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2002, January week 4b, news archive

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PORTLAND, Ore. – January 28, 2002 – APCON, Inc. today announced the availability of APCON PowerSwitch 5.0, a fully-automated high-availability failover software product for Windows systems. APCON PowerSwitch software ensures rapid recovery from system failures and helps avoid the potential disasters of system downtime by providing automated failover between primary and secondary servers. APCON continues to add new features to its high-availability software. APCON PowerSwitch 5.0 adds network support and control, an improved user interface and support for all APCON SCSI Switches and Physical Layer Switches. The new software also includes the ability to support and provide failover directly to servers, or with other Ethernet and Fibre Channel switches.

APCON PowerSwitch is an automated cluster failover software that monitors primary and secondary server operations. When APCON PowerSwitch software detects a primary server failure, the secondary server is brought online, ensuring the integrity of data without impacting system users. The software works in a cluster of up to 16 servers and it can be configured and implemented in less than a day. Unlike other clustering solutions, the secondary server does not need to be identical hardware and the operating system can be a Windows workstation. Systems can be configured to support multiple primary and secondary servers in a number of dynamic switched SCSI cluster configurations. Administrators can perform regular maintenance and troubleshooting on mission critical servers without users ever noticing. PowerSwitch 5.0 is available immediately. ...Apcon profile

See also:- Watchdog cards

Wallingford, Conn., January 28, 2002 – VBrick Systems, Inc., a leader in affordable DVD-quality video networking solutions, today unveiled VBSTAR, the first video system that enables locations without broadband connectivity to receive and view DVD quality video. VBSTAR meets the growing demand for high quality networked video across a wide range of applications like education, training, advertising, corporate communications, security and monitoring. VBSTAR is a powerful yet affordable solution for organizations that want to bring the benefits of video to their operations. VBSTAR can improve training and education while reducing costs, enhance corporate communications, open up innovative new advertising opportunities and augment security and monitoring systems.

Operated with a simple remote control, the VBSTAR enables users to record live video from any source, save it directly to an internal disk as MPEG 2 video and transfer it to VBSTARs located anywhere in the world via the Internet, IP or ATM networks. The video can then be viewed on standard TV monitors and streamed to an unlimited number of PC desktops simultaneously. Capable of storing up to 20 hours of video, VBSTAR includes advanced features that allow users to record one stream while viewing another. VBSTAR is easy to install, use and configure via integral web server, SNMP, Telnet or local terminal. Available with both an encoder and a decoder, VBSTAR includes 48GB of internal storage, an on-screen recording and playback guide, all managed by the IR remote control.

"Until now, expensive equipment and high bandwidth requirements have limited organizations from delivering on-demand video to a wide audience," said Fred Geyer, VBrick Systems' CEO. "VBSTAR makes true on-demand video an affordable reality by combining digital television recording, advanced networking, high performance video storage and an integral MPEG-2 video server. VBSTAR liberates organizations from the constraints of their network infrastructure to deliver high quality video anytime, anywhere." ...VBrick Systems profile

San Jose, Calif., — January 28, 2002— Alacritech and Nishan Systems today announced that they have achieved wire-speed iSCSI throughput on a single Gigabit Ethernet connection. While most industry predictions estimate that high-speed iSCSI products will be released by the end of 2002, Alacritech, Nishan, and Hitachi Data Systems have beat that timetable by a year, shipping in 2001 full wire-speed iSCSI products in proven SAN configurations. In a breakthrough demonstration of iSCSI performance, a server with an Alacritech Gigabit Ethernet Server and Storage Accelerator was connected to a Nishan IP Storage switch via a single Gigabit Ethernet link. The Nishan IP Storage switch was connected, in turn, to a Hitachi Freedom Storage™ system. Alacritech's Server and Storage Accelerator maximized the sustained rate of iSCSI data at over 219 megabytes per second with less than eight percent CPU utilization, while the Nishan IP Storage switch provided wire-speed conversion from iSCSI to the Fibre Channel storage system.

