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storage news - 2005, February week 1

VERITAS Backup Bundled with Sony Tape Drives

SAN JOSE, Calif. - February 7, 2005 - it was announced today that Sony is bundling version 10.0 of VERITAS' Backup Exec QuickStart Edition software with numerous models of Sony's branded tape drives.

The bundle comes with a variety of pre-defined backup templates that enables users to begin backing up critical data right out of the box.

"Bundling Backup Exec QuickStart with Sony storage devices... makes it even easier for customers to gain access to leading backup and recovery solutions from VERITAS. We are excited to have Sony on board as one of our first OEM partners for this new product." said Jeremy Burton, executive VP, Data Management Group, VERITAS Software. ...Sony profile, ...VERITAS profile


XOsoft Targets Real-Time Content Distribution

Burlington, MA - February 7, 2005 - XOsoft today launched WANSyncCD, a content distribution platform which leverages the company's WANSync offsite replication products.

WANSyncCD may be used to deliver, synchronize and consolidate complete corporate information repositories among multiple locations and branch offices around the world, keeping thousands of enterprise servers and users up-to-date in real time. WANSyncCD incorporates replication technology to provide a flexible and cost-effective solution for information sharing including real-time updates of vital corporate information, collaboration between remote branch offices, or consolidation of data from distributed locations for centralized backup processing. Unique features include advanced tree topology architecture, delegated security, content-aware distribution, non-intrusive content update, and policy-based management infrastructure.

"WANSyncCD creates value by ensuring that employees always have access to the latest and most accurate information," said Leonid Shtilman, XOsoft Founder and CEO. "By fully utilizing and optimizing an enterprise's existing hardware infrastructure or network connections, WANSyncCD provides enterprises with a cost-effective content distribution and consolidation option to ensure that all information is equally accessible by both headquarter employees and remote branch offices scattered around the entire globe." ...XOsoft profile


Arsenal Digital Solutions Passes $100 million Funding

CARY, N.C - February 7, 2005 - Arsenal Digital Solutions announced today a $15 million senior debt facility from Wells Fargo Foothill.

Arsenal will use the funding to fuel its growth in 2005. The company has now raised a total of$101 million of equity and debt funding since its inception in 1998. Arsenal claims to be the fastest growing provider of data protection, business continuity and regulatory compliance services in North America. ...Arsenal Digital Solutions profile, Storage Services, Venture funds in Storage


European SAN Storage Survey Report Available

DUBLIN, Ireland - February 4, 2005 - Research and Markets announces availability of the report "2004 European Storage Survey: Optimism, Supplier Preferences, SAN Bundles, and High-Capacity, Low-Cost Drives."

This document offers data and analysis of IDC's 2004 European storage survey, which was conducted by telephone during the fourth quarter of 2004.

To research this report - 523 end users were surveyed in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the Nordic region. All respondents were either directly involved in storage purchasing or had some type of influence over storage purchases. Among other things, this survey is intended to: Document past and future investments in storage, determine end-user adoption of SANs and the average size of a SAN based on number of servers, arrays, switches, ports, and disk capacity and find out which type of supplier end users are most likely to turn to for storage, and which type of supplier is believed to be best positioned to also help solve various storage challenges. The 58 page report costs 5,537 Euros. ...buy the report, ...Research and Markets profile, Market research


DataCore Helps Utah Educators Meet Storage Needs

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - February 4, 2005 - DataCore Software, today announced a partnership with the Utah Education Network through its association with the University of Utah.

The Utah Education Network is leveraging DataCore's virtualization and management software to provide a common set of storage services as part of their mission to deliver high quality educational services, regardless of location or time, through seamless, technology rich networks linking schools, colleges, universities, libraries, world-wide information networks, businesses, and homes.

