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Storage news - October 21, 2002

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

SATA Raids the Datacenter
A Storage Architecture Guide
RAIDn - How Does it Compare?
a Short History of Disk to Disk Backup
10 Ten Tips for a Successful RAID Implementation
Using Solid State Disks to Boost Legacy RAID Performance
NAS, DAS or SAN? - Choosing the Right Storage Technology

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StorageTek launches BladeStore disk backup

LOUISVILLE, Colo - October 21, 2002 - StorageTek has reacted to the growing demand for low cost enterprise wide disk to disk backup with a new product family called BladeStore, which will starts shipping next month.

The BladeStore disk subsystem scales from 4TB to 160TB in capacity. A single BladeStore disk array contains up to 10 high capacity storage blades based on ATA disk drives, associated control electronics, and Fibre-Channel interface. BladeStore has a high-performance intelligent array controller which provides 2Gb host-side connectivity to support direct attach or SAN implementations. BladeStore Storage Management Software provides a powerful, yet simple management interface.

StorageTek's innovative Intelligent BladeStore Architecture delivers the ability to store large quantities of data in a small footprint. It combines low-cost ATA disk drives for data storage and the performance and reliability of an enterprise class Fibre-Channel disk system. The combination makes the BladeStore disk subsystem ideal for storing online high volume fixed content data - such as video, email, documents or medical images. Additionally, BladeStore is well suited for a data protection environment, such as data replication and backup and recovery.

"The hottest part of the disk array market is happening in the ATA-based area because of falling prices," said Tom Major, vice president and general manager, Disk Business Unit. "For too many years, the decision to store data online has been driven by economics or limited choices rather than data characteristics. Today, having the right information available online can make the difference between business success and failure. This means it is vital for companies to ensure their data is protected and available at all times. The introduction of the BladeStore disk subsystem means that businesses can now choose the right disk system for the task and make their IT budgets go farther and access their information rapidly."

Editor's comments:- Nexsan Technologies pioneered the concept of low cost enterprise disk to disk backup (D2d) about 15 months ago with their InfiniSAN product. However the D2d market has been slow taking off, and there are no D2d billionaires yet. The IT recession is partly to blame. But user caution is another significant factor. When everything in the storage industry seems to be changing at the same time, users are worried that they might invest in architectural dead-ends. It's safer to do nothing, and see which products are successful. So the entry of venerable StorageTek (founded in 1969) into this new product segment will help datacenter users take the D2d concept more seriously.

Livevault provides Online Backup for Progress Apps

MARLBOROUGH, MASS. - October 21, 2002 - LiveVault today announced that the Progress Company is working with LiveVault to provide online backup and recovery services for Progress-based business applications.

After evaluation by Progress, LiveVault is now available to more than 2,000 ISVs for resale to the more than 50,000 end-user companies worldwide that run their businesses on Progress-based applications. LiveVault's fully managed online backup and recovery service provides unparalleled protection for Progress-based applications by automatically and continuously backing up server data to a secure, off-site Iron Mountain facility, where it is available for immediate recovery in the event of human error, virus, disaster or system failure. LiveVault eliminates the burden and errors associated with manual tape-based backup, enabling companies to focus on their core business while knowing that their information is protected at all times.

Princeton Softech Announces New VPs

PRINCETON, NJ - October 21 2002 - Princeton Softech today named Joe Alea Executive Vice President of Product Development and Don Cohen the Executive Vice President of Product Integration and CTO.

As the new Executive Vice President of Product Development, Joe Alea will oversee product design and development, quality assurance, customer support, documentation and product training. Alea brings an innovative management style with 20 plus years of successful leadership experience. Alea comes to Princeton Softech from Concerto Software, a $100 million global provider of enterprise and mission-critical customer interaction management systems where he managed a 110-person development organization and championed an aggressive technology vision, which included a key acquisition for the company.

In his new role, Don Cohen will lead the product integration team to design, develop and test integrated, out-of-the-box active archiving solutions for PeopleSoft, Oracle, Amdocs Clarify and other industry leading enterprise applications. Don Cohen, a co-founder of Princeton Softech, has served as the Vice President of Research and Development since the company's inception in 1989.

"One of our key initiatives has been to develop strategic partnerships with enterprise software vendors to capitalize on the market demand for active archiving technology," said Lisa Cash, CEO of Princeton Softech. "The appointments of Joe Alea and Don Cohen will enable Princeton Softech to accelerate development of application-specific, out-of-the-box solutions, solidifying our leadership position in the active archiving market." people

Astute Networks Provides SAN in a Chip

Santa Barbara, CA - October 21, 2002 - Strategic Research Corporation and WestWorld Productions, Inc. announce the launch of the 2003 Server I/O Industry Awards Program.

