2.5 inch solid state disk market guide and directory Data Storage Depot STORAGEsearch


2003, May week 3, Storage news

Megabyte's selection of storage news

See also:-

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?
Squeak! - SSD Myths and Legends - "write endurance"
earlier STORAGEsearch news (archive), RAID systems, Backup software

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FREMONT, Calif. - May 21, 2003 - M-Systems today announced that its FFD product line delivers the highest level of endurance in the market. High endurance is a feature desirable for mission critical applications, such as military, aerospace, telecommunications and automation systems, where data must be reliably updated on an ongoing basis.

While other flash disk producers claim to guarantee 300,000 to 2,000,000, M-Systems' FFD products were shown to support more than 5,000,000 write/erase cycles during long periods of extensive tests. Because the testing procedure was manually halted after this significant milestone was reached, it is reasonable to believe that a higher value could have been achieved had the testing period been extended.

"Limited numbers of writes to flash silicon is no longer a barrier for customers using M-Systems' FFD product line," said Ofer Tsur, M-Systems' marketing manager for FFD products. "TrueFFS®, M-Systems flash management system embedded within our FFD architecture, provides true added value to customers by extending the flash disk endurance by more than five times the average endurance of other flash disks available in the market." ...M-Systems profile

MILPITAS, Calif. - May 21, 2003 - A complete line of Serial ATA MegaRAID solutions from LSI Logic Corporation now shipping to customers worldwide includes an optional battery backup module for enterprise-class fault tolerance and data protection - an industry first for SATA RAID. LSI Logic's family of Serial ATA MegaRAID solutions includes the MegaRAID SATA 150-2 and the MegaRAID SATA 150-4, designed for entry-level servers and performance workstations; and the enterprise-class MegaRAID SATA 150-6, which features optional battery backup support.

The MegaRAID Battery Backup Module (part number LSIBBU01) is a mezzanine card that mounts on top of the MegaRAID SATA 150-6. This module monitors the voltage level of the DRAM and supporting circuitry installed on the MegaRAID card. If the voltage drops below a predefined level, the Battery Backup Module switches the memory power source from the MegaRAID card to the battery pack. If the voltage level returns to an acceptable level, the Battery Backup Module switches the power source back to the MegaRAID adapter card.

"LSI Logic MegaRAID technology is consistently the choice of the top server and system builders who rely on our proven and stable software and hardware designs to protect their customer's critical data," said Phil Bullinger, vice president and general manager of the LSI Logic RAID Storage Adapters Division. "Our family of Serial ATA MegaRAID solutions delivers this expertise to customers looking to bring more data protection and improved system performance to cost-sensitive environments where reliability and performance cannot be compromised." ...LSI Logic profile

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. - May 21, 2003 - QLogic Corp. today announced that its iSCSI SANblade 4000 Series HBAs are now shipping with the new StorageTek EchoView iSCSI appliance. The QLogic SANblade iSCSI HBA enables a true native end-to-end iSCSI data protection storage solution, eliminating the need for a bridge-based approach. The EchoView appliance, launched May 6, continuously protects data while it is being created - allowing customers to eliminate backup windows and providing for quick and easy recovery of business critical data. ...QLogic profile, ...StorageTek profile

Munich, Germany and San Jose, Calif. - May 21, 2003 - Infineon Technologiestoday announced that it provides the standards-based Embedded Security solution now available for HP's d530 series business desktop PC. The new HP ProtectTools Embedded Security chip enhances the security features of the desktop's native operating system and third-party security applications, bringing a new level of data protection and access control to networked computers. Infineon worked closely with HP to integrate a Trusted Platform Module compliant with specifications published by the Trusted Computing Group. Infineon also collaborated with HP to develop the system's user-friendly Security Management Software application and the HP Personal Secured Drive, which simplifies data protection through file and folder encryption protected with hardware-based key generation and storage. ...Infineon Technologies profile

Santa Clara, CA - May 21, 2003 - APTARE, Inc. today announced the release of APTARE StorageConsole 3.0. This flagship product provides detailed reporting and enhanced control of the enterprise backup environment, making 100% backup and recovery success achievable and cost-effective. APTARE StorageConsole sets a new standard for storage software by being the only product to provide full-text searchable file-level backup reporting. Aimed at significantly reducing backup operational costs while improving data availability, APTARE StorageConsole provides centralized reporting and global management to complement VERITAS NetBackup environments.

