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storage history - 2005, April week 2

Megabyte's selection of storage news
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IBM Grows Storage Revenue

ARMONK, N.Y. - April 14, 2005 - IBM today announced first-quarter 2005 results.

Revenues from continuing operations for the first quarter were $22.9 billion, up 3%, compared with the first quarter of 2004. Storage Systems revenue increased 5%. IBM's Tivoli storage software revenue increased 15%. ...IBM profile

Emulex's CTO Honored by InfoWorld

COSTA MESA, Calif. - April 14, 2005 - Emulex Corp today announced that VP and Chief Technology Officer Stuart Berman has been named to the list of Top 25 CTOs byInfoWorld.

The annual award honors IT executives who have demonstrated exceptional innovation and leadership within their organization as well as in the industry. The award was announced in the April 11 issue of InfoWorld. Prior to Emulex, Berman was CTO at Vixel, where he was instrumental in transitioning the Company into a leading provider of embedded storage switch technologies. Vixel was acquired by Emulex in 2003. Previously, Berman was co-founder of Arcxel Technologies, which Vixel acquired in 1998. Berman holds a master's degree in Computer Science from University of California, Los Angeles, and earned a bachelor's degree with honors from University of California, San Diego. ...Emulex profile, ..InfoWorld article (pdf), Storage People

ADTX RAID Certified for MetaSAN

Irvine, CA - April 13, 2005 - ADTX announces the L Series High Performance RAID is compatible with Tiger Technology's MetaSAN software.

"The combination of high performance storage and a high speed SAN with cross platform file sharing capabilities at affordable prices is now a reality," says Naresh Chadha, President of International Operations for ADTX, "Using an ADTX L Series High Performance RAID and Tiger Technology's MetaSAN software together will provide a low cost solution that is more flexible and higher performance at the same time." ...ADTX profile, ...Tiger Technology profile

Increasing Flash SSD Reliability

Editor:- April 13, 2005 - SiliconSystems has published a new article today on STORAGEsearch called - Increasing Flash Solid State Disk Reliability.

Solid state disks, based on flash technology, have greatly improved in performance in recent years and now compete head to head with RAM based accelerator systems. Flash also has significant advatanges in servers compared to RAM SSDs due to low power consumption.

But if you think that all solid state disks which use flash are equally reliable and enduring then think again. That's a bit like saying that a Mercedes 300SL sports coupe is as tough as a Tiger tank because both were made in Germany and both are built out of metal. But as Oddball (Donald Sutherland) says in the movie Kelly's Heroes "I ain't messing with no Tigers."

This article by SiliconSystems, shows how their patented architecture cleverly manages the wear out mechanisms inherent in all flash media to deliver a disk lifetime that is about 4 times greater than of other enterprise flash products and upto 100x greater than intrinsic flash memory. the article, ...SiliconSystems profile, Solid state disks

...Later:- this became a classic paper which remained popular for many years after it was published.

See also:- SSD Reliability - collected papers

Spectra Joins Microsoft Simple SAN

SNW, PHOENIX - April 13, 2005 - Spectra Logic announces participation in Microsoft's Simple SAN Program.

This program helps all levels of Windows customers implement SANs simply, regardless of whether the connectivity infrastructure is Fibre Channel or iSCSI. ...Spectra Logic profile, ...Microsoft profile, ...Simple SAN

emBoot announces the death of the iSCSI HBA

Mississauga, ON - April 12, 2005 - emBoot Inc. today announced the availability of netBoot/i, a software solution to network boot from iSCSI storage using existing Ethernet adapters.

netBoot/i provides the ability to network boot Windows servers and desktops from an iSCSI target remotely located over a standard IP network, without requiring iSCSI HBA hardware.

"netBoot/i enables rapid bare metal deployment, increases utilization of storage resources and provides a unique solution for blade servers", said George Kostiuk, CEO of emBoot Inc.

emBoot is collaborating with several key iSCSI target vendors to certify netBoot/i. In the past, booting from an IP SAN required an expensive HBA; netBoot/i is a significantly lower cost solution offering greater value. IT departments can now leverage iSCSI disaster recovery capabilities for local OS data. By sharing boot volumes, netBoot/i enables OS deployments at a fraction of current IT costs. netBoot/i is licensed on a per-client basis and will be released towards the end of Q2 ...emBoot profile, iSCSI

Editor's comments:-
taking into account this development, and another yesterday by NetEx which said they could boost iSCSI throughput 2 to 10 times with their HyperIP TCP acceleration software, and you've got to ask yourself is there much of role for iSCSI HBAs and TOE accelerators? - Maybe short term - but eventually - there may not be a long term for the iSCSI adapter market. Not that there is much of a market now anyway.

