Storage news - 2005, October week 4
|See also:-||the fastest SSDs|
the SSD Buyers Guide
the Top 10 SSD Companies
What's the best / cheapest PC SSD?
Branding Strategies in the SSD Market
SSD Pricing - where does all the money go?
Write IOPS - inflation problems in flash SSDs
Best Reseller Program Award
SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. - October 31, 2005 - Seagate Technology today announced that its Seagate Partner Program has won the 2005 Reseller Advocate Magazine (RAM) Award for Best Reseller Program.
Partner programs from Intel and Microsoft were runners up in the RAM poll of 4,000 North American resellers. Over the past year, Seagate has strengthened the Seagate Partner Program to better support resellers' unique business requirements. The resellers polled by RAM recognized the Seagate Partner Program for its ability to help resellers increase profits, reduce costs, accelerate time-to-market and expand their customer base. ...read the article - 2005 RAM Awards, ...Seagate profile
Bell Micro to Distribute Idealstor's Backup Appliance
GAITHERSBURG, MD - October 31, 2005 - Idealstor has announced that Bell Microproducts has been tapped to expand the company's growing network of reseller business partners.
"This partnership... allows us to further address the growing demand for disk-to-disk storage solutions," said Gary Gammon, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Marketing for Bell Microproducts.
Idealstor's flagship product, Idealstor Backup Appliance, is a complete backup system using ejectable, cost-effective PATA drives to backup and archive data, reducing or eliminating the need for reliance on tape drives. In addition to the Idealstor Backup Appliance, Bell Microproducts will market and distribute Idealstor's entire array of storage products. ...Idealstor profile, ...Bell Micro profile, Disk to disk backup
Time Navigator Backs Up French Navy's Charts
PALO ALTO, Calif. - October 31, 2005 - Atempo today announced that the French Navy's Hydrographic and Oceanographic Department (SHOM) has chosen its Time Navigator to protect the critical data generated by its three main sites and all information collected by its mission boats.
SHOM collects and disseminates data for sea charts, tidal information etc used by mariners and the French Navy.
"Backup problems with our Oracle databases and the lack of single data protection platform led us to seek an enterprise data protection solution. We selected Time Navigator because it offers data protection across heterogeneous platforms, including Oracle database backup, as well as its ease of use and installation and intuitive GUI. Moreover, Time Navigator offered unparalleled recovery and backup performance enabling us to meet our ever shrinking backup windows," said Michel Le Gouic, EPSHOM Backup Manager. ...Atempo profile, Backup Software, Military Storage
Editor's comments:- a few weeks ago the UK commemorated the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar so I took my young nephew and niece to visit the HMS Victory, which was Nelson's flagship.
They thought it was great fun getting lost inside. What struck me was how scary the ship would be if you encountered it as an enemy. It's little more than a floating platform for densely packed cannon. Unlike modern warships which are painted sea-gray so that they can't be easily seen - the Victory was painted in bright colors and the whole point of it was to be seen and to project British naval power. But a sign of the cordial relations which have existed between Britain and France for the past 100 years is that as you walk off the Victory's gangplank today - the first fast food that you meet is actually selling delicious Breton style crepes. See also:- my online novel Pirates and Goblins.
Cyber-Ark Opens the Lid on Digital Vaults
Editor:- October 31, 2005 - a new article is published today on STORAGEsearch, written by Cyber-Ark Software it's called - "What are Digital Vaults?"
Digital Vaults enable users across the internet to share access to sensitive information in a simple secure way. Calum Macleod - European Director of Cyber-Ark gives a brief overview on the secure vaulting concept and looks at why they are growing in popularity. ...read the article, ...Cyber-Ark Software profile, Storage Security
PMC-Sierra Acquires Agilent's Storage Chip Business
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - October 30, 2005 - PMC-Sierra, Inc. today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the storage semiconductor business of Agilent Technologies for approximately $425 million in cash.
