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Storage History - 2002, July week 1

SSD news
Top 20 SSD companies
Aren't all PCIe SSDs very similar?
How fast can your SSD run backwards?
What makes this enterprise SSD different?
Where does all the money go? (inside SSDs)
Why can't SSD's true believers agree about architecture?
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NEC launches Data Storage Division in the UK

UK - July 4, 2002 – NEC has announced the launch of a new Data Storage Division in the UK and unveiled a range of floppy disk drives, optical and tape backup solutions, including new two-terabit devices.

The company has also announced its channel marketing strategy and future product roadmap. NEC has a 40-year pedigree in the design, manufacture and marketing of high performance, high reliability storage products, both in Japan and in other European markets. The company has now established a UK operation to serve the fast-growing storage market here.

Andrew Wyllie, Commercial Manager of NEC's Business Equipment Division, heading up the new Data Storage operation, says that Britain's businesses are making ever greater demands on overburdened storage systems: "Business data storage today is characterised by greater volumes, higher capacity and faster access. Users are constantly demanding the ability to move and handle larger files, often containing high-resolution large graphics and images. Documents that were previously sent as hard copies to users are now sent automatically by email. The total quantity of data handled by businesses is doubling every three years and people want to keep it to hand, storing more and more on their hard drives."

NEC will work alongside the UK's leading distributors and systems integrators to bring its products to market. The Division has already appointed Micro Peripherals, one of the UK's top distributors, to supply NEC storage products to retailers and dealers nationwide. ...NEC profile

LSI Logic offers integrated storage solution for cPCI

MILPITAS, Calif. - July 3, 2002 – LSI Logic Corporation today announced the availability of the LSI7202CP-LC Fibre Channel 2 Gbit/s CompactPCI® (cPCI) HBA with the LSI Logic Storage Systems. E-Series enterprise storage systems, a Fibre Channel solution capable of seamlessly scaling to 40T.

E-Series storage systems deliver enterprise-class functionality at the lowest total cost of ownership for such high-performance computing environments as seismic processing, video streaming, scientific applications and large storage consolidation.
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Intel Celebrates The Industry's 1 Billionth PC

July 1, 2002 - Intel
When it comes to the PC, science fiction has become science fact.

When introduced some 25 years ago, PCs were big and clunky, and performed simple word processing and basic spreadsheet functions. Today, the home PC is a powerful all-in-one digital jukebox, movie studio, photo darkroom and electronic game board. For companies worldwide, the PC has brought unprecedented productivity and efficiency to the way business is done. With a PC connected to the Internet, it's possible for even the smallest company to sell products and provide customer service around the clock and around the globe. In the past two decades, technology innovation and the expansion of the Internet have changed the future of computing - a billion times over.

1 Billion PCs and Counting

Industry analyst firm Gartner Dataquest announced today that the PC industry has shipped the 1 billionth PC. The industry reached this notable milestone in April 2002, roughly 25 years after the debut of the first commercially successful and widely available personal computer, the 1974 Altair powered by the Intel® 8080 chip.

Intel's contribution to the evolution of personal computing began with its 1971 invention of the microprocessor, often referred to as the brain of the PC. From the Intel 8080 chip used in the Altair to the 4.77 MHz Intel® 8088 processor that powered the watershed IBM PC in 1981, this historic path of innovation has brought us today to the era of the Intel® Pentium® 4 processor, the world's fastest processor. PCs based on the Pentium 4 processor at 2.53 GHz deliver higher performance for digital media and enriched multi-tasking user experiences.

Today, PCs are in roughly 60% of U.S. households, followed by 49% in Western Europe and 38% in Asia Pacific. At the end of last year, nearly half a billion people around the world had access to the Internet from their homes. In 2001, more than $615 billion in revenue was generated worldwide from e-Commerce transactions . In its journey to the 1 billion milestone, the PC has profoundly changed the way companies transact business and how people communicate, shop, learn, access information and entertain themselves.

The 1 billionth PC is likely enabling its owner to do a variety of things once thought of as science fiction. Today, people rely on PCs to send e-mail and instant messages, surf the Web, manage a household budget and family calendar, edit home movies and burn them onto DVDs, mix music, create photo albums with narration and mood music, play action-packed games, and engage in a host of other compelling new uses.

Another Billion PCs in Six Years

Gartner Dataquest calculates that the next billion PCs could ship far faster than the ones that came before. In 2008, the PC industry is projected to reach the milestone of 2 billion PCs, with the greatest growth opportunity coming from high-volume emerging markets in places such as China, Latin America and Eastern Europe. ...Intel profile

Editor's comments:-
there's no doubt that the PC, which has brought affordable digital data access to everyone who needs it, has changed the way we work. And PC technology, in DVD players and music players have improved the sound and visual quality of our home entertainment.

