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Storage news - 2003, January week 2

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Squeak! - RAM versus Flash SSDs - which is Best?
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Squeak! - Are MLC SSDs Ever Safe in Enterprise Apps?

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Round Rock, Texas - January 14, 2003 - Dell today announced that Winn-Dixie, one of the largest food retailers in the United States, has completed a rollout of Dell servers and NAS in its retail locations. Winn-Dixie has installed one Dell server and one NAS system in each store - more than 2,100 systems in 1,060 stores. Winn-Dixie upgraded to Dell NAS systems to conduct daily backups of various applications, including in-store tag printing, inventory management programs and pharmacy data, while Dell servers support critical back office systems. The Dell server and storage systems simplify each store's technical infrastructure by reducing traffic on the network.

Winn-Dixie worked with Dell Services to install the 1,060 PowerEdge servers and 1,060 PowerVault NAS systems running Microsoft® WindowsTM 2000. The company also implemented Dell's systems management software tool, OpenManage , to manage its server and storage systems. ...Dell Computer profile

Anaheim, Calif. - January 14, 2003 - MTI Technology Corp. announced today that it has joined the Brocade Qualified Support Partner (QSP) program. The Brocade QSP program is designed to accelerate companies' migration from direct-attached to networked storage by training and authorizing services partners to service and support Brocade products. MTI, whose own enterprise storage products are known for being interoperable with other companies' products in heterogeneous SANs, has serviced third-party products for several years As a Qualified Support Partner, MTI is authorized to deliver SAN Environment Support, providing customers with increased SAN availability and stability while minimizing interoperability issues. MTI serves as a single point of contact for reactive and proactive multi-vendor SAN infrastructure support to Brocade customers worldwide. ...Brocade profile,...MTI Technology profile

SAN JOSE, Calif. - January 14, 2003 - Snap Appliance, Inc. today announced several new product enhancements for its range of NAS solutions, including:
  • Integrated Anti-virus software:- an embedded version of Computer Associates' eTrust anti-virus software is now included in the new GuardianOS v2.2.
  • Greater storage capacity and performance in the 1U rack-mount Snap Server 4400. This now has a storage capacity of 720GB and boasts 20% faster throughput and 50% faster response time.
The new version of the GuardianOS also includes improved snapshot technology which allows for chaining of separate snapshots for minimizing disk space requirements and rollback of snapshots to easily restore accidentally deleted or corrupted files and directories. GuardianOS v2.2 is now available to existing Snap Server customers via free download. ...Snap Appliance profile

Editor's comments:- the release also says that Snap Appliance will now market its Guardian line of NAS servers under the Snap Server brand - presumably to increase its brand strength. With hundreds of "me-too" storage manufacturers, brand awareness is becoming an uphill struggle for companies which don't invest enough in advertising. The bad news is that a recent market research study by ITSMA showed that over 90% of decision makers are unable to recall more than 3 top storage brands:- EMC, IBM and HP. The good news, is that users can also remember that these 3 are not always going to offer the best value for money. That's why many of you come to STORAGEsearch - to research those "hard to find" companies who also make good stuff.

Redmond, Washington - January 14, 2003 - ADIC announced today that the company is helping IT departments keep up with increasing data protection demands by doubling the capacity and throughput of its industry-leading line of LTO automated tape libraries. The upgraded libraries, which integrate the second generation of high performance LTO Ultrium drives (LTO-2), include ADIC's intelligent management features, high performance scalability, and integrated SAN support to help IT departments manage their backup more effectively in systems that reach from the desk-top to Enterprise data centers. The new libraries also provide full backward read and write compatibility with first-generation LTO technology (LTO-1) to allow end-users to retain the full value of their existing data protection infrastructure. ...ADIC profile

Banbury, UK - January 14, 2003 - Transtec announced today the launch of four new storage products aimed at the European SMB market.

