appointment, Tom Davis, UK Channel Manager for Fibrenetix, said "Fibrenetix Ltd is the UK market leader in cost-effective storage systems and we, together with CMS, believe that a partnership between our two companies will further strengthen this position and bring real benefits to our customers and prospective customers. "With over 4,000 RAID systems installed in the last four years, Fibrenetix is recognised as a pioneer of IDE and cost-effective RAID solutions. The Company has also expanded its product line to cover key technologies like SAN, NAS and Storage Virtualisation."

Frank Salmon, Managing Director of CMS Peripherals said "The outstanding value-for-money built into Fibrenetix products needs to be brought to a wider audience and we both believe that CMS is the right company to do that. Because of CMS' absolute storage focus, our expertise in this area of IT is second to none. This has contributed to our position as preferred partner for the largest UK & Irish resellers - and as the preferred distributor for some of the best known IT brands."

Fibrenetix products range from 200GB to 3.2 Terabytes in a single 4U high enclosure. The Company's largest single storage installation is currently a 120 Terabyte "grid" computer installation. Fibrenetix storage products are sold in more than 17 countries. Key markets include Germany, United Kingdom, France, Benelux, Scandinavia, Spain, Italy and Israel. In addition, it has established increased product sales and service in the North American and South American markets. ...CMS Peripherals profile, ...Fibrenetix profile


Arkeia Network Backup Software now Bundled with Mandrake Linux

COSTA MESA, Calif. - December 5, 2002 - Emulex Corporation announced today that Bull Technologies has selected the Emulex LightPulse 2Gb/s LP9002L HBA for integration into the company's series of Escala servers.

The selection of Emulex's LP9002L HBA was based on its unique feature set, including compatibility of a single driver across all Emulex HBA generations and a firmware-based architecture, which helps to reduce management complexity and lowers the customer's total cost of ownership.

"Emulex HBAs provide Bull with a high performance connectivity solution, which enhances the functionality, reliability and performance of our Escala family of servers," said Jean Brechon, Bull Technologies Senior Vice President. "Bull is committed to working with industry leaders, such as Emulex, to provide best-in-class enterprise solutions that guarantee the same level of quality and customer satisfaction that we demand of our own family of products." ...Emulex profile


Bull Selects Emulex 2Gb/s HBAs for Escala Server Series

Carlsbad, Calif. - December 5, 2002 - Arkeia Corporation announced today that its enterprise backup solution is now included with the new Mandrake Linux 9.0 software package.

Affirming its leading position in the Linux desktop arena, Mandrake Linux 9.0 features redesigned graphical desktops and configuration utilities. Based on proven technology used worldwide, Arkeia v5 is an industry standard for heterogeneous enterprise network backup, with distributed client/server architecture, administrative capabilities, and multiplexing technologies enabling Arkeia to provide enterprise-class technology at an affordable price. Arkeia Light, the free version of Arkeia based on the same engine as the commercial version, is included in each Mandrake Linux 9.0 distribution. It supports one Linux backup server with a single-tape drive and 2 backed up Linux, BSDs and/or desktop-class Windows computers. Mandrake Linux 9.0 PowerPack Edition is sold at $69; the ProSuite Edition costs $199. ...Arkeia profile, ...MandrakeSoft


Sony Launches Micro Vault Line that Offers USB 2.0 Connectivity and Storage Capacities up to 256MB

PARK RIDGE, N.J. - December 4, 2002 – Sony's latest generation of Micro Vault™ USB storage media devices are built on the USB 2.0 platform, offering faster data transfer than their predecessors yet maintain backward compatibility with the USB 1.1 protocol.

The Micro Vault family includes a new 256 Megabyte model that can store the equivalent of 176 floppy disks, making it easy to transfer and store large amounts of data. By employing Hi-speed™ USB technology, the new devices provide users with a file transfer speed that is five times faster than USB 1.1. Micro Vault USB 2.0 reads files at a speed of up to 5.5 MB per second, and writes files at up to 1 MB per second. For context, 5 MB is equivalent to 30 seconds of broadcast-quality video. Sony's USB 2.0 Micro Vault product line will be available in January. ...Sony profile


Kentron Technologies Inc. Announces the Adoption of DDRI-400 DRAM Devices to Support Quad Band Memory (QBM) 800MHz Modules

Wilmington, MA - December 4, 2002 – Kentron Technologies, a leading provider of next generation memory technologies has announced that its family of high performance QBM memory modules will support the DDRI-400 DRAM devices expected to become mainstream in the 2nd half of 2003.