But let's not forget the downside...

The hype which led to the dotcom bubble and crash created history's first digitally mastered economic recession.

That the PC is now part of everyday life for most of us is undeniable. It's also inevitable that the amount of storage associated with the 2nd billion PCs will be considerably greater than the first billion. But as processors have become commodities, which any small group of electronic engineers can design to put in a phone or a TV, Intel's continuing dominance in the processor market is less than certain.
SSD ad - click for more info
The dual-channel LSI7202CP-LC delivers full Hot Swap capabilities reducing downtime and improving system availability in enterprise level storage environments while extending the LSI Logic family of 2 Gbit HBAs with a direct cPCI interface. The adapter has driver support for all Intel and Sun based cPCI systems and comes with a 3U or 6U faceplate.

"As seen in this new solution, the LSI7202CP-LC stands out as a key component in delivering the highest levels of performance, data availability and reliability in a cost-efficient offering," said Robert Anderson, director of the HBA Group at LSI Logic Corporation. "LSI Logic continues to focus its expertise on creating the right solutions at the right time to support today's evolving storage environments." ...LSI Logic profile

See also:- cPCI SBCs (SPARC), Fibre-channel HBAs
dual channel FC adapter for cPCI from LSI Logic

SanDisk and Lead Data Sign Cross License Patent Agreement

SUNNYVALE, Calif - July 3, 2002 -SanDisk Corp. and Lead Data Inc. announced today that they have entered into a patent cross-license agreement for SanDisk's Flash memory card patents.

According to the terms of the agreement, Lead Data obtains a five year non-exclusive license to SanDisk's flash memory card patents to manufacture and sell CompactFlash and other specified flash memory cards, but excluding Secure Digital and Memory Stick cards. SanDisk will receive licensing and royalty payments from Lead Data on worldwide sales of the licensed products. SanDisk also receives a non-exclusive license to Lead Data's patent portfolio related to flash memory and flash memory cards. The license agreement is effective immediately. Financial details and other terms of the agreement are confidential. ...Lead Data profile, ...SanDisk profile

BakBone Software Announces Engagement of Salomon Smith Barney

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - July 2, 2002 - BakBone Software announced today the engagement of investment banking firm Salomon Smith Barney to advise BakBone on strategic and financial matters.

"I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with a leading firm with strong storage industry expertise, and I look forward to a long and successful relationship," said Keith Rickard, BakBone's President and CEO. "We believe Salomon Smith Barney will be invaluable in the execution of our strategy. They also possess strengths in many areas that a growing company like BakBone can truly benefit from." ...BakBone Software profile

IBM Introduces New 3590 Tape Drive

SOMERS, NY - July 2, 2002 - IBM today introduced a new tape drive 3590 Model H which stores up to 50% more information than the previous model on existing 3590 tape cartridges helping to protect customer media investments.

It employs a new 384-track magnetic recording head that increases the capacity per tape cartridge. New capabilities provided by the Advanced Policy Management feature include:
  • Volume Pooling - saves "like" data together on a particular set of tape cartridges, for example, data expected to be archived for five years or data from a particular business organization;
  • Dual Copy - creates two copies of data for improved recoverability.
In addition, with a new expanded Enterprise Tape Library feature, IT managers can now remotely manage and fix problems on a VTS from a remote web browser. The new VTS Advanced Policy Management features and FICON channel attachments are available on September 6, 2002 and the FICON Performance Accelerator will be available on January 31, 2003. The new 3590 Model H has a 14-megabyte per second native data rate and native capacity of 30G (90 gigabytes with 3:1 compression) with the 3590 High Performance Cartridge or a native capacity of 60G with the 3590 Extended High Performance Cartridge. ...IBM profile

LSI to acquire Mylex RAID technology and teams from IBM

MILPITAS, Calif. - July 2, 2002 - LSI Logic Corporation today announced an agreement with IBM Corporation calling for LSI Logic to acquire the assets of IBM's Mylex business unit.

LSI Logic will use the purchase method of accounting for the acquisition of the assets of IBM's Mylex business unit. The cash transaction is anticipated to close during LSI Logic's third quarter ending September 30 and is expected to be accretive to LSI Logic earnings.

As a result of this transaction, LSI Logic Storage Systems, Inc. and LSI Logic's Storage Components Group will acquire the Mylex business unit's RAID controllers, subsystems, hardware and software technologies. The purchase will strengthen LSI Logic's position in the expanding entry-level storage systems space and the PCI-RAID segment. LSI Logic will gain the expertise of IBM's Mylex business unit's hardware and software engineers and sales representatives. In addition, the company will also have access to the Mylex sales channels and a customer base that includes IBM, NEC, Fujitsu-Siemens, Xyratex and Eurologic.

