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2005, April week 4, news archive

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article:- Increasing Flash Solid State Disk Reliability
article:- the Dangers of Removable Storage Media
Squeak! - the Top 10 Storage Software Companies
Squeak! - the Solid State Disks Buyers Guide
article:- Serial Attached SCSI - Delivering Flexibility to the Data Center
Squeak! - the Fastest Growing Storage Companies
article:- Disk to Disk Backup versus Tape - War or Truce?
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CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. - April 28, 2005 - Fastora today announced its new all-in-one, instant backup and recovery solution, the ExBoot EXB-0131. The EXB-0131 is a seamless combination of simple software and a USB 2.0 external hard drive enclosure. It features a one-touch button, which launches the automated backup software. The ExBoot makes a backup of the complete system including operating system components, files, settings, and applications. The ExBoot can be customized to automatically check and synchronize with the PC to ensure files are up-to-date or users can press the button for instant backup at any time.

In the event of hard drive failure or data loss, users can boot directly from the external USB backup drive to continue normal operation until the failed hard drive is replaced in the PC. ExBoot will restore the settings and all data to the new drive eliminating the usual complexities and frustrations with typical backup and restore systems. It is now available in a variety of capacities: 160 GB ($185 MSRP), 250 GB ($235 MSRP), 300 GB ($335 MSRP) and 400 GB ($440 MSRP).

"Most users don't concern themselves with the need for backup and recovery, mostly because it has been viewed as overly complicated and expensive. The new ExBoot EXB-0131 is designed to deliver peace of mind and ensure up-time if and when the hard drive fails. ...Users only have to press one button for data integrity" said Kit Chui, Fastora sales director. ...Fastora profile, USB storage

MILPITAS, Calif. - April 28, 2005 - Adaptec, Inc. today reported its financial results for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2005. Net revenue for the quarter declined 8.3% to $111.2 million compared with the year ago period. Net loss for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005 on a GAAP basis was ($159.5 million). The company had warned in March this could happen citing a shortage of disk drives which had affected demand for its adapter products. ...Adaptec profile

Editor's comments:- for a company which has acquired technology and assets from at least 6 other storage companies (Elipsan, Eurologic, ICP vortex Computersysteme, Platys Communications, Snap Appliance and Tricord Systems) as part of its strategy these results are disappointing. I suspect that the company's long term strategy of switching from being primarily a host bus adapter company, to an IP SAN / NAS Systems company has suffered severe setbacks from the slow update of the iSCSI market. It's not as simple as it seems to step up from success in selling boards to success in selling systems - where there are hundreds more competitors. Simply being on the leading edge of the interface technology curve isn't good enough. The company may need to rethink its strategy and pay more attention to marketing and what customers want rather than optimistic forcasts of new technology adoption.

MELVILLE, N.Y. - April 27, 2005 - FalconStor Software, Inc. today announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2005. For the first quarter of 2005, revenues increased 60% to $8.4 million, compared with the same period a year ago. The Company broke even with a net loss for the quarter of $0.1 million. ...FalconStor profile, iSCSI

Editor's comments:- FalconStor was the 15th fastest growing storage company in 2004 (with 43% revenue growth). From recent company reports it looks like some parts of the storage market which grew a lot last year, like RAM will tank this year. Meanwhile other segments like hard disk drives, which didn't do well in 2004, are looking a lot better in 2005. I'll do a recap on the main indicators for the storage market here next week.

Milwaukee, WI - April 26, 2005 - Binary Research International today announced the availability of the Universal Imaging Utility 2.0. It solves the problem of maintaining, upgrading, cloning and deploying hundreds or thousands of different computers within an enterprise environment. Loading in a clean hard drive Image can be the fastest and best way to clean up computers compromised by viruses, spyware, bad drivers, bad data, etc. UIU 2.0 was designed to work with leading hard drive cloning and data back-up solutions such as Symantec Ghost, Drive Image Pro and the Altiris Migration Suite. UIU 2.0 finally makes it possible for these programs to create a single hard disk copy or Image that will work with a wide range of platforms and configurations.

The UIU application is used immediately prior to creating a base Image file of a Windows XP or 2000 computer and provides the user with a single executable Image that can be deployed, via cloning software, to any Windows XP or 2000 computer, regardless of the manufacturer make, model or configuration set-up. Using UIU 2.0 to prepare the source PC greatly simplifies the cloning process and eliminates error messages and "blue screens" on the target machines.

