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2004, April week 4, news archive

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You get a lot of storage news in just a week thought Megabyte as he was looking at the latest printout.
CARLSBAD, Calif. - April 30, 2004 - Arkeia Network Backup was selected Best Data Storage Solution at the prestigious LinuxUser & Developer Awards announced in London last week. The awards, now in their second year, run in conjunction with the LinuxUser & Developer Expo. They recognize the best in product and service solutions, as well as corporate and personal contributions, in the Linux industry.

"The aim of the awards is to recognize the very best in product and service solution, as well as corporate and personal contributions, in the Linux industry," said Maggie Meer, director of Horsepower Media and publisher of LinuxUser & Developer magazine. "This year we have witnessed the highest number of entries to date, making the judges' job extremely difficult but also indicating the increasing popularity of Linux within mainstream IT." ...Arkeia profile

SUNNYVALE, CA - Apr. 29, 2004 - Finisar Corporation and Infineon Technologies AG announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement in which Finisar has agreed to acquire Infineon's Fiber Optics Business Unit based in Munich, Germany, for 135 million shares of Finisar common stock. The acquisition transaction implies a valuation of $263 million based on the closing share price as of April 28, 2004. Following the transaction, Infineon will hold a 38% equity interest in Finisar. The transaction is subject to approval by Finisar's shareholders, applicable regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The acquisition involves the transfer of Infineon's fiber optic development, manufacturing, and certain marketing activities and approximately 1,200 employees. In the second fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2004, Infineon's Fiber Optics Business Unit posted revenues of approximately $32 million. Combined with Finisar's revenue guidance of $55-$60 million in its fourth quarter ending April 30, 2004, the combination would create the largest pure-play optical components company in the world. ...Finisar profile, ...Infineon profile

Editor:- April 29, 2004 - the news earlier this week that Sun Microsystems had started shipping servers based on its new SPARC IV processor was welcome news to Sun customers who are locked into SPARC/Solaris and have been waiting an unreasonably long time for their next x2 speedup. But sometimes the solution to speeding up a big server application can be found elsewhere.

A new case study published today on STORAGEsearch written by Distributor Systems International shows how Bar Harbor Banking and Trust Company turned to DSI for assistance when they thought they had run out of processing power. DSI, which specializes in speeding up transaction processing times for banks on all main platforms, assessed Bar Harbor's needs. The bank initially suspected that they needed more processing power. However, analysis revealed that they were suffering from I/O bottlenecks.

The article describes how DSI reduced processing time by using a Solid State Disk system and tuning the hot files in the bank's storage network. Why buy more servers when Solid State Disks can provide a superior return on investment? the article (pdf), ...DSI profile

Editor:- April 29, 2004 - A report today in says StorageTek is cutting 200 jobs. ...StorageTek profile

Ridgefield Park, New Jersey and Sunnyvale, Calif. - April 28, 2004 - Network Appliance, Inc. today announced a marketing, technology, and channel alliance to offer NetApp network storage solutions to Agfa's IMPAX Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) customers. Hundreds of hospitals worldwide use Agfa's IMPAX system to share digital information - both images (such as x-rays and various bioscans) and reports-that are incredibly data-intensive. Those images need to be shared among different hospital workers and departments, and sometimes over tens or hundreds of kilometers for collaborative medical procedures, specialist review, or advanced research.

Traditionally, sharing those files has been limited by technical, IT administrator management, and economic limitations associated with direct-attached storage or disparate computer networks linking individual PCs or departmental/workgroup servers. The strategic alliance between Agfa and Network Appliance removes those barriers by synergizing Agfa applications with networked storage systems - both NetApp FAS and NearStore solutions - that enable affordable, simple-to-deploy and -manage, and powerful image storage and sharing. By using NetApp advances and offerings in iSCSI in particular, Agfa customers can network and manage storage resources that have never before been available (or centrally accessible and managed) on an IP network. ...Network Appliance profile

KFAR-SABA, Israel - April 28, 2004 - M-Systems today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2004. For the first quarter of 2004, revenues were $64.2 million, representing an increase of 33% compared to revenues of $48.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2003, and an increase of 190% compared to revenues of $22.1 million in the first quarter of 2003. M-Systems reported a net profit for the quarter ended March 31, 2004 of $3.7 million compared to a net profit of $1.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2003, and a net loss of $0.7 million in the first quarter of 2003.