"iSCSI promises to let users operate SAN, NAS, LAN, and wide-area networks as a single, integrated network. This option will help IT managers chose storage, server, and networking technologies that are more easily managed, scalable, and cost effective," said Nick Allen, vice president and research director, Gartner, Inc. "TCP/IP offload engines should go a long way toward leveling the differences in resource consumption among storage networking technologies."

"We are extremely pleased with the results we achieved with Nishan Systems and Hitachi Data Systems in demonstrating the ability to deliver Fibre Channel performance and efficiency through iSCSI," said Larry Boucher, chairman and CEO, Alacritech. "Other companies demonstrating their iSCSI solutions now have a demanding performance benchmark to reach." ...Alacritech profile, ...Nishan Systems profile

MILPITAS, Calif. - January 28, 2002 - Adaptec, Inc. today announced an initiative with Cisco Systems, Inc., to accelerate the deployment and adoption of IP Storage solutions. The two companies will test and market iSCSI solutions combining Adaptec's ASIC-based iSCSI adapters and Cisco storage routers, and collaborate on end-user educational programs.

"This broad-based Cisco and Adaptec initiative will contribute to wider iSCSI market acceptance and reinforce both Adaptec's position as a premier player in the iSCSI connectivity space and Cisco's in all-purpose IP networking," said Dan Tanner, senior analyst with Aberdeen Group. "This strategic relationship brings together two major players in IP and storage networking for the common cause of creating an 'iSCSI ecosystem' to accelerate iSCSI SAN adoption."

"Companies are seeking ways to manage increasingly complex distributed storage assets easily and cost-effectively," explained Ram Jayam, vice president and general manager of Adaptec's Storage Networking group. "This initiative will deliver interoperable and market-leading iSCSI solutions that bring value to customers while minimizing their investment in infrastructure and IT resources." Jayam said Adaptec and Cisco have begun work on an iSCSI-based remote mirroring solution. This would enable new levels of information protection to customers who previously could not afford disaster recovery technology. A demonstration of this solution was recently showcased at Comdex.

"The rapid adoption of iSCSI will require that market leaders synchronize and facilitate deployment of the technology as well as provide clear value to customers," said Mark Cree, general manager of the Storage Router Business Unit at Cisco. "Our work with Adaptec will drive interoperability, standards and solutions which are vital to the long-term success of the iSCSI storage networking market." ...Adaptec profile, ...Cisco Systems profile

Austin, TX - January 28, 2002 - VIEO today announced it has joined The Open Group's new Interconnect Software Consortium (ICSC) as a founding member to develop and promote software specifications that will enable successful deployment of fast interconnects in IT enterprises. Other founding members of the Consortium are Compaq, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Network Appliance and Sun Microsystems.

The Open Group will provide standards process and infrastructure services for the ICSC. The Interconnect Software Consortium is a sanctioning body to develop software specifications and define APIs that enable successful deployment and exploitation of next-generation, fast interconnects, such as InfiniBand. By defining the InfiniBand programming interfaces, the ICSC serves as the essential standards complement to the InfiniBand Trade Association's work defining the wire protocols. InfiniBand is a new industry specification for server connectivity that provides high bandwidth, low latency and low overhead communication among computational elements, storage, network interfaces, and other devices over a switched enterprise fabric.

"VIEO's role as a founding member of the ICSC reflects our commitment to be an industry leader in shaping tomorrow's enterprise computing environments," said Bob Fabbio, president and CEO of VIEO. "VIEO's fabric management software is playing a key role in enabling OEM partners to bring InfiniBand solutions to market. Working with other members of the ICSC, we now look forward to leveraging our rich history in developing high performance data transports on earlier interconnect technologies to define the critical APIs that will accelerate deployment of fabric-exploitive applications."