This is the call for nominations and the beginning of industry-wide voting for the best new products and companies. The Server I/O Industry Awards Program highlights exceptional server, I/O, storage, and datacenter networking products and companies and recognizes outstanding achievement by the industry's most influential individuals. The awards will be presented Wednesday, January 22, 2003 at the Server I/O 2003 Conference and Tradeshow. This is the fourth year of the Server I/O Awards.

The awards cover six categories: Lifetime Achievement Award, Product of the Year for 2002, and four Emerging Company of the Year awards for 2002. The winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award will be a person that the industry wants to recognize as having had a major impact on datacenter infrastructure technology over time. This award is given only once per individual recipient. The prize for Product of the Year for 2002 will go to the best existing product that was introduced and shipping during 2002. The Emerging Company of the Year awards for 2002 will be given to the emerging companies that the industry believes have had the greatest impact in the following areas in the past year: Server Technology, Storage Networking Technology, I/O Technology, and Management Software.

Unlike other awards programs, the entire computer and networking industry is invited to nominate candidates and select the winners. Nominations for the awards are currently being accepted and should be emailed directly to David Laxamana. Anyone can propose candidates for consideration. The finalists are selected from the leaders in the open Internet balloting and by a distinguished selection committee, comprised of representatives from Strategic Research Corporation, the Awards Sponsor WestWorld Productions, Inc., and the I/O Masterminds Committee. Finalists will be presented to the attendees of the Server I/O 2003 Conference and Tradeshow for a runoff. The Awards Luncheon for the 2003 winners will be held on Wednesday January 22, 2003.

Astute Networks Provides SAN in a Chip

SAN DIEGO, CA - October 21, 2002 - Astute Networks announced the introduction of Pericles, the highest performance intelligent network storage processor on the market.

Pericles allows storage OEMs to build systems that provide a new level of storage services such as virtualization, redundancy management, high availability, on-demand capacity, and bandwidth allocation within the SAN fabric - resulting in dramatically decreased SAN management complexity and cost. With Pericles, storage OEMs can integrate their own software with any of the industry standard storage protocols such as Fibre Channel, iSCSI, TCP and FCIP resulting in immediate opportunities for storage providers to bring innovative features and capabilities to market.

"Astute Networks is the first company to enable customers to add their own virtualization and storage services, eliminating a deficiency of current solutions," says Linley Gwennap, Principal Analyst of The Linley Group. "By offering TCP, iSCSI, and Fibre Channel processing at speeds of up to 10Gbps, Pericles meets key customer requirements in the storage market and delivers leadership performance with a product that is available today."

Combining a parallel processor architecture with embedded hardware engines for handling stateful protocols, Pericles leads the field in storage processor performance with wire speeds up to 10 Gbps. The hardware engines not only accelerate any storage protocol but also accelerate functions used to support virtualization, synchronous and asynchronous mirroring, snapshot, failover, and real time traffic monitoring. The result is the highest performance scaleable architecture for intelligent SAN fabrics. Dual SPI-4.2 ports allow traffic to flow through the network to a switching fabric, a key requirement for blades or platforms. A specialized parsing engine allows Pericles to handle any number of storage protocols simultaneously, including proprietary formats. The parsing engine also provides the ability to look deep into SCSI payloads to extract the necessary parameters used by storage services software. Storage OEMs write code using a C-based compiler combined with a C-based simulation model of Pericles to leverage third party software or develop their own application on any of the embedded RISC processors.

Astute's OEM customers include manufacturers of intelligent SAN switches, virtualization platforms, iSCSI gateways, FCIP gateways, storage networking devices, multi-protocol SAN switches, and storage disk arrays. In addition to SAN infrastructure systems, Pericles can also be used for other intelligent networking applications including intrusion detection systems, Layer 7 switches, server load balancing, blade server systems, stateful firewalls, and SSL acceleration platforms. The chip comes in a 720 Ball Grid Array (BGA) package with a footprint of 25 x 32.5 mm. Samples and a Hardware Development Kit (HDK) will be available during the current quarter.

