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Mountain View, CA - July 17, 2002 - The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) Board of Directors approved the charter for the formation of the Storage Security Industry Forum (SSIF) last week during a meeting in San Jose, CA. The forum is a customer- and market-focused vendor consortium dedicated to increasing the availability of robust storage security solutions. The forum will fulfill this mission by helping to identify best practices on how to build secure storage networks and promoting these standards-based solutions.
Other news on this page

SNIA Launches New Storage Security Group

IDC Says Spending on Storage Utility Services Worldwide will Exceed $1.2 Billion by 2006

XtremeMac Announces iRise FireWire and USB Hub

StorageTek Announces Timberwolf® 9730 Upgrade Program

FalconStor Software Acquires IP Metrics

Flash Memory Helps Intel's Results Stay Level

Dataram Lowers Memory Costs for Sun Fire V120 and Netra 120 Servers

Stratos Lightwave Joins XFP Industry Association

Granite Digital Ships Smart Drive FireWire Enclosures

NSI Software Completes Data Protection Paradigm With New Professional Services

EMC and Gartner Invent New Storage Jargon

Announcing DinoStor Inc.

Seek Systems Lowers RAID Costs Below 1 Cent per Megabyte

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Nibble Re: Sun's Annus Horribilis

his last year has not been a happy one for the "dot in dot-com" company.

Partly it's suffered from problems affecting the whole computer industry, but maybe it's time for the company to confess up to shareholders, users and other partners, that some of its biggest problems have been self inflicted. Hubris had become as much a core part of the company as Solaris.

As the strength of Sun has dimmed during the last year, the glare of looking directly at it has become less painful. I don't realistically expect any press releases coming out from Sun Microsystems admitting they have done things wrong in their business strategy (that may have to wait for Scott McNealy's memoirs) but we have already started to see a trickle of news to suggest that they are going back to do some things differently. In the absence of any "mea culpas" coming out from Mountain View here's my own suggested shortlist of sins of omission and sins of commisssion by the SUNW company.

Sins of Omission

  • Sun forgot that its customers are rational human beings, who seek out the best value solutions for their organizations. When Sun produces the best solutions, they buy Sun. But that shouldn't be taken for granted when Sun's products are no longer best of breed.
  • In the mid 1990's Sun's SPARC Technology Business promised OEMs looking at SPARC technology, that Sun's SPARC processors would maintain a consistent performance advantage over Intel architecture by a margin of about two to one. You'd have to pay more for the SPARC technology, but you'd get higher performance computing typically a year to eighteen months sooner by switching to SPARC. However in 2001 and upto the 2nd quarter of 2002, Sun forgot to deliver on this pledge. First Sun's competitors caught up, and now the performance ratio is heading towards two to one the wrong way round. But Sun still expects users to pay a higher price for lower performance. There's something wrong with that thinking.

Sins of Commisssion

  • Sun had many "adventures" into other market segments where the Sun magic had not been worked before. Sun's biggest and most expensive misadventure was in the fast growing storage market. Industry commentators said at the time that Sun was a most unlikely candidate to succeed in this commodity priced market. Storage doesn't just connect to Sun servers, it connects to PC's and Wintel servers, and a lot more besides. My guess is that Sun squandered billions of dollars in this experiment. It failed because users don't want over priced second rate storage at a higher price than best of breed alternatives. However Sun is already going back to its earlier successful strategy of badge engineering good solutions made by other companies.
  • Sun had developed a latent market of pro Sun wannabe customers in the Intel architecture market with its Solaris X86 operating system. At some future time this had the potential to be leveraged with Intel badged servers from Sun. However, when Sun unilaterally and without discussion pulled the plug on these users, it sowed the seeds for future distrust. Any future Intel architecture products from Sun, be they Solaris or Linux will be viewed with deep suspicion. Sun's business development in this market has been set back many years

I said this would be a short list. That's why I haven't mentioned that Sun lost trust in its VAR channel by competing with its own customers when times got tough. And that Sun thought that most of its other partnerships with IHVs and ISVs were one way streets designed solely to benefit Sun. But that's no different to what other computer companies have always done. Sun was unusual in ever behaving differently. Sun was unlucky with its cache reliability problem, and was even more unlucky that its fastest growing customer base got whacked by the pricking of the dot-com bubble. Nothing they could really about that.