The storage semiconductor business of Agilent's Semiconductor Products Group is a long-term technology leader in Fibre Channel protocol controllers with its Tachyon product line. The business being acquired by PMC-Sierra employs approximately 240 employees and has design centers located in Santa Clara, Roseville (CA), and Singapore. PMC's acquisition is expected to close in January of 2006. ...PMC-Sierra profile, ...Agilent profile, Acquired companies, storage chips
Intel Launches Network Storage Systems
SANTA CLARA, Calif - October 27, 2005 - Intel Corporation announced today it has entered the network storage systems market by launching two rackmount platforms which only need the addition of disks and customizing components to operate in fibre-channel or IP SANs.
| The new
systems support up to 12 (or 16) hot-swappable
SATA drives in a 2U
(or 3U) form factor using Intel standard drive carriers. That provides upto
6TB (or 8TB) storage capacity using 500GB drives.
RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 or 50 are
The platform comes standard with a suite of software tools to manage geographically diverse storage resources and accommodate rapidly expanding storage growth.
|"Analysts show that data is
doubling every 18 months and businesses are struggling to keep up," said
Hans Geyer, vice president and general manager, Storage Group at Intel. "Yet
today's storage solutions are often too expensive or complex for an average
business to use. They need a simple, affordable solution based on a flexible set
of standards-based building blocks that has the power to scale with the growing
mountains of data." ...Intel
Editor's comments:- Intel's past attempts to successfully market systems such as PCs have failed and recently Adaptec (another storage chip / host bus adapter) company which had tried to get into systems via the acquisition route - announced it was exiting that business. Curiously these events are intertwined in past storage history.
In June 2003 Intel sold to Adaptec a German storage company called ICP vortex Computersysteme which Intel had originally acquired in March 2001. In 2003 it looked as though Intel was firmly staying out of the storage systems business, and was focusing instead on chip and card related products. (That's what Intel's PR said back then.) But fast forward to 2005/6 and Intel's outlook today as a processor maker is far from rosy. It is #3 in the 64 bit server market (behind AMD and Sun ). And as we will reveal in more detail in an upcoming article - Intel's profitable business in the notebook PC market will be threatened next year by new flash SSDs which will deliver better performance to users in the lucrative sub 1Kg weight market than using newer processors. Intel invented flash, and at one time was the biggest maker of flash storage, but the bright management which runs the company decided to pull out of the flash market - which in 2005 is worth $13 billion and likely to nearly double again next year.
Intel will find that being in the network storage market is a lot more complicated than it first appears. But you can't blame them for trying. Everyone wants to get into this market because it's bigger than the server market and may eventually overtake the PC market in revenue. Intel's poltergeist Microsoft (which haunts a lot of Intel hardware) has also recently entered the user storage market with its DPM backup product.
Will Intel succeed in the SAN market? - Probably not - in my opinion. But until they admit it was a mistake and pull out - users with simple homogeneous server environments may be able to pick up some vanilla hardware bargains.
Solid State Disk Accelerates Online Game Users
Editor:- October 27, 2005 - Texas Memory Systems and CCP Games today revealed that the world's largest game universe is accelerated by RamSan solid state disks.
A record breaking 17,000+ concurrent users have interacted together within the EVE Online (science fiction) game environment.
CCP's online multiplayer game is set apart from other such games because all players are on one server cluster, while other online role-playing games force different groups of users into different gaming clusters. To manage the demand by thousands of simultaneous gamers, CCP installed a 64-Gigabyte RamSan-400 solid state disk to accelerate their Microsoft Windows SQL Server database (running on 150 IBM servers).
The Texas Memory Systems' solid state disk resulted in a 40x improvement in performance by removing I/O bottlenecks allowing CCP to not only support much higher number of users but also improve the current user experience.
"The effect of the RamSan was immediate on both system performance and customer satisfaction," said Hilmar V. Pétursson, CEO of CCP. "After installing the RamSan, our player forums quickly lit up with enthusiastic and positive comments. Now we can focus our engineering resources on expanding our game universe and the customer experience without the limitations imposed by hard disk performance..."