"Given the diverse nature of the storage infrastructures deployed throughout our state as well as the exponential growth in data, voice, and video within our network, we needed a flexible and resilient storage solution," explains Mike Petersen, executive directory for UEN on their decision to select DataCore SANsymphony. "With increasing requirements for UEN services our storage needs have doubled to tripled over the last year, it became necessary to look at a different way to address storage growth." ...DataCore Software profile


Maxtor Reports 12% Decline in Revenue

MILPITAS, Calif. - February 3, 2005 - Maxtor Corporation today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 25, 2004.

Revenue for the quarter was $1.031 billion, down 12% from the year ago period. The Company reported a net loss on a GAAP basis in the fourth quarter of 2004 of $70.2 million. Of the unit shipments in the fourth quarter, 563,000 represented shipments of SCSI drives and drives shipped to consumer electronics OEMs totaled 1,264,000. The average selling price was $70 compared with $67 in the third quarter. The company said it plans to reduce U.S. headcount by up to 200 over the course of the year. ...Maxtor profile

Editor's comments:- I commented on the factors affecting declining revenue in the hard disk market in an article last October. Flash drives are eating HDD makers' lunch at the low capacity end and there has been a pronounced shift in market share among the top 4 disk makers. Unless Microsoft can create a new application which inflates and wastes disk space on a vast scale - then other factors in the market such as virtualization and better RAID algorithms - which are reducing wasted disk space in the enterprise will lead to a flattening of hard disk revenue even if PC and server sales increase.



Atempo's Time Navigator Certified by StorageTek

PALO ALTO, Calif. - February 3, 2005 - Atempo, Inc. and StorageTek today announced the completion of testing and certification of Atempo's Time Navigator with StorageTek's new Streamline SL500 modular library system.

Time Navigator was tested with the StreamLine SL500 modular library system on a wide variety of popular operating systems including Solaris 9, AIX, HP-UX as well as Windows 2000 and Windows 2003.

"Network managers looking for fast, reliable backups will find that the SL500 modular library with Time Navigator is a powerful, manageable, and scalable solution," said Jon Benson, vice president and general manager for StorageTek's Automated Tape Solutions. "This certification underscores that these two systems are a strong fit." ...Atempo profile, Tape Libraries & Autoloaders


Super Bowl Pics to be Managed on Isilon Storage

SEATTLE – February 2, 2005 - Isilon Systems and Sports Illustrated today announced that SI has chosen the award winning Isilon IQ clustered storage as the sole on-site network storage system for their coverage of Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, FL this Sunday.

At Super Bowl XXXIX, twelve SI photographers will shoot an astounding 16,000 digital photos during the 3.5 hour Super Bowl game. To capture the historic battle between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles, SI photographers will take more than two pictures for each second of regulation game play. To efficiently store, annotate, sort and publish the best images, SI has assembled the most advanced digital photo management and clustered storage systems to be used for a live sporting event.

"The switch to digital photography and a digital workflow will save SI nearly $2 million this year while at the same time enabling us to publish the best pictures ever," said Phil Jache, deputy directory of technology for Sports Illustrated. "We rely on Isilon IQ for the most important events because 'it just works', liberates us from concentrating on our storage infrastructure, and allows us to publish photos faster than ever before."

At the heart of its 100% digital work flow is the SI mobile editing trailer where compact flash cards, full of recently captured images, are delivered by runners and loaded onto a high performance 6.75 terabyte Isilon IQ storage cluster. Photo editors, using a bank of networked laptop computers, rapidly annotate, review, sort and prepare digital photos stored on Isilon IQ for publication to multiple SI online and print media properties. To select the best photos from the Super Bowl showdown for its millions of print and online readers, SI editors require a fast, reliable digital storage infrastructure that enables them to review and sort more than two pictures for each second of game play from kickoff to the coronation of this year's Super Bowl victor. ...Isilon Systems profile


Xiotech Announces 25% Revenue Growth & New CEO

EDEN PRAIRIE, MN - February 2, 2005 - Xiotech Corporation today announced the appointment of Casey Powell as CEO and president, an industry veteran with over 25 years' executive experience leading technology companies.

Throughout his career, Powell has been instrumental in forging key business and financial alliances while providing strong technology leadership.

