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storage news - August 2004 (week 4)

storage history
an SSD view of semiconductor memory boom-bust
popular articles
Alpha Processors Are Toast... So is it - Out of the Frying Pan into the Sun Fire?
SSDs could prolong the life of the last Alpha Processors

SSD ad - click for more info

New Excuses for RAID Vendors to Miss Revenue Forecasts
It was too late for the flooding this August in Florida (USA) and Cornwall (UK) to be blamed on lower than expected disk storage array sales at HP, but sales and marketing people are ingenious at stretching the verité.

To support those in need of better excuses we've invented some more plausible reasons why RAID / NAS / SAN disk storage vendors may find their forecasts for increasing revenue don't actually happen this year even if the economy continues growing and the demand for storage continues growing.

If you're working in sales and looking for a good excuse to miss your target, or if you're managing a storage budget and looking for a good reason to cap it, these ideas might come in useful.

New RAID algorithms mean that less storage is wasted.

In a recent article on RAIDn technology it was shown that "A 9 disk RAIDn system can be configured to offer 50% more disk drive capacity than a RAID 5 and better data survivability - upto 3 drive failures without data loss."

It doesn't have to be RAIDn. There are a lot of new algorithms around. But the bottom line - is that less of the disks in your storage arrays need to be wasted to provide data protection than in the past. As these new RAIDxyz systems get deployed in the real world - that's going to have a big impact on hardware revenue for those selling boxes of disks with a fancy interface.

Software tools reduce the amount of email that is stored.

A recent news story we ran from Orchestria said "Between a third and a half of all electronic communications kept in company storage devices are irrelevant to the business and don't need to be there". They claim their automated tools can help organizations reduce upto half their email storage whilst still sticking to regulatory standards and keeping what they need to run their business. This is different to heirarchical storage management systems which simply remove the problem of infrequently used data to somewhere else.

Better network storage admin means storage is better utilised.

As storage administrators become better educated in the tricks of their trade, and as a bigger proportion of the storage they manage is networked - and as storage virtualisation trickles down to medium sized companies - there are going to be less islands of isolated underused storage hanging around. That means less of a rush to buy new disk storage every time something new happens in the company.

According to a survey of 1,000 major IT sites carried out by Peripheral Concepts and published in August 2004 - "HSM is only used by a small percentage of the population today, but its utilization will more than double within the next two years." That mostly means shifting data off disk storage and onto tape and optical media. But its also means compressing infrequently used data too.

Before you ask - what about disk to disk backup?

Isn't that going to increase demand for RAID systems. Yes - but that's already been built into the overall RAID market growth forecasts along with everything else.

Adding it all up?

I think it's realistic to expect that the combination of these factors could reduce the need for new raw disk storage capacity by 25% or more. It will be a permanent change - and eventually it will be built into everyone's new plans. But we're starting to see the creep of these new paradigms hitting the market this year - at a time when most people's plans are based on more of the same old stuff they had before.

The result could be a dent in revenue across the whole RAID related storage market. Or maybe it will be blamed on not advertising in STORAGEsearch?

SSD ad - click for more info
Texas Memory Systems Signs Up VARs in Europe

Houston, Texas - August 31, 2004 - Texas Memory Systems, Inc. announced its expansion across Europe with five new resale partnerships.

The companies joining Texas Memory Systems' resale network are the Reactive Group, Business Systems International (BSI), and Computerworld in the United Kingdom; eSeSIX Computer of Germany; TeraSystem of Italy and Wired Informaticia e Sistemas of Portugal. Texas Memory Systems has increased its presence in Europe to meet growing demand for high performance solid state storage. ...Texas Memory Systems profile, Solid state disks

MaXXan Certifies Emulex HBAs

SAN JOSE, Calif. - August 31, 2004 - MaXXan Systems, Inc. announced today that it has certified Emulex's entire LightPulse family of Fibre Channel PCI and PCI-X host bus adapters.

Emulex HBAs qualified for use with MaXXan's MXV family of intelligent SAN switches include the recently released enterprise-class LP10000, midrange LP1050 and dual-channel LP10000DC in Red Hat Linux and Windows 2000 operating environments.

