Serial Attached SCSI

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2002, October week 1b, Storage news

. Megabyte's selection of storage news
Megabyte loved reading news
about the storage market

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Squeak! - the Fastest SSDs
Squeak! - the 2.5" SSD Guide
Squeak! - How Solid is Hard Disk's Future?
Squeak! - the Top 10 Solid State Disk OEMs
Squeak! - the Solid State Disks Buyers Guide
Squeak! - the Fastest Growing Storage Companies
Squeak! - the Top 10 Storage Software Companies
Squeak! - RAM versus Flash SSDs - which is Best?
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CHATSWORTH, Calif.- October 7, 2002 - JMR Electronics has announced StorBlade, a revolutionary approach to rackmounted storage solutions. Designed to maximize available rack space without comprising on features or storage capacities, StorBlade delivers the ultimate in affordable, scalable storage solutions in the smallest form factor ever available to IT professionals.
Other news on this page

JMR's StorBlade More than Just a Box Of Disks in 1U

Astute Networks Ships Software Development Kit to Storage OEM Customers

Pegasus Announces Support for Plasmon's DVD Libraries

Spinnaker Networks Starts Shipments of SpinServer 3300 NAS Server

NSI Software Double-Take Certified on all Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Platforms

Arkeia Corp. Announces MySQL Plug-in for Hot Backup

EMC Delivers Next Member of Powerful Clariion Cx Family of Networked Storage Systems

2002 SAN and NAS Report by Peripheral Concepts, Inc.

Storage Consolidation: Simplifying Storage Infrastructures, new white paper from Datalink

LSI Logic Storage Systems' TAS 7.0 Certified By Rational Software To Interoperate With ClearCase

See VERITAS, StorageTek and Others at Next Week's UK Storage Expo

earlier news (archive)
SAN software
SAN - software
. Spellabyte was testing the portability aspects of his new SAN fabric product.

Nibble Re: The Storage Software Industry is Still Using 1970s Style Control Theory

Why isn't the solid state disk accelerator market already a 5 to 10 billion dollar market?

I was asking myself this question the other day, prompted by Sun's disclosure at the SunNetwork Conference in September that its next SPARC processor, due to be shipping in systems by January, will once again be only a little bit faster, and not a LOT faster as most of their server customers would really like.

The fact is that if you've already got your main servers stuffed up with the fastest processors from Intel, Sun, HP, IBM or whoever, then installing a solid state disk accelerator in the right place can often speed up the entire storage network by 20 to 30 percent at a cost which may only be 10% or so of the server itself. So by any measure that seems like good value for money, even in today's cash strapped times. Of course solid state disk acceleration is happening here and there, but not yet on a wide scale, and it got me thinking about why.

Part of the problem is that it takes knowledge about where the bottlenecks are in your system and that can change with every new release of your application software. Although it's economic to buy the hardware side of the solid state disk accelerator solution, the soft side still relies heavily on human experts to make the speedup work. Without expert tuning you won't get the full benefit of the expensive hardware, and in a worst case scenario might not get any benefit at all.

That's a big risk for users to take. Users are cautious and will want to trial the new technology or have performance guarantees as part of their contracts.

Solid state disk manufacturers are keenly aware that the shape of their sales ramp is limited mainly by the number of their applications engineers until they can find ways to automate the tuning process of discovering what's in the users' network, modelling it and then optimising it. That got me thinking about how primitive the whole storage software market really is in comparion to where it would like users to think it is. Most storage software nowadays is designed around a control paradigm which resembles heavy industry in the 1970's.

In the 1970's petrochemical manufacturers used thousands of individual electronic controllers to automatically control the opening and shutting of valves which controlled the flow of liquids, gases, heat and other things flowing through the hundreds of miles of pipework in a typical plant. The electronic controllers were a great improvement on their pneumatic predecessors, because they could operate faster and were less liable to jam due to dust or drift due to leaks. But a typical plant still had to employ hundreds of instrument engineers and mechanical fitters to keep the control infrastructure humming, and dozens of "board men" whose job was solely to watch the thousands of meters and dials and alarms and keep an eye on fluctuations before things got too much out of hand.

In the hierarchy the process people and control engineers were the gods who, in their design of the plant and occasional tweaking, determined what type of control strategy would be used, and the quality and repeatability of the end product.

