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Storage news - 2002, January week 1

. Megabyte's selection of storage news
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about the storage market
Squeak! - the Top 10 SSD OEMs
Squeak! - How Solid is Hard Disk's Future?
Squeak! - the Solid State Disks Buyers Guide
article:- the Benefits of SAS for External Subsystems
"hard disk" - editor mentions on
article:- Recovering Data from Drowned / Flooded Hard Drives
article:- Flash Memory vs. Hard Disk Drives - Which Will Win?
article:- Sanitization Methods for Cleaning Up Hard Disk Drives
article:- War of the Disks:- Hard Disk Drives vs. Flash Solid State Disks
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SAN JOSE CA January 7, 2002 - Atmel Corp announced today that it has obtained Level 3 approval from Visa International for its AT90SC6464C Smart Card IC, an 8-bit RISC secure Microcontroller, having 64K bytes of Flash program memory, 64K bytes of EEPROM and high end Public Key Infrastructure capabilities. Atmel is the world's leading supplier of Flash Microcontrollers and is now the first semiconductor vendor in the world, to achieve Visa Level 3 approval on a Smart Card microcontroller having Flash program memory. Having Flash program memory can significantly shorten the development cycle by eliminating the lengthy time for mask ROM manufacture and rework either prior to or during the approval process. The security approval capability permits Smart Card manufacturers and software developers to submit products for banking and financial applications with confidence in the silicon platform such that with secure software, product certification to Visa Level 3 is achievable.

With more than 1 billion magnetic stripe bank cards destined to become smart over the next few years, applications such as EMV (Europay® MasterCard® Visa payment specifications) credit and debit, electronic purse, and multi-application products, the qualification cycle time is becoming a critical issue for time to market. Add to the time for development of a new product, the time for product certification and the total is significant, running to many months. Card developers need to have confidence that their efforts will not be jeopardized by potentially insecure silicon. ...Atmel profile

SUNNYVALE, Calif. - January 07, 2002 - Oak Technology, Inc. will be demonstrating a variety of next-generation enhancements to SimpliCD, its award-winning CD recording software and libraries, at the company's hospitality suite during the 2002 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. SimpliCD is the easiest way to make audio, video, and photo slideshow discs for consumer electronics devices. Product enhancements in the upcoming version of SimpliCD will greatly improve the user experience with consumer CD-oriented devices - playback of discs made with SimpliCD will allow users to quickly search, sort and playback discs with over 200 MP3 files, thousands of digital photos and over an hour of digital video. Oak will be demonstrating its PC software as well as third-party implementations of its PC and embedded libraries. ...Oak Technology profile

Milpitas, Calif. - January 7, 2002 – Promise Technology, Inc. announced today that its FastTrak100™ ATA RAID controller chipset is now available on one of two SKUs for the Intel® Server Board SCB2 and Intel® Server Chassis SR1200 (1U rackmount). The FastTrak100™ supports up to 4 standard Ultra ATA/100 drives with up to 100MB/sec burst data transfers and provides RAID levels 0, 1, 0+1, and JBOD.

Intel is offering two product configurations of its rack-optimized SCB2 Server Board -- either with the Promise FastTrak100 chipset for ATA/100 RAID or available with Ultra160 SCSI. The SCB2 is specifically designed for use with Intel's SR1200 (1U) and SR2200 (2U) high-density rackmount chassis, or in third party reference chassis. The server board supports dual Intel® Pentium III processors with 512K cache, dual 64-bit/66MHz buses, single 32-bit/33MHz bus, and six DIMM slots for up to 6GB of ECC SDRAM. When included on the Intel Server Board SCB2, Promise FastTrak100 supports two-drive RAID 1 mirroring for maintaining data and server operation in the event of a drive failure or two-drive RAID 0 striping for increased storage capacity and improved data transfer performance.

"Intel has recognized the value of Promise ATA RAID, specifically to satisfy the demands of server platforms that want data storage solutions that are fast, reliable, and affordable." Said Sam Sirisena, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Promise Technology, Inc.