MaXXan's intelligent switches eliminate the need to deploy storage applications (intelligence) into host servers or disk array controllers. MaXXan's SANe architecture design reduces capital costs and management expenses by centralizing the deployment and management of key storage applications such as virtualization, data replication, snapshot, mirroring, NAS and virtual tape in a heterogeneous IT environment. Utilizing a non-stop computing design with redundant components and 99.999 percent uptime availability. ...Emulex profile, ...MaXXan profile, Fibre channel switches

VERITAS to Acquire KVS

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - August 31, 2004 - VERITAS Software Corporation today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire KVault Software Limited in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately US$225 million.

With the addition of KVS, VERITAS will have the ability to offer customers industry-leading software to store, manage, backup and archive corporate e-mail and data, enabling organizations to quickly address regulatory compliance while driving down storage management costs.

KVS is the industry's leading provider of e-mail archiving software. With more than 1.7 million seats, privately-held KVS is the only provider listed as a leader in analyst firm Gartner's e-mail archiving Magic Quadrant². Through the acquisition of KVS, VERITAS will extend its leadership position in the storage software market by offering industry leading products for storage, management, backup and archiving of all types of corporate information. Gartner projects e-mail archiving to grow at a 57% compound growth rate through 2007. ...KVS profile, ...VERITAS profile, Acquired, dead & merged companies

Editor's comments:- I was just thinking it's been awhile since we had any major storage acquisition news when this came in. KVS did an article for us last year - Email Recovery? - Don't rely on your backup!

Top 10 Storage Companies in August

Editor:- August 31, 2004 - the Top 10 Storage Companies in August is published today on our Market Research page.

There was one new entry - Promise Technology which shot up 50 places to reach #4.

Although August is regarded as a quiet month by many storage marketers, STORAGEsearch's readership grew 25% compared to August last year. As the 6th anniversary of STORAGEsearch will be celebrated next week - it's gratifying to know that we're still gaining readers despite the hundreds of other storage publications which have appeared since we started.

STORAGEsearch tracks the top 1,000 storage companies, and the ranking is based on reader pageviews. It's a good way to track what's catching the eye of hundreds of thousands of storage readers. ...see research page

LSI Logic to Demo First SATA II Controller

MILPITAS, Calif. - August 31, 2004 - LSI Logic Corporation will demonstrate the industry's first IOP-based SATA II RAID storage adapter, the MegaRAID SATA 300-8X, inside two 3U, 16-bay Advanced Industrial Computer storage server + expansion chassis at the Intel Developers Forum Fall held next week in San Francisco.

From booth #817, LSI Logic will feature the first demonstration in the industry of a SATA II RAID adapter with Port Multiplier support, which allows users to connect up to 32 SATA hard drives using eight, 1-to-4 Port Multipliers; driving down the cost per port. The Port Multiplier utilizes the full bandwidth of the host connection upto 3Gb/sec. ...LSI Logic profile, RAID controllers, Serial ATA, ICs

Sony's Free AIT Mounting Kit for HP Servers

SAN JOSE, Calif - August 31, 2004 - Sony has simplified AIT drive installation within HP ProLiant servers by including custom mounting accessories with Sony branded internal AIT drive packages.

Designed specifically for ProLiant servers, the mounting kits ease the integration of internal AIT drives (either SCSI or ATAPI/IDE-based) for ProLiant owners and integrators. The kits include both rails and brackets for a seamless fit within the HP servers.

"By bundling rail kits with Sony AIT drives, we're making it easy for system resellers to add the large capacity, compact size and WORM functionality of AIT to ProLiant servers," said Michael Nixon, senior manager for the Business Solutions and Systems Division of Sony Electronics.

Ranging from 35GB native storage capacity of AIT-1 to 100GB native capacity of AIT-3, and up to 200GB with next-generation AIT-4, the compact 8-mm AIT format provides a dependable backup solution for a wide range of ProLiant users within small-to-medium-business or enterprise department environments. And because AIT media is removable, businesses can easily store their archives offsite to safeguard against campus disasters.

Tailored user guides and procedure manuals accompany the custom mounting kits, outlining detailed installation requirements, as well as the necessary steps to create a disaster recovery tape for ProLiant servers. The mounting accessories are shipping as a standard option, meaning drive price is not affected. ...Sony profile, Tape drives

Engenio's Wichita Facility Celebrates 30 Years

MILPITAS, CA - August 30, 2004 - Engenio Information Technologies, Inc. announced today that its Wichita manufacturing and product development facility celebrates 30 years of product development, manufacturing and service.