"UIU saved my company thousands of man hours by allowing me to combine the 20 different Ghost Images we have into one," said Kevin Riley, Network Administrator, TRICARE Management Activity - Department of Defense. "It also helped make our network more secure knowing that every single computer, regardless of hardware, is exactly the same."

"UIU 2.0 can work with virtually all brands and models of motherboards, graphics and audio cards, IDE and ATA hard drives and optical devices" said Jim Szopinski, Executive VP, BRI.

Licensing for the UIU 2.0 is per-seat and is based on the number of computers that receive an Image that was prepared with UIU. Pricing starts at $US19.00 per-seat for up to 99 computers and goes down to $8.60 for 5,000 or more licenses. ...BRI profile, Hard Disk Duplicators

Veritas Vision, San Francisco - April 26, 2005 - VERITAS Software Corp today released of VERITAS NetBackup 6.0. Systems can be recovered to dissimilar hardware, reducing hardware costs and providing administrators with flexibility in their recovery operations. For the first time, administrators using NetBackup 6.0 can discover and catalog all of their organization's backup copies of data, whether they were originally created by a NetApp storage system, EMC Symmetrix, Hitachi Lightning, or by UNIX, Linux, Windows VSS, or by VERITAS Storage Foundation, Microsoft Exchange or a host of other systems - and rapidly recover copies using the most advanced disk-based capabilities available today.

"The crown jewel of NetBackup 6.0 is its ability to catalog everything. Think of it as the Yellow Pages for all your important corporate data," said Jeremy Burton, executive VP of the data management group, VERITAS Software. "NetBackup 6.0 catalogs all information, whether it was copied by VERITAS or another vendor's system, so administrators can rapidly recover it - from the most efficient place. And we don't stop with data recovery. Administrators can now do bare metal recovery of entire systems from the same interface. NetBackup 6.0 simply redefines recovery." ...VERITAS profile, Backup Software, Data Recovery

MILPITAS, Calif. - April 26, 2005 - LSI Logic Corp announced today that Lenovo Group Limited , the largest IT enterprise in China, has selected MegaRAID embedded SATA software RAID to enable its new tower and 1U rack systems. MegaRAID SATA software gives customers RAID support even before the operating system is loaded, offering the differential benefit of BIOS boot protection. Because it does not use the motherboard's PCI resources, slots are available for other critical purposes. MegaRAID SATA software provides hot device insertion and removal support, hot spare configuration, soft bad block management and a complete set of OS-level RAID management tools. ...LSI Logic profile, RAID controller cards, Serial Attached SCSI

Editor:- April 26, 2005 - pageviews on's main Solid State Disk directory in April are already double the level for the whole of March. SSDs were already the #1 subject viewed by our readers throughout 2004 (out of more than 70 vertical storage technologies) but it's unusual to see such a big change (100% jump in pageviews) in a single subject in a single month. Is this the start of the long expected surge of interest in the market from mainstream computer users? - as has been seen before in many high tech markets when they switch from being influenced by early adopters to the early majority. It's too early to tell - but along with a 50% surge in weekly readers (over the whole site) this makes more work for an already busy editor. I'll take another look to see if this is a definite trend or a just a serrendipitous blip in a few months time. Solid State Disks

LOUISVILLE, Colo. - April 25, 2005 - StorageTek today announced revenue for the first quarter of 2005 was $499.3 million 3% lower than the first quarter of 2004. Net income was $23.4 million.

"...As we enter the second quarter, our backlog and pipeline of business have improved and we anticipate delivering better results for the remainder of 2005" said Patrick J. Martin, StorageTek chairman, president and CEO. ...StorageTek profile, Storage Services, Tape drives

Editor's comments:- the company also said that sales of its tape automation products had grown 70%. But, don't get too excited, for as the company revealed in March, when it talked about its service business, it's no longer accurate to think of StorageTek as a tape backuop company. A more accurate view today is StorageTek is a services company - which also does tape and storage software.

Unfortunately, StorageTek, the world's 7th largest storage software vendor based on revenue (according to a recent Gartner report), bucked the market trend and reported nearly 9% drop in software revenue in 2004, at a time when the storage software market grew 12%. This is a company which is coping with difficult market transitions like the end of tape and increased competition in software, but the fact that it managed to break even shows it is being managed well.

LAS VEGAS, Nevada - April 25, 2005 - the Data Management Institute announces the Data Management & Compliance Summit which will be held at Networld+Interop in Las Vegas from May 3 through 5. To comply with burgeoning government regulations regarding business information retention, privacy and protection, companies are scrambling to implement data management solutions offered by leading storage vendors. But are they wasting their money on technology solutions for what is, at root, a people and process issue? This is a core question that will be addressed at the Summit. Organized by Jon William Toigo the Summit is the first event of its kind, bringing together business and technology professionals to work through some of the knottier problems of regulatory compliance and data management that confront nearly every organization today.