Commenting on the results, Dov Moran, President and CEO of M-Systems, said: "We are very pleased with our results for the first quarter, the 11th consecutive quarter in which we achieved sequential revenue growth and our 3rd consecutive profitable quarter. We experienced strong demand for our core products, DiskOnKey and Mobile DiskOnChip, sales of which continued to grow rapidly as the markets for USB Flash Drives and multimedia mobile handsets gained further acceptance and continued to evolve. We believe that there are significant growth opportunities in both markets..." ...M-Systems profile

MELVILLE, N.Y. - April 28, 2004 - FalconStor Software, Inc. today announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2004. For the first quarter of 2004, net revenues increased 43% to $5.3 million, compared with $3.7 million for the same period a year ago. Net loss for the quarter was $2.2 million compared with $1.7 million for the first quarter of 2003.

"Our leading edge technology and our grasp of the market direction remain the key drivers for our success," said FalconStor Chairman and CEO ReiJane Huai. "We are well positioned to reap the benefits of our OEM relationships. We will continue to leverage our innovative, proven solutions and strategic OEM partnerships to expand our worldwide presence in the areas of server/storage consolidation, data replication, disk-based backup/recovery and iSCSI-based storage services." ...FalconStor Software profile

Livermore, CA - April 27, 2004 - Memtech today the launch of its latest product - the AT3525 Booster Rocket, an extremely low power consumption, low cost, 64Mbyte to 4Gbyte 3.5" flash drive. The Booster Rocket, with impressive endurance and 8-year warranty, is designed for industrial environments where down time and failure is not an option. The AT3525 3.5" Booster Rocket the newest addition to the Booster Rocket Family and delivers advanced features such as the Kicker Hold Up Circuit, ECC Data Protection and resistance to extreme operating shock, vibration and temperature environments. ...Memtech profile

SANTA ANA, Calif. - April 27, 2004 - SimpleTech, Inc. today announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2004. Revenues for the first quarter of 2004 were $66.3 million, a decrease of 3% from $68.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2003, and an increase of 62% from $40.9 million for the first quarter of 2003. Revenues for the first quarter of 2004 increased from the first quarter of 2003 due to revenue growth from all major product lines, including a 785% increase in sales of stacking memory products.

"We are pleased with our performance for the first quarter of 2004... ...This is especially gratifying when you consider that the first quarter is typically our weakest quarter because of the seasonality of the industry." said Manouch Moshayedi, SimpleTech's CEO. "Moreover, we are enthusiastic about our business prospects for the remainder of 2004 due to a variety of recent achievements and developments in both the Flash and DRAM sectors... The factors that drive the DRAM industry have been positive for several quarters. Most notably, DRAM component prices have increased significantly since the beginning of this year. Historically, increased DRAM component prices have translated into increased average selling prices and gross profit." ...SimpleTech profile

SAN JOSE, Calif. - April 27, 2004 - Cisco today announced that IBM has qualified and will resell a number of FICON related features on the Cisco MDS 9000 Family of Multilayer Intelligent directors and fabric switches that will allow IBM mainframe customers to take advantage of the reliability, scalability, and intelligent network services available on the Cisco SAN switches. FICON is a high-speed I/O interface for mainframe connections to storage devices. Cisco introduced FICON connectivity and FICON Control Unit Port management support on the Cisco MDS 9000 with its SAN-OS 1.3 software release. Cisco also extends FICON over IP networks using FCIP. IBM qualified these features based on interoperability testing of the Cisco MDS 9000 within IBM S/390 and zSeries environments at its Poughkeepsie Lab.