The plant officially opened its doors on September 3, 1974. The plant was originally part of the Accounting Computer Division of NCR Corporation. The first products manufactured were a minicomputer and an accounting computer that utilized the minicomputer for its intelligence. In addition, the company developed software that managed the accounting computer, which was used for general computing by small businesses and banking institutions.

Today, the Wichita facility develops and manufactures modular enterprise storage platforms and storage management software for medium-to-large organizations. Throughout its 30 years the plant has manufactured a variety of products including minicomputers, accounting computers, printers, disk controllers, file servers, LAN adapters, and RAID systems. It has also developed complex software, including the operating systems for minicomputer systems, and storage management software.

Since 1974, the company's engineers have been granted over 200 patents. These patents cover key areas of logic and mechanical design, as well as critical software programs, which are used in the storage products produced by Engenio. Of the plant's original 400 employees, over 60 are still working for the company.

"Our company name may be new but our history for 30 years includes over 200,000 installed storage devices across the globe" said Ron Engelbrecht, Engenio Vice President Worldwide Engineering and Operations. ...Engenio profile, RAID systems

Editor's comments:- this looks like a belated branding program for Engenio. When the new name was announced in May I cast doubt on the effective execution of their rebranding which looked like a botched job done on the cheap which didn't do justice to the distinguished history of this business unit. Engenio's IPO was postponed in July. Good technical companies often suffer from a lack of good marketers.

8Gbps Fibre Channel Comes out of the Box

San Francisco, CA - August 30, 2004 - The FCIA today announced that its members have ratified the extension of the Fibre Channel roadmap to extend 8Gbs Fibre Channel from an "inside the box" storage device interconnect into switched SAN fabrics.

When 8GFC products become available, expected to be in the 2007-2008 time frame, customers will be able to preserve their 2GFC and 4GFC infrastructure investments and avoid a costly 'fork lift' replacement. The "auto-negotiation" feature of Fibre Channel enables 8GFC products to automatically sense and adapt to the data rate capability of connected lower speed Fibre Channel products without user intervention. For example, when attaching to a 4GFC product, an 8GFC product will automatically run at 4GFC. 4GFC products will be introduced this year. ...FCIA profile, Fibre-channel adapters, Industry trade associations

Spectra Logic Federal Launched

BOULDER, Colo. - August 30, 2004 - Spectra Logic's government program, founded two years ago, represents one quarter of the company's North American revenue.

With a 225% increase in agency installations since the program began, Spectra Logic is now dedicating a division named Spectra Logic Federal to further ensure the best data storage products and services for government users.

"Our five-year partnership with Spectra Logic as a Federal VAR has worked well because our business focus and objectives are comparable," said David McLaughlin, vice president of sales for FCN Technologies, a provider of networking services and enterprise application development consultation and products to the Federal Government. "Spectra Logic's dedicated government program enables FCN to build more tools for success as a Spectra Logic reseller focused on the government space."

Spectra Logic's products and services address federal IT manager and CIO concerns such as limited data center space, secure facility restrictions and data security and retention regulations. Spectra Logic is a certified small business, GSA contract holder (GS-35F-0563K), geared to accommodate federal customer requirements.

Spectra Logic has products installed in more than 230 agencies within 25 major Federal departments nationwide. Some larger customers include Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Health & Human Services, Department of Energy and NASA. ...Spectra Logic profile, Military Storage, tape libraries

Optical Storage Symposium 2004 Preview

August 26, 2004 - At OSTA's third annual Optical Storage Symposium on October 18-19, 2004, at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, California, there will be two sessions for commercial applications for optical technology.

They are, Why Optical Makes Sense for Archive and How Optical Meets Archive and Compliance Requirements Standards. The symposium will be co-located with the Consumer Electronics Associations Industry Forum to enable attendees of both events to network with more professionals and participate in more sessions of interest.