"While providing IT consulting services to Global 2000 companies, we consistently found that enterprises lacked the tools necessary to have confidence in their backup processes and their storage management costs were steeply climbing," said Richard Clark, APTARE President and CEO. "APTARE StorageConsole increases backup success rates and realizes significant cost savings by streamlining operational processes and providing detailed metrics on backup infrastructure capital and consumables. Users optimize costs associated with running a VERITAS NetBackup environment, improve overall backup performance and reduce tape media, drive, library, and vaulting costs resulting from ineffective utilization."

By implementing this software, SecureData, Australia's largest information availability company and one of several initial APTARE StorageConsole users, realized immediate backup pain reduction. A Free 30-day Trial of APTARE StorageConsole 3.0 is currently available. ...APTARE profile

Acton, MA - May 21, 2003 - Trebia Networks, Inc. today announced the results of iSCSI performance testing on the SNP-1000® storage network processor. The results of both 245,000 IOPS and 452 MB/second throughput set new industry benchmarks for performance. Of additional significance is the fact that these results are the first published with full iSCSI header and data digest protection.

"Making performance claims without utilizing iSCSI's data integrity verification features just doesn't make sense. Companies use their networked storage infrastructures for critical applications and data, and would naturally take advantage of iSCSI digest capabilities. Performance figures measured in the absence of these capabilities do not correlate with real-world usage in the enterprise," said George Harper, Trebia's director of marketing.

When stored data is transferred over a network, it is broken up into data packets containing "header" data that details, among other things, where it originated and where it is going. Digest protection provides data integrity preservation to ensure that both header and data have arrived unaltered in the transfer process. The iSCSI standard uses header and data digest functions to verify the integrity of header, data, or both. The highest degree of data integrity verification is achieved with both header and data digests invoked. Systems can experience significant reductions in performance when supporting header and data digest functions.

"We've seen IOPS and throughput drop 20% or more with other solutions," said Harper. To provide data integrity verification without compromising the performance of the system, Trebia's SNP-1000 storage network processor uses hardware support - a unique circuit design called "PacketSure™". ...Trebia Networks profile

Sunnyvale, Calif. - May 21, 2003 - Softek today announced that Jonathan Grantham has been named to the newly-created position of vice president, worldwide channel sales operations. He joins the company from EMC, where he served for over seven years in senior-level sales and management roles, most recently overseeing channel sales throughout Europe. At Softek, Grantham will be responsible for managing the integration of the company's worldwide channel operations, with special emphasis on regional channel development and productivity. He will also concentrate on executing global channel readiness programs for Softek channel partners, as well as helping to refine the company's channel strategy and sales model in Europe. Grantham will report to Erna Arnesen, vice president of worldwide channels.

Since the Softek Synergy Partner program was launched last September, the company has recruited more than 50 channel partners worldwide. This year, the company intends to recruit 50 additional channel partners to better serve customers not currently reached by existing Synergy Partner Program members. ...Fujitsu Softek profile

PITTSBURGH, PA - May 20, 2003 - Spinnaker Networks today announced the implementation of two Spinnaker SpinServer 3300 NAS systems for the search site of Free.fr, France's second-largest ISP. Free.fr deployed the two SpinServers, each with 2TB of capacity, to serve as the NFS-based storage for dir.com , the company's search engine. Spinnaker's solution was ultimately chosen after Free.fr compared the SpinServer against products from other vendors, including Network Appliance.