The First American Corporation, the nation's largest data provider, has been successfully using the integrated FICON over FCIP support on the Cisco MDS 9000 to interconnect its property information data centers between Anaheim, Calif., and Dallas - a distance of more than 2,200 kilometers. With mainframe-based SANs installed at both data centers running mission-critical applications, First American extended FICON over the IP wide area network using FCIP to help support rapid recovery of data and business processes in the event of systems failure at any one site.

"The integrated FCIP support on the Cisco MDS 9000 was particularly appealing to us as it reduces management complexities and costs versus a Fibre Channel switch-and-FCIP appliance deployment model," said Evan Jafa, chief technical officer at First American's Property and Information Services group. "The Cisco MDS 9000 also offers a number of other intelligent networking services that we can apply to our mainframe SANs, including virtual SAN technology, which we can use to intermix and support mainframe and open-systems servers on the same fabric. These integrated features will be valuable in improving our overall storage networking and business continuity infrastructure." ...Cisco Systems profile, ...IBM profile

Eden Prairie, MN - April 27, 2004 - I-TECH reports that sales of the PowerFrame Storage Test System in Q1 2004 have been excellent and are expected to continue to increase with the scheduled support of 4- and 10-Gbps Fibre Channel. Year-to-date demand has exceeded projections by more than 30%. Included in the "Best of the Best in 2003" by Computer Technology Review, the PowerFrame is a scalable and portable multi-protocol analysis and monitoring system introduced by I-TECH in Q4 2003.

"We are excited by the industry's response to the PowerFrame and attribute it to our world-class reputation in the marketplace. I-TECH test systems have long been known for their power, innovation, and flexibility, and the PowerFrame is no exception. The PowerFrame's hardware search capabilities surpass our competitors' search solutions, hands down. Our competitors' trace searches take minutes to complete. Compare that to the PowerFrame - no search takes longer than four seconds, no matter how much data is captured and how many channels are used to capture data," said I-TECH CEO Steve Bucher. ...I-TECH profile

BROOMFIELD, Colo. - April 27, 2004 - McDATA Corporation today announced the installation of a McDATA SAN solution in Europe's number one home-improvement retailer, B&Q. The multi-billion dollar company implemented the SAN to meet strict availability and business continuance requirements. Using McDATA Intrepid Directors and Sphereon Fabric Switches managed by SANavigator and EFCM applications, B&Q now enjoys the high availability and non-disruptive scalability McDATA solutions are known for.

"Our SAN was expanding; we needed a failure-proof solution we could grow into because B&Q relies completely on the availability and functioning of its IT system. For example, restocking and inventory is automated, so downtime in the SAN could result in significant revenue losses from store and online product sales," said Adam Targett, technical support analyst for B&Q. "McDATA's pay-as-you-grow FlexPort technology and HotCAT online code activation enables superior scalability without disruption-critical to maintaining normal business operations."

B&Q's former Brocade-based SAN was also eating up ports used for inter-switch links; the McDATA solution reduced the number of ISLs required to build out the SAN by 80%. In addition, SANavigator and EFCM significantly reduced administrative efforts. ...McDATA profile

Editor:- April 27, 2004 - the Top 20 Most Popular Storage Categories viewed by STORAGEsearch readers has been updated today on our market research page. Interestingly "market research companies & storage analysts" itself is #9. As the storage market grows and new technologies are introduced continually, it seems, to solve old problems in new ways, more and more users have to turn to specialist market sources to get another take on what they should regard as important and what they can safely ignore. research

PARK RIDGE, N.J., April 26, 2004 - Sony Electronics is shipping Professional Disc for DATA media, an innovative recording technology that uses blue lasers instead of standard red lasers to write more data onto a disc. Featuring 23.3GB storage capacity per single-sided disc, Professional Disc for DATA media provides the storage capacity needed to fulfill the rigorous demands of data-intensive applications, such as medical imaging, broadcast, audio/video editing, graphic design and enterprise content management. The new format - available in both write-once and rewritable versions - also boasts fast 11MB/second read and 9MB/second write speeds for quick file storage and retrieval.