In these sessions we will discuss what archival issues are better solved with optical technology. We will explore technologies that can be used for archive applications, and examine why optical is often better suited to meet the needs of current archive applications with its low total cost of ownership, archive longevity, data migration and other benefits. We will also discuss a number of governmental digital storage regulations and requirements, and examine why optical is the gold standard for long-term, archive storage. ...Optical Storage Symposium, ...OSTA, Storage Media, Events, Industry trade associations

FilesX is Microsoft Gold Certified Partner

Southborough, MA - August 25, 2004 - FilesX, Inc. today announced that it is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner for Software Solutions.

In addition, the FilesX Xchange Restore software module has received the Microsoft "Designed for Windows" Logo designation, which verifies that Xchange Restore is a data backup and recovery solution that integrates with Microsoft Exchange. Xchange Restore is a patented product that enables the granular data restoration - including individual email messages, mailboxes, folders, attachments, calendar entries and tasks - directly to a production Exchange environment or PST file. ...FilesX profile

SBE's Revenue Grows 81% Year Over Year

San Ramon, California - August 25, 2004 - SBE, Inc. today reported results for the three-month and nine-month periods ended July 31, 2004.

Net sales for the third quarter of 2004 were $2.9 million, compared with $1.6 million for the third quarter ended July 31, 2003. Net income for the third quarter of 2004 was $79,000. Net sales for the nine months ended July 31, 2004 were $8.8 million, compared with $5.2 million for the same period last year. Net income was $660,000 for the nine months ended July 31, 2004.

William B. Heye, Jr., president and CEO, SBE said "We achieved important milestones with our new product initiatives during the quarter. I am pleased to report that we installed our Dual Port Gigabit Ethernet TCP/IP Offload Engine product in select BETA customer sites and test results indicate that the TOE performance exceeds expectations. The TOE has been installed in conjunction with PyX Technologies' iSCSI software for storage networking applications as well as independently in high-traffic server applications. This BETA testing will continue as we approach production status in the coming quarter." ...SBE profile, iSCSI

StorCase Offers USB Disk-to-Disk Backup

Fountain Valley, Calif. - August 24, 2004 - StorCase Technology today announced it is shipping two new products dedicated to disk-to-disk backup applications.

Industry-proven StorCase Data Express DE50 and DE110 Parallel ATA removable drive enclosures now support USB 2.0 host connections and include Dantz's Retrospect backup software. ...StorCase profile,USB storage , Disk to disk backup

Sony's Memory Stick Has 2GB Capacity

SAN DIEGO - August 24, 2004 - Sony Electronics is increasing the capacity and speed of its Memory Stick PRO flash media.

The updated Memory Stick PRO (High Speed) media features capacities of up to 2GB in the standard-size media and 1GB in the Memory Stick PRO Duo media size and are designed to support both read and write speeds of up to 10MB/s. Among the fastest in the flash media industry, this higher speed will be especially beneficial for transferring data-intensive images, such as high-resolution digital photos, to and from PCs and other devices that may incorporate a high-speed parallel data transfer interface in the future.
"By year's end at least one-third of American households will be able to take digital photos," said Chris Chute, senior analyst with IDC. "As the trend for higher-megapixel cameras continues to increase, Sony and other manufacturers who offer large capacity, high-speed memory cards will be at the forefront of the flash memory market." storage news image - Sony
The high-performance media also offers greater reliability in extreme temperatures with an improved operating temperature range of -13°F to 185°F. Whether your Memory Stick PRO media is in your backpack on the ski slopes or in the trunk of your car on a hot summer day, you can trust your media will perform as expected. Sony will offer this expanded reliability on all Memory Stick PRO media beginning this fall. The 2GB Memory Stick PRO (High Speed) will be available in November and will cost about $700. ...Sony profile, Flash

Fujitsu Siemens Selects LSI Logic Software Raid

MILPITAS, Calif. - August 24, 2004 - LSI Logic Corporation announces that Fujitsu Siemens Computers has selected the LSI Logic Embedded Serial ATA Software RAID for FSC's next-generation Intel-based PRIMERGY S2 SATA servers for RAID 0 and 1.

As a result, FSC now will use the complete spectrum of LSI Logic MegaRAID products, from low-end to high-end RAID technologies.