While the DRAM manufacturers such as Samsung, Micron, Hynix and Elpida focus their resources on improving bandwidth at the device level, Kentron's technology improves speed and density on the module or "platform" level using standard, "off-the-shelf" DRAM devices.

The QBM technology doubles the bandwidth of current, low cost DDR memory devices by using innovative switching technology to deliver the highest memory bandwidth in the industry. By combining the low cost, QBM switch component and DDRI-400 devices, Kentron and its partners will deliver QBM800 modules that match the 800MHz front side bus of new system processors (CPUs) expected to be available in the 2nd half of 2003. The QBM800 modules will operate up to 6.4 GB/sec (single-channel) and 12.8 GB/sec (dual-channel) and will be positioned as the lowest cost and highest performance memory modules in the industry.

Kentron and its channel partners will be introducing QBM533 (4.2 GB/sec) modules using DDRI-266 memory devices in Q1 of 2003 for use with new motherboards being introduced with the new P4X800 chipsets from VIA Technologies, Inc. The QBM533 modules combined with the VIA P4X800 memory controllers will match the fast 533MHz front side bus of CPUs and provide the highest performance single channel solution in the system marketplace. As the CPUs move to the faster 667MHz and 800MHz front side bus, Kentron will be providing QBM based solutions to meet those speeds too.

QBM, with the innovative module level switching technology, resolves the challenge of memory bandwidth keeping pace with the fastest microprocessors and minimizes the density restrictions exhibited by DDRI-400 modules due to capacitive load on the memory bus. QBM solves both of these challenges with its patented switching technology. The switch component is the key in QBM's bit packing technique which provides twice the bandwidth of standard DDR devices. The QBM switch component also acts as an On / Off switch to turn off the QBM modules not in use in a system, thus reducing the capacitive load on the memory bus and allowing for greater system density. ...Kentron profile


InPhase Technologies Gets a Government Grant and Commercial Investment for Developing Holographic Data Storage

Longmont, CO - December 3, 2002 - InPhase Technologies today announced that it will develop high-performance rewritable holographic data storage media through a project grant from the Advanced Technology Program (ATP), part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The two-year project, to be administered by NIST, commenced in October, 2002 and consists of a $2,000,000 grant to InPhase from the ATP for the development and demonstration of rewritable recording materials for holographic data storage systems that offer ultrahigh storage density and data access rates.

The ATP grant is significant in that it signals a greater commitment on the part of the U.S. government to spearhead ongoing research and development for key U.S. technologies, such as holographic data storage. InPhase is poised to become the first company to deliver commercially viable holographic products to the market. The InPhase Tapestry™ system has already demonstrated recording and playback of digital video. ...InPhase Technologies profile

Editor's comment:- Father Christmas came early this year for InPhase Technologies, because the day after the above news, the company announced that Hitachi Maxell will make a strategic multi-million dollar investment toward InPhase's development of its patented Tapestry holographic media...

InPhase and Hitachi Maxell also announced that they have entered into a joint development agreement to further innovation in holographic media manufacturing. The strategic investment from Hitachi Maxell will enable InPhase to continue its development of the initial Tapestry product, which is scheduled to reach the market in 2004.



MTI Offers Storage/Backup Leasing Options

Anaheim, Calif. - December 3, 2002 - MTI Technology Corp., a provider of storage and business solutions for more than two decades, announced today it is offering pre-packaged enterprise-class data storage and backup solutions specially priced and financed for departmental deployment.

Available through January 31, 2003, the offering features in-house financing – arranged through new MTI partner Canopy Capital, Inc. – that includes three-year leasing options, 0% interest for 12 months, and low monthly payments. MTI is known for its expertise in providing storage solutions, and with Canopy Capital as its financing arm, the company can now combine the solutions with the financial to give customers added flexibility.