"Professional Disc for DATA technology marks a new era for disc storage," said Masaki Hattori, Director of Marketing for Sony Electronics' Media and Applications Solutions Division. "Our customers have been clamoring for an innovative optical storage platform that offers massive capacity, while still retaining the high-speed, random access benefits of disc. Sony Professional Disc for DATA media is the embodiment of these attributes."

Sony-branded Professional Disc for DATA media takes advantage of the shorter wavelength provided by a blue-violet laser and a high-performance lens to write up to four times more data on a disc than what is possible with red laser-based CD, DVD and magneto optical (MO) technologies.

Based on internal testing, Sony Professional Disc for DATA media has an estimated lifespan of over 50 years and can be rewritten more than 10,000 times. Sony is planning for at least 3 generations of Professional Disc for DATA technology. Planned for release in 2007, 3rd generation media are projected to reach a 100GB storage capacity using double-sided media. Sony Professional Disc for DATA media is now available for about $45 for both the write-once version....Sony profile

Editor:- April 26, 2004 - STORAGEsearch's annual feature which predicts the the 10 biggest storage companies in 2006 has been published today. Earlier editions of this article have been seen by hundreds of thousands of readers. Three companies have dropped out of the list from last year's article. the article

SAN DIEGO - April 26, 2004 - BakBone Software continues to lead the Linux backup and recovery software market in Japan. According to a new independent report published by Techno Systems Research, Japan's pre-eminent storage market research firm, BakBone led the market for Linux server backup products in 2003 with 79% market share. According to the report, the performance benefit associated with disk, coupled with falling prices, is making the option of implementing a disk-based backup strategy attractive to users. The report also illustrates BakBone's significant market leadership over competitors Veritas and Computer Associates. BakBone's 2003 new Linux-based license sales in Japan increased by 45% over 2002, while the Japanese Linux backup and recovery software market grew at 26%. ...BakBone Software profile

STORAGE DECISIONS, NY - April 26, 2004 - Spectra Logic's RAID eXchangeable TeraPack portable disk technology expands the conventional drive-and-tape model of removable backup to include high-capacity RAID. The RXT docking station matches a tape drive's form factor and stores data to SATA disks sealed in a rugged enclosure. With RXT technology, users can now combine the reliability and performance of RAID disk but with the scalability and portability of tape. Adding RXT technology to the automated T950 library requires only minutes and can be done by the customer. With this solution, RXT technology moves beyond just tape emulation and disk caching and provides true automated removable disk and tape, leveraging both technologies - integrating them in one box, from one vendor.

RXT RAID provides the same scalability, near-online and off-line storage capabilities of tape media but with much faster back-up and restore performance It offers a higher level of reliability and data integrity through the use of RAID technology and highly reliable and robust SATA disk drives. RXT media is available in several capacities, using twelve 2.5" SATA disks designed for mobile computing, or two 3.5" disks designed for server applications. These drives are mounted in a rugged, sealed enclosure and store nearly one terabyte of data.

List pricing for server-ready RXT configurations begin at $3,000. List pricing for automation-ready RXT drives for use with the T950 list for about $9,500. 800 GB capacity RXT media lists for around $2,000. An RXT-configured Spectra T950 library has approximately 600TBof capacity. All RXT technology configurations will be available this fall. ...Spectra Logic profile

Editor's comments:- with the exception of Sony every major tape library manufacturer has met the growing challenge of disk to disk backup with disk based backup system announcements in the last few years. My own view is that pure RAID systems will eventually win in this market because they offer lower cost, and simpler and more reliable construction than product architectures based on tape library roots. Spectra Logic's new product will extend the life of its own tape product line for a while but I don't think it represents the long term future. Removable media was a good solution before the internet but today offsite replication offers lower cost, better data integrity and greater convenience than removable tape or disk for all but the smallest installations.