Editor's comments:-
embedded processors which accelerate key functions have a history which goes back to the late 1970s when AMD and Weitek launched floating point accelerators for Intel's 8086. Intel responded with the 8087 and eventually put these functions into the core processor. Although Intel launched the first voice processing DSP chip the 2920, it was the chips and architecture from Texas Instruments which prevailed and became the DSP standard. For more than a decade Intel dominated the printer rasterisation market with its 960 risc chip which powered millions of laser printers. In the graphics market, standards changed so fast that processor generations didn't last so long, but 3DLabs has been a significant supplier at the high performance workstation end, since the mid 1990s.

The potential market for storage processors is huge. Users rarely care what drives their peripherals. But for equipment manufacturers, backing the right horse can lead to successful products, lower development costs and higher market share.

7 years later:- a new market evolved for SSD controller chips.

BiTMICRO Releases 77GB 3.5" dual port FC SSD

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - October 21, 2002 - BiTMICRO unveils today its new 3.5", 1Gbit dual-port Fibre Channel flash-based solid state drive which offers upto 77GB storage.

It is designed for data recording and critical mission applications in homeland security, military, aerospace, industrial, telecommunication and factory automation demanding 24 x 7 data availability under all conditions. The E-Disk 3F1 provides I/O rates of up to 9,500 IOPS, a sustained Read and Write data throughput of up to 34 MB/sec, a burst data transfer rate of 200MB/sec in an arbitrated loop and 48 microseconds access time. The 1Gbit E-Disk 3F1 dual ported flash drive incorporates an industry standard Fibre Channel Single Connection Attachment 40-pin (FC-SCA-40) connector and internal logic compliance with FC-AL-2 and FC-PH topology and architecture specifications plus the Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP) for SCSI specifications and FC Private Loop Director Attach (FC-PLDA) technical report.

The E-Disk 3F1 is fully compatible with Linux, Solaris, Windows, MacOS, and LynxOS. Other operating systems supported include AIX, FreeBSD, HP-UX, IRIX, NetBSD, OS/2, QNX, VxWorks, SCO Unixware and OpenServer, Solaris X86 and Tru64. It is a drop-in replacement for any standard 3.5-inch Fibre Channel hard drive or solid-state drive drive. The E-Disk® solid state drive solutions are also offered in 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch with SCSI or IDE/ATA interface.

Editor's comments:-
77GB flash disk storage in a 3.5" form factor sets a new density benchmark for rugged solid state disk storage. However, as with all things which follow Moore's law, it won't be long before other manufacturers follow with similar capacity products.

Emulex has HA drivers for Fibre Channel and iSCSI HBAs

COSTA MESA, Calif. - October 21, 2002 - Emulex announced today MultiPulse, a driver-based technology that provides failover and dynamic load balancing capabilities when used with Emulex Fibre Channel or iSCSI host bus adapters.

As driver-based technology, MultiPulse has full visibility to the SAN, enabling superior SAN reliability, performance and HBA resource utilization across heterogeneous networks. MultiPulse complements current multipathing solutions by enabling OEMs to incorporate MultiPulse technology into their own products via Emulex's APIs. MultiPulse is fully compatible with Emulex's entire family of HBAs, and supported installed base of more than 800,000, allowing customers to leverage existing investments in network and storage environments. MultiPulse can be easily installed, configured and managed using Emulex's recently announced centralized HBA management suite, HBAnyware. MultiPulse will be available as part of qualified solutions from Emulex's OEM customers.

MultiPulse leverages the HBA drivers' access to critical information residing in the driver layer, such as detailed link status and configuration information, to intelligently reroute network traffic around a failed element in as little as two seconds, ensuring the continued operation of critical data center activity. Emulex's MultiPulse technology also aggregates the bandwidth and availability of HBAs, switch ports, array controllers and multi-port JBODs, and intelligently manages multiple I/O streams, directing each request to the least utilized path. This functionality is designed to maximize the efficiency and utilization of HBA resources, and provide improved performance.

"Customers cannot afford to have backup processes fail, but they also can't afford to spend an inordinate amount of time babysitting those processes," said Eric Pitcher, Computer Associates' brand manager for BrightStor SAN Management Solutions. "Users of CA's BrightStor storage management solutions will therefore welcome the failover and load-balancing functionality of Emulex's innovative MultiPulse technology -- which is why we are committed to supporting it."

MultiPulse will be available in all operating systems supported by Emulex HBAs, including Windows, Linux and Solaris beginning in the fourth quarter of 2002 .

the Fastest NAS

PITTSBURGH, PA - October 21, 2002 - Spinnaker Networks. today announced that its Spinnaker SpinServer™ 3300 has posted the highest score ever reported on the Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) System File Server 3.0 (SFS 3.0) test for NAS server performance.