"The Intel Server Board SCB2 is our basic building block for enterprise professionals looking to build servers with storage that's reliable and highly available," said Kirk Skaugen, General Manager for Intel's Enterprise Platforms and Services Division. ...Promise Technology profile

LAKE FOREST, Calif. - Jan. 7, 2002 - Western Digital Corp. today announced the WD Caviar 120 GB Special Edition hard drive that uses an 8 MB buffer - the largest buffer available today in a 7,200 RPM desktop EIDE hard drive - to deliver data to users at the fastest rates available. The WD Caviar 120 GB Special Edition 8 MB buffer hard drives provide a higher percentage of cache hits and significantly faster time to data than industry-standard 2 MB versions. The larger buffer improves performance because there is a reduction in the number of physical accesses to the disk. This allows data to stream from the disk uninterrupted by mechanical operations. The 8 MB buffer can also offer an advantage in a server environment, where data typically is accessed across wider portions of the disks. With additional buffer resources, read and write commands are more quickly queued and served to the user.

"This drive truly represents what can be achieved when speed and performance are combined with capacity - the ability to handle users' most demanding applications such as digital video editing and commercial applications such as entry-level enterprise storage devices," said Rich Rutledge, vice president of marketing for Western Digital. "These greater capacity drives open the door for new types of usage that seemed far-fetched only a short time ago." ...Western Digital profile

Milpitas, Calif. - January 7, 2002 - LSI Logic Storage Systems, Inc. today announced that the company's MetaStor© E-Series storage systems are the first to achieve the SANmark™ Qualification for the SCD-2003 and SCD-2001 test suites from the FCIA. Passing these latest SANmark qualification programs means that MetaStor E-Series storage systems now officially adhere to the latest FCIA SANmark Conformance Documents, an achievement that no other vendor can claim. SANmark Conformance Documents provide precise "pass-fail" criteria to quantify mainstream measurable product characteristics that are consensus approved among open industry contributors who invest in the SANmark program. These characteristics focus on key standards that impact interoperability and compatibility.

"In the absence of industry standards that are enforced with certification by organizations such as FCIA, vendors create islands of incompatible proprietary technology," said Randy Kerns, a partner in The Evaluator Group. "Even so, every association has vendors who pursue compliance with the standards and vendors who just mouth the words. By their actions, LSI Logic Storage Systems once again is demonstrating commitment and leadership in open systems."

In addition to meeting SANmark's standards for interoperability, LSI Logic Storage Systems is a charter member of SNIA and the recently formed Supported Solutions Forum (SSF). The SSF provides a mechanism for posting vendor-supplied, interoperable configurations and promotes cooperation within the vendor community.

"Interoperability specifications such as the FCIA SANmark, which establish industry-wide ground rules for choice and for change, are extremely important to our customers," said Flavio Santoni, vice president of sales and marketing for LSI Logic Storage Systems Inc. "By specifying SANmark qualified solutions in every procurement and proposal request, users can insure that all conscientious storage vendors get on board." ...FCIA profile, ...LSI Logic Storage Systems profile

LAS VEGAS, January 7, 2002 - Thomson multimedia announced today at the International Consumer Electronics Show that it will launch a new line of new entertainment products throughout 2002 that will make it even easier for consumers to enjoy the myriad benefits of digital technology. Among the many products launched today is the RCA LYRA Personal Jukebox. With a hard-disc drive big enough to hold thousands of songs as well as computer files and digital images, the versatile 10 GB hard-disc RCA LYRA Personal Jukebox (Model RD2800, suggested retail price $299) is about to change the way consumers store collections of mp3 music, presentations, and favorite digital photos. Compatible with both the Mac and PC platforms, the RCA LYRA Personal Jukebox is mp3PRO-ready, and is capable of storing 300 hours of compressed music in the mp3PRO format.

Consumers can organize their music library with the LYRA Jukebox's comprehensive sorting capability, arranging songs by artist, album, title, genre, user playlist, audio files and all files. Weighing just 11 ounces, the RD2800 utilizes a USB connector and is compatible with both PC and Mac computers. Multifunctional, robust, and lightweight, the RCA LYRA Personal Jukebox is more than just a music storage and playback device -- it also provides complete hard drive capability. Consumers can use the LYRA Personal Jukebox to store and transport files from a desktop, including digital images, and presentation and word processing documents.