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. - April 26, 2004 - Nexsan Technologies today announced a new high-performance version of its award-winning ATAboy2 storage array, leveraging an advanced RAID controller architecture to deliver best-in-class performance for the most data intensive applications. The new ATAboy2x incorporates a new RAID controller design, featuring dual independent 2-gigabit Fibre Channel host ports to deliver up to two-and-half times the performance of the previous ATAboy2 model. Nexsan's innovative two-controller design supercharges RAID performance to produce sustained RAID 5 reads over 600 Mbytes per second, making the ATAboy2x an ideal platform for HDTV, digital film and video, and other high-performance and high-capacity fixed content applications.

The highly-flexible Fibre Channel controller design supports fabric, point-to-point, or FC arbitrated loop modes and is backward compatible with 1 Gigabit Fibre Channel equipment, enabling the ATAboy2x to be seamlessly integrated into any SAN infrastructure. Additionally, each controller is equipped with two gigabit Ethernet management ports. ...Nexsan Technologies profile

MILPITAS, Calif.- April 26, 2004 - LSI Logic today announced delivery to OEMs of the industry's first fully-functional Serial Attached SCSI expander silicon, the LSISASx12. This 12-port expander provides storage environments with the functionality for connecting multiple targets and initiators through a switched device. The expander is ideal for use in data centers, servers and clustered storage subsystems. The LSI Logic SAS expander supports the full Serial Attached SCSI Protocol (SSP) to SAS hard disk drives, and full Serial ATA Tunneling Protocol (STP) and SATA protocol to SATA drives, as well as Serial Management Protocol (SMP). With each of the 12 ports capable of being configured to support direct-attach, subtractive, or table routing, the SASx12 provides customers with unprecedented system configuration flexibility. LSI Logic has proven both 3Gb/s SAS and 1.5Gb/s SATA interoperability with all major hard disk drive manufacturers using the SASx12 silicon. ...LSI Logic profile

EMC Technology Summit, Orlando, Florida - April, 26 2004 - Arkivio, Inc. today announced it has completed integration with EMC Centera content address storage and is introducing an advanced solution for managing file-based, fixed content and regulated data over its lifecycle. The ARKIVIO auto-stor software, now integrated with the EMC Centera API, offers data and storage discovery, classification, and management all in one comprehensive ILM solution for regulatory compliance. IT Administrators are able to identify and report on regulated files across EMC storage platforms, heterogeneous file systems, and DAS, NAS, and SAN volumes. Additionally, the ARKIVIO software organizes and classifies data according to its business value and then automates archival and migration to the EMC Centera based on administrator-defined retention policies - all without requiring deployment of agents on application servers or storage devices. ...Arkivio profile, ...EMC profile

IRVINE, Calif. - April 22, 2004 - Toshiba Corporation today confirmed its leadership in the fast growing market for 2.5" hard disk drives with the announcement of the MK1031GAS, the highest capacity drive yet achieved in this increasingly important form factor. The new HDD delivers 100GB of storage capacity and does so in a drive only 9.5mm high. The MK1031GAS is ideally suited for integration into portable PCs, especially those with advanced audio-visual capabilities that need the capacity to handle large video sources.