For this special offering, MTI is packaging three different configurations: a single-host direct-attached solution, a multi-host Fibre Channel SAN solution, and a 2-gigabit Fibre Channel SAN solution – priced from $2,020, $2,425 and $3,119 per month, respectively. Each configuration includes a high-performance MTI Vivant™ series storage subsystem, with capacities of 1 to 1.17 terabytes; high-speed automated tape libraries based on Quantum/ATL architecture, with capacities of 1.5 to 2.2 terabytes; Legato NetWorker backup and recovery software; and MTI's robust management software suite for remote monitoring and phone-home alerting. The packages are rack-mounted in a 40-inch cabinet and include complete installation, a three-year warranty and maintenance.

MTI designed these packaged storage and backup solutions primarily for at-risk departments whose servers are outside the IT center but who need their data to be available, protected and accessible at all times.

"These departments usually can't afford the typical $150 thousand upfront acquisition costs," said Kevin Clark, MTI's vice president, North American sales. "With our new leasing options, these customers can take advantage of the new technologies and affordable pricing we've been able to get from our vendor partners." ...MTI Technology profile


New Imperial Technology Software Smashes the Price Barrier for Solid State Disk Performance

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - December 03, 2002 - Imperial Technology today announced its MegaRam-SuperSpeed SSD software solution for Microsoft NT, Windows 2000 Advanced Server, DataCenter, and Windows XP environments.

"Even though Imperial has slashed prices on our hardware SSD's by up to 80% over the last 18 months, it's been a challenge to sell hardware SSD's to standalone Microsoft-based clients when the SSD may cost more than their server. The MegaRam-SuperSpeed software allows us to offer another alternative that makes it simple for these users to justify the kind of enabling performance an SSD delivers at a fraction of the cost." said Robert David, CEO and president, Imperial Technology.

MegaRam-SuperSpeed software allows users to use excess memory like a virtual hard disk (also known as a Memory Disk, Disk Cache or RamDisk) thereby supercharging application performance. The software differs from simply defining a RamDisk in that a Performance partition is created on a system hard drive that corresponds to the memory space. This critical difference allows the data to be written to the memory space as if it were a hard drive and the application benefits from 100x faster performance than a traditional hard drive. Writes are then written to the corresponding Performance partition on a system hard drive for complete non-volatile operation. The software runs on standard unmodified Microsoft NT, Windows 2000 (Advanced Server and DataCenter) and Windows XP systems with Intel and/or AMD processors. MegaRam-SuperSpeed software is available immediately and pricing begins at under $500. ...Imperial Technology profile

Editor's comments:-
although many hardware engineers regard system software as "that thing which slows the hardware down", there are many examples in the storage market where using the right kind of software can make a helluva difference. For example VERITAS Software recently announced that companies who use VERITAS storage software with Sun Solaris 9 experience 15 times faster computing performance and improved system reliability compared to those who simply run the native software provided with the OS. Even down at the host bus adapter level, companies like Tabernus have helped systems integrators and OEMs double the performance of these interfaces with their better software drivers. So the entry of Imperial Technology into the software acceleration market is part of a wider market trend where companies put their expertise about removing system bottlenecks into the code.


GlassHouse Technologies Hits Glass Ceiling and Moves to Larger Offices

Framingham, MA - December 3, 2002 GlassHouse Technologies, Inc. today announced that it has relocated its offices to 200 Crossing Boulevard, Framingham, MA effective immediately.

The new facilities double the company's office, lab and meeting space, supporting growth in its consultant and business force.

"Our business is thriving because we deliver real value by working with companies to develop storage strategies that support business goals," said Mark Shirman, President and CEO. "We see continued growth as more of business' IT budget is consumed by storage-related expenditures."

"Because GlassHouse Technologies doesn't sell hardware or software, we can focus on helping our clients improve their organizational effectiveness," said Richard Scannell, GlassHouse VP of Corporate Development and Strategy. "Having a viable storage strategy is about much more than hardware or software - what's important is understanding the value of information to your company, and designing storage environments that match the value of information to the business risk of losing that data. We are growing because we help clients solve that equation." ...GlassHouse Technologies profile


New Seagate Barracuda Hard Drives Attack Again With Serial ATA And 80GB-Per-Disc Technology

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. - December 2, 2002 - Seagate today announced the Barracuda 7200.7 and the Barracuda 7200.7 Plus disc drives for PCs.