By the mid 1980's most of these heavy industries were on the second or third generation of digital controllers which not only simplified the collection and display of all this critical data, but also facilitated a new type of control strategy based on SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) systems. Eventually software would be trusted to keep an eye on things. And as the systems got more reliable, process designers realised that adaptive control systems could be entrusted to learn what was out there in the plant, measure how it responded and optimise the control over a the entire manufacturing process, not just for a single control loop.

Despite the hype put out by companies like EMC about the abilities of their storage management software we are still very far away from the ideal data storage factory control model. Virtualization is a part of the jigsaw which will eventually lead to an enterprise wide solution. But we're still very much at the level of individual loop control which the oil business was using way back in the 1970s. Your storage devices may be connected by networks but making sure that everything operates together seamlessly to deliver data quickly when people need it still requires a lot of manual intervention.

Until the storage management software you run in your orgazination is intelligent enough to learn by itself what kinds of applications you're running, and the characteristics of your different types of storage devices, your ability to make the best use out of new storage technologies will be limited by your own technical skills and the amount of work and effort you are prepared to put into solving your own performance and resource utilization problems. And having solved them once you may have to still solve them again whenever you buy some new software or hardware which changes the mix.

Adding a solid state disk accelerator or tape library to your system is easy now. You connect it to the network and click a mouse a few times. Telling it to find out what else is out there and optimise its operation chosen from some sensible defaults for that kind of a device should also be a one click process. Telling it to keep itself up to date automatically when new hardware or applications are added should be just as simple.

The challenge for the storage industry is to get out of the age of manually adjusting individual control loops and processes and use tools which are designed for operating a storage network like a data factory. When that happens the solid state disk accelerator market is going to be a 10 billion dollar market, and a lot of other things are going to be affected as well. The end point is to make all your computer assets work better for you, and to make sure that in the meantime you avoid buying products which won't fit in with the hands off storage management strategy.

See also:- SAN - software, Solid state disks

Created as a solution for existing blade and rackmount servers, StorBlade ships as a 1U high, 4-bay rackmount enclosure available in SCSI RAID, SCSI JBOD and 2Gb Fibre RAID configurations. StorBlade
Each ultra-thin StorBlade offers a 584GB maximum capacity with the ability to easily daisy chain multiple units to rapidly increase storage capacity while using the smallest amount of rack space.

"From its inception, StorBlade has been designed to maximize available rack space without compromise, providing flexibility with a simple and affordable upgrade path to scale storage as requirements grow," Josef Rabinovitz, president and CEO, JMR Electronics, said. "With StorBlade SCSI RAID, you'll get the complete RAID feature set typically found in larger and more expensive storage solutions. By using StorBlade SCSI RAID and StorBlade SCSI JBOD in tandem, RAID sets can easily be scaled to meet the toughest storage requirements with an ultra-efficient footprint."

Supporting Windows NT/2000, Mac, SUN, SGI, Linux and other major operating systems, StorBlade SCSI solutions are Ultra160 compatible, scalable from 146GB to 584GB capacity and feature dual 68-pin connectors, dual SCSI channels (with two drives per channel), dual blowers and a 200 watt power supply. ...JMR Electronics profile

Se also:- rackmount SPARC servers, KVM Switches, compactPCI SPARC SBCs

SAN DIEGO - October 7, 2002 – Astute Networks, still in stealth mode but rapidly moving toward product launch, has begun shipping its breakthrough Software Development Kit (SDK) to storage OEM customers. The SDK allows Astute customers to write their own application code in concert with industry standard storage protocols, providing an easy and quick method to develop differentiating features. It is the only SDK in an emerging category of storage processors enabling storage OEMs to develop their own code. The SDK enhances productivity in the software development cycle, encompassing design, development, debugging and performance analysis of the customer's system. Using Astute's C-based simulation model allows customers to efficiently and quickly simulate a significant number of test cases. The Astute simulator model can also be combined with C-based simulator models of other devices to develop a full-system simulation.