Xiotech also announced record revenue growth of 25%, and announced that it shipped over 5 petabytes of data storage solutions to customers in the small to medium enterprise marketplace in the last year. In addition, Xiotech also moved up from number four to number two on Byte and Switch's top ten list of private storage networking companies.

Powell replaces Alain Andreoli, who announced that he was leaving the company to pursue personal interests. Powell was the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Sequent Computer Systems, Inc., a pioneer in the development of commercial multiprocessing computers. He played a pivotal role in developing a partnership with IBM on a next-generation version of UNIX, which culminated in IBM's acquisition of Sequent in a deal valued at $810 million. Earlier in his career, Powell held several executive positions at Intel Corporation, including general manager of the company's microprocessor operations. Most recently he was CEO of StoneFly Networks. Powell has been a director of Verity, Inc., since August 2000. In addition he served on the National Board of Directors of the American Electronics Association. He holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, N.Y. ...Xiotech profile


BiTMICRO is #1 Recognized Solid-State Disks Brand

FREMONT, Calif. - February 2, 2005 - BiTMICRO is the most recognized brand in the solid state disk market, according to the Solid State Disk Buyer Preferences Market Report published by StorageSearch.com.

Conducted in the fourth quarter of 2004, the survey revealed that BiTMICRO leads other SSD manufacturers in overall brand awareness. When asked the question, "When thinking about SSD vendors - which company would you think about first to seek more information?", 22% of the respondents answered BiTMICRO Networks. M-Systems and Texas Memory were tied for second place with 10% each. Responses were culled from over 20,000 readers who visited STORAGEsearch.com's solid state disk content pages in Q4 2004.

"At first I was surprised to see that BiTMICRO was the #1 best known SSD brand cited by responders to our market research survey," said Zsolt Kerekes, editor of STORAGEsearch.com. "But when you look closely at the survey results and compare what SSD users say they want - with the availability of actual products it all starts to make sense. BiTMICRO offers more interface and package options than any other solid state disk manufacturer. So it is always worthwhile for SSD specifiers to take a look and see what they have on offer."

"These results confirm the success not only of our marketing efforts but also of our engineering initiatives as well," said Rudy Bruce, President of BiTMICRO® Networks. "Brand recognition can only be sustained if the product is of high value to the customer, and we are happy to announce that despite our current industry-leading SSD technologies, significant performance enhancements will be added to our line of E-Disk® Flash-SSDs in the near future," Bruce adds.

The STORAGEsearch.com survey also tackled other relevant market issues such as solid state disk packaging and form factors, user needs by interface type, and market inhibiters and disinhibiters. ...BiTMICRO Networks profile, Solid state disks, ...read survey results article, the Top SSD Companies


Incipient's New Senior VP Marketing

Waltham, MA.- February 2, 2005 - Incipient, Inc. has strengthened its management team with the appointment of Robert Infantino as Senior Vice President of Marketing.

In his new position, Infantino will drive the company's global marketing and communication initiatives as well as build on its strategic relationships with OEM business partners.

Infantino brings to Incipient more than 18 years of sales and marketing leadership experience in the storage industry. Prior to joining Incipient, Infantino was a consultant for several storage-related companies where he helped to reposition go-to-market strategies, expand business development efforts and contribute to fund-raising initiatives. Prior to consulting, Infantino was Founder and CEO of storage resource management software company Astrum Software which was acquired by EMC in April 2003. Infantino was also Founder and Vice President of Sales for Acorn Software Corporation, a pioneer in developing OpenVMS based storage software to manage near-line media for Fortune 100 based companies. ...Incipient profile


Softek to Resell EMC Mainframe Storage Software

Hopkinton, Mass and Vienna, Virginia - February 1, 2005 - EMC Corporation and Softek today announced they have formed a reseller relationship that enables Softek to offer EMC mainframe storage management and maintenance software throughout North America and Europe.