Looking ahead...

the need for high performance reliable servers hasn't gone away. Sun just isn't meetimg that need as well as it used to. Many of the hurdles which Sun faces are internally created problems. Admitting that's the case, and doing something about it could result in a new dawning for the twenty year old company.

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"Users of storage networks have identified security as one of their primary concerns. The Storage Security Industry Forum will enable SNIA members to collaborate in a vendor-neutral environment and create a focal point for industry and user interchange on secure storage networks," said Brad Stamas, Chairman of the SNIA.

The Storage Security Industry Forum will strive to assure that customers' requirements are being met with existing solutions and standards. Companies that have helped to launch the forum include Adaptec, Brocade, Computer Associates, Hewlett-Packard Company, IBM, Infinity I/O, JNI Corporation, McDATA, NeoScale Systems, QLogic, Seagate Technologies, Spectra Logic, and Zyfer. Storage vendors interested in joining the SSIF should contact Mike Alvarado at ...SNIA profile
don't let the goblins see your sensitive data
Without adequate security, people like Gunnar the goblin king can read your sensitive business plans.
Editor's comments:- a few years ago a whole bunch of companies made noises about getting into the storage security market. But either the dotcom bust, or a lack of standards, or possibly both meant there was little follow through in this area. The SNIA's new initiative will kick this market back into touch.

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. - July 17, 2002 - Worldwide spending on storage utility services will reach more than $1.2 billion by 2006, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32%, a new report published by IDC reveals. Based on new assumptions taking into account changing market forces, this study shows that much storage-on-demand spending to date has been done as part of other, larger contracts, such as Web hosting.

According to IDC's report, the storage utility or "on demand" model has been adopted by three types of companies: large, established outsourcers (IBM Global Services and EDS); telcos (AT&T, BellSouth, Qwest, and others); and niche players that want to provide storage applications such as digital archiving, backup, and vaulting services over the Internet (LiveVault, eVault, Zantaz, and others).

"Clearly, the parties that will deliver most of the storage capacity as a utility over the next few years will not be small start-up firms, but larger, established services organizations that have already made the investments to deliver 'IT on tap,'" said Doug Chandler, director of IDC's Storage and Data Management Services research program. "In addition, storage-on-demand, as a discrete value proposition, is not strong enough to stand on its own. Service providers will bundle storage as an element in a larger portfolio of infrastructure services, including processing power and network bandwidth -- and, in the case of the telcos, voice and network services."

Looking ahead, as the broader IT-as-utility concept becomes more widely adopted on both the supply side and the demand side, storage will be an important element in this business, IDC believes. SSPs that wish to compete successfully must be aware that ultimately they are competing with customers' established strategies and policies around storage and data management. When a storage utility provider can offer a service that is cheaper, more reliable, more scalable, and better managed than customers can accomplish themselves, these services will be purchased as a way of gaining competitive advantage. Until then, SSPs of any stripe will struggle to convince customers that they should turn over management and ownership of their storage infrastructure to a third party. ...IDC profile

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida - July 17, 2002 - XtremeMac has announced iRise, a FireWire and USB hub that sits directly beneath the iMac. Its unique design unclutters the desktop by routing keyboard and speaker wires under the iMac. It also features an illuminated base that provides a cool- blue aura around the bottom of the iRise. Two FireWire and two USB ports are provided in each front quadrant for a total of 8 fully powered expansion ports. iRise allows users to quickly and conveniently connect all of their digital peripherals. These conveniently located ports are easy to access and don't interfere with the iMac keyboard. iRise is scheduled to ship in October at an SRP of $159.95.