"We chose to implement Spinnaker's SpinServer solution because of its exceptional performance, distributed architecture for future growth and its low total cost of ownership," said Antoine Levavasseur of Free.fr. "The fact that this one solution could bundle all of these advantages into its product made the decision an easy one for us."

"Our first international installation at dir.com is a major testament to the benefits of Spinnaker's SpinServer solution," said Ron Bianchini, President and CEO of Spinnaker. "Just as Free.fr tries to eliminate the barriers of Internet access to its users, we removed the traditional barriers to managing large-scale NAS assets by providing a cost effective way that simplifies storage management via a single file system across hundreds of NAS servers. We are pleased to partner with Free.fr to help enhance users' online experiences with innovative technology." ...Spinnaker Networks profile

Editor's comments:- anyone involved in IT internationalization knows that the French market has always been the most difficult one to get into. Traditionally French buyers have resisted US computer solutions unless they were accompanied by heavy local investment in people and support. The fact that Spinnaker's first international deployment is in the tough to crack French market, suggests that they can expect a rapid rollout into the rest of Europe soon.

Los Altos, CA. – May 20, 2003 - Invio Software Inc today announced a professional services agreement with GlassHouse Technologies. Under the new agreement, Glasshouse, widely recognized for its advanced expertise in SAN deployment and SAN management, will provide design and implementation services to Invio customers for the rapid deployment of storage practice automation solutions across their enterprise storage environments. ...GlassHouse Technologies profile, ...Invio Software profile

Taipei, Taiwan - May 20, 2003 - Ingrasys Technology Inc. announces immediate availability of the NAStorage 8200 - a new member of the NAStorage line of products - which provides greater performance and optional SCSI tape backup. Key features include:
  • Outstanding network performance with on-board dual Gigabit Ethernet controllers
  • Superior data protection with innovative RAID technology
  • Large volume backups with SCSI tape
  • Built in high-speed and versatile data synchronization software
  • Embedded Trend Micro enterprise-class antivirus software
"NAStorage 8200 now has boosted throughput by 20% (compared to the 8100) to improve file accessing. This could certainly reduce the overhead for the end user as well as system administrator" said Bertrand Chen, CEO of Ingrasys Technologies Inc. "With NetBench results of over 200 Mbps, NAStorage 8200 can certainly fulfill the ever increasing demand of file serving."

Additionally, the integrated Trend Micro antivirus software in NAStorage 8200 is the best-of-breed security product that delivers the reliable antivirus protection, meaning better return on investment. Options including manual, scheduled and real-time scanning to offer comprehensive antivirus and content security solutions for enterprise customers. Administrators can use the Web-based console for centralized management of virus outbreaks, virus scanning, virus pattern file updates, and notifications. ...Ingrasys Technology profile

City of Industry, CA - May 19, 2003 - BenQ today announced the launch of its portable DVD player, the BenQ 6024DP DVD-Gem. At only 1.2 pounds and 5.3-inches (w) x 6.5-inches (d), the BenQ DVD-Gem is one of the smallest DVD players in the market.

The BenQ DVD-Gem is a unique three-in-one device: a portable DVD player, MP3 player and external DVD-ROM drive. It is compatible with DVD, CD, VCD, S-VCD, CD-R, CD-RW and MP3 formats and comes with Dolby Digital and DTS digital audio outputs for the highest quality sound. The BenQ DVD-Gem multi-functionality allows it to be connected to a television set and switched between NTSC and PAL formats, as well as used as an external DVD-ROM drive for a personal computer or laptop with a USB2.0 cable.

The BenQ 6024DP DVD-Gem features a data transfer rate of 6X in DVD-ROM mode and 24X in CD-ROM mode. It has flash memory for firmware upgrades and linear PCM output. The DVD-Gem also comes with S-Video, composite, IDE to USB1.1, USB2.0, IEEE 1394 and coaxial cable digital outputs. Other features of the BenQ DVD-Gem include digital and analog CSS copy protection, password functionality, multi-language, multi-angle and multi-subtitle support. It can sustain 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios and comes with a numerical LCD display for easy track access.