Imation to Resell Exabyte in Latin America

OAKDALE, MN - April 12, 2005 - Exabyte Corp and Imation Corp today announced they are expanding their existing reseller relationship.

Exabyte will resell its VXA and Magnum products through Imation's Latin America organization, throughout Latin America, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, the countries of the Caribbean and Central America, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. The product offering through Imation will include the full suite of award-winning VXA products, including stand-alone VXA-2 Packet Drives and VXA PacketLoaders as well as Exabyte's robust line of Magnum LTO libraries. ...Exabyte profile, ...Imation profile

Globalstor Unveils 1st 4K Video Server/Storage

LAS VEGAS, NV - April 12, 2004 - Globalstor Data announced today, the industry's first turn-key 4K (video) server/storage solution will be unveiled next week at NAB.

Capable of supporting a stream of uncompressed 4K video, Globalstor's ExtremeStor-4K is a fully scalable, high-performance, server designed to accommodate the manipulation and playback of uncompressed 4K video content with sustained data read rates in excess of 1,430MB/sec (50 MB file using RAID 5).

"Traditionally, post production facilities edit and color correct 4K content by down grading a copy of the material to either 2K, or some other lower-resolution format." said Scott Leif, President of Globalstor Data. "Editors then apply their corrections to the master copy and apply those changes to the 4K copy. With ExtremeStor-4K," Leif continued, "content can now be modified and viewed real time from its original 4K format. By working with the content in a 4K format, colors and artifacts are far more visible, thus improving the accuracy of the job at hand. ExtremeStor-4k also saves time and money by eliminating the conversion processes; it saves the storage space normally required for storing additional version copies, and it improves the overall work flow."

Base solutions incorporate a CPU with a 4K capable video play back card, a highly tuned file system, a meta-data controller that is scalable to support additional client and either 18TB or an optional 28.8TB of usable storage under RAID 5. Pricing starts at $150,149 MSRP. ...Globalstor Data profile

Engenio Launches SAN Performance Analyzer

SNW, PHOENIX, Ariz - April 12, 2005 - Engenio Information Technologies, Inc. today announced the availability of its Storage Performance Analyzer software.

SPA gives systems administrators a comprehensive view of the complete storage topology, from the host to the disk drives. The software discovers host servers, host bus adapters, and Fibre Channel switches from multiple vendors, displays the connections between all resources, and visualizes data paths so that administrators are always monitoring relevant statistics.

"Performance management is a significant challenge and critical issue for storage managers today," said Bill North, IDC Director of Research, Storage Software. "...Engenio's solution will enable storage managers to more easily identify and more readily rectify performance bottlenecks throughout the SAN."

The Storage Performance Analyzer software, powered by technology from AppIQ, is designed using industry standard SMI-S and CIM. This allows SPA the ability to optimize a wide range of storage and infrastructure products, and observe the real-time and historical performance anywhere, anytime with a web browser. ...Engenio profile, SAN software, Storage Analyzers

NetEx Accelerates iSCSI-Based Replication

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - April 12, 2005 - NetEx today announced that it has launched an initiative to extend its HyperIP TCP acceleration technology into the iSCSI storage market.

HyperIP provides data acceleration by mitigating the effects of latency for long distance transfers, shielding the application from network variations such as packet loss and jitter, and compresses the data to significantly reduce WAN requirements. The net effect is acceleration of remote IP storage applications by 2 to 10 times.

NetEx is currently in discussions with leading iSCSI hardware vendors to leverage the performance potential of HyperIP for ISCSI SANs for business continuity and disaster recovery applications. Using HyperIP acceleration technology for remote replication will enable IT managers to deploy simple and cost-effective iSCSI-based SANs, while providing better remote data replication performance that is significantly less expensive than Fibre Channel SANs.

"iSCSI technology solves many of storage management, utilization and TCO issues for small and medium enterprises, but the performance still lags Fibre channel SANs and can become a limiting factor for long-distance movement of data," said Robert MacIntyre, VP Business Development and Marketing at NetEx. "Adding HyperIP performance to IP-based remote replication dramatically improves the value proposition of iSCSI SANs, and enables high-performance yet affordable disaster recovery and business continuity solutions." ...NetEx profile, iSCSI

Editor's comments:-
I've been expecting this move for some time. It's pointless worrying about iSCSI hardware acceleration on a campus level if you hit a bottleneck at the WAN. That kind of crawling offsite data replication speed would just make backup administrators lose the will to live. On a related matter - whenever I read about high speed replicators my mind switches to those little metal bugs in Stargate SG1. Am I the only one who has this problem?