"CCP´s setup for EVE Online is among the most creative, exciting and fun uses of solid state disk technology," said Woody Hutsell, Executive Vice President of Texas Memory Systems. "Although the user interface is very different, the underlying performance issues facing this massive online game are the same as those faced by stock exchanges, banks and telecommunications businesses that also use our solid state systems." ...read the case stufy (pdf)
EVault One of America's Fastest Growing Companies
Emeryville, Calif. - October 27, 2005 - EVault, Inc. today announced that it has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing, privately held companies in the United States.
Since 2002, EVault has experienced a 914% growth rate, generating $24 million in revenues for fiscal year 2005, which ended on June 30 of this year.
"EVault is proud to be recognized by the Inc. 500 for our outstanding performance over the past three years," said Phil Gilmour, president and CEO, EVault, Inc. "Our growth is a reflection of our success in offering innovative data protection solutions to help meet our customers' specific needs." ...EVault profile
Samsung Ships World's Fastest Graphics RAM
Seoul, Korea - October 26, 2005 - Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has developed the industry's fastest computer graphics memory and has shipped it to major graphics card manufacturers for testing.
The GDDR4 (Graphics Double Data Rate 4th Generation) memory operates at 2.5GHz and processes gaming and video images at 10-gigabytes per second. As games and video become increasingly high-resolution and encompass more content, graphics-DRAM data processing needs to improve at a similar pace. But due to an inherent transmission delay when data travels between the graphics chip and the resident system, the fastest graphics memory to this point has been limited to a speed of 1.6GHz. Samsung has used cutting-edge technologies called DBI (Data Bus Inversion) and Multi-Preamble, for the first time anywhere, in the development of GDDR4, eliminating all data transmission delay. The result is a transmission speed 56% faster than graphics products on the market today. ...Samsung profile, RAM, chips
Storage Expo Visitors Grow 15%
Editor:- October 26, 2005 - the organisers of Storage Expo 2005, which took place two weeks ago in London, have issued a report on the two day event.
They say Storage Expo had 3,834 visitors, 15% up on last year's numbers.
"I couldn't believe the interest in our REO Disk to Disk appliance" said Chris James, Marketing Director, Overland Storage. "At one point we had to ask our resellers and distributors to help man the Overland stand as our ten Overland staff were not enough to cope with the volume of visitors"
Next year Storage Expo will run from 18th -19th October 2006 at the same venue - Olympia, London. For more info contact Claire Sellick +44 208 910 7907. ...Storage Events
LapiStor Announces MBO
Bradford, UK - October 26, 2005 - LapiStor Ltd today announced that senior management within the company have completed a buyout of the firm.
This Management Buyout has been led by Managing Director, Tony Howard, and Technical Director, Andrew Double. Identifying the main benefits that will flow from the MBO, Tony Howard said "We expect to take advantage of faster decision making and will not be restrained by the delays inherent in the corporate governance of public companies. Certainly, as owners, we will have a much more motivated management team." ...LapiStor profile, RAID systems
Are SAS Drives SF for Most Users?
Editor:- October 26, 2005 - Wednesday is usually a quiet day for storage news so during a few idle moments I started thinking about where I might go during the forthcoming holidays. Aurora and the Sands of Mars are both on my "must see one day" list - but I've heard they're cold and unfriendly. Shopping on Caprica was another option I'd considered, but things may warm up there soon as I've heard rumors that Cylon scout ships have been sighted in the area. If all that sounds like science fiction, then apparently so too do a lot of the new hard disk products that we write about on STORAGEsearch sound like SF to many readers according to some reality checks I cashed recently.
Take the case of Serial Attached SCSI, a subject to which we dedicated its own page exactly 4 years ago!
After years of talking, developing standards, designing chips etc server manufacturers only started shipping servers with SAS interfaces a few months ago. To speed this laggardly market up, Seagate and Adaptec announced yesterday that they were offering half price SAS evaluation kits to encourage systems integrators to play with the technology.