The BenQ 6024DP DVD-Gem is currently available at an estimated street price of $109. ...BenQ profile

POWAY, Calif. - May 19, 2003 - InoStor has announced that the US Patent and Trademark Office has granted the company patent #6557123, Data Redundancy Methods and Apparatus, for its break-through RAIDn technology. RAIDn is a unique set of algorithms that implements a revolutionary parity scheme across an array of disk drives. Available today in InoStor's InteliNAS appliances, RAIDn can also be licensed from the company for applications where additional RAID protection is desired. RAIDn provides unparalleled protection against data loss from multiple, simultaneous disk failures. Further, as implemented in the InteliNAS appliances, RAIDn delivers the same or more, useable disk capacity than traditional RAID levels 1,3,4,5 and 0+1 at a very affordable cost. When highly-available data is critical, RAIDn delivers greater availability than typical RAID schemes with equal disk drive investment.

"We expect RAIDn to dramatically change the way businesses secure their data today." said David Licosati, Vice-President of NAS Business Development. "We've simplified the RAID setup process by eliminating the drastic tradeoffs in legacy RAID levels to only two choices; how much capacity is required and how much protection is desired. In today's data-intensive business environment the exact level of availability can be adjusted to the criticality of the data set required, achieving maximum business continuity without the high cost typically associated with enterprise-level availability."

InoStor is actively pursuing licensing partners who can implement RAIDn in operating systems, in ASICs and in hardware, wherever enhanced protection and capacity is mandatory. The Company expects that RAIDn Secured will be the new standard in optimized data storage schemes. ...InoStor profile

CAMARILLO, CA - May 19, 2003 - Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. today announced the immediate availability of its 10 Gigabit small form-factor pluggable (XFP) interface card that allows for easy migration from 300-pin optical transponder modules to the emerging XFP optical transceiver module standard.

The VSC8473XFP plugs into a standard 300-pin connector and provides the electronics necessary to emulate a 300-pin MSA Transponder. Vitesse has designed the card to be a stand-alone product containing five critical design elements: an industry standard XFP connector and cage, Vitesse's 10 Gbps serial to 16-bit transceiver integrated circuit, a 300-pin MSA connector interface, a reference clock clean-up phase locked loop, and supporting electronic circuitry. OEMs can plug any XFP module into a cage to configure the interface card for their specific reach, power or approved vendor source. The OEM supplied XFP module provides the transmit and receive optical interface while the 300-pin MSA connector provides a standard SFI4.1 host board interface for parallel path transmission and connection to the transceiver integrated circuit. The VSC8473XFP is available now and is priced at $1500 each in small quantities. ...Vitesse profile

Hopkinton, Mass.- May 19, 2003 - EMC today announced significant enhancements to the CLARiiON® CX200 networked storage system, including a new single-controller option with estimated end-user pricing starting at approximately $10,000, integrated ATA drive technology and a 60% performance boost. In addition, EMC further simplified CLARiiON system management through the addition of customer-executable, non disruptive upgrades for CLARiiON software applications.

Joel Schwartz, EMC's Senior Vice President & General Manager, CLARiiON Systems Division, said, "Today, a broader range of customers are demanding access to EMC's innovative storage technology. These businesses are looking for an upgradeable product line that can grow and adapt in concert with their environment. With these new enhancements to the CX200, EMC is offering a very attractive entry point into the industry's leading mid-tier product series." ...EMC profile

Cleveland, OH and Minneapolis, MN - May 19, 2003 - Pioneer-Standard Electronics, Inc. and CNT today finalized an agreement for Pioneer-Standard KeyLink Systems® to distribute CNT's UltraNet Edge Storage Router. KeyLink Systems is currently the only authorized distribution partner in North America for this product. Under the terms of the agreement, KeyLink Systems will distribute CNT's UltraNet Edge Storage Router to VARs throughout North America. ...CNT profile