"We are delighted to announce the world's highest capacity 2.5-inch HDD," said Amy Dalphy, manager, HDD business unit, Toshiba SDD. "We made improvements to push the capacity, increase shock resistance and lower power consumption and noise. The resulting drive is perfect for integration in high spec portable PCs and other portable devices. Our strategy is to create the technologies and products that make a reality of ubiquitous computing and we are sure the MK1031GAS makes a valuable contribution to that." ...Toshiba profile

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - April 22, 2004 - Peak 10 announced today it has expanded its portfolio of managed services to further its ability to deliver more cost-effective alternatives to companies that internally support and deliver storage, monitoring, security hosting and disaster recovery solutions. The new services, which include managed VPN, remote monitoring and management, and exchange management, better position Peak 10 to meet the growing demand for managed services with small and mid market businesses as well as divisions within large enterprises. ...Peak 10 profile

Other news on this page

LinuxUser & Developers Expo Awards for Arkeia

Finisar to Acquire Infineon Fiber Optics Business

Why Buy More Servers? SSDs Give Superior ROI?

StorageTek Sheds 200 Jobs

Network Appliance and Agfa - iSCSI Alliance

M-Systems's Revenue Nearly Trebles

FalconStor's Revenue 43% Up On Last Year

Memtech Launches Booster Rocket Flash Drive

SimpleTech's Revenue 62% Up On Last Year

IBM qualifies FICON features in Cisco MDS 9000

Fibre Channel Tester Sales Above Expectations

Europe's #1 DIY Retailer Switches to McDATA

the Top 20 Most Popular Storage Categories

Sony Unveils Blue Laser Data Media

the top 10 biggest storage companies in 2006?

BakBone Ranks #1 in Linux Backup in Japan

Spectra Logic's Removable RAID Media

Nexsan's ATAboy2 Gets RAID Speedup

LSI Logic Delivers SAS Expander Silicon

Arkivio Completes Integration with EMC Centera

World's Highest Capacity 2.5" Hard Drive

Peak 10 Unveils New Managed Services

earlier news (archive)

the biggest storage companies in 2006
"Spellerbyte's ScryWare utility downloaded data from his crystal ball directly into Microsoft Excel."
Nibble:- Serial Attached SCSI Getting Closer to Reality

First announced in November 2001, the first functioning silicon for SAS was demonstrated in January 2004 by LSI Logic.

Host Bus Adapters and chipsets supporting this new standard start shipping to storage system designers in April/May 2004 from various companies. But we're not expecting to see any real products which users can get their hands on until much later - towards the end of 2004.

Why is the new standard necessary?

Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) provides a software compatible upgrade for directly attached SCSI storage which provides much higher performance than Ultra320 SCSI. So this is the least pain next step for SCSI users. Although, as with all new technology there is a learning curve.

The popularity of Internet SCSI (iSCSI) protocol products in the second half of 2003 proved that the base of server owners who are familiar with SCSI - will go a long way to adopt new connectivity options which leverage concepts they trust and are familiar with. Asimilar evolution took place with Ethernet, which started as a 3Mbps standard and still looks viable at 10Gbps. Computer users like stuff that is newer faster and cheaper, but we all know that "newer" also means "buggier" if we are the first users. Anything that reduces the amount of new code and risk along the way gets our vote.

SAS will meet the threat (albeit late in marketing terms) from Serial ATA (SATA), FireWire and USB 2. In fact SAS uses the same electrical interface and cables as SATA. That's good news if you're worried about stocking even more types of cables. It also simplifies the rollout of new test equipment - because products designed for SATA can be adapted to SAS more simply (in theory by firmware upgrades.)

20+ years ago, when SCSI started, it suited the clock speeds and cable transmission driving capabilities of the TTL compatible logic which was the standard at the time. SCSI was also easy to connect using standard low technology ribbon cable. Since then, most of the enhancements in the SCSI standard have focused on getting it to work faster, using higher clock speeds, a wider data bus, lower logic levels and differential signals.

Serial Attached SCSI is the first real attempt in SCSI history to lower cost and simplify the physical connection. The new high speed serial SCSI cables should be cheaper than the lower performance parallel SCSI ones which they replace. And you won't have to worry any more about those termination nightmares. It's simpler in a serial system to automatically monitor signal quality and dyamically adjust to the cable and connector transmission characteristics.
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