Object-Based Demo will Show Rejuvenated SCSI

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. - April 12, 2005 - Seagate, along with Emulex and IBM, today unveiled a joint technology demonstration using Object-Based Storage Devices.

The demonstration will be showcased during the Storage Networking World conference next week at Seagate's booth and will be the world's first of a prototype device that is compliant with the SCSI OSD command set standard ratified last year.

Object-Based Storage is a new command set that is an extension of the current SCSI command set and is carried over any of these interfaces: SCSI, iSCSI, Fibre Channel, or SAS. This command set shifts or delegates more functionality and intelligence from the host into the individual storage devices. It does this by managing and storing a file and its metadata together as one coherent object, maintaining the connection down to the Object-Based Storage devices (a controller, a disc array, or an individual disc drive).

Higher level infrastructure activities are delegated to the lowest-level devices, decreasing traffic and enabling new functionality that software alone cannot provide, enabling: greater scalability and performance, dynamic reconfiguration, host interoperability, native security, and enhanced reliability. ...Seagate profile, ...Emulex profile, ...IBM profile, SCSI

HDS Appoints New VP of Global Marketing

SANTA CLARA, CALIF - April 12, 2005 - Hitachi Data Systems today announced the promotion of Jim Davidson to executive VP of Global Marketing and Sales Enablement, a newly created position within the company.

Davidson, who brings more than 30 years of sales and marketing experience in the IT sector, is chartered with leading the worldwide marketing and sales initiatives that will position the company for its next stage of growth. Davidson will continue to report to Dave Roberson, president and CEO. ...Hitachi Data Systems profile, Storage People

BridgeHead's SRM Zaps Upto 80% of Data

Ashtead, UK - April 12, 2005 - BridgeHead Software today revealed policy-based storage management software which removes as much as 80% of their data from primary storage, at an early stage.

The new solution - named HT FileStore - enables organisations to perform continuous, automated migration of data to appropriate storage media, facilitating effective data lifecycle management and dramatically reducing the huge resources currently consumed by manual data migrations. HT FileStore can operate as a standalone storage management module or be wrapped around other applications, as required.

Tony Cotterill, CEO of BridgeHead Software, said: "Up to 80% of an organisation's data has not been accessed in the previous 90 days, and at least 60% of it will never be required in the future, even for compliance purposes. But most IT managers contribute to their own problems by adopting a single 'backup everything' strategy instead of parallel 'delete irrelevant data' and 'archive appropriate data' strategies." ...BridgeHead Software profile

Red Herring Names Exanet a Rising Star

New York - April 12, 2005 - Exanet has been named one of the Red Herring 100 Europe, a selection of the top 100 private companies in Europe and Israel that play a leading role in innovation and technology.

The Red Herring Top 100 Award is Exanet's third award so far this year.

"This award reinforces the impact and value our customers gain from our technology – providing a strategic solution to a tactical problem," said Rami Schwartz, Exanet CEO. "Our business model is based on providing companies with a business-focused storage solution, one that grows with their corporate data management needs, maintains a cost-effective environment, and enhances information sharing for a competitive advantage."

"In one of the most difficult climates for startups in recent history, The Red Herring believes that Exanet is a rising star," said Anam Alpenia, Executive Director of the Red Herring 100 Europe. ...Exanet profile, ...Red Herring

Editor's comments:- I thought I'd see how Exanet looks on the radar of our own readers' interests. But they didn't appear in the top 100 company profiles viewed by readers in March. And they don't feature in any of our own "top 10 storage company" articles either. Years ago I cancelled my subscription to Red Herring because it seemed that every time they raved about a high tech company it ended up dead. Let's hope they've got better since.

300GB Holographic Drive at NAB

San Ramon CA - April 11, 2005 - Pegasus Disk Technologies announces that InPhase Technologies will be demonstrating its Tapestry holographic storage device with Pegasus Microsoft Windows drivers at the National Association of Broadcasters in Las Vegas next week.

First generation holographic storage products are expected to reach 300GB on a 5.25 inch disk with data transfer rates of 20 MB/s.