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. - May 19, 2003 - Nexsan Technologies announced today that TechTV is using ATAboy2 storage for ear-line program content. In the daily crunch of creating and producing a full schedule of entertainment programming, there is constant work to digitize and store individual shows to put to air. TechTV, available in over 40 million homes in 70 countries, reuses content throughout their shows and faced the challenge of finding near-line storage to hold this digitized content for days and weeks. The option of using additional video servers was just not cost-effective for the cable channel. To resolve this challenge, TechTV turned tod Nexsan Technologies for an affordable, reliable solution.

Because of storage limitations on the TechTV video server, the channel was forced to digitize content for shows prior to air, load and use the content, and then remove it to make way for new material. When earlier content was needed again in subsequent airings, it had probably been removed from the server (due to limited storage space on the server), requiring TechTV to re-digitize the earlier content yet again, and load it back onto the servers for broadcast. The options to solve this problem were simple: either purchase an additional video server or choose a redundant, cost-effective storage solution for digitized content. They chose Nexsan's ATAboy2 to provide near-line storage.

"There was a lot of duplication of time and effort in having to digitize, delete and re-digitize content, and buying additional video servers for storage was an expensive alternative," Don Davis, system administrator, TechTV, said. "Choosing Nexsan's ATAboy2 as our near-line storage solution allows us to digitize once and store the content, and use it once, twice, or as many times as needed over a period of weeks, saving us valuable production time."

TechTV selected Nexsan's ATAboy2 with just under two terabytes, and installed the unit as a trial in November 2002. After seeing the results the product delivered, TechTV rolled the initial unit into production and bought additional ATAboy2 systems for in-house TV graphics use (and to provide storage for TechTV.com, a site that sees 1.5 million unique visitors a month) and for corporate use. ...Nexsan Technologies profile

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif - May 19, 2003 - Seagate today announced a new 2.5-inch enterprise disc drive platform. Systems built around these small enterprise-class disc drives will provide data centers with unparalleled levels of IOPS (input/outputs per second) performance in a smaller system space compared to what's being delivered today. For example, a 2U rack storage array with 2.5-inch drives will be able to outperform today's common 3U rack storage arrays by nearly 140% on an IOPS-per-U basis while providing equal or greater storage capacity.

The enterprise-class 2.5-inch disc drive platform is a result of extensive research into end-user IT challenges and close collaboration with other technology leaders like HP, Intel and Microsoft, and is targeted directly at server and storage consolidation needs. The 2.5-inch enterprise disc drive platform will enable a new era of rack server and storage arrays and blade servers. The enterprise 2.5-inch disc drive platform will be produced for the current versions of Fibre Channel and SCSI, as well as SAS, and will become available in 2004.

"IT professionals require space-saving, high-performance storage solutions to meet the challenges of server and storage consolidation," said Dave Reinsel, IDC hard drive research manager. "The 2.5-inch enterprise disc drive platform will be a good fit for an industry desiring innovative storage consolidation solutions offered by many of Seagate's OEM customers." ...Seagate Technology profile

SAN JOSE, Calif. - May 19, 2003 - MaXXan Systems, Inc. today announced the successful completion of HDS' Interoperability Demonstration Program tests for the MaXXan MXV320 Intelligent Director Switch with the HDS Hitachi Freedom Storage Lightning 9900 product families. These thorough IDP tests covered fabric configuration, fabric event handling, data integrity, port management, host group management, LUN security and endurance. The completion of the IDP assures customers that MaXXan's MXV320 Intelligent Director Switch has been tested for use with the Hitachi Freedom Storage systems and can be deployed with confidence in HDS storage environments.