Using advanced head and media technology to achieve 80-Gbytes-per-disc, the new drives add storage capacity of up to 160 Gbytes to Seagate's popular Barracuda hard drive family. The new models will offer the choice of a native Serial ATA interface or a Parallel ATA interface. The Barracuda 7200.7 Plus has a standard onboard cache of 8 Mbytes and capacities of 160GB and 120GB, while the Barracuda 7200.7 offers cache of 2 Mbytes on 160GB, 120GB, 80GB and 40GB models.

Seagate is shipping Serial ATA drives today, and the Barracuda 7200.7 extends the technology delivered by its predecessor, the Barracuda ATA V. Serial ATA is a faster, simpler, more intelligent interface technology designed to replace Parallel ATA as the PC and consumer electronics storage interface standard. Seagate's native Serial ATA technology contains no translator bridges to reduce performance. Serial ATA provides the industry with a clear path to continued storage growth, data integrity and ease of integration. ...Seagate profile


Sony Introduces Medical Storage Line

CHICAGO (RSNA, Booth #5141) - December 2, 2002 - Sony Electronics' new line of tape-based and network-attached storage systems support the growing demands of hospitals and medical facilities to quickly archive and access patient data in centralized and decentralized storage environments.

Sony's new medical storage family offers a means for doctors and hospitals to store digital images and files from PACS, radiological scans and patient records.

"As the medical community continues to increase its use of digital imaging, it faces an urgent need for high-capacity, yet practical ways to store digital data," said Steven Blum, vice president of medical systems for Sony Electronics' Business Solutions and Systems Company. "Sony's network storage solutions are designed to meet these exploding demands by maintaining the integrity and quality of sensitive data while providing an easy, automated system for managing stored data. The tape drive, tape library and NAS solutions are so cost-effective and compact that even small departments or clinics can take advantage of our advanced storage technology. By making stored visual images more readily accessible and easier to manage, this product family allows the medical community to reduce the cost and time associated with retrieving and reinterpreting older files. Sony's new medical archival solutions are easy to install and manage with minimal impact on network availability. They are compatible with multiple operating systems platforms for interoperability in heterogeneous IT environments."

All of Sony's new storage models for the medical industry are currently available through its authorized medical integrators. The company offers a three-year limited warranty, and optional on-site service support and enhancement programs for all of its branded storage solutions. ...Sony profile


Procom Promoting its NetFORCE NAS Filers as Ideal Storage Solutions for the Medical Industry

IRVINE, Calif. - December 2, 2002 - Spurred by the growing demand for Internet access to graphics-intensive medical images and data-rich medical research, Procom Technology today announced a new program that addresses the storage needs of the medical industry.

Procom's popular NetFORCE NAS filers are in full force this week at the Radiological Society of North America's RSNA 2002 conference in Chicago, being demonstrated by a number of leading providers of medical imaging software and PACS.

Reza Sadri, Ph.D., Procom's chief technologist, will manage the new program, which will involve both marketing and engineering personnel. Dr. Sadri gained considerable experience in medical imaging infrastructure before joining Procom in 1996. As part of the program, Procom is assembling a dedicated distribution channel to sell NetFORCE storage solutions to medical industry resellers and OEMs, providing hospitals, laboratories and research facilities with the most secure, scalable and fault-tolerant data storage solutions available. Procom's NetFORCE NAS filers are particularly suited to the high-bandwidth network environments of digital archiving providers in the medical imaging community, for applications such as MRI and CAT scans and anatomic modeling.

"Accessing high-quality medical images today is a real challenge, especially over a network," said Dr. Sadri. "It's not unusual for an MRI image to consume hundreds of megabytes, and with next-generation technologies, we'll have image sets of more than a gigabyte. NetFORCE filers, however, enable quick, reliable access to this dense medical data." ...Procom Technology profile


Healthcare Providers Prescribe EMC Centera for Security and Online Availability of Medical Records and Image Archives

Chicago, Ill.- December 2, 2002 - Resolving the challenges that traditionally prevented healthcare institutions from bringing digitized medical records and images online, EMC Centera content addressed storage (CAS) has been driving industry change since its introduction in April of this year.

Federal regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), are requiring healthcare providers to store clinical data longer and provide faster, more reliable retrieval. Concurrently, online applications, such as picture archiving communications systems (PACS) and electronic patient records (EPR), are driving an explosion of digital fixed content information.