Softek will sell EMC's leading software for OS/390 and z/OS environments including: EMC Catalog Solution, the industry's premier catalog management tool, that maintains the health of OS/390 and z/OS directory catalogs; EMC Performance Essential, a comprehensive tuning and optimization tool that reduces batch processing times; and EMC VSAM Assist, a comprehensive management tool that expedites backup and recovery processes. ...Softek profile


Seagate Adds 3 New Distributors in North America

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. - February 1, 2005 - Seagate today announced the appointment of three new authorized distributors in North America.

Under the terms of the new agreements, distributors D&H, Condre and Computech International, Inc. can begin shipping products immediately. The authorization of these distributorships will enable Seagate to extend its reach with smaller resellers, who often prefer to purchase products locally. In addition, Condre, CTI and D&H all offer great flexibility in credit lines and payment terms. The ultimate goal is to provide the small- and medium-sized system builders, VARs and other resellers greater access to Seagate's storage products. ...Seagate profile


Top 10 Storage Companies Viewed in January

Editor:- February 1, 2005 - there were 3 new entries to the top 10 storage company profiles viewed by STORAGEsearch readers in January - PNY Technologies, Adaptec and Cypress Semiconductor.

The top 10 companies represent the top 1% of more than 1,000 storage company profiles listed on STORAGEsearch. This and other information such as the top 10 articles viewed by readers last month can be seen on the Market research page


Winchester Systems Delivers Battlefield RAID Storage

Burlington, MA. - February 1, 2005 - Winchester Systems, Inc. today introduced an enhanced ruggedized version of its high performance FlashDisk RAID array qualified for use in mobile military applications such as Humvee land vehicles, and other harsh environments requiring ruggedized hardware.

"Winchester Systems developed the GR-2000 for the US Army. It was designed to meet the military's need for a Mil-Spec Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) RAID system," according to David Geene, Vice President of Sales. "There have been hundreds of our ruggedized systems deployed worldwide and they are now battlefield proven."

The GR-2000 is our second generation of rugged RAID for military systems. Enhancements include an upgrade from an 8-bay to a 12-bay chassis supporting up to twelve, 300 GB low profile U320 SCSI disk drives totaling 3.6 TB per unit. Robust cable connections and unique drive lockdown thumbscrews have been enhanced to meet stringent shock and vibration requirements. The GR-2000 is compatible with most operating systems and no software drivers are required. It supports hot-swappable disk drives, on-line drive rebuilds and RAID 0, 1, 3, 5, 1+0, 15 protection for high reliability.

The GR-2000 meets a variety of military specifications including MIL-STD-810E Environmental, MIL-STD-461D for EMI and MIL-STD-2169B for HEMP (High Energy Magnetic Pulse). It is ready for use in any other military or demanding commercial application and may be customized to meet the specific ruggedized needs of government contractors....Winchester Systems profile, Military Storage


EqualLogic Increases iSCSI Use in Government Sector

Nashua, N.H. - February 1, 2005 – Federal and state agencies across the United States are making the switch from Fibre Channel to iSCSI SANs with EqualLogic's PS arrays.

Government agencies, resellers and integrators, and research laboratories are partnering with EqualLogic to provide scalable storage grid environments for mission-critical applications. To demonstrate its continued market leadership and sales penetration, EqualLogic is showcasing its wide range of government customers and partners that are consistently choosing to create and manage SANs and disaster recovery sites with EqualLogic's iSCSI-based networked storage.

A sample of government customers and partners working with EqualLogic include: state government organizations such as the Georgia Department of Transportation and the U.S. District Court of Calif.; federal contractors such Lockheed Martin, McDonald Bradley and Raytheon Company; multiple defense agencies and classified programs; federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and NASA; government research contractors Sandia Labs and Fermilab; military bases such as Edwards Air Force Base and Fort Benning Army Base; and government-focused distributors such as Promark Technology.