"Pegasus is very pleased to be working with InPhase to create a file system for archive support for holographic technology," said Roy Slicker, President and CEO, Pegasus Disk Technologies. "InPhase's holographic storage technology presents a quantum leap in both performance and capacity on a single disk for archive applications, further lowering the total cost of ownership model for archiving systems that require write-once support." ...InPhase profile, ...Pegasus profile, Storage Events

Vision Solutions Completes Acquisition of OSS

IRVINE, CALIF. - April 11, 2005 - Vision Solutions today announced that it has completed the acquisition of the business of UK-based OS Solutions.

The combined companies create a global iSeries solutions powerhouse with the most complete and cost-effective availability solutions currently in the market, now combining systems management and optimization into the delivering of high availability. The combined companies will share more than 2,200 customers. As part of the acquisition, Vision will be strengthening its European presence by opening a base of operations in the UK that will house sales, marketing, development and support. Vision Solutions, Acquired, dead & merged companies

Microsoft Talks About its Storage Strategies

Editor:- April 11, 2005 - today Microsoft unveiled some details of its storage thinking today in a news article which included interviews with senior Microsoft product managers.

Microsoft says it wants to make Windows the best platform for storage. That makes a lot of sense since the storage market is already bigger than the server market (in revenue terms) and has the potential to exceed the PC market in terms of number of units (if you count storage appliances in high end phones and consumer digital entertainment systems.)

Talking about accomplishments over the past year, Ben Fathi, general manager of Windows Server Division at Microsoft, said "... we're proud of the broad customer adoption of Microsoft Windows storage technologies and the rich set of partner solutions as evidenced by Microsoft Windows Server being No. 1 in terms of attachment to external storage, according to IDC. In addition, Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2003 is the market leader fin NAS from a units perspective in the > $500 category, according to Gartner."

Looking at the future priorities for Microsoft's storage investments, Fathi said the following customer concerns were getting investments and attention:- Making storage simple, managing and protecting the data in branch or satellite offices and making storage secure. ...Microsoft profile

iVivity Delivers Quad 4Gbps SAN Processor

Atlanta - April 11, 2005 - iVivity today announced availability of the iDiSX 2000-4, a 4Gbps programmable intelligent storage processor chip.

The iDiSX 2000-4 is a programmable intelligent storage processor chip that can support up to 4 full duplex Ethernet MACs at 4Gbps wire-speed. It is designed with a built in high performance TOE and iSCSI blocks for integrated iSCSI or NFS acceleration in the core, or edge of the storage network. The chip also provides a high speed local bus PCI-X interface for storage controllers. It greatly reduces storage system complexities and simplifies designs of file level and block level storage appliances, intelligent switch implementations, high-end and mid-range RAID arrays, and intelligent host adapters and storage blades. ...iVivity profile

FalconStor Joins EMC NAS Partner Program

MELVILLE, N.Y. - April 11, 2005 - FalconStor Software, Inc. today announced it has joined the EMC NAS Partner Program.

"By joining the EMC NAS Partner Program, we are giving customers another level of confidence when deploying these data protection solutions. FalconStor and EMC now share a joint customer support agreement to ensure cooperative support, joint escalation procedures and rapid response for mutual customers" said Bernie Wu, FalconStor VP of business development. ...EMC profile, ...FalconStor profile, iSCSI

Arkeia Announces Novell YES Certification

CARLSBAD, Calif. - April 11, 2005 - Arkeia Corp announced today that its flagship enterprise software has passed the YES certification process for Novell's SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9.

The YES CERTIFIED mark identifies products that are certified compatible and assures customers that the product is backed by the service and support offerings of the partner and Novell. ...Arkeia profile, Backup Software

Swissbit Reports Revenue Up 70%

Switzerland - April 11, 2005 - The Swissbit Group today reported that annual turnover in 2004 grew by 18% to 165 million CHF ($140 million).

In the first three months of the current year the Swiss Group booked a turnover of 65 million CHF, corresponding to an increase of 70% compared to the previous year. Commenting on growth factors the company cited the SwissMemory USB Victorinox product, which combines the original Swiss army penknife with USB storage. This has developed into a worldwide cult product. The company said it expects revenue growth to continue in 2005 by about 25%. ...Swissbit profile
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Good New Ideas in Storage Marketing?
It's as rare to find good new ideas in IT marketing as it is to find gold coins when you dig in the garden.