The new Transtec 3000 Fibre Channel Subsystem T30PF04A offers high performance while occupying the minimum of space. Four hot-swap hard disk drives, which are accessible from the front, provide upto 587 GB in a rackmount enclosure only 1U high. The product enables data transfer rates of up to 400MB/sec in the dual loop mode and two fans and the two redundant 170-watt, hot-swap power supply units ensure the necessary fail-safe operation. The basic system is equipped with 15,000 RPM hard disks which gives an average seek time of 3.6/4.0 ms (read/write).

Transtec is also launching new SAN solutions based on the recently launched Transtec 5600 Fibre Channel RAID systems. While offering high performance, they excel in their very compact design (4U high for 2.1 TB). All Transtec SAN solutions include the Veritas Volume Manager and a RAID Management GUI, which can be addressed by way of a browser via the network.

Disk to disk backup. Transtec Virtual Disk Libraries use cost-effective, RAID-protected Ultra-ATA hard disks for data backup and put an end to the drawbacks of tape backup. The appliance is regarded as a tape library by all the servers in the network. However, the backup windows are reduced up to 70 % due to the fast disk-to-disk streaming and internal caching. The Transtec VDL appliances with up to 4 TB storage capacity offer all the attributes of a library such as slots, drives, backup policies, retention cycles or media management. The NetVault backup software including several client licences is included in the scope of delivery. Pricing starts at 11,250 euros.

The Transtec High Performance SAN appliances are targeted to the increasing data volumes of small to medium-sized businesses and to rapid amortisation of storage networks. By means of virtualisation and automated, dynamic allocation, they double the utilisation rates of existing storage systems to 80% or more, increase the storage volume manageable per administrator tenfold and raise the performance up to 400,000 I/O per second. Pricing starts at 24,900 euros. ...Transtec profile

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - January 13, 2003 - Solid Data Systems today announced that it has signed a two-year service and support agreement with Anacomp, Inc., a global provider of information outsourcing, maintenance support, and imaging and printing solutions. The agreement allows Solid Data to extend its service and support coverage to include global, integrated support provided via Anacomp. Customers who purchase their Solid Data systems through reseller arrangements with the major server vendors will continue to have the option of receiving service through those parties.

"We are committed to providing our customers and resellers with the best support possible, and we believe Anacomp has set the standard for customer satisfaction in global on-site support," said Stan Singer, senior customer support manager for Solid Data Systems. "Anacomp's excellence in field engineering, logistics management, engineer training and certification will enable Solid Data to provide our customers with a world-class, global support organization."

By extending its service and support coverage with Anacomp, Solid Data end-users and channel partners will receive access to a fully integrated 24x7 call center staffed by experienced, quality-driven technical support engineers who will be available for immediate response. For additional support, field engineers can be dispatched on-site to diagnose faults, carry out repairs and re-test devices, eliminating the time and expense often associated with equipment repair. End-users of Solid Data products will also experience minimal overhead and downtime due to quick and qualified problem resolution, and resellers will receive best-in-class global support from a platform neutral partner. ...Anacomp profile, ...Solid Data Systems profile

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - January 13, 2003 - Ciprico Inc. announced today that it was awarded a one-year sole source contract with the United States Navy with a two-year renewal option, valued up to $8.5 million. The award is a continuation of Ciprico's relationship with the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) C4I Program Office, responsible for buying, developing, and managing Naval command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C41) systems. The contract is for the purchase of Ciprico's ruggedized, field-ready mass storage solutions, including the 7000 – high-bandwidth RAID arrays – and the multi-level RAID NETarray® – ideal for imaging and database applications in sophisticated shipboard tactical environments. Shipments of approximately $800,000 under this award were made during the first fiscal quarter, which ended December 31, 2002.