"We are excited to be one of the first companies to complete HDS' exacting Interoperability Demonstration Program," said James Yu, vice president of business development for MaXXan Systems. "This is the best way to offer our customers the reassurance that the MaXXan MXV320 intelligent switch has been tested with well-known storage solutions such as HDS' Lightning 9900 V and Lightning 9900 series." ...Hitachi Data Systems profile, ...MaXXan Systems profile

Mountain View, CA - May 16, 2003 - LEGATO Systems, Inc. announced today that it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Network Specialists, Inc. (NSI) in the Federal District Court in San Jose, CA. The lawsuit alleges that NSI is willfully infringing two patents held against LEGATO on the technology embedded in its RepliStor software (formerly known as Octopus), a file replication application that uses patented (U.S. Patent Nos. 5,799,141 and 6,308,283), asynchronous, real-time data replication to make it easy to create more than one copy of Windows data, across LAN and WAN environments.

LEGATO has asked the court for an award of unspecified damages as well as an injunction that would prohibit NSI from using, selling, or licensing software that infringes LEGATO's patents. The law firm of McDermott, Will & Emery of Palo Alto, CA, is representing LEGATO in this action. ...Legato Systems profile

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - May 15, 2003 - BakBone Software today announced that is was listed in the visionary quadrant in Gartner Inc.'s 2003 Enterprise Backup/Restore Magic Quadrant. Published May 9, 2003 the report evaluated 10 vendors that have demonstrated the ability to scale and address the heterogeneous backup requirements of the Global 2000. A vendor must have a large and growing customer base and must support (at a minimum) large UNIX and Windows storage environments.

"I'm very pleased to see that BakBone was positioned in the visionary quadrant in the Enterprise Backup/Restore market. Our substantial year over year improvement in Gartner's Magic Quadrant accurately reflects our increasing traction in the market" said Keith Rickard, President and CEO at BakBone. ...BakBone Software profile, ...Gartner profile

ESCONDIDO, Calif. – MAY 15, 2003 – Avail Solutions and FIA today announced a partnership to offer a powerful backup appliance. FIA will bundle Avail's Integrity backup and recovery software with its POPnetserver line of NAS systems.

While most backup products can only support one storage device in a configuration, Integrity concurrently supports any number and variety of storage devices. During the backup process, storage devices are dynamically targeted based on performance, longevity, and other data needs. After data is initially backed up to a NAS-like device, Integrity can automatically move and/or copy data to other storage devices. There are no limitations to the steps that can be assigned in a storage hierarchy. The software maintains full management of the data regardless of whether it's stored on site, off-site, or off-line.

When data is needed for restoration it is located immediately. Local catalogs on each storage vault are queried for the required data in a manner similar to web-server search engines. Once the data is located it is retrieved from its most readily available source and sent directly to the required location.

"It is important that our customers have backup tools that are easy to use and provide extra data protection. Avail Solutions' Integrity software is unique in that it performs backups on the fly using both NAS and tape, which fits perfectly into FIA's overall backup strategy to enable quick disaster recovery," said Vic Sangveraphunsiri, vice president of engineering at FIA.

Pricing for the POP Integrity Backup Appliance starts under $10,000 for a complete solution but varies by configuration. The product supports a variety of client operating platforms, including Windows, Sun Solaris, Linux, and others. ...Avail Solutions profile, ...FIA Storage Systems profile

REDMOND, Wash. - May 15, 2003 - ADIC today announced sales for its second quarter ended April 30 exceeded $100 million, a first for any quarter in its history. Sales were up almost 4% from the first quarter and up nearly 25% from the same period last year. Net income for the period was $2.4 million, or four cents per fully diluted share.

ADIC's strong position in the library market was underscored by recent analysis by Gartner, Inc. which identified ADIC for the second consecutive year as the largest worldwide supplier of automated tape products using small form-factor half-inch drive technology, a segment that includes all DLT and LTO products.