Allyn Pon, Astute's vice president of customer marketing said "The immediate demand for our SDK proves we are in sync with the SAN market's need for programmable silicon solutions that provide wire-speed performance and allow customers to tailor a model for their specific application," said Pon. "The SDK's availability marks another major milestone in our product introduction program." ...Astute Networks profile

San Ramon, CA - October 7, 2002 - Pegasus announced today that its InveStore Microsoft Windows NT®, Windows 2000 and Windows XP-based Storage Management Software is now compatible with the Plasmon D-Series DVD-RAM Libraries. Pegasus supplies major OEMs, ISV developers and integrators that incorporate the InveStore software into archive and back-up system solutions for users in the medical, financial, insurance, law enforcement, e-mail storage and web-based mass storage markets. InveStore provides both transparent drive letter access and a developer API for Plasmon's complete line of 4.7 GB and 9.4 GB-based DVD-RAM products under Windows 2000 Professional, Server, Advanced Server, and Datacenter Server. Combine with the Plasmon D-Series libraries this solution provides up to 3.66 TB of removable optical storage.

"Pegasus delivers the software controls for library management on the Microsoft Windows 2000 operating platform along with the security of write-once using DVD-RAM media. The result is unequaled ease of use, security and reliability for archival, backup, and Web-based storage applications," explained Roy Slicker, Pegasus President and CEO.

"We are very pleased to have Pegasus as a supporting partner. The added functionality of a write-once DVD-Archive solution, provided by Pegasus' InveStore, with our D-Series DVD storage technologies offers customers a complete DVD archive management solution," said Robert Clark, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Plasmon. ...Pegasus Disk Technologies profile, ...Plasmon profile

PITTSBURGH, PA, - October 7, 2002 - Spinnaker Networks, Inc. today announced general availability of the Spinnaker SpinServer™ 3300 product family. The SpinServer 3300 is a revolutionary NAS solution that eliminates the complexities of storage management inherent in traditional NAS architectures, while offering unprecedented capacity and performance scalability.

The truly distributed architecture of the SpinServer 3300 exceeds the requirements of rapidly changing enterprise and service provider environments. As a single NAS server, the SpinServer 3300 delivers as much as 40% more performance than competitive NAS systems. In a clustered NAS environment, simply enabled with the addition of Spinnaker SpinCluster™ software and a Gigabit Ethernet switch, the storage administrator can utilize the cumulative performance of up to 512 clustered servers and also have the simplicity of a single global name space across the entire cluster. From the second to the 512th server, each SpinServer delivers a near-linear performance increase as it is added to the SpinCluster. SpinFS delivers the performance required to run a broad array of enterprise-class applications without requiring users to split tasks into single server segments.

The Spinnaker SpinServer 3300 system supports single-server scaling up to 22 terabytes, file sizes up to 22 terabytes, and file system sizes up to 11,000 terabytes. A single file system can be scaled across any number of SpinServers - without requiring changes to user shares, mount points or namespaces. Non-disruptive (to both users and applications) scaling allows seamless expansion, even during times of heaviest access. The Spinnaker SpinServer storage system is available immediately, with list pricing starting at $125,000. ...Spinnaker Networks profile

Hoboken, N.J. - October 7, 2002 - NSI Software today announced its latest edition of Double-Take achieved certification on Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Advanced Server and Datacenter Server. Double-Take is the only replication product to attain certification on all three Microsoft Windows 2000 server platforms.

Certification affirms Double-Take's ability to provide the highest level of availability, reliability and supportability to Fortune 1000 companies looking to protect business-critical data and applications in Microsoft environments. To achieve certification, Double-Take met the rigorous requirements of Microsoft's "Certified for Windows" program, which tested the reliability, high availability, and fault tolerance capabilities of Double-Take on servers with up to 32 processors. In addition to these intensive technical requirements, NSI Software also successfully passed an audit of its around-the-clock, live technical support. NSI Software is a Microsoft Certified Gold Partner, one of the highest partner certifications, which assures customers its products are easily deployed in enterprise computing environments.

"This unique technology achievement validates NSI Software's ability to deliver highly reliable solutions to our customers and furthers Double-Take's growing reputation as the de facto standard in data replication," said Bob Guilbert, vice president of marketing and business development for NSI Software. "We are committed to developing products that can be easily integrated into and provide the utmost protection for Microsoft environments. Microsoft's certification program emphasizes this guarantee to our customers."

NSI Software's Double-Take software combines continuous real-time data replication and automatic failover capabilities to provide high availability, enhanced back-up and rapid disaster recovery. ...NSI Software profile

Calif. - October 7, 2002 - Arkeia Corporation reaffirmed its strong position in open source environment backup with the recent release of its MySQL plug-in for hot backup. This plug-in allows Arkeia 5 users to define flexible backup options of online data. Utilising Arkeia's GUI navigator, administrators can develop a backup strategy that protects information without interruption. The Arkeia plug-in performs either incremental, differential or full MySQL backup while data is online and accessible. The MySQL plug-in is easy to install and configure: databases and table backup/restore are selected via the convenient Arkeia GUI navigator. Backup can be defined up to the table level and the plug-in is compatible with all the table formats handled by MySQL.

