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storage news - 2005, April week 1

Megabyte's selection of storage news
Megabyte loves reading news.
... top 100 SSD articles
Can you trust SSD market data?
Adaptive R/W and DSP in flash SSD IP
the Silo classification for all enterprise SSDs
Symmetries and consequences in SSD design
Efficiency - making the same SSD - with less flash
design factors which shape flash SSD performance
Clarifying SSD Pricing - where does all the money go?
...
Network Appliance Acquires Alacritus

Sunnyvale, CA - April 7, 2005 - Network Appliance, Inc. today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Alacritus for approximately $11 million in an all-cash transaction.

Alacritus is best known for its Virtual Tape Library software product, which makes disks emulate tape to provide high performance for large-scale backup environments without disrupting established tape-backup workflow and processes. ...Alacritus Software profile, ...Network Appliance profile, Acquired, dead & merged companies


Recover My Files Gets US Launch

NSW, Australia - April 7, 2005 - GetData's RecoverMyFiles, already in retail markets in Europea and Japan, and used by more than 40,000 customers worldwide, goes into around 1,000 retail stores across America next week including CompUSA, Fry's Electronics and Micro Center.

It recovers more than 100 different software file types. It is the first Australian software product to get mass market distribution in the highly competitive US home and business retail market with a RRP of $69.95.

RecoverMyFiles is compatible with Windows XP and works with FAT 12, FAT 16, FAT 32 and NTFS file-systems. It has specific support for more than 100 file types including deleted Zip, PDF, AutoCAD, Photoshop and tax files. The software was developed by Henley, a former Federal forensic investigator, and John Hunter, a former State Police forensic investigator, who have until recently been involved in investigations of collapsed international corporations, together with physicist Dr. Brett Hunter, over the past two years.

"It was a natural progression" says John Hunter. "Computer forensics was about finding the I.T. evidence that no-one knew was there. We always believed our data recovery techniques had commercial possibilities. As long as a deleted file hasn't been overwritten it can be recovered. We have developed a unique approach that means our data recovery engine can find deleted files that conventional programs would never know existed". ...GetData profile, Data Recovery, Backup software


Mellanox Launches 10Gb/s Server I/O Module

IDF, TOKYO, JAPAN - April 7, 2005 - Mellanox Technologies Ltd today launched the world's first dual-port 10Gb/s Server I/O Module (SIOM) Adapter.

Based on high performance PCI Express interconnect technology, Mellanox's SIOM supports closed-chassis, hot-plug, I/O-adapter removal and insertion. This capability expands the flexibility and serviceability of InfiniBand server clusters. In addition, SIOM provides dedicated cooling, single-bulk power supply, and a robust form factor - all contributing to highly reliable InfiniBand fabrics for server-to-server and server-to-storage applications. ...Mellanox profile, InfiniBand


IBM Switches to a Reseller Strategy for NAS

Armonk, NY and Sunnyvale, CA - April 6, 2005 - IBM and Network Appliance today announced a strategic storage relationship. A new OEM agreement will enable IBM to sell IBM branded solutions based on Network Appliance NAS and iSCSI/IP SAN solutions, including NearStore and the NetApp V-Series Systems, as well as associated software offerings. Also NetApp will position IBM as its preferred supplier of tape systems in its solutions for NetApp customers. ...IBM profile, ...Network Appliance profile

Editor's comments:-
the underlying software in NAS systems is becoming more commodity-like due to maturing standards and the involvement of Microsoft. So IBM's switch to a reseller strategy for iSCSI and NAS is a sound strategic move. This market will get too competitive for most manufacturers to stay in the race and make money.

I expect the NAS market will go through two phases of ever steeper price cuts in the medium term. In the first phase, it will resemble the PC market where a lot of the business will go to the highest volume, lowest cost manufacturers. In the second phase, the opportunities for NAS inside the home will see US NAS manufacturers facing increasing price pressure from Asian based manufacturers. Although it's not inevitable that in five years the NAS market will end up like the digital camera and tv market - there's a high probability that most US storage systems manufacturers will have to find other segments in which to do business.