Along with posting the top score for a standard NAS cluster, Spinnaker also recorded an industry first: the first SPEC SFS results for a scalable NAS cluster product. Previous NAS cluster results were based on products that used independent NAS servers (and file systems) to access common back-end disk storage, or duplicated NAS servers configured in a clustered failover configuration. Neither of these NAS architectures solves the problem of NAS performance scalability across a single file system.

Spinnaker measured a six server SpinCluster with a single file system against other top single file system configurations from EMC and Network Appliance. The SpinCluster posted a SPEC SFS 3.0 score of 131,930 IOPS running the User Datagram Protocol (UDP), and 117,538 IOPS running TCP. Compared to an EMC Celerra 510 server, the SpinCluster was 7x faster on the TCP IOPS test. Compared to Network Appliance's recently announced FAS960, NetApp's high-end filer, the SpinCluster was more than 4x faster.

"Our SPEC benchmark results vividly demonstrate the effectiveness of the innovative SpinServer architecture to dramatically improve performance compared to conventional NAS designs. In performance and scalability, the Spinnaker SpinServer family starts where the high-end of NetApp's product line ends," said Jeff Hornung, Spinnaker Networks' Vice President Marketing and Business Development. The SpinServer 3300 was just as strong in single-server testing. A standalone SpinServer 3300 outpaced the EMC Celerra 510 in the TCP IOPS test by 40 percent, scoring 23,363 IOPS.

Spinnaker's SpinServer 3300 family is a breakthrough NAS storage solution that eliminates the complexities of storage management inherent in traditional NAS architectures, while offering unprecedented capacity and performance scalability.
Other storage news on this page

StorageTek launches BladeStore disk backup

Livevault provides Online Backup for Progress Apps

Princeton Softech Announces New VPs

the Server I/O Conference Industry Awards

Astute Networks Provides SAN in a Chip

BiTMICRO Releases 77GB 3.5" dual port FC SSD

Emulex has HA drivers for Fibre Channel and iSCSI HBAs

the Fastest NAS
Serial ATA - Auntie Wanda - click to enlarge
Serial ATA
Megabyte's Auntie Wanda liked to use a mixture of traditional and new technology when gadding about her relations.
Nibble:- The New Goldrush? - Network Accelerators
by Zsolt Kerekes, editor
Since the summer dozens of companies have announced a wide range of network accelerators. These are particulary important to Sun users because Sun Microsystems has been parsimonious with its SPARC CPU clock speeds in the past few years, offering speedups of x 1.2, when really users would rather like x 2.0. So if you want things to go any faster, you'll have to look at accelerator coprocessors instead of accelerated native SPARC processors.

In the security part of the market, joining the long established PCI crypto accelerator card first announced two years ago by Compaq, then badged by Sun, then dropped by Sun and now supported by SUFFIX Informatik, we now have some network security boxes which protect storage networks at wireline speeds. New vendors in this market include Cylink and Decru.

NAS is now a $3 Billion market, and will double in size in the next 2 years according to the 2002 SAN and NAS Report by Peripheral Concepts, Inc. So dozens of companies have announced TCP/IP Offload accelerator products to things move along a little faster.

In addition to the pioneer company in this market, Alacritech, and chip companies Intel and LSI Logic, two long established SPARC OEMs Antares Microsystems and Tadpole have publicly announced they are working on products for the Sun market. And Aristos Logic was the first company to reveal details of its storage processor in October 2002. So it won't be long before its competitors, still in stealth mode will have to put up, or shut up.

A full list of iSCSI and FCIP companies and Storage interface ICs, processors & accelerator chips can be seen on the mouse site, So, despite the recession, Sun users are going to see some innovative new 3rd party products soon which will help them speed up their servers without breaking the bank.

Why do you need all these accelerator products? Won't software do the job?

The killer application for network accelerators is the real-time response for data replication and onsite and offsite backup windows. Without hardware accelerators your internal networks are more vulnerable to data loss and longer restore cycles. Meanwhile your ISPs are looking for any reason to charge more money, and if you need to buy extra bandwidth for your VPNs then the hardware accelerators could end up being much cheaper.

And I haven't even mentioned Solid State Disks because I thought that everyone already knows that they can make your server run 2x to 3x faster. There are lots of application notes about that with a complete list of vendors also at the click of mouse.

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