"LSI Logic's Embedded SATA Software RAID technology fuels our SATA-based servers with data striping for higher performance (RAID 0), data mirroring for data security (RAID 1) and fault tolerance," said Klaus Kratzer, vice president, PRIMERGY servers at Fujitsu Siemens Computers. "This technology allows us to meet the demands of our customers seeking entry-level reliable, high-performing and cost-sensitive storage applications."

The LSI Logic Embedded RAID Software uses the Intel 6300ESB from the Intel E7210 family, which enables SATA drives by integrating a two-port SATA controller that facilitates high-speed data transfers at up to 150 MB/s for each of the two ports. SATA supports servers conducting ERP solutions, high-speed file sharing and other data intensive applications. ...LSI Logic profile, RAID controllers, Serial ATA

Optware Demos Movies on Holographic Media

YOKOHAMA, Japan - August 23, 2004 - Optware Corp announced today that it had achieved successfully world's first recording and play back of digital movies on a holographic recording disc with a reflective layer using Optware's revolutionary Collinear Holography.

This is a major milestone for commercializing holographic data storage system. The recorded movies were played back in a series of meetings in July with Optware's six existing investors as well as eight enterprises both domestic and overseas including leading manufacturers of electronic and electric products for consumer, business and industrial use. Company names are not disclosed.

Optware's demonstration is an epoch-making event in a sense that it proved the successful integration of optical disc technology and holographic recording technology.

Holographic recording technology records data on discs in the form of laser interference fringes, enabling existing discs the same size as today's DVDs to store as much as one terabyte of data (200 times the capacity of a single layer DVD), with a transfer speed of one gigabyte per second (40 times the speed of DVD). This approach is rapidly gaining attention as a high-capacity, high-speed data storage technology for the age of broadband. ...Optware profile, Storage Media

Cybernetics iSCSI Tape Certified with CA Backup

Yorktown, Virginia - August 23, 2004 - Cybernetics announced today that its innovative new iSCSI backup solutions have been certified compatible with the award-winning BrightStor ARCserve Backup software from Computer Associates International, Inc.

Cybernetics' iTape products are the first iSCSI tape drives to achieve device driver certification for CA's BrightStor ARCserve Backup r11. iSAN is Cybernetics' full line of iSCSI backup solutions with Ethernet network connectivity. Included in the line are iTape drive and library models, available in AIT, LTO, SAIT and SDLT, as well as D2D2T virtual tape drive and library models including HSTC and V-Lib solutions. iSAN delivers all the components necessary to build an IP SAN from the ground up, using the existing Ethernet network to centralize tape storage across a LAN, WAN, or MAN. iSAN customers realize all the benefits of a traditional block-level Fibre Channel SAN, without the cost or complexity of Fibre Channel. ...Cybernetics profile, iSCSI, Tape drives

SimpleTech Announces World's Thinnest SSDs

SANTA ANA, Calif. - August 23, 2004 - SimpleTech, Inc. today announced the immediate availability of Zeus Ultra DMA Solid State Drives, the world's thinnest, fastest solid state drive.

Ideal for applications requiring high reliability and high tolerance to shock, vibration, altitude, humidity and temperature, the drives utilize SimpleTech's patented stacking technology to measure just 9.5 mm thick and have sustained read/write rates of up to 60 MB/sec. Zeus SSDs are available in standard 2.5- and 3.5-inch form factors, as well as custom form factors, and have capacities ranging from 2 to 128 gigabytes.

SSD ad - click for more info

Zeus SSDs are fully ATA-5 compliant and conform to the same mounting requirements as traditional hard disk drives, making Zeus SSDs drop-in replacements for any standard IDE/ATA-compliant hard disk drive. SimpleTech's Zeus product line is capable of sustained operation in extreme environmental conditions and complies with military standards, such as MIL-STD-810F. The product's patent-pending design combines low power consumption with the highest storage density (GB per cubic centimeter) available in a SSD solution.

Zeus SSDs offer advanced security features, including secure erase and destructive purge. The security erase has two options to sanitize the media. The first minimizes the time taken to complete the operation, and the second minimizes the power consumed during the operation. SimpleTech's patent-pending destructive purge option removes the drive's data and then destroys the media, making the SSD unusable and data retrieval impossible. Additionally, the destruction is monitored and confirmed. These security features comply with military standards, including AFSSI 5020, AR 380-19, NAVSO P-5239-26, NISPOM DoD 5220.22-M, and NSA 130-2.