EMC Centera manages the long-term archiving requirements for PACS, while enabling hospitals and healthcare professionals to protect critical patient information supporting the HIPAA standards. Its innovative authenticity features have prompted analysts to refer to it as the first disk-based WORM and its self-healing capabilities provide a new level of assured content integrity for all healthcare organizations. Information protection, coupled with online retrieval and simplified management, translate into higher staff productivity, lower operational costs and, ultimately, improved quality of patient care.

"There is potential for our stored image capacity to increase ten-fold over the next two years as a result of industry-wide compliance with HIPAA regulations and rapid adoption of PACS and other digital solutions," said Bill Radtke, Dallas-based, Diagnostic Imaging's Director of Technology. "The non-disruptive expandability of EMC's Centera is key to our success in managing this growth. We can simply keep plugging in new Centera systems without any reconfiguration issues because the Centera software automatically recognizes and utilizes new capacity." ...EMC profile


GartnerG2 Survey Shows 82% of Consumers Believe Creating Backups of Digital CDs is Legal

STAMFORD, Conn. - December 2, 2002 - As lawmakers and digital content companies continue to debate the right of consumers to back up digital content, an overwhelming majority of consumers believe that copying digital files is already legal, according to a survey by GartnerG2, a research service of Gartner, Inc.

According to the survey, 82% of U.S. consumers believe it is legal to back up software and prerecorded music CDs. 75% of consumers believe backing up video games is legal and 73% of consumers surveyed believe making backup copies of prerecorded videotapes and DVDs is legal.

"The reality is that current laws are vague and content companies are pushing for strict control over consumer copying behavior," said Mike McGuire, research director for GartnerG2. "Until laws are passed allowing consumers the right to back up files legally, the uncertainty about lack of basic archiving and backup capabilities will stunt growth of the online media distribution market for the next three to five years."

GartnerG2 analysts said U.S. copyright laws, specifically the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), must be modified to allow consumers to make backup copies of their content.

"Amending the DMCA to allow consumers to backup all their digital content is a reasonable compromise between consumer expectation and the reality of copyright law," said McGuire.

As consumers move to all-digital media libraries, the importance of backups and archives is essential because no physical master copies exist. Master digital files are easily damaged or destroyed due to viruses or hard-drive crashes and need to be restored. ...GartnerGroup profile


STORAGEsearch Publisher Commemorates 11 Years in IT Publishing

December 2, 2002 - this month ACSL, publisher of STORAGEsearch.com commemorates 11 years of IT directory publishing. ACSL's first publication was called the "SBus Product Directory" and was aimed at buyers in the Sun Microsystems market. By the time it switched to the web in 1996, the paper edition weighed several pounds and ACSL changed its name to the "SPARC Product Directory" to reflect the fact that other busses, including PCI were also being used in SPARC systems.

Although the Sun market has shrunk from its revenue peak at the height of the dotcom boom, the installed base has continued to grow and the readership of the SPARC Product Directory has also grown as other publishers have dropped out of the market. It's now the longest surviving Sun focused publication. "There will always be a need for an independent guide to 3rd party SPARC compatible hardware and suppliers" comments publisher Zsolt Kerekes. "The SPARC Directory is the showcase where manufacturers of all sizes have been able to get an airing for their products, even if they only made a single add-in card for SPARC systems."

ACSL's flagship publication today, is STORAGEsearch.com, the mouse site, which was first launched in the summer of 1998. Within two years it had overtaken the SPARC Directory readership, and today has a readership which is more than twice as large.

"We were very lucky in our timing for the mouse site" says Kerekes. "The importance of enterprise storage as a independent theme within the computer marker was just starting to emerge when we launched it. I knew that there would soon be dozens of other publishers getting into the storage portal market, but we had the advantage of being one of the first, and also our experience from our Sun portal helped prioritise what was important to readers. Our Byte family mouse characters also helped to provide a unique visual identity for the site which is important now that there are literally hundreds of me-too storage publications."

Another thing which makes ACSL's publications different from many later web arrivals is that the company adheres to the original principles of web publishing. Viewing is free. There are no log-in's required to read articles. And ACSL does not compile or supply email lists for so called "opt-in" SPAM. Kerekes concludes "Our readers, which include many of the key players and buyers in the storage and Sun markets can surf safely in the knowledge that we won't be cluttering up their intrays. We've proven that a company which is 100% web based can be profitable and survive even in the toughest market conditions." ...ACSL profile, ...SPARC Product Directory, ...STORAGEsearch

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