As the mp3 music format continues to grow in popularity, Thomson multimedia (co-developer of the mp3 and mp3PRO digital audio formats) has also incorporated mp3 capability into approximately 25 percent of its personal, portable CD bookshelf and home theatre product lines. ...Thomson multimedia profile

Sophia Antipolis, France - 3rd January 2002 - Stor2B a leading European value-added distributor specializing in storage management software solutions, is joining forces with Quantum|ATL to simultaneously launch two packaged offers, targeting both small companies and companies with high-volumes of data in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. The packages use Galaxy software by CommVault Systems and tape libraries from Quantum|ATL.

Chosen by Stor2B for its performance characteristics in the Windows environment, CommVault Galaxy truly is the first fully integrated, enterprise-wide storage and data management solution, specially designed to manage distributed and heterogeneous IT environments. Unlike conventional backup systems, CommVault Galaxy offers a unique interface and architecture that let administrators view data logically and not physically, providing a clear advantage over other data management solutions. The only enterprise-wide solution in the market for the Microsoft (Exchange, SQL, Oracle, Notes, Share Point etc.) environment, the product also supports UNIX systems (Solaris, HP-UX, Linux, Aix, Tru 64), Galaxy is a fast, reliable and easy-to-use solution ensuring the reliable, rapid restoration of files, business-critical applications and today's most popular databases. ...CommVaultSystems profile, ...Quantum|ATL profile , ...Stor2B profile

CASTLE ROCK, CO - January 03, 2002 - SAN Holdings, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: SANZ), a leading supplier of data storage solutions, and privately held ITIS Services, Inc. today announced that they have closed the transaction by which ITIS became a wholly-owned subsidiary of SAN Holdings Inc. Founded in 1998, ITIS is a storage solution provider that designs, deploys and supports high-performance storage networking solutions for a commercial client base that includes some of the nation's largest financial services, healthcare and technology companies. ITIS, with current staff of 26, operating from Norwalk Connecticut and Boston Massachusetts, has been recognized as one of the fastest growing data storage consulting and integration firms in the Northeast United States.

For tax and accounting purposes, the acquisition is effective as of December 31, 2001. As of January 1, 2002 the executive management of SAN Holdings Inc. consists of John Jenkins as Chairman and CEO, Fred T Busk as Chief Operating Officer, Holly Burlage as Chief Financial Officer and Hugh O'Reilly as General Counsel and Vice President of Administration.

John Jenkins, CEO of SANZ said, "This step has significant positive impact for us: SANZ now goes forward with a much improved balance of commercial and federal business. We immediately and dramatically improve both the technical support of the SANZ legacy east coast client base and our penetration of that key geographic market. We can expand much more efficiently our federal business position in Washington DC and in the northeast, and we add important new geographic coverage and technical support in major potential markets for our integrated solution, product initiatives."

Fred Busk added, "This move puts us in the top tier of Storage Solution Providers in the U.S. market. The unified organization's resource base, range of technical skills, depth of experience, and history of successful solutions all combine to provide a very strong value offering for our current and prospective client base. We believe that the current difficult markets provide opportunity for our organization to move quickly to increase market share." ...ITIS Services profile, ...SANZ profile

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – January 3, 2002 - Overland Data, Inc. (NASDAQ: OVRL) today announced that the Company expects to exceed the second quarter fiscal 2002 revenue and earnings expectations of $42 million in revenues and $0.13 per share in earnings as anticipated by analysts following the Company. At this time, the Company is completing its review of its results for the second quarter ended December 31, 2001 and will report those results on Thursday, January 17, 2002.

Christopher Calisi, president and chief executive officer, noted, "We are pleased with the increased demand for our midrange products which is fueling Overland's growth. The key catalyst is the strength of our new Neo series of tape automation products, including sales gains through our branded sales channel. Our profitability is also being enhanced by reduced product costs and increased income from our VR2 technology licensing agreements. We will discuss the specifics of these factors on our January 17, 2002 conference call."