DiskOnKey will Take Your Email with You

SUNNYVALE, Calif - April 6, 2005 - M-Systems today announced it will offer its OEM customers the ability to bundle the award-winning Migo software applications on their different product lines.

Targeted for personal home use, the consumer can simply plug a DiskOnKey device supporting the Migo software into their Windows-based computer to instantly create a virtual copy of their PC. When they plug the device into another host computer, such as at a cyber cafe, their Outlook e-mail, data files, Internet Explorer favorites and desktop wallpaper will appear on the new host machine. When the user is done using the host computer, no trace of their information is left behind and all changes will be automatically synchronized on the user's main PC when they return. Migo-equipped DiskOnKey devices are expected to be available later this year. ...M-Systems profile, USB storage, Flash Memory


Maximum Throughput Supports Discreet

Montréal, Québec - April 6, 2005 - Maximum Throughput Inc. announced today the immediate availability of Xstoner software for Linux-based systems from Discreet.

Aimed at the post-production and broadcast markets, Xstoner is a client-server utility that connects PCs and Macs with IRIX based, and now Linux based, Discreet advanced systems offerings. Xstoner, combined with Max- T's Sledgehammer NAS makes centrally captured SD, HD, and film resolution material readily available to operators of both flint and smoke Linux based systems. Xstoner server pricing starts at $3,000 per server. Xstoner client software prices start at $500. ...Maximum Throughput profile


FalconStor Supports Latest SUSE LINUX

MELVILLE, N.Y. - April 6, 2005 - FalconStor Software, Inc. announced today that the company's feature-rich storage solutions will support Novell's SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9.

The advanced features and other enhancements to SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9 enable both Novell and FalconStor to deliver a Fibre Channel or IP-based storage solution for storage architectures spanning a wide range of industries including financial services, energy exploration, education, government, legal, manufacturing, healthcare, and telecommunications. SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9 is the first enterprise-class server to support the Linux 2.6 kernel. ...FalconStor profile


Infineon Samples New Notebook RAM

Munich, Germany - April 6, 2005 - Infineon Technologies AG is sampling new memory products for notebook computer and graphics applications.

Infineon's new 2GB DDR2 dual-die based SO-DIMMs for high-end notebooks use less height and decrease working power consumption by 30%. Infineon has also extended its DDR2 Micro-DIMM offering with 1GB modules which are physically smaller and use only half the power of current sub-notebook memories. Infineon's new 512Mbit GDDR3 (Graphic Double Data Rate 3) graphics DRAM has a clock frequency of 800MHz, enabling data bandwidths of up to 51.2Gbit/s per memory. ...Infineon profile, RAM


SteelEye Launches New version of LifeKeeper

Palo Alto, CA - April 5, 2005 - SteelEye Technology Inc. today announced the immediate availability of LifeKeeper for Linux version 5, adding support for IBM POWER processor platforms, support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, integrated Software RAID and the introduction of LifeKeeper Extender.

With integrated Software RAID protection, environments which take advantage of the Linux Multiple Device driver to implement Software RAID - either between disks within a single server, across a LAN or across a SAN - can now place the data devices under LifeKeeper protection. ...SteelEye profile


Drives Bought on eBay Include Police Records

Editor:- April 5, 2005 - Pointsec published a news story today on hard disk security.

This week's "Spiegel" - one of Germany's leading weekly papers has revealed that a computer hard drive with confidential data from the Brandenburg police in Germany has been auctioned over eBay for a mere 20 Euros.

The used hard drive with 20GB capacity contained, according to Spiegel, internal alarm plans on how the Police should handle "specific incidences" such as hostage or kidnapping situations, gave contact names of who to contact in the crisis management group as well as tactical orders and analysis of political security situations. Such information is declared strictly confidential and is available only to top level people of the intelligent services, the head of police, and the executive group around the Minister of Interior Schönbohm. After one student from the city of Potsdam bought it for 20 Euros, without knowing about the sensitive content, Minister Jörg Schönbohm immediately initiated an investigation, to find out how the information got sold over eBay and whether the blame was down to a third party or leaked as part of a criminal act.