"We are very excited to be extending our relationship with the United States Navy", noted Robert H. Kill, Ciprico President and CEO. "Our long history of providing high-performance storage solutions to the military is further strengthened by this multi-year award. Ciprico's leadership in providing high technology military solutions positions us well for other contract awards for additional defense programs."...Ciprico profile

MILPITAS, Calif. - January 13, 2003 - LSI Logic Corporation today announced that it has joined the DVD+RW Alliance as a member of the DPPG group, to help promote the DVD+RW format. The DVD+RW Alliance is a voluntary group of industry-leading consumer electronics, optical storage and personal computing manufacturers, seeking to develop and promote a universally compatible, rewritable DVD format to enable true convergence between personal computing and consumer electronics products. LSI Logic products supporting DVD+RW were demonstrated last week at the company's booth at CES 2003.

"In joining the DVD+RW Alliance, we will be working with other industry leaders to contribute to the goal of rapidly bringing the benefits of recordable DVD technology to consumers in an easy-to-use format," said Timothy Vehling, senior marketing director, Home Media Products at LSI Logic. "Support for the DVD+RW format by the LSI Logic DMN-8600 DVD recorder system processor is made easy by the flexibility of our DoMiNo™ architecture. This is another way that we're supporting the convergence of consumer devices in the networked digital home." ...DVD+RW Alliance profile, ...LSI Logic profile

SAN JOSE, Calif. - January 13, 2003 - Brocade announced today an expansion of its reseller agreement with Sun Microsystems. Under terms of the agreement, Sun will now make Brocade SilkWorm Fibre Channel fabric switches available through its reseller and direct sales channels worldwide. Sun will now offer and support the Brocade SilkWorm 3200 8-port Entry Fabric Switch as an intelligent SAN building block for small and medium businesses and for enterprises implementing departmental and workgroup SANs. In addition to the SilkWorm 3200, Sun offers the Brocade SilkWorm 12000 Core Fabric Switch and SilkWorm 3800 16-port Enterprise Fabric Switch. Brocade will be sold and supported by Sun worldwide as stand-alone products and as part of a Sun-supported SAN or storage configurations. ...Brocade profile, ...Sun Microsystems profile

See also:- Sun VARS - USA

REDWOOD CITY, and SAN JOSE, CA - January 13, 2003 - Decru, Inc. and Nishan Systems today announced that the Decru DataFort FC440 security appliance and the Nishan IPS 3300 and IPS 4300 IP storage switches are fully interoperable. The combination of Nishan's IPS 3300/4300 IP switches with Decru's DataFort allows enterprises to securely expand access to their SAN infrastructure, protecting data both in flight and at rest.

A geographically distributed Fibre Channel SAN offers significant benefits, including remote tape backup, remote tape vaulting, asynchronous and synchronous disk mirroring and disaster recovery. However, when expanding access to SAN resources across a WAN, security becomes a critical consideration. Incorporating the Decru DataFort ensures that all data is fully encrypted in storage, and that only authorized remote hosts can access and decrypt the data. By deploying a DataFort in front of Nishan IPS switches that connect primary storage with a mirrored remote site, data is fully protected in primary storage, across the IP connection to the remote location, and at the mirrored site.

The Decru DataFort FC440 solves the problem of secure data storage with robust, wire-speed encryption and authentication appliances that fit transparently into any SAN storage environment, protecting data from both internal and external threats. The DataFort appliance allows enterprises to conquer storage security challenges - most significantly, protecting data in storage from unauthorized access, but also securing backup media and protecting disaster recovery sites.

Nishan IP Storage switches support Fibre Channel switching, Gigabit Ethernet switching, and wire-speed conversion between Fibre Channel and Gigabit Ethernet. Interfaces can be configured to support iSCSI end systems, Fibre Channel end systems, or Fibre Channel SANs. The multi-protocol switches also support, via iSCSI or iFCP, remote storage links of any distance across high-speed IP networks. ...Decru profile, ...Nishan Systems profile

PITTSBURGH, PA - January 13, 2003 - Spinnaker Networks today announced the SpinServer™ 3300G, a NAS gateway that combines the most scalable and highest performance NAS solution from Spinnaker with SAN storage support from industry leading vendors. The SpinServer 3300G consolidates the file services of any size enterprise by non-disruptively scaling a single file system from 1 terabyte to 11,000 terabytes of capacity and provides cost savings through simplified management and more efficient use of hardware resources. Near linear performance scaling inherent to the Spinnaker architecture delivers the ever-increasing throughput demanded by the file system as it is scaled up in size. The Spinnaker architecture delivered the highest results ever posted on the SPEC System File Server 3.0 test for NAS server performance, where the SpinServer 3300 recorded 23,363 IOPS in a single node test and 117,538 IOPS in a 6-node cluster test.