The ICSC will develop specifications, guidelines and compliance tests that software developers need to take advantage of the latest interconnect technology. The specifications will include extensions to the UNIX® Sockets API and an API that provides access to the full capabilities of the InfiniBand transport. These common APIs are essential for interoperability among the software products of the Consortium's members....VIEO profile

See also:- Industry trade associations, InfiniBand, The Open Group

Hopkinton, Mass.- January 28, 2002 - EMC Corporation today announced the release of a major new version of the widely popular EMC ESN Manager software. The new release provides software support for Compaq StorageWorks and EMC CLARiiON® storage systems. EMC previously qualified a wide range of non-EMC storage devices - including IBM ESS "Shark", Hewlett-Packard XP 512, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) Lightning 9900, and SUN StorEdge 9900 arrays and Storage Technology (STK) tape devices—to coexist in mixed-vendor SANs managed by ESN Manager. This qualification ensures the side-by-side operation of these platforms in the same centrally managed SAN, and enables users to quickly and easily manage groups, or zones, of logically networked storage devices. ...EMC profile

KFAR-SABA, Israel - January 28, 2002 - M-Systems (Nasdaq: FLSH) today announced fourth quarter and year-end results for the period ended December 31, 2001. For the year ended December 31, 2001, revenues were $44.7 million, compared to revenues of $92.6 million in the corresponding period of 2000. On a pro forma basis, the Company reported a net loss of $10.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2001, which excludes an inventory charge of $30.2 million, and a capital loss of $1.2 million. ...M-Systems profile

Boston, MA - January 28, 2002 - GlassHouse Technologies, Inc., a vendor-independent storage strategy and services firm, announced today the appointment of Glenn Osaka to its Board of Directors. Osaka brings a wealth of industry experience and business acumen to GlassHouse Technologies' Board of Directors.

Currently, Osaka is CEO of Reactivity; a leading early stage company in the emerging enterprise web services industry. Prior to joining Reactivity, Osaka served as the Silicon Valley Managing Director for the Redleaf Group, an early-stage-focused technology operating company. Much of Osaka's career was spent holding key positions at Hewlett-Packard. He served as Vice President and General Manager of HP's Extended Enterprise Business Unit, where he was responsible for launching e-business ventures and forming strategic alliances. He also led HP's $4 billion Enterprise Computing Group, which developed and marketed enterprise servers, storage solutions and middleware. In addition to his role at Reactivity, Osaka currently sits on the board of directors at OnDemand, Kalepa Networks, and CommerceNet. ...GlassHouse Technologies profile

SAN DIEGO and WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. - Jan. 28, 2002 – JNI® Corporation and Troika Networks today announced that JNI has licensed the exclusive rights to TROIKA's Fibre Channel software and hardware products that provide high availability SAN solutions for enterprise class servers running under Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Solaris operating systems. The licensing and royalty agreement provides JNI with an exclusive source code license to TROIKA's Path Command Plus™ software that provides high availability features for both host and target devices through host bus adapters in Fibre Channel SANs. Additionally JNI also acquired exclusive distribution rights for TROIKA's Zentai™ family of controllers for use as SCSI-to-Fibre Channel HBAs. JNI will take over all sales and support of current Zentai HBAs and Path Command Plus software currently available today. Beginning today, these products will be released by JNI and are available immediately from JNI.

TROIKA will focus efforts on its recently announced fabric-based storage services platform technology. In addition JNI plans to migrate Path Command Plus to JNI's FibreStar® family of 2 Gb Ready™ Fibre Channel HBAs. The agreement's consideration includes a series of initial, milestone, and royalty payments lasting through June, 2004. If the agreement progresses as expected, the total cash payment in 2002 will approximate $10.5 million.

"JNI is the best choice to support and enhance TROIKA's innovative technology into mission-critical applications in the open data center," said Alan Skidmore, president and CEO of Troika Networks. "JNI's experience in these environments, their reputation as a quality leader and their high penetration of the types of data centers that require the Path Command Plus high availability product family is a perfect fit. This will also allow TROIKA to focus on new products based on our recently-announced storage services platform technology." ...JNI profile, ...Troika Networks profile

Glen Ellyn, IL – January 28, 2001 – TrelliSoft, Inc., an innovative provider of multi-platform SRM software, announced today that it has joined the Network Appliance™ Advantage program. The Network Appliance Advantage program enables partners to jointly develop and deliver the best possible business solutions to Network Appliance customers. TrelliSoft will leverage the program to optimize the way in which its StorageAlert product line monitors and manages Network Appliance filers.