This oversight by the Brandenburg Police is not the first time a hard drive sold over eBay has triggered a security breach and publicly exposed an organisation. Last summer, Pointsec who are mobile security specialists, conducted research to find out how many hard drives they could buy over eBay containing sensitive company information to prove the point that very few companies thoroughly wipe clean or re-format their discs before disposing of them. They were surprised that the first one they bought over eBay for as little as eight euros contained the access & log-in codes to a major financial services group.

Pointsec found that they were able to read 7 out of 10 hard-drives bought over the Internet at auctions such as eBay, for less than the cost of a McDonald's meal, all of which had "supposedly" been "wiped-clean" or "re-formatted".

In Sweden the first laptop Pointsec purchased at auction, contained sensitive information from a large food manufacturer. When the hard disc was analysed they found 4 Microsoft Access databases containing company and customer related information, 15 Microsoft PowerPoint presentations containing highly sensitive company information and 1,512 JPG pictures of both a company and private nature. ...Pointsec profile

See also:- Tabernus sells military standard disk sanitizer software and Intelligent Computer Solutions sells its WipeMASSter equipment for erasing batches of disks.



Olixir Launches Low Cost MIL Drives at FOSE

WASHINGTON - April 5, 2004 - Olixir Technologies, today announced at FOSE 2005 a significant improvement to the shock and vibration protection technology incorporated into its popular Mobile DataVault 2LX External Hard Drive.

The Mobile DataVault 2LX exceeds MIL-STD-810F with the ability to survive multiple 7 foot drops onto concrete without data loss or damage to the drive. The drive has also been tested to survive key operating vibration requirements that are defined in MIL-STD-810F.

The compact Mobile DataVault 2LX, weighs only 12 ounces, is available in capacities of 20 GB ($286) to 100 GB ($651) and can absorb shocks of well over 10,000 Gs and significant vibration. Compatible with USB 2.0, Firewire, Serial ATA and the 5.25-inch Docking Bay, the Mobile DataVault 2LX incorporates an 8 MB cache enabling users to transfer up to 1 GB of data in under 40 seconds.

"While many of our users are taking advantage of the capability of our drives to be moved and stored while non-operational, we also have government agencies that leveraged the shock absorption properties of the DataVault 2LX in mobile applications including video surveillance in law enforcement vehicles." said Darshan Shah, President of Olixir Technologies. ...Olixir Technologies profile, Storage Events, Military Storage


Current HDD Technology is a Dead End

TOKYO - April 4, 2005 - Hitachi Global Storage Technologies is today announcing new advancements that will set the stage for ultra-high capacities such as a one terabyte 3.5-inch hard drive.

To achieve this, Hitachi has demonstrated the industry's highest data density at 230 gigabits per square inch on perpendicular recording. Hitachi believes this density, which is double today's highest longitudinal recording densities, will be implemented in commercial hard drive products in 2007. When fully realized over the next 5-7 years, perpendicular recording could enable a 10-fold increase in data densities heading towards a 60GB one-inch drive.

Perpendicular recording has its roots in the late 19th century work of Danish scientist Valdemar Poulsen, who is generally considered the first person to magnetically record sound using perpendicular recording. The technology gets its name from the vertical alignment of data bits on the plane of the disk, which takes less room in contrast to the horizontal orientation of today's longitudinal recording technology. To be accurately recorded and read, the more closely-packed perpendicular bits also require a closer association between the read/write head and the recording media. Hitachi achieved the 230 Gb/in2 density by manipulating the head and media so that the distance between them is a mere 10 nanometers or 1/10,000th of a human hair.

While the hard drive industry has been using longitudinal recording successfully for five decades, it is now within two product generations of reaching its practical limit. ...Hitachi profile


Seagate Expands Digital Video Recorders

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - April 4, 2005 - Seagate today exhibited its new class of add-on DVR storage devices designed to plug easily into properly equipped digital video recorders and set-top boxes.