Overland also noted that it will participate in the Needham & Company Fourth Annual Growth Stock Conference, January 8-10 at the New York Palace Hotel in New York City. Christopher Calisi, Overland's President and Chief Executive Officer, and Vern LoForti, Chief Financial Officer, are scheduled to make a presentation at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, January 10, 2002. ...Overland Data profile

LOS ANGELES – January 3, 2002 – DataDirect Networks will be discussing real-world uses of storage network appliances and benefits they are bringing to business in a panel at the Storage Visions 2002 conference in Las Vegas on Monday. Joining DataDirect Networks vice president Robert Woolery on the 2 p.m. "Data Storage" panel will be executives from Quantum/ATL, EMC and Imperial Technology.

DataDirect Networks has been deploying Silicon Storage Appliances since 2000 for use in news production, broadcasting, content delivery and high performance computing data centers around the world, and Woolery will discuss customer benefits and competitive advantages brought about by the use of storage networking appliances. Woolery will also spotlight a digital content customer that is using a Silicon Storage Appliance to serve at the core of real-time, tape-less 24 hour broadcasting facility.

"The digitization of human content will be an enormous driver for data storage requirements and architectures, and Storage Visions 2002 will be the first conference to focus on data storage and content creation, content distribution, and content reception to support this need," Tom Coughlin, president, Coughlin Associates and Storage Visions 2002 organizer, said. "We are pleased to offer a forum where innovative solutions suppliers such as DataDirect Networks can share technology insight, showcase their products and network with customers, vendors, and partners."

DataDirect's Silicon Storage Appliance technology allows businesses to accelerate their applications, providing data at least three times faster than existing SAN solutions and ten times faster than NAS technology. The acceleration of data to applications and users -- simply and easily -- allows DataDirect Networks' customers to consolidate their storage; the Silicon Storage Appliance technology allows management of up to 100 Terabytes by a single system administrator, providing 10x lower Total Cost of Ownership. For creative professionals in digital media, broadcasting and post production, each appliance's ability to supply over 700 hours of 50Mbit/sec MPEG2@ML content to 96 concurrent streams brings performance and scalability benefits to real-time broadcasting and production environments. DataDirect's "format independence" guarantees scaling of capacity and streams from highly-compressed all the way to HD and beyond. ...DataDirect Networks profile, Storage Visions 2002

Mountain View, CA - January 3, 2002 - Legato Systems, Inc. announced today that Compaq Global Services will team with Legato in implementing complete backup solutions for storage customers using Legato NetWorker®. Legato is the first data protection solution provider chosen by Compaq to aid in the implementation of this service.With the new Compaq/Legato SAN Backup Implementation CarePaq Services, companies no longer need in-house expertise to configure, install and test the Legato NetWorker product. Compaq, with support from Legato, will provide complete implementation services.

"It is critical that customers include the right level of services in deploying and maintaining their enterprise storage environments," said Debbie Dunnam, vice president and managing principal, Sales & Marketing, Compaq Global Services. "This expert installation and implementation service will ensure that the industry-leading hardware and software from Compaq and Legato will work seamlessly together to protect our customers' business-critical information."

"The Compaq/Legato SAN Backup Implementation CarePaq Services are a logical solution for any company utilizing Compaq for their storage needs. With this solution, the customer knows that the Legato software that they have purchased will be deployed to work within their environment," said Greg Clock, vice president, Consulting Services, Legato Systems, Inc. ...Compaq profile, ...Legato Systems profile

January 3, 2002 - market research company Peripheral Concepts, Inc. is reminding storage vendors to contribute their inputs for their 2002 report titled "SAN and NAS- Infrastructure, Products and Market Opportunity". The publication is now scheduled for April 2002. The report analyzes important vendors and new entrants covering SAN and NAS systems, software, and infrastructure, with detailed profiles and product matrices. We have received most company entries on SAN products. If you have not submitted your SAN forms, if you wish to update them, or if you want to add your NAS products, you are invited to do so by January 21, 2002. If you know of new companies that should be part of the report, please refer them to us. Please contact us to obtain the forms. ...Peripheral Concepts profile

SAN DIEGO - January 2, 2002 - Overland Data, Inc. today announced it has joined forces with Computer Associates (CA), QLogic Corp. and nStor Technologies to promote the adoption and maximize the performance of 2 Gb/s serverless backup for Fibre Channel-based SAN environments. By joining with other storage industry notables, Overland and its partners are able to offer tested and proven end-to-end serverless backup solutions in 1 and 2 Gb/s Fibre Channel environments.