The SpinServer 3300G is based on the same architecture as the currently shipping SpinServer 3300, a complete storage solution with integrated storage. Both products support a rich set of functionality, including snapshots, scalable clustering, non-disruptive file and file system movement, server failover, and multi-point mirroring. The products can be seamlessly interconnected in a SpinCluster of up to 512 SpinServers.

The SpinServer 3300G maximum file system size of 11,000 terabytes eclipses other NAS gateway products. By comparison, Network Appliance supports a maximum file system size of 8 terabytes with its recently announced, top-of-the-line gateway, the FAS960. The SpinServer 3300G will be available February 1. End user pricing for a high performance NAS gateway with a rich set of software features is under $50,000. ...Spinnaker Networks profile

Hoboken, NJ - January 13, 2003 - NSI® Software today announced $15 million in funding led by ABS Capital Partners with participation from existing investors, Dell and J. & W. Seligman & Co. NSI will use the financing to advance research and development initiatives, continue its aggressive sales and marketing campaigns and further international growth.

ABS Capital Partners' Laura L. Witt and Bobby Goswami will join NSI Software's board of directors. "NSI Software continues to demonstrate technology leadership and a smart go-to-market strategy in the growing data replication market," said Laura L. Witt, general partner at ABS Capital Partners. "NSI has established a leading position in Windows-based replication, having secured top-tier partnerships with Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, IBM and EMC. We believe NSI has what it takes to be a long-term winner in the storage software arena, and we are excited to be working with the Company to achieve that goal."

"Storage replication and backup software are central elements in all effective data protection and business continuity strategies. Together they made up more than 63% of the storage software market, which is expected to grow from $5.6 billion in 2002 to more than $9.2 billion by 2006," said Bill North, research director for Storage Software at IDC. "With increased corporate emphasis on data protection and availability, and with the expected rapid expansion of Windows enterprise storage environments, NSI Software's Double-Take is well positioned to grow by providing an alternative to higher-cost and proprietary array-based data replication solutions."

NSI Software's flagship product, Double-Take", is the only replication product to achieve certification on Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Advanced Server and Datacenter Server. Double-Take combines continual real-time backup and automatic failover capabilities to virtually eliminate downtime and data loss. ...NSI Software profile

Editor:- January 13, 2003 - we've published a new article today from Storactive, Inc. called "Protecting Enterprise Data in Real Time: Rediscovering Backup Software's Original Promise". Most of the backup software in use today was originally conceived for a much simpler world. Endless rewrites and extensions have made these legacy products usable, to be sure, but the risk of data loss still remains. What if you could start with a clean sheet for a backup storage architecture? This article discusses the problems with legacy backup, and describes an alternative solution based on real-time disk to disk backup. ...the article, ...Storactive profile

SUNNYVALE, CA and KFAR SABA, ISRAEL - January 13, 2003 - AMD and M-Systems today announced an expanded agreement to jointly develop a customer-specific suite of hardware and software solutions for the rapidly growing mobile data storage market. Under the terms of the new agreement, AMD and M Systems plan to jointly develop multi-chip-package (MCP) product solutions consisting of AMD's industry-leading NOR Flash technology for code storage and M-Systems' proven DiskOnChip data storage technology. The two companies also plan to collaborate on a broad set of new software solutions utilizing M Systems' expertise to complement AMD's existing software product offerings. Additionally, AMD and M-Systems plan to focus on developing future solutions based on next-generation Flash technologies, including enhanced DiskOnChip products designed to provide world-class performance, cost, and reliability in the mobile data storage segment. ...AMD profile , ...BiTMICRO Networks profile