"By working closely with Network Appliance, TrelliSoft will enhance our StorageAlert product line to provide more device specific information for NetApp® filers," said Stephen C. Donovan, TrelliSoft President and CEO. "By providing more device specific information for Network Appliance storage solutions, StorageAlert will help enterprises more effectively inventory, monitor, manage, optimize, and forecast enterprise storage assets and usage. We are thrilled to collaborate with a storage industry leader like Network Appliance." ...Network Appliance profile, ...TrelliSoft profile

Novato and Walnut Creek, Calif. - January 28, 2002 – Fireman's Fund Insurance Company has formed a strategic alliance with EVault, provider of online data backup and recovery solutions, allowing the insurer's qualifying business customers to receive a 25-to-50 percent discount on the cost of EVault's online data backup services. This new alliance offers businesses a safeguard against the severe negative impact of data loss.

A U.S. Bureau of Labor Report states that 93% of companies suffering a significant data loss are defunct five years after the event. By subscribing to EVault's services, businesses will be able to take advantage of the greater security and reliability that online backup offers over traditional tape-based methods.

"We believe that off-site storage of key data is an important part of an effective disaster recovery plan for businesses," said Joe Beneducci, Senior Vice President, Commercial Insurance of Fireman's Fund. "Unfortunately, recent tragic events in our country have underscored this need even further. Whether caused by a major catastrophe or a simple mistake, by utilizing secure online data backup, businesses of all sizes can retrieve critical data and quickly resume operations. That's why we have contracted with EVault to make their services available to our business customers at a substantial discount and to thereby encourage their incorporation of this tool into their overall disaster recovery strategy."

"We're very happy to be working with Fireman's Fund, one of the country's premier insurance providers, to offer their customers reliable, automated data protection that provides maximum availability and eliminates the hassles of tape-based backup," said Alston Noah, CEO, EVault. "EVault's proven service, expert staff and patented technology supply Fireman's Fund's clients with automatic backup, transfer and encryption of data to secure off-site data vaults, resulting in faster, more cost-effective and efficient backup capabilities."

Qualifying Fireman's Fund business insurance customers receive a CD-ROM showing specific loss control recommendations and services customized to their industry. Featured on the CD-ROM is a URL link to an online application form with which business customers may register for EVault's data protection services at a discounted price. ...eVault profile

SANTA CLARA, CA - January 25, 2002 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced the addition of Legato Systems, Inc. to the Sun Vendor Integration Program (SunVIP). The strategic, global agreement further enhances the ability of the SunVIP program to deliver premium customer service through prearranged vendor processes. The SunVIP program for Legato Systems is expected to be available to customers worldwide in February 2002. Sun customers with SunSpectrum Platinum and SunSpectrum Gold system support contracts and Legato customers with Premier Support and Extended Support] contracts are eligible and the service will be available at no extra charge. ...Legato Systems profile, ...Sun Microsystems profile

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL and BOXBOROUGH, MA - January 25, 2002 - Eurologic Systems, announced that it has appointed an authorized representative in Brazil, marking the company's entry into the Latin American storage market. Mr. Marcos Paulo de Oliveira Gonçalves will play an instrumental role in expanding Eurologic's presence in Latin America. He will represent Eurologic's network storage solutions, including its SANbloc and ULTRAbloc network storage systems and Spheras storage management software, to a range of vertical market solution providers, channel partners and server manufacturers throughout Brazil. Mr. Gonçalves has over 10 years of experience in distributing and marketing information infrastructure equipment in Brazil. Most recently, he was channel storage manager with Fulfill Distribuidora S/A, where he was responsible for ensuring the success of a number of storage-focused product lines.

According to recent market research, the storage market in Latin America is expected to grow at around 13 percent annually over the next five years. ...Eurologic profile

January 25, 2002 - Storage Visions 2002 - book of the conference is now available. Although there was enormous interest in the conference, held earlier this month in Las Vegas, many people throughout the world were unable to attend due to the current economic and international situation.