"This strategic transaction expands LSI Logic's capabilities in both of our growing SAN systems and storage components businesses," said Wilfred J. Corrigan, LSI Logic chairman and chief executive officer. "We are looking forward to welcoming the Mylex business unit employees to LSI Logic and to serving Mylex customers competing in the SAN systems and storage components sectors."

"High performance modular storage systems are proving to be the most cost effective and flexible solutions to meet growing customer storage needs under tight IT budget constraints," said Tom Georgens, LSI Logic Storage Systems, Inc. president. "This acquisition strengthens our position in this fast growing segment and increases our development capabilities to pursue more customer opportunities." ...IBM profile, ...LSI Logic profile, ...Mylex profile

Editor's comments:- LSI Logic doesn't seem to suffer from the "not invented here" syndrome, problem which has affected other leading technology companies in the past. Instead, whenever they see a good technology or channel opportunity that's compatible with their storage business strategy they seize it. In recent years in the host bus adapter product segment alone, LSI Logic's acquisitions seem to have become an annual event.
  • May 2000 - LSI Logic announced the acquisition of IntraServer Technology - which had enterprise server compatible SCSI products in the Sun and DEC (now HP) markets.
  • May 2001 - LSI Logic announced the acquisition of the industry's #1 entry level PC RAID products with the acquisition of the MegaRAID line from AMI.
  • July 2002 - (today) - LSI Logic announced the acquisition of the Mylex RAID business assets from IBM.
Meanwhile, LSI Logic has also been active in other storage acquisitions. In May 2001 - LSI Logic Corporation announced today that it has acquired the majority ownership of C-Cube Microsystems Inc. a technology company focused on the DVD and set-top boxes market. It's sometime hard keeping up.

Serial ATA Becomes a Hot Topic for Readers

July 2, 2002 - Serial ATA has become a hot topic for readers, having reached the #3 product category (out of more than 60 vertical storage categories) visited by readers in the month of June.

Editor Zsolt Kerekes said "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. For example as recently as January 2002, Serial ATA wasn't even in our top 10 subjects. Now it's made its mark in the consciousness of most readers, and I'll be interested to see if it can go any higher."

Serial ATA is intended to replace today's ubiquitous PC style ATA hard drive connections with an interface which will be software compatible, and physically smaller - simplifying the integration of mass storage into notebooks and PDAs. The Serial ATA standard competes in the same market space as other serial standards such as USB 2.0, FireWire and Serial Attached SCSI.

Authorized Backup Copying is Made Easier by StarForce Technologies

M3/Replitech conference, AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands - July 1, 2002 - During the technical session "Advanced Topics in Digital Content Delivery", StarForce Technologies, a provider of copy protection systems for software distributed on CD-ROM/CD-Rs, announced a technical solution for legal backup copying issues for users who wish to make a backup copy of their purchased software.

The StarForce Backup System distinguishes between a legal and an illegal user and can provide the legal user with an opportunity to make a back-up copy of software that has been copy protected. The system was designed to provide backup capability for applications protected by StarForce Professional and CD-R copy protection systems. It ties an application to a user's computer and allows running a protected application without the original protected CD identification procedure. A user does not have to use the original protected CD to run the application, only a copy of the CD in the CD-drive. But if a motherboard or CPU is replaced, a user will have to use the original protected CD to run the application again.

Not all users want to make a backup copy and that's probably why some protection technologies providers decided to take away that right since they don't have an effective mechanism in place to track the number of copies made by a user.

Making a back-up copy using the StarForce Backup System is possible by contacting a technical support specialist from the vendor or publisher of the software. Only a designated specialist can track or authorize the number of copies made by a user and check the CD identity. A publisher, a manufacturer, or any provider of technical support can identify a CD by a CD key number, store receipt and any other purchase related ID (such as it may be a special mark or sticker on a CD container) and provide a legal user with a backup code for software backup copying. The number of copies can be limited from one to any amount selected by a publisher or manufacturer. Limiting the copies makes a user keep the original CD in case of computer modification.

StarForce Technologies is working hard to protect manufacturers' and publishers' rights but are also aiming to increase customer satisfaction. In all fairness, there should be a way to make one backup copy for each legally owned CD. Technical means are provided by StarForce Technologies and now it is the time for publishers and manufacturers to make the final 'rightful' decision. ...StarForce Technologies profile

Condre Unveils USB 2.0 AIT Backup

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - July 1, 2002 - Condre, Inc. today announced the release of a USB 2.0 AIT-1 storage device that delivers high capacity and high performance data storage for individual workstations and small to medium-sized networks and servers.