"By bringing so many FireWire and USB ports right up front, our engineers have enhanced the iMac as a true digital hub - without compromising the elegant look and feel of the iMac. We believe iRise is a great value for iMac users since it provides a single source for streamlining desktop environments. Its convenience, ease of use, and esthetically pleasing look can't be beat," said Gary Bart, president and CEO of XtremeMac. ...XtremeMac profile

LOUISVILLE, Colo. - July 16, 2002 - StorageTek today announced a trade-in program to give customers in the United States an opportunity to upgrade their TimberWolf 9730 tape libraries to the newer L40 tape library. The L40 can accommodate mixed media and SDLT tape drives, making this a cost-effective opportunity for customers. StorageTek's 9730 trade-in program provides customers $3,000 cash back when they trade in their existing Timberwolf® 9730 tape library and purchase a StorageTek L40 tape library with SDLT technology. Additionally, StorageTek will pay for the removal of the 9730 from the customer site.

"The demand for cost-effective, reliable data protection solutions has never been greater," said Jessica Iler, StorageTek senior product manager, Automated Tape Solutions. "Our L40 is a cost-effective way to protect data while reducing overall total cost of ownership. By utilizing StorageTek's L40 tape library with SDLT drives, customers can take advantage of more than three times the capacity and twice the speed (compared to DLT 7000) for the ultimate data storage investment protection at a cost that is unparalleled in the industry."

The L40 provides very affordable, high-performance, high-capacity data management for demanding distributed environments. Combining StorageTek's proven technology and reliable, high-speed robotics at an entry-level price, the L40 tape library has become the answer for growing organizations and their automated backup and recovery needs. Valid for customers in the United States, the 9730 Trade-In program is effective immediately and will continue through Oct. 31, 2002. ...StorageTek profile

MELVILLE, N.Y. - July 16, 2002 - FalconStor Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: FALC today announced it has acquired IP Metrics Software, Inc., a Euless, TX-based provider of high availability software and services for mission-critical networks. Financial terms were not disclosed. FalconStor will leverage IPMetrics' technology to offer highly available network storage and highly available IP connectivity to mission critical servers throughout the enterprise. IP Metrics' flagship solution, NIC Express, creates redundant data paths between all network server and workstation endpoints, ensuring non-stop data flow across the enterprise. The most significant feature is its ability to peer deep into the network to identify network trouble spots and to intelligently re-route traffic.

"We're excited to bring our talents to FalconStor, a company highly regarded for its innovation in storage networking software," said David Wilbanks, CEO of IP Metrics Software. "We look forward to extending NIC Express' reach to more customers through FalconStor's global channel partners, and to leveraging FalconStor's development technical resources in executing our vision for end-to-end network availability."

IP Metrics' Euless location will become FalconStor's office in Texas. Wilbanks will continue with FalconStor as vice president of business development. ...FalconStor Software profile

SANTA CLARA, Calif.- July 16, 2002 - Intel Corporation today announced second-quarter revenue of $6.3 billion, down 7% sequentially and approximately flat year-over-year. Second-quarter net income was $446 million, down 52% sequentially and up 128% year-over-year. Earnings per share were $0.07, down 50% sequentially and up 133% from $0.03 in the second quarter of 2001. The results include a $106-million charge to cost of sales related to the decision to wind down Intel® Online Services, along with a $112- million write-off of acquired intangibles, primarily related to Xircom PC cards for wireline networking.

"In a tough environment, we continued to execute well," said Craig R. Barrett, Intel chief executive officer. "Our investments in technology and manufacturing are delivering processors with clear performance leadership, resulting in market segment share gains across the board. We also saw growth in our communications businesses, led by solid flash memory revenue and share growth." ...Intel profile

Princeton, NJ - July 16, 2002 - Dataram Corporation today announced the immediate availability of memory upgrades for Sun Microsystems' Sun Fire V120 and Netra 120 servers. Dataram's DRS200 memory is available in capacities of 256MB, 512MB, and 1GB. Each memory upgrade consists of a single high-quality 133MHz ECC-protected SDRAM DIMM. The Sun Fire V120 and Netra 120 servers contain four slots for memory, supporting up to 4GB of Dataram memory. Dataram's memory is guaranteed to be 100% compatible with Sun's hardware and software, having been fully tested and qualified in actual Sun servers. Dataram's focus on memory provides its customers with substantial savings of up to 60% or more when compared to Sun's memory. ...Dataram profile, ...Sun Microsystems profile

CHICAGO, IL - July 15, 2002 - Stratos Lightwave is announcing its inception into the XFP Group. The purpose of the Group is to develop a vendor-independent specification for ultra-small form factor 10 gigabit per second communications modules. These hot-pluggable modules are intended for use in a wide range of high-end applications in the telecommunications, data communications and SAN markets.