For this reason the conference organizers will be selling a special post conference book including copies of the presentation material as well as notes taken during the talks. These books are available for $195 each by calling the Storage Visions phone number, 805-898-3845, or send an email message to

Editors comment:- although we had no connection with this event, it seems like a good idea.

MILPITAS, Calif. - Jan. 24, 2002 – Quantum Corporation (NYSE:DSS) today announced that total revenue for the third quarter of fiscal year 2002, ended December 30, 2001, was $284 million. Pro forma net income for the quarter was $5 million. These figures exclude charges of $4.4 million, net, associated with the previously announced divestiture of Quantum's hard disk drive business, and other charges related to investment activities. On a GAAP basis, the company's net income for the fiscal third quarter (fiscal Q3) was $592 thousand.

"During the December quarter, Quantum achieved record DLTtape media sales and record service revenues, providing Quantum with a recurring revenue stream and cash flow," said Michael Brown, chairman and CEO of Quantum. "This recurring revenue stream represented over 40% of Quantum's total revenues for the quarter and contributed to the sequential strengthening of our balance sheet. We exited the quarter with $363 million in cash, up $19 million sequentially, and we generated $33 million in cash from operating activities within the quarter."

Fiscal Q3 revenue in the Storage Solutions Group, which includes Quantum's data protection systems-level products and services, as well as its NAS products, was up slightly to just over $76 million, representing close to 30% of Quantum's total revenues. During the quarter, Quantum continued to broaden its role as a storage solutions provider by building on its leadership positions in tape automation and NAS. Quantum strengthened its position in the low end of the tape automation market with a 60% sequential increase in sales of its M1500 tape libraries and the introduction of the SuperLoader™. Quantum enhanced its NAS leadership position in fiscal Q3, growing its installed base over 80% on a year-over-year basis. With established leadership in workgroup-level NAS, Quantum is focused on launching a new mid-range product line with a Linux-based operating system by mid-year.

Brown continued "Looking beyond the next quarter... there is reason to be optimistic about storage spending -- which should be more robust than overall IT spending -- and the increased awareness of the need for data protection and disaster recovery..." ...Quantum profile

MELVILLE, N.Y. - January 24, 2002 - FalconStor Software, Inc. today announced that Aviv Corporation has become a FalconStor Solution Provider, and is using IPStor as its storage infrastructure. FalconStor's IPStor, in conjunction with Aviv's "SAN" family of solutions (SANtera, SANapse and TeraStor) expand the storage connectivity options with Ethernet and/or Fibre Channel while adding important features such as high availability, mirroring and remote replication for business continuity. In addition, Aviv will embed IPStor into its SANman storage appliance solution.

"FalconStor has set the standard for SAN virtualization software. The capabilities provided by IPStor software deliver features that our customers require today," said Haim Brill, CEO of Aviv. "The configuration flexibility allows us to customize a Storage Area Network to meet the requirements of our customers without deploying proprietary or expensive products."

"Aviv's success in delivering effective management solutions, combined with their strong SAN expertise, will be a valuable asset for clients looking for end-to-end storage solutions," said Wayne Lam, FalconStor vice president of marketing. "We look forward to working with Aviv as we continue to extend FalconStor's leadership in the storage networking arena." ...Aviv profile, ...FalconStor Software profile

Hopkinton, Mass.- January 24, 2002 - EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) today reported fourth quarter and full fiscal year results for 2001. The results included a 25% sequential revenue increase in the fourth quarter compared with the third quarter of 2001, strong performance in strategic growth areas such as networked information storage, software and services, and significant operating improvements. Total consolidated revenue for the fourth quarter was $1.51 billion, 25% higher than the $1.21 billion reported in the third quarter of 2001. Net loss for the fourth quarter was $70 million or $.03 per diluted share, compared with a third-quarter 2001 net loss of $945 million or $.43 per diluted share (a loss of $.12 per diluted share or $270 million, excluding a third-quarter after-tax restructuring charge). Total consolidated revenue for the year-ago fourth quarter was $2.62 billion and net income was $563 million or $0.25 per diluted share.