Zeus SSDs are ideal for a variety of applications. Military applications include mission data recorders, black boxes, navigation systems and field computers. Telecommunications applications include switches, routers and gateways. Industrial computing applications include control systems, embedded systems, test equipment, point-of-sale systems, transaction servers, and factory automation. ...SimpleTech profile, ...Solid state disks, Military Storage

SSDs Can Protect Alpha Users from Too Much Sun

Editor:- August 23, 2004 - a new article published today on STORAGEsearch - Out of the Alpha Frying Pan into the Sun Fire? - discusses the solid state disk alternative for HP's Alpha processor server customers - who can say "No thanks" to Sun's HP Away Program.

The strategy outlined in this article can boost their server performance now - and extend the life of their servers for many years while they wait for a safer migration alternative. the article, ...Solid state disks

Vitesse SFP Supports 4Gbps Fibre Channel

CAMARILLO, Calif. - August 20, 2004 - Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation today announced the availability of the industry's first chipset specifically designed for next-generation, multirate Fibre Channel and Gigabit Ethernet SFP modules.

This SFP chipset sets a new standard in functionality and performance by being the first solution commercially available with rate selection capabilities for 1 Gbps, 2 Gbps, and 4 Gbps. This two-chip solution reduces module chip count when compared with current market solutions and provides enhanced SFP/SFF-8472 compliant digital diagnostic capabilities that are critical for functionality and design flexibility. The chipset includes the VSC7964, a monolithic Laser Driver and Post Amplifier, and the VSC7977, a bandwidth selectable Transimpedance Amplifier.

Although the 8G Fibre Channel standard will not be completed until late 2005 or early 2006, indications are that the SFP form factor will be the module of choice. The power requirement and cost target will be similar to the 4G solution. Vitesse has already measured the VSC7964 performance at 8.5G. Link performance at 850 nm was verified over 180 meters of 50 µm multimode fiber that was compliant to the FC-PI-2 standard. This is a major step in confirming feasibility for the SFP form factor to support higher data rates. ...Vitesse profile, ICs, Fibre-channel adapters, GBICs, SFPs and XFPs

US Army Implements CYA HOTBackup

Trumbull, Conn. - August 19, 2004 - CYA Technologies, Inc. today announced that the U.S. Army Accessions Command (USAAC) has implemented CYA HOTBackup in support of their Documentum systems.

The United States Army Accessions Command recruits and transforms volunteers into soldiers. It required a robust application to backup data without inhibiting user activity for two Documentum-based applications. In addition, USAAC required a solution that would maintain data integrity of information stored within Documentum and ensure the security of the numerous human resource records stored within Documentum.

Due to the stringent policies concerning disaster recovery and allowable downtime, the USAAC implemented CYA HOTBackup at two key sites of operation.

"CYA HOTBackup allows us to backup the metadata, content and workflow states and maintain the integrity while our customers were accessing their applications," said Kathy Bishop, IT Specialist, USAAC. CYA HOTBackup, enables the USAAC to perform intelligent back ups of critical information without disrupting the activity of their Counselors and Recruiters. ...CYA Technologies profile, Backup Software, Military Storage

McDATA and QLogic Reduce SAN Babble

last week's news (archive)
BROOMFIELD, Colo., and ALISO VIEJO, Calif. - August 19, 2004 - McDATA Corporation and QLogic Corporation today announced a comprehensive SAN initiative to increase enablement for OEMs, channel partners and SAN administrators that are building global, multi-vendor blade server environments.

Powerful functions such as interoperability from core-to-edge, virtual routing, open exchange of management data, zoning, security and partitioning are all part of the SAN initiative. Upon completion, seamless interoperability in native McDATA mode will be available across McDATA's full product suite, including Eclipse, Sphereon and Intrepid-brand switches, and SANbox brand switches from QLogic. QLogic will be the first switch vendor to interoperate with McDATA products in native mode. Based on full compliance with FC-SW standards, customers can now cost-effectively build core-to-edge global storage networks while benefiting from up-to-date hardware and software features and functionality. ...McDATA profile, ...QLogic profile, Fibre channel switches, Fibre-channel adapters

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