Jeff Seaton, CTO of NASA Langley Research Center, said, "Our work with IP SAN technology is expanding the breadth and availability of information accessible to our researchers. As a result of implementing a document management system that includes EqualLogic's iSCSI-based PS array, our researchers are able to focus more on their research rather than the underlying technology to support that research. Plus, we will be able to further mine and explore our internal knowledge base because our researchers have a place they can go to easily store their information and make it readily accessible to others. We would not have been able to implement the system in the short amount of time or within the tight budget that we had to work with using more traditional Fibre Channel SAN technology."

EqualLogic's PS SAN technology allows its government partners and customers to immediately consolidate storage into a fully redundant, high-performance scalable grid that can keep up with the 24/7 demands of today's technology-driven government initiatives and programs. EqualLogic is successfully selling into a market hungry for a robust alternative to complex and expensive Fibre Channel systems. The company posted 100 new customers to its portfolio in the fourth quarter of 2004 and now boasts more than 300 customers worldwide. ...EqualLogic profile, iSCSI


Nexsan's High Availability Storage - $3,500 / TB

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. - February 1, 2005 - Nexsan Technologies announced the release of the ATABeast/HA, a highly available storage array that provides affordable and compact multi-terabyte disk storage for enterprise-class applications.

Designed to deliver high availability and high IOPS performance for disk-to-disk enterprise backup, large secondary storage pools and on-demand rich media archive solutions, the ATABeast/HA features dual controllers with active-active failover, fully redundant components with hot swap capabilities, and an extreme density design in a highly scalable, cost-correct configuration. ATABeast/HA achieves high density per square inch - 4.2TB per U using 400GB drives - enabling users to fill a single data center rack with 168TB of capacity.

Each RAID controller is configured with dual high-performance 2 Gigabit Fibre Channel host ports or dual Ultra160 SCSI host ports and up to 42 ATA drives can be active simultaneously to generate high IOPS performance. Each individual ATABeast/HA module supports internal capacity scaling and each component can be hot-swapped individually, enabling simple expandability and upgradability without rebooting. The ATABeast/HA also features Nexsan's horizontal midplane design that promotes superior airflow and eliminates insertion stress points, and the NexScan management interface built into the ATABeast/HA hardware allows monitoring, status reporting, "phone-home" and multi-box management of all subsystems.

As a replacement for tape-based alternatives, ATABeast/HA provides high-speed disk-to-disk backup and fast access to on-line archives when used with Nexsan's award-winning InfiniSAN D2D data management software application. Nexsan's D2D solution provides a timed online replication system with multi-version control to allow storing and access to files in their native file format, eliminating proprietary formats and delivering immediate file access without "fire drill" restores. ATABeast/HA is available now and pricing starts from under $3,500 per terabyte. ...Nexsan profile, RAID systems
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STORAGEsearch.com surveyed SSD users in the 4th quarter of 2004.

65% of SSD users surveyed said "It greatly exceeded expectations - I advocate others to try"

The survey also asked why people use SSDs, and asked about user preferences on a whole range of subjects from interface and packaging options to how vendors could improve their communications, user education and marketing of these products. ...read the article, Market research, Solid state disks
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The Winds of Change - A Tale of Two Tape Backup Stalwarts
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. - January 25, 2005 - Qualstar Corporation, a manufacturer of automated tape storage solutions, today reported financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2005 ended December 31, 2004.

Fiscal 2005 Second Quarter Financial Results Revenues for the second quarter of fiscal 2005 were $6.4 million down 33% from the same quarter of the prior year. Qualstar reported revenues of $12.7 million for the first six months of fiscal 2005 down 18% from the first six months of fiscal 2004. ...Qualstar profile, Disk to disk backup, Tape backup

Editor's comments:- note that positioning statement "a manufacturer of automated tape storage solutions" at the start of this press release.

I usually edit those out because they clutter the place up if you know the company, and they often add no value. But I left it in this time because it is pertinent to an understanding of the changing shifts in the backup market. Qualstar is one of the few remaining pure tape backup system companies. I think they're fighting a losing war - because eventually tape will disappear. They have a different view on this and have a report which you can download from their site called D2D Backup is NOT Enough - The Case for D2D2T.