Total consolidated revenue for the year was $7.09 billion, 20% lower than 2000. Net loss for the year was $508 million or $.23 per diluted share (including a third-quarter after-tax restructuring charge of $675 million or $.31 per share). Net income for the year 2000 was $1.78 billion or $.79 per diluted share.

EMC's fourth-quarter performance included double-digit sequential growth in all major product areas and in its major geographies. Fourth-quarter results were extremely strong in the fastest-growing market segments, including 52% sequential revenue growth in networked information storage (SAN and NAS deployments), 45% sequential revenue growth in information storage software, and 15% sequential revenue growth in information storage services. ...EMC profile

Editor's comments:- If you click on the introductory link above to read the full text of this press release you'll see that EMC is talking these results up. Yes, things have been worse for the company, and they have moved quickly to shed costs and change the way they do things, but 20% year on year revenue decline for EMC suggests to me that they performed worse than the storage segments in which they operate. Though that may take a few months to confirm as other company results come in.

LAKE FOREST, Calif. – Jan. 24, 2002 – Western Digital Corp. today reiterated its intention to vigorously prosecute its lawsuit against Cirrus Logic, Inc. in California Superior Court for breach of contract and other claims resulting from Cirrus' former role as a strategic supplier of read channel chips for Western Digital's hard drives. The Company's action, filed in July 2001, alleges that Cirrus' unlawful conduct caused damages in excess of any amounts that may be owed on outstanding invoices or arising out of any alleged breach of purchase orders. Around the time the suit was filed in July 2001, Western Digital stopped making payments to Cirrus for past deliveries of chips and terminated all outstanding purchase orders from Cirrus for such chips. Following Western Digital's filing of its suit, Cirrus filed a cross-complaint for damages that it allegedly incurred as a result of Western Digital's non-payment and terminations.

"We assert that Western Digital had no obligation to take and pay for the terminated orders," said Matt Massengill, chairman and chief executive officer of Western Digital. "Moreover, we believe that Cirrus overcharged Western Digital for the product that we did take, and our suit seeks recovery of that overcharge. We intend to prosecute our position in this suit vigorously." ...Cirrus Logic profile, ...Western Digital profile

Editor's comment:- this is probably a response to a Cirrus Logic financial release yesterday which included the following litigation update.
  • The company (Cirrus) remains confident it will collect $53 million from Western Digital, including $27 million in disputed receivables
  • The company (Cirrus) remains confident it will collect $47 million from Fujitsu in disputed receivables.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - January 23, 2002 - BakBone Software K.K. the Tokyo based subsidiary of BakBone Software Inc. today announced NEC Corporation has added BakBone's NetVaultto its Linux backup solution product lineup. This enables NEC to sell NetVault as a backup software for NEC's ``Express 5800 Series'' IA server products. NetVault is the de facto standard for Linux backup software in the Japanese market. NEC adopted NetVault based on capabilities not currently supported by other Linux backup solutions including support of single files greater than 2GB when using a 64-bit Linux 2.4 kernel, RAW Device plugin enabling backup of character devices and block devices, handling of Japanese file names, and support of a variety of Linux distributions such as Red Hat, Turbolinux, Miracle Linux, Caldera, VA Linux, and Vine.

``Our adoption of NetVault backup software enables NEC enterprise customers to use our Linux-based system products more reliably. We aim to further expand our market share by using our experience in the market and providing Linux solution consulting and support services to our customers,'' said Takayuki Okada, Assistant General Manager, 2nd Computers Software Division, NEC Corporation.

``This agreement strengthens the predominance of BakBone Software's NetVault in the Linux backup solution market. By protecting not only UNIX and Windows based systems but also low-priced and highly reliable, Linux-based systems with NetVault, we promise to provide solutions addressing our customers true needs,'' said Howard Weiss, Managing Director, Pacific Rim, BakBone. ...BakBone Software profile, ...NEC profile

ATLANTA - January 23, 2002 - American Megatrends Inc. (AMI) today announced the release of StorTrends™ NAS software version 1.1. This updated version, with added support for Apple and NetWare, is ready for integration into AMI's StorTrends and ServTrends™ storage solutions. This software is not sold separately. ...AMI profile
Other news on this page