MINNEAPOLIS - January 13, 2003 - CNT has announced that Ohio Savings Bank, one of the nation's 10 largest mortgage lenders, has implemented a disaster recovery solution to support its business-critical operations database using CNT and EMC products. It is essential that the bank maintains 24x7 access to its customer database with zero risk of data loss; the synchronous SRDF Fibre Channel over IP solution meets those requirements by delivering a reliable, high availability environment. The Ohio Savings Bank operations database includes financial applications, customer support data, mortgage applications, its award-winning B2B Gemstone website, and other transaction data. The company required 99.999 percent uptime reliability, or '5 nines' reliability, with self-monitoring diagnostics, load balancing, data compression, automatic failover of links, and network error detection with automated retransmission in the event of errors.

To meet these business requirements, Ohio Savings Bank turned to CNT to implement a disk mirroring solution. Donald Janosik, network services team lead, Ohio Savings Bank, remarks, "CNT's UltraNet Edge Storage Router connected the storage networks at our data centers together over IP for a highly reliable disaster recovery solution. The end result is a fully redundant network, configured for zero data loss, where we do not have the recurring cost of a dedicated telco line for storage. All in all, this solution meets our needs, our customers' needs, and our budgetary requirements."

The bank's solution, started in mid 2001, mirrors data in synchronous mode (real-time) between two EMC Symmetrix storage arrays located in different data centers over a Gigabit Ethernet link. The system, which includes CNT UltraNet Edge Storage Routers and multiple SAN fabrics, is fully redundant, with no single points of failure. To provide an extra layer of redundancy, a wireless network backs up the solution.

"In the lending and finance industry, downtime is not an option," concludes Janosik. "In the event that one center fails, we now have the capability to access the same data in the second center to maintain 'business as usual' without anyone even knowing that the change took place. It makes my job a lot easier knowing that my customers' data is safe at all times." ...CNT profile

CARLSBAD, Calif. - January 10, 2003 - The Center for High Performance Computing at the University of Utah relies on the IBM 3584 Ultrascalable Tape Library, working in conjunction with Arkeia Enterprise Backup software. "Arkeia has proven to be robust, reliable and flexible and we would recommend it to anyone," said computer professional Wayne Bradford. "For the past 18 months, the Center for High Performance Computing at the University of Utah has been running Arkeia on an IBM RS/6000 (H70) system. Our tape library is an IBM 3584 Ultrascalable Tape Library with one expansion frame (D32). It has a total of 675 slots with eight LTO Ultrium HVD drives. We will soon be adding two more LTO drives in the second frame," Bradford said. "We currently use 23 type-1 clients, (such as Unix, Windows Servers, AIX, Solaris, Novell) and 65 type-2, (such as Linux, Windows Workstations, Cobalt, BSDs). These clients encompass a variety of interfaces and file system types. A full backup of all our systems is currently about 4TB and we have been very pleased with the performance-we have one file server that does 544 MB/minute."

Bradford continued, "We have another that backs up almost 2.5 million files, 680 GB, compressed at "1.3", 18.5 hours at 776 MB/mn. This is using only two drives and 100Mbps interfaces. I can't wait until we get the 1Gbps switch/interfaces installed!" ...Arkeia profile, ...IBM profile

Compton, CA - January 9, 2003 - Belkin Corporation today announced its support of the new FireWire IEEE 1394b interface, which offers connectivity speeds of up to 800Mbps with the immediate launch of a complete lineup of cables. At twice the speed of earlier FireWire products, FireWire IEEE 1394b technology is perfect for FireWire enthusiasts wishing to obtain higher transfer speeds. Belkin plans to also launch FireWire IEEE 1394b PCI cards and hubs later in 2003. Featuring a 9-pin connector design, the new FireWire IEEE 1394b ports will continue to support all the advantages that have made FireWire a predominant, high-speed interface-including simultaneous connection of up to 63 devices, real-time digital audio and video transfer, peer-to-peer device connections, Plug-and-Play device installation, and hot swap capability. The new FireWire IEEE 1394b specification is backward-compatible with existing FireWire technology, which makes it an ideal solution for those using current FireWire products as well as for those using devices designed according to the new IEEE 1394b specification.