The problem with being a single product company (Qualstar has lots of products but they all include tape) is that your business is subject to the winds of change in that market sector. Qualstar was actually listed in our fastest growing storage companies in 2001 list - when it reported 39.6% year on year revenue growth. So the company, which was founded in 1984, has seen ups and downs in its long history. But the good times aren't coming back for tape. Qualstar needs to diversify its product line or spend more on advertising to take market share away from other tape backup makers. Instead - they reduced advertising and promotion spend in the most recent quarter as part of a general cost cutting exercise. That's just nuts IMHO.

To contrast this - let's look at another tape backup old timer - StorageTek (founded in 1969 ). The company today reported revenue for the last quarter of $665.8 million up 1.6% from the year ago period. While this growth figure is an order of magnitude below many other parts of the storage market - it's a good figure for a company which made its name in tape backup but has embraced disk to disk backup and now offers a more balanced product line.
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article by Engenio
SATA Raids the Datacenter - article by Engenio

"The debate on duty cycles and MTBF does not mean that SATA hard drives are more prone to crash than other technologies. Engenio's experience appears to suggest that SATA media must first endure an intensive burn-in process. Once accomplished, failure rates are equivalent to those of Fibre Channel and SCSI. This makes it the duty of the storage system manufacturer to ensure a long life for the medium by way of intensive tests and certification." ...read the article, ...Engenio profile, RAID systems, SATA
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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.

...read the article, ...LSI Logic profile, ...Maxtor profile, Serial Attached SCSI
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Chewing over 2004 - the Rising Stars of Storage and the Dogs which Failed to Bark
In 2004 - STORAGEsearch estimates worldwide storage market revenue exceeded $70 billion. That's bigger than the worldwide server market - which was about $45 billion but smaller than the PC market which was $250 billion.

If anyone was skeptical about the recovery in the IT market which started in the 3rd quarter of 2003 - the results were clear for everyone to see by the phenomenal growth in the storage market in 2004.

17 of the world's top 1,000 storage companies achieved annual revenue growth rates above 30%. While 3 exceeded 100%.

The fastest growing major segments within the storage market were:-

The Storage Dogs Which Didn't Bark

Some new storage interconnect technologies like iSCSI and Infiniband failed to achieve the market traction which had been optimistically predicted by the venture capitalists which funded their original development. Although growth rates for both these markets were in double digits - the number of user sites remained disappointingly small. Technical compatibility problems were cited as the cause for low iSCSI take up, and STORAGEsearch will be returning to this issue with a market survey in Q1 2005.

The InfiniBand market suffered user neglect for two main reasons. The biggest server companies were hanging on as long as possible to their more profitable proprietary interconnects, and the recession had stymied the threat from potential startup server makers. Another reason was that conventional technologies such as Ethernet and Fibre-channel were getting faster - and in the minds of many users - might make the need for InfiniBand irrelevant.

Compared to the double digit growth in the star segments above, markets which merely achieved single digit revenue growth such as hard disk drives, fibre-channel HBAs and switches and tape backup systems looked like they were flatlining.

In 2004 there was a 75% reduction in the rate of storage companies being acquired, merged or going bust. Only 21 of the top 1,000 storage companies met this fate compared to an average annual 86 companies in the period 2000 to 2003.

Looking ahead to 2005 STORAGEsearch predicts that the solid state disk market will maintain its momentum and grow past $2 billion annual market revenue. Serial Attached SCSI will become the hottest DAS connection technology and will quickly replace parallel SCSI in new high performance systems by the 2nd half of the year. In the storage networking market - 4Gbps Fibre-channel will become the new standard at the high end, while the debate in the Ethernet attached NAS market over the merits of TCP/IP hardware accelerators will be ended by the market accepting that it's a must-have and not just a nice-to-have option.

Stay tuned to our news page to see how this continuing saga unfolds. Or take a look at our storage history pages to see how 2004 compares to the past.

See also:- Silver Blaze - the online short story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle whose Sherlock Holmes first uttered the memorable phrase about "the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."

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