Apcon Announces Powerswitch 5.0 High-Availability Clustering Software

VBrick Systems Brings DVD Quality Video to Any Network

Alacritech, Hitachi Data Systems, and Nishan Systems First to Validate Wire-Speed Gigabit iSCSI Performance

Adaptec Launches iSCSI Storage Networking Initiative with Cisco Systems

VIEO Joins The Open Group's New Interconnect Software Consortium as Founding Member

EMC Delivers on AutoIS™ Simple, Automated and Open Strategy for Heterogeneous Storage Management

M-Systems Revenue Halves in 2001

GlassHouse Technologies Names Glenn Osaka to Board of Directors

JNI Licenses Exclusive Rights to TROIKA's Path Command Plus Software for High Availability SAN Solutions in Windows & Solaris Environments

TrelliSoft and Network Appliance Collaborate to Boost Storage Resource Management Solutions

Fireman's Fund and EVault Form Strategic Alliance

Legato Systems Joins Sun Support Program

Eurologic Systems Expands Into Latin America

Storage Visions Bound Conference Book Now Available

Quantum Corporation Announces Fiscal Third Quarter Revenue Of $284 Million

Aviv Corporation Partners With FalconStor

EMC Reports Improved Results for Fourth Quarter

Western Digital Reiterates Intention to Vigorously Prosecute Case Against Cirrus Logic

NEC Adopts BakBone's NetVault As Its Linux Backup Software

AMI Releases Latest Version of StorTrends NAS Software

earlier news (archive)
Hard Disk Duplicators - click for expanded image
Hard disk duplicators on
Spellabyte's disk duplicating process worked OK, but he wondered if in future, he should color code the barrels to avoid getting them mixed up. Color could be part of his added value

Guest Nibble


from Jean-Jacques Maleval Editor of StorageNewsletter

The storage industry's report card for the year 2001 is nothing to brag about. There is some hope for recovery in 2002, at least. But when?

- The past year was not particularly glorious for the computer industry in general, and not much better for the storage sector. Storage capacity needs in large enterprises is growing, but IT budgets are tightly monitored, while storage subsystem prices have dropped considerably. The events of September 11 no doubt provoked an abrupt halt in economic activity, but the preceding nine months were far from stellar. Rare are the storage companies that will finish the year with sales greater than in 2000 - in fact, a large majority will likely close out in the red.

- For the very first time ever, fewer PCs and servers were sold in 2001 than the year before. Consequently, it became even tougher to sell hard disk drives. While analysts' figures are not yet known, it seems probable that 2001 was the first year, in the quarter-century history of the HDD industry, when fewer units were sold than in the preceding year, i.e. fewer than the 2000 record of over two hundred million shipped. Revenues for the last quarter of 2001 have yet to be published, but they shouldn't be too bad for desktop drive makers, due to

1) Fujitsu's retreat from the sector, to the benefit of some rivals, and

2) the arrival, at last, of new applications for disk drives outside the IT realm, and more specifically the launching of game consoles with HDDs, such as Microsoft's Xbox. -

At the end of 2000, manufacturers had hit 20GB per 3.5-inch platter - we're now at 40GB at the end of 2001, and as always, at a price that is nearly identical for a drive with the same number of platters. Consumers no longer know what to do with HDDs of such high capacity, but the areal density race rages ahead. The SAN and NAS market would not be what it is without the massive help of disk drive makers, but because of the competition that exists between the two sides, the latter are the last to profit from their efforts.

- No technology is yet in any position to challenge Winchester drives in the medium term, particularly since, as Fujitsu and Seagate have proven, the devices are capable of attaining areal density of 100GB per square inch, or 125GB per platter.

- The industry lost a veteran HDD maker, Calluna Technology, as well as a newcomer, Halo Data Devices. ExcelStor is the most recent arrival, built on the ashes of Conner Technology. - LTO seems to have made stronger inroads than SuperDLT, in a tape market that was nevertheless flat overall. For the first time, Imation dared to take on Quantum's monopoly in DLT. The story is still developing, in U.S. courtrooms, of course. Certain tape makers also caught on to the fact that they need to prompt their R&D services to greater intellectual heights, if they want to keep up with the steady growth in HDD capacities. OmaSS has promised us 600GB in 2003, while Sony has pledged a whopping 500GB for this year. It wouldn't hurt to get the ball rolling a little faster with current tape technologies.