"Stratos has made a long-term commitment to the XFP organization, and will be as open and communicative as possible," states Tom Lindsay, Stratos Principal Engineer, and XFP Group member. "We are pleased to be a member of this Group, and we look forward to being active participants and offering significant contributions to its progress."

After the XFP Standards are finalized, and XFP-compliant products are available, end users will benefit from this new highly-compact, low power-consumption form factor. It will enable unprecedented levels of integration inside host equipment - at 10Gb/s - while continuing to provide all the traditional benefits of a hot-pluggable package.

"Our experience with the successful demonstration of this technology shows that XFP is a viable telecommunications, data communications and SAN solution," said Bob Snively, Chairman of the XFP Group, and Principal Engineer at Brocade Communications Systems Inc., the largest manufacturer of Fibre Channel switching equipment. "We are very pleased with the growth of the association to date, and are happy to announce Stratos Lightwave's commitment to our collective vision for 10Gb/s solutions. We have already distributed the first draft of the specification to our member companies for technical review. Our next key objective is to develop, by August, a preliminary XFP specification for wider review." ...Stratos Lightwave profile, ...XFP Group

MACWORLD - July 15, 2002 - Granite Digital today announced it has begun shipping its new Smart Drive Series of FireWire enclosures. The Smart Drive Series includes low-profile, external storage enclosures with built-in LCD+keypad user interfaces.

"The built-in user interface is like having a technician in each box," said Frank Gabrielli, President of Granite Digital. "With traditional enclosures users find it really frustrating not knowing what's really happening. With our Smart Drive enclosures users see real-time performance, they see how everything is configured, and they can easily spot and fix problems before those problems cause trouble and aggravation. And our new Smart Drive external enclosure is by far the smallest and best looking case we've ever built."

The Smart Drive user interface incorporates a 2-line by 20 character LCD and a 2-button keypad. By default the user interface shows the enclosure's real-time status or performance. Using the keypad, users navigate menus offering information on the FireWire-IDE bridge, the hard disk, the FireWire connection, and the host computer. Additional diagnostic and utility menus allow testing, verifying, and even erasing the hard disk without a host computer. ...Granite Digital profile

Hoboken, N.J. - July 15, 2002 - NSI Software today introduced three new professional services which extend its service portfolio to help businesses of all sizes achieve 24x7 data availability.

Capacity Planning for Double-Take analyzes a customer's rate of data change to build a tailored disaster recovery plan. The Kick Start for Double-Take service provides a framework for customers that are preparing for an enterprise-wide data protection deployment. Once a is deployed, the quarterly or semi-annual Health Check for Double-Take service tracks growth and infrastructure changes within the customer's environment to ensure effective data protection and availability.

"NSI Software is committed to making data replication available to all businesses. However, every company is different in its rates of data change, infrastructures and availability needs, therefore, often it's not ideal to simply implement a pre-packaged solution," said Mike Lesh, VP of professional services, NSI Software. "With our Capacity Planning for Double-Take service, we simulate a customer's environment to understand their network bandwidth requirements and environmental dependencies before making a recommendation. Health Check for Double-Take then ensures the solution grows with the customer's network and protects its mission-critical data."

Highlighting the importance of support during an enterprise-wide deployment, Todd Rockey, senior network administrator for Bway Corporation said, "NSI Software's Professional Services consultants provided proven methodologies and best practices which helped us prepare for a successful deployment of Double-Take. NSI assisted our IT team through system configurations, highlighted advanced features and conducted a knowledge transfer to ensure the solution effectively protects our critical data and applications."

Aside from analyzing a company's data rate change, the Capacity Planning for Double-Take service allows customers to test drive NSI Software's Double-Take and GeoCluster products for 30 days to learn how the system would operate during a disaster. This exercise allows customers to review their infrastructure requirements and is a critical step in developing a rollout strategy, solution design and architecture. ...NSI Software profile

Editor - July 15, 2002 - EMC and Gartner have been busily inventing new acronyms for the network storage market, in case you didn't think there were enough already.