"With such a high connectivity speed, FireWire IEEE 1394b is perfect for the next generation of high-performance storage devices and multimedia applications," said Megan Daley, senior business unit manager, Belkin Corporation. "FireWire IEEE 1394b technology will open the door to even faster data transfer speeds and longer point-to-point connections, and that is what makes this new technology so exciting," she added. ...Belkin profile

See also:- FireWire storage

LAS VEGAS - January 9, 2003 - "DVD recording equipment will become a mainstream consumer product in 2003 as lower prices and increasing supply spur consumers to add DVD recording capability to their home entertainment centers and computers" the chair of the DVD+RW Alliance predicted today. And Maureen Weber said three issues will play a key role as consumers decide which of the competing DVD recording formats to pick when they're buying DVD recording equipment - functionality, simplicity and compatibility. "All three are major strengths of the Plus format," said Weber who heads the DVD+RW Alliance that supports the Plus format for DVD recording. Weber spoke at a news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Weber noted that the research firm In-Stat/MDR predicts DVD recorder sales will approach one million units in the United States for the first time this year and more than four million units worldwide, with triple-digit growth in sales expected through 2005. ...DVD+RW Alliance profile

BROOMFIELD, Colo. - January 8, 2003 - McDATA® Corporation today announced the appointment of Gary Gysin as its vice president and general manager of software. Gysin will be responsible for all aspects of McDATA's software products. Gysin brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in the software and technology industry. He recently was senior vice president of products at Volera, a Novell spin-off. Prior to that, Gysin spent five years as president and CEO at PGSOFT, a company that was acquired by Novell in 2000. He has successfully led new product development and market introductions of enterprise and consumer software products. Gysin received a Bachelor of Art degree in economics from the University of California. He will be based in San Jose at the SANavigator headquarters.

"We are pleased to appoint Gary Gysin as McDATA's general manager of software," said John Kelley, president and chief executive officer of McDATA. "Gary's extensive software and product development experience will allow McDATA to more quickly ramp our award-winning SANavigator software and capitalize on the significant management software opportunity in the marketplace. SANavigator provides customers with unrivalled fabric management capabilities, and we expect software to be an important area of growth for McDATA going forward." ...McDATA profile

Sunnyvale, CA - January 8, 2003 - Network Appliance, Inc. today was named by FORTUNE magazine as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For." Debuting at number 39 on an impressive list of top U.S. companies, Network Appliance is the only the enterprise storage company recognized this year for its premier work environment.

"We are honored to be named one of America's 'Best Companies to Work For' by FORTUNE magazine," said Dan Warmenhoven, CEO of Network Appliance. "The credit goes to our employees, who are the lifeblood of our culture, our success, and our innovation. All that NetApp has achieved and will achieve is a clear reflection of their dedication and drive for excellence." ...FORTUNE article, ...Network Appliance profile
Other news on this page

Winn-Dixie Stocks Up on Dell Servers, Storage

MTI Becomes Brocade Qualified Support Partner

Snap Appliance Launches with New Product, OS Enhancements, and Improved Data Protection

ADIC Doubles Capacity and Throughput of LTO Library Family

Transtec Launches New SAN Products for European SMBs

Solid Data Teams With Anacomp to Provide Worldwide Service and Support

Ciprico Extends Multi-Year Contract for United States Navy Programs

LSI Logic Joins the DVD+RW Alliance

Brocade Expands Distribution Relationship with Sun

Decru and Nishan Work Together to Secure Data in Storage

Spinnaker Announces Spinserver 3300G

NSI Software Secures $15 Million in New Financing

New Article from Storactive - Protecting Enterprise Data in Real Time

AMD and M-Systems Expand Strategic Flash Memory Agreement

Ohio Savings Bank picks CNT for IP based Disaster Recovery solution

Arkeia and IBM 3584 UltraScalable Tape Library speed back-ups at University of Utah

Belkin Connects FireWire Devices at the Ultrafast Speed of 800Mbps!