Reaffirming the company's commitment to keeping pace with technological advances, CTO Arnaud Spicht said, "As a leader in backup/recovery solutions on Linux, Arkeia Corp. realizes the importance of compatibility with a widely used solution like MySQL. If you have mission-critical high-volume systems, the Arkeia 5 MySQL plug-in will do the job securely and reliably."

An estimated four million installations worldwide rely on MySQL. The Arkeia MySQL plug-in is compatible with versions of MySQL starting from 3.21 and including versions 4.0.x. ...Arkeia profile, ...MySQL

Hopkinton, Mass. - October 7, 2002 - EMC Corporation today introduced the CLARiiON CX400 mid range networked storage system with a capacity upto 4.3TB and 4 hosts per array. With 680M bytes per second of cached bandwidth and upto 60,000 IOPs performance, EMC claims the CX400 offers a price/bandwidth ratio that is 20% better than its closest competitor. ...EMC profile

October 7, 2002 - a new article published today by Peripheral Concepts, Inc. on STORAGEsearch provides a management summary of trends in the SAN and NAS market. Taken from their recently published market report called "2002 SAN and NAS Report - Infrastructure, Products and Market Opportunity" which costs $2,895, the article is a must read document for vendors and users who want simple clear insights into what's happening in the network storage market. ...Peripheral Concepts profile

October 7, 2002 - a new white paper is published today by Datalink Corp on STORAGEsearch "Storage Consolidation: Simplifying Storage Infrastructures" details various storage consolidation architectures as well as different methods of implementation. The white paper also examines some of the emerging technologies that surround storage consolidation. Storage Consolidation...
  • Provides cost savings through more efficient storage management.
  • Increases productivity - you can re-deploy your staff to work on other mission critical projects.
  • Reduces complexity through centralized storage management.
  • Boosts performance and data accessibility.
  • Maximizes utilization of each storage device.
  • Provides greater flexibility by making your storage more scalable, so you can quickly respond to changing needs and more effectively manage growth.
Click to read the 18 page article (pdf) ...Datalink profile

Editor's comment:- Along the way this white paper looks at the drawbacks with iSCSI technology, SAN/NAS Convergence and a host of other interesting issues in a clear and easy to understand style.

Milpitas, Calif. - October 7, 2002 - LSI Logic Storage Systems, Inc today announced that their TotalNET Advanced Server (TAS) 7.0 has been certified by Rational Software Corporation as a supported interoperability solution for Rational ClearCase. TAS 7.0, the only SMB solution to provide Kerberos-enabled Active Directory support, contains enhancements that better support the ClearCase development community. TAS 7.0 includes a new framework interface to simplify and expedite the configuration of a ClearCase service. This interface automatically configures necessary ClearCase service attributes and eliminates command line configuration of the service.

Managing the complexities involved in software development can be an enterprise's greatest challenge. These complexities are compounded when engineers need to work collaboratively on the same code, often across Windows NT and Unix operating systems and from different geographical locations. Typically, code changes are not made instantaneously, causing a chain reaction for those involved in a project. When changes cannot be communicated immediately and engineers cannot share code across NT and Unix platforms, projects run past schedule and quality is sacrificed.

A Unix server running both TAS and ClearCase enables programmers to share code seamlessly across NT and Unix platforms, with changes merging automatically. Each time a view of a source file is accessed and modified, all changes are automatically reconciled and a new version is created. Together, TAS and ClearCase allow software engineers to work in parallel and develop multiple product versions concurrently. ...LSI Logic Storage Systems profile, ...Rational Software profile

Editor:- October 7, 2002 - UK readers will have a chance to catch up with the latest storage offerings from VERITAS, StorageTek and others next week at the NEC, October 16 - 17, at Storage Expo 2002 which is being sponsored by Described as the "Largest gathering of storage buyers in the UK" this is a great opportunity to see and ask about the latest products announced in these news pages from leading suppliers in one convenient location. In addition to the exhibition, there are also workshops on strategy and technology which will give in depth coverage of current storage themes. ...list of exhibitors, ...Storage Expo 2002, ...StorageTek profile, ...VERITAS Software profile

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