Overland's Neo Fibre Channel libraries enable companies to double or quadruple their SAN backup performance by providing fast "Data Mover" functionality, a key to serverless backup. The Neo's Data Mover function, when managed by serverless-aware software like Computer Associate's BrightStor or ArcServe, provides the means for backing up a company's SAN-based data directly from disk to tape In addition to enhancing system backup performance, serverless backup offloads the I/O intensive data movement operation from the server, making its system resources and bandwidth available for other processes.

"Everyone understands that data amounts are exploding, manpower is diminishing, and the backup window is shrinking. Today's IT administrators need a way to backup and restore quickly, without burdening the overtaxed servers," said Dave Morton, director of product management, Overland Data. "That's why it's so important for customers to have access to a proven backup solution, free of guesswork. By leveraging our longtime relationships with CA, QLogic and nStor, our customers are guaranteed an exhaustively tested, end-to-end, ready-to-use solution."

Overland Data, CA, QLogic and nStor welcome other leading vendors to join the 2 Gigabit Serverless Backup Consortium. For more details or to join the consortium, contact Mike Gearhart, alliance programs manager, Overland Data at +1 858-503-4375. ...Computer Associates profile, ...nStor profile, ...Overland Data profile, ...QLogic profile

January 2, 2002 - Austin, Texas -, Inc., the first company to ship a FireWire RAID system last year and makers of a complete line of different FireWire RAID solutions has now announced the FireWire RAID Vanguard, bringing RAID Level 1 and NRAID to systems that support FireWire storage. Available now in configurations up to 240GB, it's the first FireWire RAID system to run as "hardware RAID", independent of CPU operating system resources.

The new Vanguard Series of FireWire RAID products has an independent controller that does not rely on the computer's processor and will support all FireWire systems running Macintosh OS, Windows, Novell, Unix and Solaris systems with FireWire storage support. The Vanguard is solidly built with a rigid, durable metal casing, a locking door drive bay, powerful cooling fans and a unique suspended design hard drive tray that minimizes hard disc vibration. As a FireWire device, it's easily plug and play, and can be removed from the system without restarting the operating system. It features a unique auto rebuilding feature that in the event of a hard disk failure will allow full access to one volume while rebuilding the RAID 1 mirror.

Each RAID Vanguard System contains two drives, with capacities of 160/80GB, 200/100GB and 240/120GB of RAID Level 1 or NRAID, also known as "spanning". NRAID allows 2 drives to be spanned as a single larger volume. ...FirewireDirect profile
Other news on this page

Oak Technology to Preview Future Version of SimpliCD® Software at Consumer Electronics Show

Promise Technology Announces FastTrak100™ ATA RAID Available On Intel® Server Board & Server Chassis

Western Digital Speeds Up 120 GB EIDE Hard Drive

LSI Logic Storage Systems Leads The Industry With FCIA SANmark 2003 Certification

Thomson multimedia deepens commitment to digital entertainment transition with Hard-disc Lyra Personal Jukebox

Stor2B launched two solution packages in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal

ITIS Completes Merger with Storage Area Networks

Overland Data Anticipates Exceeding Second Quarter Expectations

Storage Networking Appliance Realities, Deployments to be Discussed at Storage Visions 2002

Compaq/Legato Team To Offer Data Protection Services For Storage Customers

Overland Data Leads the First Consortium Dedicated to 2 Gigabit Serverless Backup

Call for Vendor Inputs 2002 SAN and NAS Report

FirewireDirect Announces First Ever FireWire Hardware RAID Solution

earlier news (archive)
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Megabyte used a lot of SCSI cables when building his RAID platform.