DVD Recording Will Become Mainstream Consumer Product in 2003

McDATA Announces Appointment of Software General Manager

Network Appliance Named One of Fortune Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For"

earlier news (archive)
Rackmount Storage on
Megabyte's ancestor, Sir Squeaks-a-Bit, had a rack optimized data acquisition system down in his dungeon.
Nibble: Is the External Disk Market Heading for a Crash?

wo recent market research reports got me questioning the validity of my own assumptions about the long term prospects for the that part of the storage industry which supplies disk based storage such as RAID, NAS, SAN etc. And I'm starting to feel a cold chill which has nothing to do with the seasonal weather.

First it was the December 6 news from IDC saying that worldwide disk storage systems factory revenue in the third quarter of 2002 was down 3% compared with the second quarter. "The failure to gain revenue momentum in Q3 is yet another indication that a rebound in the disk storage systems market is not imminent," said Charlotte Rancourt, research director of IDC's Disk Storage Systems program. "The third quarter is consistent with an emerging trend whereby growth in gigabyte per unit does not offset the unrelenting decline in dollar per gigabyte."

Then there was the December 10 report from Peripheral Research Corp saying that the demand for critical components for rigid disk drives hit a five-year low in 2002. "The industry has been on a 60-100% per year increase in areal densities, which by nature reduces the number of Magnetic Heads and Disks in each drive... The demand for Rigid Disk Drives has flattened out to about 195 million units per year for the past three years." This report went onto say that growth in demand for disk drives in consumer products would eventually lead to growth in overall disk shipments, but that doesn't affect the computer market which we're discussing here.

Let's recap on the two main reasons that so many computer companies flocked into the storage market in 2000 and 2001 during the recession in the PC and server market.

The first, was a widely held belief supported by direct experience, and codified in a widely publicised EMC sponsored research study saying that the demand for storage capacity would double every year. The second factor was the growth and profitability of EMC back in 2000. Both factors, taken together suggested to many oems, that here was a market which was ripe and growing, and in which there plenty of opportunity for efficient low cost producers to make higher profits than in the PC market by undercutting the fat dumb and happy market leaders. News travels fast in this wired world. So hundreds of companies had exactly the same idea.

But what if these assumptions are wrong? Or don't give the whole picture? What if an annual doubling in demand for disk storage doesn't actually lead to any increase in storage revenue? And what if an overcrowded market of EMC wannabes leads to the same fierce competition and pricing models seen in the PC market? That's good for users but spells ruin for many storage oems.

In the semiconductor world Moore's Law has reliably predicted the shrinking geometry of chip and the growing density of memory for 3 decades. There isn't an equivalent in the disk storage world. But looking back at the last 10 years, disk drive capacity has increased by a factor of 1,000, which means that on average it's doubled every year. So even if demand for storage is doubling, there's no compelling reason for the market to increase in value. In fact, if you take into account the new wave of intelligent archiving software from companies like Princeton Softech there are optimistic grounds for believing that users will be able to keep a lid on runaway storage growth by using more compression and faster intelligent archiving based on data usage patterns.

If disk storage technology keeps improving, users could end up paying less for their storage networks in the long term, instead of more. Now there's an interesting thing to think about as we ponder what the new year may bring.

See also:- ...EMC profile, ...IDC profile, Market research, ...Peripheral Research profile
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With over a decade of experience developing and manufacturing high-end I/O peripherals for SPARC and Intel based systems, the Antares Microsystems' family of products provide versatile and flexible I/O host bus adapters for mission-critical enterprise systems.

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