Will they catch on? In the end, you decide. I'm a poor judge and was a slow convert to SAN. These terms below occurred in a recent edition of "EMC Perspectives", and I don't recall having seen them before.
  • SAM - Storage Area Management
  • FAS - Fabric Attached Storage conveniently bundles together the ideas of SAN and NAS, or Networked Storage
If you're cynical you may think this kind of inventiveness is designed to breathe "new" life into old products. OK, it works for the car industry. But you wouldn't buy a storage system just because it had a new label or color would you? There is a serious and higher marketing purpose at work here. If you can define an acronym which defines a market niche, then you can also issue press releases to say that your company is the market leader in that niche. Here are some example, but you can think of your own.
  • EAS - EMC Attached Storage. That enables you to claim 99.9% market share in the EAS storage market... ...if you're EMC.
But this idea can be extended to other fields. So we get:-
  • MDSP - Mouse Driven Storage Portal. By the way did you know that has 100% market share in the storage portal market in the MDSP category. That's important information if you're an advertiser.
We collect all the new terms seen in these pages in Megabyte's Storage Glossary. ...EMC profile, ...GartnerGroup profile

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - July 15, 2002 ­ Global Automation, Inc. today announced the creation of a new division focused on delivering advanced solutions for network backup: DinoStor Inc. The first DinoStor products will build on the expertise of Global Automation in addressing enterprise requirements of its corporate customers, such as Bank of America, J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo Bank, Charles Schwab, E*Trade, Oracle, Compaq and Sun Microsystems. DinoStor's technology will offer an innovative solution that overcomes many of the limitations of current network backup architectures in a turnkey commercial solution.

Srini Sankaran, founder and CEO of Global Automation, will head DinoStor as President and CEO. Sankaran founded Global Automation in 1990 and expanded the company from a garage startup to a multinational enterprise, and has more than 15 years of experience building enterprise software, networks and storage systems. DinoStor has also appointed Tim Gardner, one of the creators of NDMP, as its Chief Technology Officer and Caroline Q. Mead joins the company as Vice President of Sales and Marketing after 12 years with Amdahl and Fujitsu.

Sankaran revealed that DinoStor's initial products are targeted at solving the critical backup problems for NAS environments. IDC estimates that NAS will account for about 28% of the overall disk storage systems market by 2004, up from just 6% last year, and the Yankee Group predicts that by 2005 the majority of all storage deployed will be networked. The rapid growth of the NAS market - combined with the astounding appetite for storage fueled by new storage-intensive applications - has outpaced the industry's ability to provide backup solutions that address the ease of management, performance, and high-availability demands of network storage environments. The DinoStor solution to NAS backup is a non-disruptive technology that will allow customers to achieve improved utilization and supercharged speeds without abandoning their existing NAS backup infrastructure.

DinoStor plans to announce and have its first product available for customer delivery later this quarter. The company will make it products available through both reseller and OEM channels. ...DinoStor profile

BOTHELL, WA - July 15, 2002 ­ Seek Systems, Inc. today announced the availability of the Garrison family of low-cost RAID storage systems designed for the emerging Reference Information market. Garrison provides safe, reliable, and simple to manage storage at a cost of less than one cent per Megabyte.

"Reference Information is the fastest growing segment of the data storage marketplace. According to a recent report by Enterprise Storage Group, reference data will exceed all other types of stored data within two years. The characteristics of this segment are quite different than that of a transaction database environment. It requires very large data repositories with relatively infrequent access, and is extremely price sensitive," says G. Wayne Smith, President and CEO of Seek Systems.

Typical applications requiring such large repositories are corporate historical data, email archives, medical imaging, audio and video files, and geophysical data. Until recently, the cost of on-line storage of this type of data was cost prohibitive. The basic Garrison storage unit is a rack-mounted, self-contained enclosure containing a controller unit with one or two SCSI or Fiber Channel host ports, populated with 8 or 12 EIDE disk drives. Single quantity pricing for Garrison storage units ranges from $9,750 for the 640GB SCSI model to $17,750 for the 1.92TB (raw data) dual Fiber Channel unit. Quantity discounts are available. ...SEEK Systems profile

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