What is most exciting about the Summit, in Toigo's view, is the final session. "We plan an audience interaction event in which attendees will reference their own business realities to help create the foundation of an open data classification scheme. Such a data classification scheme is the root of effective data management and cannot be developed effectively by vendors. Without such a method for data classification ILM, currently hyped by many storage technology vendors is little more than Information "Feng Shui" Management." ...Data Management Institute profile, Storage Events, Storage Training

SANTA CLARA, CA. - April 25, 2005 - Topio announced today it has secured an $8 million round of venture financing; led by Star Ventures with participation of existing investors Sequoia Capital and Sigma Partners. Topio will utilize the funds to expand its sales, marketing, and product development activities to meet strong customer and channel demand throughout North America and Europe.

"We spent 2004 building a rock-solid installed base with leading enterprises and business continuity providers in North America and Europe," said Yoram Novick, Topio's founder and CEO. "In the first quarter of this year, we passed the 40-customer milestone across midrange and large enterprises. We are also seeing increasing momentum for Topio-based disaster recovery services, delivered through our Business Continuity Service Provider Partners, such as IBM Global Services and NDR. The additional round of funding we are announcing today will help us expand to meet this growing demand." ...Topio profile

San Diego, Calif. - April 25, 2005 - AMCC and Express Logic, Inc. today announced a combined solution for intelligent embedded storage devices such as RAID controllers and SAN equipment. Express Logic's royalty-free RTOS, ThreadX, is currently deployed in over 200 million electronic products, such as digital cameras, printers, wireless networking, storage devices, and medical equipment. With a footprint of under 10K bytes in most applications, ThreadX is small and offers sub-microsecond interrupt response and context switching.

"...ThreadX's aggressive real-time strengths, combined with AMCC's award-winning PowerPC architecture, gives embedded storage developers a fast, small-footprint, royalty-free solution that they can confidently use to build their products." said Charlie Ashton, director of PowerPC software, AMCC.

Express Logic also provides a fast file system, FileX and a full TCP/IP networking stack, NetX. ThreadX, NetX, and FileX are immediately available for the PowerPC 440SPe, with royalty-free licenses starting at $12,500. ...AMCC profile

London, UK - April 25, 2005 - Storage Expo and Overland Storage today published the results of a recent email survey of 493 UK organisations which looked at issues like backup and compliance. 78% of organisations said their future storage strategy includes Disk-to-Disk to Tape technology. When it came to the decision of choosing a specialist storage supplier or a general IT provider for storage solutions there was no significant preference expressed for specialised storage suppliers (51%) over general IT providers (49%). Storage Events, ...Overland Storage profile, Disk to disk backup

Editor's comments:- these finding are similar to a report published last August by Peripheral Concepts, which surveyed over 1,000 US sites and said "The population using disk in backup has grown to 62%, and is forecast to reach 76% penetration by 2005".

STAMFORD, Conn. - April 22, 2005 - Driven by strong sales in storage resource management, worldwide storage management software revenue increased 12.3% in 2004, according to Gartner, Inc.

Other news on this page

Fastora - 1 Button USB Disaster Recovery

Adaptec Reports 8% Decline

FalconStor Reports 60% Growth

BRI Announces Universal Imaging Utility 2.0

NetBackup 6.0 Unlocks the Tower of Babel

Lenovo Picks MegaRAID SATA Software

SSDs - Inside the Tornado?

StorageTek Reports 3% Lower Revenue

Data Management & Compliance Summit

Topio Secures $8 million Round of Funding

AMCC Embeds with Express Logic

UK and US Users Converge on D2d Backup

Gartner Lists Top Storage Software Companies

LapiStor Appoints UK RAID Distributor

last week's news (archive)

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Throw Away Your PCs or Throw Away Your Datacenter Servers?

Editor:- April 24, 2005 - Jonathan Schwartz, President of Sun Microsystems made a valuable observation in his blog today.

"The average utilization in a datacenter is 15% (what we see is tyipcally lower, but we like to be polite). That implies some 80% of the capital that goes to purchasing computers, 80% of the real estate, and best of all, 80% of the electricity to power and cool the unused systems - is flat out wasted. Greenpeace, where are you?"