View from the Hill

The Next Decade in Storage

ACSL, publisher of STORAGEsearch celebrates its first 10 years of computer directory publishing in December. As editor, I thought it would be interesting to speculate about what major changes the next 5 to 10 years might bring. We'll be returning to these and other subjects in much more detail in future articles.

Who will dominate the storage market?

Is the storage market going to be dominated by a single supplier? in the same way that the IP switch market is dominated by Cisco, and the Unix market is dominated by Sun?

If you'd asked that question at the beginning of 2000 the bets could have gone either way, and the answer might have been EMC. But in 2001 we've seen the start of some irreversible trends which will shape the market of the future. EMC lost 9 points of market share in the external RAID market this year, and the biggest gainer was that category (which includes hundreds of RAID companies) and which market researchers lump together as "others".

It's clear that even at this early stage of the new storage market that users regard network storage as a commodity, and don't see why they should pay a premium price to anyone for a box of disks with some network ports. Storage will end up looking much more like the PC market, in which there are thousands of manufacturers. It will be difficult for a single storage company to capture even as much as 10% of a market which will be worth hundreds of billions of dollars. No single company will dominate the market.

The end of operating systems?

The increasing use of data network technologies like XML and storage virtualization software in new business applications software will reduce the role of the operating system in the computer market from the primary buying criterion, which it is today, down to a secondary minor role. When you can do pretty much the same things with your data whether your OS was written in Seattle or California, or as an Open Source project, the OS is going to become as irrelevant to most users as the source of their gas or electricity is today. It's only the computer appliance manufacturers who will interface at this level.

Of course, the desktop appliance, which we nowadays call the PC, and the notebooks etc will continue to be mostly Microsoft Windows based products, but as long as they get shipped with all the connectivity they need, users won't really care what the differences are in the internal versions, because, as now, they'll be driving these things from a browser front end. In the long term, we may even see the disappearance of the reset button, but remember I'm talking about a 5 year timeframe here, so the mechanical switch manufacturers don't have to start panicking just yet.

The end of tape backup?

The tape library occupies the same slot in the IT datacenter arsenal today that the ironclad Dreadnoughts did in the Europe of the early 1900's. They're expensive to buy, include a lot of metal, and are seemingly invincible.

Owning more Dreadnoughts became an obsession to navy planners in the UK and Germany in the years leading up to World War I, because they demonstrated superpower status. In a similar way, owning a fleet of tape libraries indicates to the outside world that your company is a massive data owner, such as a media company, a bank, a telco or other corporation which is on the same scale datacenterwise as a government department. So you may get a bit twitchy when someone predicts that you're going to pull the plug on all that investment, especially when most of it hasn't even been installed yet, and is waiting for the next budget period to kick in. Well, remember, I'm not talking short term here, but here are my reasons.

Tape was a good idea as a backup and recovery technology in a disconnected world, when disk drives were expensive, and data security depended on being able to carry your data into a car for off-site backup via sneakernet. Although the density of tape backup has increased, so too has the volume of data which people want to store.

Data weighs a lot, and the average person would not feel comfortable carrying a terabyte of storage for very long. Unfortunately the terabytes are are growing like Topsey. Tape libraries solve today's problem of backing up data networks, but no-one suggests that you're going to unplug your tape library, lift it up using a fork lift and drive it to an off-site location as your secure backup. Get real. The way that tape libraries manage the off-site backup problem nowadays, is they use IP based data replication software to back themselves up onto other tape llibraries somewhere else...

...And that is exactly my point. If you aren't going to pick up the whole damn thing and move it, then there is no particular advantage in using a tape cartridge as the medium for the data replication. It could be any convenient, reliable technology which stores data, such as a RAID system using hard drives or an optical based juke box. So one of the historic arguments for using tape media has already been junked. The internet doesn't care what shape or size the media is at the other end.

I think tape will put up a fierce rear guard action, and remain a factor in the data recovery market for many years, but its days are numbered. From now it will only lose market share, maybe just a few points each year, but the writing is on the wall.

...I look forward to reporting on all these changes and more, in our 2nd decade as a computer directory publisher .

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