The new Condre AIT-1 external drive combines a native capacity of 35GB per cartridge (91GB with 2.6:1 compression) with a transfer rate of up to 4MB/sec (10MB/sec with 2.6:1 compression) for reliable storage and backup. In addition, the drive offers flexibility with plug-and-play connectivity to most PC and Mac systems and can be easily shared between workstations.

"The storage needs of small businesses continue to grow, and the addition of the AIT-1 drive to our line-up offers a complete, convenient and affordable data storage, recovery and archival solution to our customers. The AIT format also complements our line of CD and DVD R interchange systems we provide for audio and video applications. We're excited to implement this technology into our new Tape Storage product line," said Chuck Alcon, Jr., General Manager of Condre's Minneapolis Operations.

"AIT technology is designed to meet a wide range of customer requirements for affordable, reliable and scalable data storage," said John Woelbern, director of marketing for the tape storage solutions division of Sony Electronics' Business Solutions & Systems Company. "We are pleased that Condre is working with Sony AIT technology to address a new market segment based on USB 2.0 host connectivity." ...Condre profile, ...Sony profile

Overland Data Changes Name to Overland Storage

July 1, 2002 - Overland Storage, Inc. (Nasdaq: OVRL), previously Overland Data, Inc., became the new name for the fastest growing provider of mid-range storage solutions.

The name change reflects the Company's expanded commitment to both software and hardware storage solutions designed to deliver automated storage management. At a special meeting held on June 28, 2002, shareholders approved the name change that became effective following the meeting.

"Our mission is to provide world-class storage management solutions designed to ensure business continuity. In so doing, Overland empowers our customers to compete more effectively in the information age," said Christopher Calisi, president and CEO of Overland Storage. "For many years we have been known as a leading supplier of innovative automated tape libraries. Since arriving at Overland slightly over a year ago, it has been my goal to expand our reach into adjacent markets. This desire led to the creation of our new software business unit and the recent launch of our family of storage management software solutions, again, targeted at the mid-range market. Our corporate name change to Overland Storage highlights our expanded strategy, and reflects our storage-focused mission statement." ...Overland Storage profile

Infineon Introduces Highest Density DDR333 Registered Memory

Munich, Germany – July 1, 2002 - Infineon Technologies today announced the availability of engineering samples of 1 Gigabyte Registered DDR333 SDRAM DIMMs.

Using 36 individual 256 Mbit memory chips in very compact FBGA (Fine-Pitch Ball Grid Array) packages, these new DIMMs are the highest density memory modules available for computer server and workstation memory applications. The FBGA package offers a superior compact solution than the currently widely used TSOP-II (Thin Small Outline Packages) or stacked TSOP-II alternatives, consuming about 60% less board space.

The growing popularity of 1U high rack-mount and "blade" servers for enterprise computing and communications applications is driving demand for reduced height DIMMs. For these ultra dense high performance server applications high-density memories with reduced dimensions and low power consumption are the critical components. Infineon uses JEDECcompliant FBGA packages to engineer the DIMM solution.

The new 184pin 1GB Registered DDR333 Reduced Height DIMM is organized in two banks for a total of 128MB x 72. They use 2.5Volts for power and 1.25Volts for signals. Sample quantities are currently available. ...Infineon Technologies profile

Nexsan Enters IP Storage Market

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. - July 1, 2002 ­ Nexsan Technologies today announced its entry into the IP storage market with the Veritur iP, an iSCSI SAN appliance.

The Veriture iP directly addresses the most critical problem facing IT managers: controlling skyrocketing storage management expenses. According to Forrester Research, management costs alone can outweigh the capital expense of storage by a factor of 7 to 1.

Veriture iP is an iSCSI storage appliance that enables centrally managed storage pooling and virtual volume allocation. These virtual volumes can be dynamically created, resized and reallocated to meet the changing real time needs of network users, effectively delivering "capacity on demand" wherever it's needed on the SAN. With centralized management of all IP SAN storage assets, an administrator can effectively manage vastly larger pools of storage than with direct server-attached storage. A single Veriture iP SAN appliance can manage up to 15 Nexsan InfiniSANTM ATAboy2 storage arrays, providing more than 25 terabytes of affordable iSCSI storage capacity. ...Nexsan Technologies profile

How Long Can Sun Stand the Heat in the Server Benchmark Wars?

July 1, 2002 ­ a new article in the SPARC Product Directory asks the questions:- "How Long Can Sun Stand the Heat in the Server Benchmark Wars?"

Sun Microsystems has already started losing out in recent comparative benchmarks from IBM and others. This article examines the threats to Sun's current server line, explains how it got into this situation, and maps out possible solutions for the troubled Unix server company. ...IBM profile, ...Sun Microsystems profile, the article

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