Unfortunately after that went on to preach Sun's old mantra - "throw out the PC, replace it with a SPARCstation, dumb terminal, X terminal, JavaStation... or Sun's latest dumb terminal - the SunRay." - The actual replacement proposed depends on where you are in the period 1992 to 2005 - and what Sun is selling at the time.

But don't let that nonsense spoil the essence which I used in my quote - 80% of datacenter server power is not used. We can assume this is a reliable figure, because Sun measures a lot of this stuff in order to tweak its Solaris OS - which has as much to do with SPARC server performance as its chip design. But if you talk to most datacenter managers - they are mostly worrying about the slow response times for critical apps and planning the next processor upgrade.

My call to action, is different to Schwartz's. I think this data bite shows that your server could speed up your applications by a factor upto x5, if you had a fast enough network storage system.

Or another way of looking at it - is you could double the application performance, and take out half your servers, saving licensing costs, service costs etc. There are many case studies and articles which show how users have done exactly this, not just with Sun, but with other server architectures as well.

Same data, different conclusion. But that's because Sun sells servers and terminals. I published an article a year ago which showed what the future direction of Sun (also IBM, HP etc) will be when their processors hit the GHz ceiling. Having more of the same old CPUs in the same chip (throughput computing) is not as good as having CPUs which run all applications twice as fast. That's something which users are going to learn - when they find critical parts in their applications which aren't parallelizable.

So what conclusion do your draw from the 15% datacenter utilization factoid?

Throw away your PCs? - or -

Throw away half your servers?

It's worth looking at the options. ...Sun profile, Solid State Disks, Sun SPARC History

click to read article by SiliconSystems
Increasing Flash Solid State Disk Reliability - article by SiliconSystems

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 100 times greater than intrinsic flash memory. the article, ...SiliconSystems profile, Solid state disks

click to read article click to read article

Serial Attached SCSI - Delivering Flexibility to the Data Center - article by LSI Logic and Maxtor

If you think you already know SAS because you know SATA and traditional SCSI then think again. Sometimes disruptive technologies wear an unassuming disguise. In fiction, Clark Kent, Frodo Baggins and Buffy Summers at first seem harmless, but we see them change into Superman, the Ring Bearer and the Slayer.

SAS too comes cloaked in plain garb - with a physical layer which looks a lot like SATA. But like the Incredible Hulk there are muscles rippling under that shirt - and you would be wrong to dismiss SAS so lightly. There's a lot more inside this interface than it says on the box as this informative article reveals. the article, ...LSI Logic profile, ...Maxtor profile, Serial Attached SCSI

The storage management software market totaled $5.6 billion in new license revenue, up from $5 billion in 2003. The SRM segment grew 30.8% to reach $612 million in 2004.

"Storage resource management was the second smallest segment in 2004, but it is expected to continue to record fast growth as enterprises look to better manage storage capacity utilization and begin to automate some of the management functions," said Carolyn DiCenzo, research vice president at Gartner. "For some companies, the need to manage IT as a utility with service-level agreements between IT and the business units is also driving new requirements and increased interest in SRM."

The worldwide storage management software market is poised for double-digit growth in 2005, with worldwide new license revenue projected to reach $6.3 billion, a 12% increase from 2004. Compliance requirements will drive archiving and data protection growth. Gartner analysts said vendors will try to leverage the focus on compliance by claiming that their products are compliance solutions. ...Gartner profile, Backup Software, Storage Software, Market research companies & storage market analysts
2004 Storage Software Market Leaders - from Gartner Dataquest
Vendor 2004 Revenue
($ millions)
Change (%)
EMC 1,661 21.2%
VERITAS 1,038 11.7%
IBM 688 11.7 %
Computer Associates 297 -9.5%
Network Appliance 293 73.5%
HP 272 -2.8%
Hitachi/HDS 256 9.1 %
StorageTek 105 -8.7 %
Symantec 89 -9.7%
BMC Software 84 7.1 %
Others 843 6.8 %
Total 5,625 12.3%

Bradford, UK - April 22, 2005 - LapiStor Ltd today announced that it has appointed Micro-Peripherals Ltd as an Authorised Distributor for its DiscPac and DataPac Solutions. Tony Howard, Managing Director of LapiStor, said "The full range of LapiStor's DiscPac and DataPac RAID solutions will be distributed by Micro-Peripherals in the UK, enabling them to offer resellers a cost-effective, RAID-based storage product line for DAS, SAN and NAS environments. ...LapiStor profile, ...Micro Peripherals profile, RAID manufacturers, Storage VARs - UK

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