Fara Yale, Research Vice President with Gartner Dataquest and author of the report comments, "We see automated tape systems playing a crucial role in enterprise data storage and protection strategies, and the small form-factor half-inch tape systems are growing in importance within the overall tape automation market, a trend that we expect to continue. Our research again found ADIC to be the revenue and unit volume share leader in this important automation segment."

OEM shipments to partners, including Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, HP, IBM and Sun, were 45% of total sales for the quarter compared with 48% of sales in the preceding period and 45% a year ago. Despite economic and geopolitical challenges during this past quarter, the Company said worldwide ADIC-branded business grew 11% sequentially and that its OEM business had a much-smaller-than-expected sequential seasonal decline of about 4%. ...ADIC profile

Burlington, Mass. and Sunnyvale, Calif. - May 15, 2003 - AppIQ and Network Appliance today announced that they are partnering to develop an open interface based on the SNIA's Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) to unify SAN and NAS storage management at a lower cost of ownership. AppIQ Solution Suite will be the first to manage the Network Appliance™ unified storage platform through an SMI-S interface. AppIQ and Network Appliance are also teaming to drive the NAS implementation of the SMI-S.

"Just as Network Appliance is an innovator in the enterprise storage space, we consider ourselves an innovator in the storage management space," said Jim Geronaitis, director of strategic alliances at AppIQ. "As the leader in the open management revolution, we take standards seriously as the means to deliver the highest value to our customers. We're pleased to work with Network Appliance to extend our open management to unified SAN and NAS storage." ...AppIQ profile, ...Network Appliance profile

Other news on this page

M-Systems' Fast Flash Disk Delivers the Highest Level of Endurance in the Market

LSI Logic shipping industry's first Serial ATA RAID storage adapter with battery backup support

QLogic iSCSI SANblade Host Adapters Power StorageTek EchoView Appliances

Infineon Helps Bring New Level of Security to Computer Networks

APTARE Launches Storage Reporting and Management Software - StorageConsole 3.0

Trebia Networks Sets New iSCSI Performance Milestones

Former EMC Sales Executive Joins Fujitsu's Softek to Oversee Worldwide Channel Operations

Spinnaker Networks Breaks into Tough to Crack French Market with First International Deployment of SpinServers

Invio and GlassHouse Technologies Announce Service Provider Agreement

New NAStorage 8200 NAS Server from Ingrasys Technology boosts performance

BenQ Launches Portable, Three-in-One DVD Player

InoStor Gets US Patent for RAIDn

Vitesse Enables Immediate Deployment of XFP Module Standard

EMC Sets New Price Point for Mid-Tier Networked Storage

Pioneer-Standard Electronics Signs up as CNT Distributor

TechTV turns to Nexsan

Seagate Unveils Plans for 2.5-Inch Enterprise Discs

MaXXan Completes HDS Interoperability Testing

LEGATO Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Network Specialists, Inc.

BakBone listed as Visionary by Gartner Group

Avail Solutions and FIA Announce NAS Backup Agreement

ADIC's first $100 million quarter

AppIQ and Network Appliance Partner to Develop SNIA SMI-S Interface to Integrate SAN and NAS Management

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When Megabyte's storage got broken, he knew how to fix it as good as new.

Nibble:- No silver bullets for slaying storage demons

henever I used to watch the first series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I was impressed and intrigued by the impressive array of weapons which the Scoobies used to take out of Giles' armory. Not just sharpened stakes, but axes, knives, crossbows, swords and crucifixes too - an impressive range of symbolic medieval ironmongery. Not so often silver bullets because silver bullets kill werewolves, and these were rarely a problem in Sunnydale.

Yet despite being well stocked with slayer cutlery, and extensive training, sometimes our heroes had to use tactics other than heart staking or decapitation to save the world once more from the armageddon.

I imagine that Giles, who had an extensive library on demons, could be a difficult customer when approached by a wannabe demon weapons sales person. The conversation might go something like this...