At the National Show in San Francisco, Seagate demonstrated its External DVR Hard Drive plugged into the Scientific-Atlanta Explorer 8300 Series DVR. The drive features up to 400GB of additional television storage in a single plug-and-play box - the highest capacity in the industry - and offers 1394, USB, or the new high-performance eSATA interface.

Seagate offers its External DVR Hard Drive to cable service operators who want to provide add-on storage to their compatible cable DVR set-top boxes. Interested consumers and cable subscribers should check with their cable service provider regarding compatibility and availability.

In addition, Seagate today unveiled a new application of its DriveTrust technology that enables cable service operators and DVR makers to lock external storage devices to a specific DVR or other device. This helps implement more robust digital rights management solutions for set-top boxes and enables a more rapid roll-out of better, easier-to-use entertainment storage technologies to consumers. ...Seagate profile, Hard disk drives


Atempo Annonces Time Navigator 4.0

PALO ALTO, Calif. - April 4, 2005 - Atempo, Inc. today announced the availability of Time Navigator Version 4.0 which integrates snapshot management, replication and disk-to-disk-to-tape virtual library technologies into its backup and restore architecture.

It supports all the major UNIX platforms, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows and Linux platforms and is also compatible with most automated libraries available in the data storage market. A new feature is system-independent archiving. This archiving module now includes new centralized control and access, enhanced search features, and WORM support. ...Atempo profile


Arkeia Partners with Federal Edge

CARLSBAD, Calif. - April 4, 2005 - Arkeia Corp. and Federal Edge today announced that Arkeia's data protection solutions are now available to federal, state and local government agencies through Federal Edge's GSA Schedule (#GS-35F 0091M).

Federal Edge has signed a VAR agreement with Arkeia that calls for the Riverside, Calif.-based provider of technology solutions and consulting services to sell Arkeia's network and server backup and recovery software product lines. Federal Edge will now provide government agencies with an easy mechanism to purchase Arkeia's robust, scalable and reliable data protection solution for Linux and UNIX environments. ...Arkeia profile, ...Federal Edge, Backup Software, Military Storage


World's 1st performance guarantees for SSDs

Houston, TX - April 4, 2005 - Texas Memory Systems announced that it is now guaranteeing that RamSan solid state disks will deliver faster performance than any competitive storage product and that software application performance will be accelerated to the satisfaction of customers.

This guarantee is an industry first and is expected to increase the number of organizations trying, and ultimately using, solid state technology to accelerate their software applications. Organizations that are unfamiliar with solid state disks performance and price-performance metrics often end up with a poor return on investment by adding processors, RAM, hard drives, monolithic RAID or constantly re-coding databases when trying to solve application performance problems. A solid state disk is a very cost effective way to solve performance issues.

Solid state disks are strategically used to accelerate enterprise applications like databases, OLTP, OLAP, modeling, and data acquisition. Typical users include corporations in the financial, telecom, broadcasting, and e-commerce sectors as well as government, military and research organizations.

In a recent independent survey, people who already used solid state disks (all manufacturers) were asked to rate their experience of the benefits delivered, compared to expectations. 65% said solid state disk greatly exceeded expectations; 6% said their experience exceeded expectations and 6% said their experience met expectations. While 12% said they were mildly disappointed, nobody (zero percent) was strongly disappointed. When asked what would make it easier to buy solid state disk technology and remove doubts and risks which currently act as roadblocks, 52% suggested performance guarantees and 44% suggested try-before-you-buy programs.

"Many customers are implementing multiple storage tiers that offer different levels of performance, based on measurable cost/benefit advantages," said David Freund, Information Architectures Practice Leader at Illuminata. "Yet most shy away from adding a higher-performance solid state disk tier based solely on cost. Assuring customers their expectations will be met or exceeded with a money-back guarantee removes a significant obstacle, enabling more IT shops to consider using solid state disk in their storage infrastructures."

"Before CIOs invest in solid state disk technology they want to know if it will deliver the desired performance within their own unique IT environment," said Woody Hutsell, Texas Memory Systems' Executive Vice President. "We can make reasonable predictions about performance. However, an actual installation removes any doubt. Our guarantee mitigates the financial risk of investing in Texas Memory Systems' solid state storage making us the safest investment."