- There are scattered reports that the floppy diskette still exists. We only ever see CD-R/RWs these days. As for writable DVDs that are slated to replace the latter media, the battle between DVD-R/RW/RAM from the DVD Forum against the DVD+RW from the DVD+RW Alliance as the privileged standard reached a fever pitch, although no clear winner is yet discernable. It is evident, however, that there's no room in this town for both of them. If you thought we'd know in 2001, guess again. DVD Forum will most likely triumph this year, if our hunches are right.

- It's clear to everyone that serial interfaces will gradually edge out their parallel counterparts. Unfortunately, there's likely to be little complementarity between all the new serial interfaces: serial ATA, FC and now serial SCSI. The arrival of USB 2.0 technology is certain to shake up proponents of 1394, more sophisticated, but also more expensive.

- RAIDs are relying more and more often on low-cost IDE drives, which are consequently eating into the SCSI unit market, and perhaps even that of tape technology, for back-up, if not for archiving.

- Market research companies were obliged to revise their 2001 forecasts downward in almost every segment of the storage industry. IDC thus foresees a drop of 18% in storage subsystems, due in particular to the poor economic environment and failures, but nonetheless is banking on 12% growth in open SANs.

- Even if some progress was made, interoperability, or the absence of it, remains an impediment on growth in the SAN market. As in all industries, it's the leaders (we're thinking of Brocade and EMC here) that are the last to move things forward.

- 2001 will also be remembered as the first difficult year in the history of SAN giant EMC, now under assault from both IBM and Compaq (despite the demise of the latter two firm's partnership), as well as Hitachi Data Systems, with allies Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard. And the difficulties are not minor: losses for the first time in 12 years, and nothing to sneeze at, $1.2 billion with restructuring charges, not to mention sales down by 47% from one year to the next for 3Q01 alone. It remains to be seen whether the agreement signed with Dell to resell EMC Clariion will shuffle the deck.

- Since Joe Tucci succeeded Mike Ruettgers as CEO at the beginning of the year, EMC has not been the same. Its new strategy, like that of its rivals, is to seek the holy grail of storage software, with much more comfortable margins than with hardware. In other words, imitate Veritas. In consideration of this, we award Tucci with 2001's lemon of the year, while Veritas CEO Gary Bloom walks away with the title of Storage Industry Man of the Year, no contest.

- EMC's misfortunes will furthermore probably cause it to lose its number one slot among storage companies for revenues, a torch that will most likely be relayed by Seagate, rather than the new Maxtor, even with the latter's addition of Quantum HDD, proving once again that in the case of acquisitions and mergers, one plus one sometimes works out to quite a bit less than two.

- One effect of September 11 was to highlight vulnerabilities in the area of remote backup and disaster recovery, prompting a number of companies to scramble for new contingency solutions.

- Storage over IP sounds like a dream, but we're hearing significantly more about it than we're going to see, at least until total standardization has been achieved, expected some time this year. For Infiniband, this process will come even later. 2001 was also the year in which virtualization software made its big splash, even if sales remain sluggish.

- 2001 also gave witness to an even more disastrous Comdex than the previous year. CeBIT seems to have definitively won the war of giant international IT trade shows. The past year also saw a major blitz among expo organizers to specialize in storage events, an effort that more or less paid off.

- We end on a brighter note: despite the gloomy year the industry just suffered, despite the number of mergers and acquisitions, despite even the dramatic reversal of fortune for SSPs, we've never seen a year with so many start-ups, for the most part looking for an angle in storage networking. Do they all still dream of IPOs? Perhaps not, because the stock exchange is far from welcoming at the moment. Instead, they seem content just to stay the course, perhaps hoping one day to snag a particularly big fish?

Jean-Jacques Maleval is Editor of StorageNewsletter

Zycko Ltd, is Europe's largest high-end
networking accessories vendor.

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