"The Demon Slayer 4 is the latest and greatest weapon made by Demon Death Corp. Incorporating the latest technology and feedback from out focus groups it kills all demons and other nasty things at close and medium range. It's clockwork powered, requires no batteries, is portable and can be operated by someone no stronger than a teenage girl. The product is kept continuously up to date by downloading the latest adjustment settings from our web site."

"Give me a demonstration" says Giles. The salesperson from Demon Death Corp complies by dialing up a holographic demon which is quickly despatched into electron dust.

"Tell you what" says Giles, not very convinced. "If you can survive one night on patrol in Sunnydale, armed with nothing more than the Demon Slayer 4, I'll buy three of them."

The salesperson is no fool. The Demon Slayer 4 is much improved compared to the Mark 3 model, but given a choice between losing your commission or losing your soul, it's better to find more gullible customers elsewhere.

And this is where I get back to the storage market...

Nobody is going to offer your organization a cast iron guarantee that they can keep your data available no matter what. And I mean a guarantee which includes reimbursing you for loss of profits and other consequential losses which occur when their product fails to work, even when the storage demon is one which was not specified in the contract. Fire flood, and having a haunted server are not valid getout clauses.

Here are just a few examples of what can go wrong.

Your disk to disk backup system replicates your data in real-time across all your sites... What could go wrong? - Due to a programming error by your storage administrator who was testing a new hardware upgrade the live data and backed up data got deleted by accident. (We're going to run an article soon about what happened to one company when this happened to their Sun server in real life. None of their software or hardware suppliers were able to help them.)

Your web based backup system has been so reliable and convenient in recent years that you decided not to upgrade your tape libraries. Instead the web backup has become your primary form of data protection. What could go wrong? - On Monday morning you need to recover data on a server in one of your factories which was stolen at the weekend. But you keep getting error messages. Eventually you ring the online backup company. Or try too. Later that day after a lot of phone calls and web research you learn that they went bust last week. The press was warning about it, but you never saw those headlines. Their equipment has already been boxed up and bought by a reputable broker who diligently wiped the disks and tapes clean.

Your accounting records are archived according to the latest standards on optical media which is guaranteed to last 30 years and could even last longer. The network attached jukebox is so convenient that you decided to stop paying for the storage and testing of the reel to reel tape backups which the new system replaced... What could go wrong? - A fire in the nearby stationery cupboard spread to your computer room. The servers are being replaced tomorrow, and you've got an offsite daily tape backup for your live data, but your archived optical data is black sticky globules.

Your tape backup, set up by your predecessor works like a dream. Because your company has downsized to less than half the size it used to be, the original system still has plenty of capacity. Every day for the last few years you've been getting reassuring reports which confirm that the backups, have been going OK. Every day you do an incremental backup (which take 45 minutes) which you take home for safe keeping, and every Friday you do a full backup and rotate the tapes to make sure that you always have at least two sets of workable backups. What could go wrong? - The marketing director calls. Your new company catalog got trashed by a virus. Not to worry you've got the backup tape from yesterday. That's when you discover that the backup software parameters were set up long before your company bought the tools and workstations it uses to compile the catalog, and the data has never actually been backed up at all. The only reason you didn't discover this before was because the users were making unofficial backups of their individual work and they didn't bother you if minor things went wrong. Now something major has gone wrong they've contacted you. But you don't have a solution.

The lesson from this story is the following...

Like the Demon Slayer 4, all backup technologies are merely simple tools designed to solve one problem well. Sometimes they can be adapted to solve more than one problem. But when you meet the backup storage demon one dark night on patrol be sure you've got more than just a pointy stick and a clove of garlic in your pocket because you can't be sure that the demon's going to be a vampire.

Data Storage Depot
Data Storage Depot is a leading supplier of new Disk, Memory, RAID, NAS and Tape products for SUN, HP, Compaq, SGI, IBM and Dell workstations and servers.
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