Most IT marketers in the past few decades have rarely stepped outside the smaller! faster! cheaper! school of thinking. Something new was added to these formulaic mantras in the last decade when vendors started advertising on the internet, but that too has become simply a me-too way of sales, which some do well, and most do badly.

The key to the innovation treasure chest, it seems, has been locked securely in the research and development department. If storage marketers have ever sought to come up with new good ways of enticing customers (as opposed to stupid gimicky ideas which insult your intelligence) these worthy new ideas have rarely come to light. Maybe it's just too hard for marketers - like solving the code to the cryptex in Dan Brown's novel the Da Vinci Code.

But despite it being a rare event, some lucky people do indeed find gold coins when digging in their garden. (Although most just find worms and get backache.)

Two new good ideas in storage marketing have appeared in these storage news pages in recent months. If you missed them, here they are again.

In the Backup Software market, Arkeia announced a new pricing scheme in which users can buy their enterprise backup software and pay a price that depends on the volume of data which they back up instead of the number or type of servers.

Now, some detractors might say here, that this isn't innovative, because web backup companies have been doing this all along. But this is the first time this ASP model has been applied to a piece of enterprise backup software which you own. Arkeia's pricing model enables fast growing organisations, which maybe don't need or can't afford the overpriced enterprise bloatware from Veritas or IBM today, to standardise on a product which does offer enterprise functions at a cost of ownership which is scalable to their needs.

In the Solid State Disk market, Texas Memory Systems announced a bunch of performance guarantees.

You'll have to see their web site for the details, but these guarantees mean, in effect, that if you tell them that you're expecting a given percentage speed up for your enterprise server application, and they agree, but you don't get it, then you'll get your money back. They also guarantee to be faster than any other storage system in the market, by the way.

I don't see many server makers who guarantee that their system will give you a named application speedup. They imply it. But in the server market the risk is always down to the user. Sometimes the new servers don't deliver the expected speedup, and other factors are blamed.

The difference in the Texas Memory Systems' guarantee is that whatever your server environment, or applications, if they agree an overall speedup then you will get it or your money back. The company has decades of experience in speeding up applications for the government and has been in effect making these performance promises quietly to prospective customers for years. The reason they're going public now is that users say they are more likely to try solid state disk technology (as an alternative to more servers or CPUs) if there's a risk free way of trying it out.

These new marketing moves make it easier for users to dip their toes into the muddy waters of new technologies and new suppliers.

Enterprise systems are so complicated nowadays that it's difficult enough just keeping them running reliably. Most users don't have the spare time or resources to investigate new products and ideas which might make their systems run better or faster. And sometimes even the experts get it wrong by predicting improvements which fail to be achieved in practise. But the alternative:- the seemingly low risk, incremental upgrade route of just buying more of the same from current suppliers doesn't always fit the budget or doesn't always deliver the expected benefits either.

Some parts of the $70 billion / year storage market are getting very complicated with multiple technologies promising to be the answer to backup and archiving for example. They can't all be right, and they won't all last the full term.

Vendors who can offer attractive switching services which migrate users data to a new platform with a credible guarantee that everything can be switched back if the new system doesn't deliver the promised benefits - will help new technology fly off the shelf faster.

Technologies like iSCSI, which typically offer 5 times the performance of NAS when using the same network infrastructure, have been languishing in the small market swamp for years because vendors haven't been able to offer attractive marketing packages which tell users what the benefits really are, and take away the risk of new technology adoption.

Good New Ideas in Storage Marketing should be aimed at addressing the real anxieties and needs of users - like "what do I do if my online backup company goes bust?", or "what if I picked a server technology which looked good a few years ago (for example HP's Alpha) which has now been end-of -lifed by the original manufacturer and I don't have the budget to replace everything and start all over?"

I'll be writing more about this subject of new marketing ideas in storage later. If vendors think they have brilliant new ideas which also deserve a mention just copy me by email on the details.

See also:- MarketingViews, Record breaking storage

Engenio Names Head of New Global Ops Center

MILPITAS, Calif. - April 11, 2005 - Engenio Information Technologies, Inc. announced today the appointment of Anne Nagle to Managing Director of its new Global Operations and Supply Chain Management Center based in Cork, Ireland.

Nagle will be responsible for the development and day-to-day management of the Operations and Supply Chain Management Center, which will provide services to Engenio customers such as IBM, SGI, StorageTek, Sun Microsystems, Teradata, and others globally. ...Engenio profile, Storage People
Anne Nagle

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