The guarantee can be summarized as follows and full details are available online.

Guarantee Relative to Competitive Storage Products

Texas Memory Systems guarantees that qualifying RamSan solid state systems will perform faster than any competitive storage product currently owned by qualifying customers. If a RamSan unit does not outperform the customer's existing storage in a head-to-head benchmark, the RamSan unit may be returned within 30 days of delivery and Texas Memory Systems will refund all related Texas Memory Systems hardware charges.

Guarantee Relative to Application Performance Satisfaction:

Texas Memory Systems guarantees that qualifying RamSan solid state systems will accelerate the software application performance of qualifying customers, by whatever measurement the customer chooses and documents. If the RamSan unit does not accelerate the software application performance to a level acceptable to the customer, the RamSan unit may be returned within 30 days of delivery and Texas Memory Systems will refund all related Texas Memory Systems hardware charges, minus a 10% restocking fee. ...Texas Memory Systems profile, Solid State Disks

Editor's comments:-
I predict that in years to come this move by TMS will be regarded as the crossing the chasm event which changed the way that servers and storage systems are marketed. These guarantees, based on the company's unmatched customer experience, take the risk out of the proposition:- should you add more servers or faster storage?


SSD Companies are 1/2 of Top 10 Storage Searches

Editor:- April 4, 2005 - the market research page on STORAGEsearch.com was updated today with key metrics of reader interests in the month or March.

The top 10 articles, top 20 most popular subjects and top 10 company profiles (out of more than 1,000) can be viewed on the market research page. 5 out of the top 10 companies were manufacturers of solid state disks. Readership grew 6% compared to the year ago period and pageviews grew by 25%.

...Later:- see the top 10 SSD companies - which tracked the top companies quarterly over many years.


Marshall Media will Shrink Optical Readers

Marshall Media will Shrink Optical ReadersEditor:- April 4, 2005 - a report on Market Wire today says that Marshall Media Inc. will be bringing out an optical media reader this Fall, which will be less than 1/10th the size of currently available readers.

The new product will read CDs, DVDs, and the next generation of HD-DVD, BD (Blue Diode), and Blu-Ray optical disk from a single player. There was nothing about this on Marshall Media's web site when I looked earlier today. CD-RW & DVD-RW


What Makes A Great External Hard Drive?

Editor:- April 2, 2005 - Olixir Technologies today published a new white article on STORAGEsearch called - "What Makes A Great External Hard Drive?"

Here are some extracts.

Since the end of 2001, a paradigm shift, a revolution, has occurred in the portable data storage market. Floppy disks, Zip and Orb drives, CDs and DVDs, and tape cartridges, are being replaced with a new class of portable storage, namely portable/external hard drives and flash memory. The explosion in the portable and external drive market has been fueled by the following trends...

...According to Independent Technology Services. The most significant area that drives fail is their inability to keep data safe due to insufficient shock protection for handling, even when they are supposed to be "portable". Hard drive manufacturer Fujitsu Corporation has published that "A drop onto a hard surface from as little as ¼" (6 mm) can cause defects on the surface of the drive, so extreme care must be exercised when handling disk product." Most portable and external drives do not have sufficient shock protection from routine handling.... While other external disk-based data storage solutions typically cannot withstand a drop of even 3 inches, the Mobile DataVault 2LX withstands up to 7-foot drops on concrete, making it usable for hazardous environments, rough transportation and hostile vibrations.

"Handling is the number one cause of data loss today," said Randy Dugger, CEO of Dugger & Associates, who has installed a backup system using Olixir's Mobile DataVault to completely replace tape backup of police and city records at a municipality in the Bay Area of California. "With any data storage system, shock damage from dropped or mishandled storage devices can permanently delete business critical data." ...read the article (pdf), ...Olixir Technologies profile, Disk to disk backup

See also:- article:- Do CDs and DVDs Have a Long Term Future as Digital Storage?
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