So this week I asked Joe Mastrocola at Southbury, CT based disk supplier Data Storage Depot how much interest he was seeing in the new SAS disks from the end user community. He set me straight by explaining that he expected minimal end-user sales at the present time because users would typically order their new servers stuffed with the maximum capacity of the new SAS disks already integrated by the primary oem. It's usually a year or so later - when users are upgrading their servers out of a different budget pot - that they shop around for low price deals on add-in disks. That's a market he's been in for 20 years - so he's seen this pattern before with new technologies. His point is that although the news pages in publications like ours naturally tend to focus on the newest drives and technologies, the after market still ships a lot of parallel SCSI disk drives to meet the needs of customers who are still using servers from Sun, HP, IBM etc which may be two to five years old. That's the real world.
Another specialized part of the disk market comes even later in the server lifetime when the original hardware starts to fail and disk drives need to be replaced. Ian Turnbull at UK based Ultratec recently told me that's a market they do well in. As they hold stocks of hard to locate disk drives going back more than a decade - they are often used by data recovery and repair companies who need to source older drives. He thought that some companies in the supply chain might be adding significant mark ups to his company's aggressive low prices. Ultratec sells new drives too and they are confident enough to publish all their disk prices online. Although they are based in Europe, Turnbull says they have supplied hard to get drives for many US organizations too including such well known ones as NASA.
So it looks like most disk resellers aren't yet in the SAS (or SF) part of the storage business, and are more involved day to day with what you could call the reality end of the market.
Going back to my original musings about where to go on Thanksgiving - I might just motor down to Privett, a sleepy village in Hampshire (England). It's only a 45 minute drive and I'm not scared by goblins.
...5 years later:- SAS SSDs became an attractive market for SSD oems.
Adtron Ships 3.5" 128GB SATA Flash SSD
LAS VEGAS, NV - October 25, 2005 - Adtron announced today the availability of its 3.5-inch SATA (A35FB) flash disk solid state disk which offers capacity upto 128GB and 80MB/s sustained performance.
Adtron's EraSure technologies enhance the use of solid state-based solutions in defense applications by providing clear and sanitize functions that are compliant with defense specifications. These features ensure rapid and secure data elimination from the media when required. Optional destroy, write protection and password protection features are also available. Both the A35FB flash disk and I35FB flash disk support either commercial (0 to 70 degrees C) or industrial (-40 to 85 degrees C) temperatures. Shipments of 3.5-inch SATA flash disks will begin in November. Quantity pricing for an 8GB A35FB flash disk is $1,900. ...Adtron profile, Solid State Disks, Flash Memory, SATA SSDs
Seagate & Adaptec Launch 1/2 Price SAS Starter Kit
Orlando, Fla. - October 25, 2005 - Seagate along with Adaptec today announced a powerful channel program designed to promote early Serial Attached SCSI deployments by the system builder and reseller communities.
At the heart of the program is the SAS Starter Kit which includes two Seagate Cheetah 15K.4 hard disc drives, an Adaptec 48300 SAS host bus adapter and the necessary cabling. This kit is designed to easily integrate into any server environment with a PCI-X host interface to allow resellers and system builders to experience the benefits of SAS first-hand. The SAS Starter Kit is available at a 50% discount off MSRP for a limited time starting November 1 through December 30, 2005. There is a limit of one SAS Starter Kit per reseller or system builder. For further information about the program, call 1-800-442-7274. ...Adaptec profile, ...Seagate profile, Serial Attached SCSI
Voltaire and FalconStor Collaborate on InfiniBand
BILLERICA, Mass. - October 25, 2005 - Voltaire and FalconStor Software, Inc. today announced their joint InfiniBand storage solutions.
Customers leveraging FalconStor's IPStor Enterprise Edition software with Voltaire Grid Backbone switching solutions can implement an ultra high performance storage network operating at speeds that are four times faster than Fibre Channel. Voltaire is the industry's only provider of solutions that enable iSCSI over InfiniBand.
Massachusetts-based Institute for Health Metrics (IHM) is employing the Voltaire and FalconStor solutions to provide information products for hospitals using continuous streams of clinical data. "By moving to native InfiniBand storage, we've essentially built a 'Fibre Channelfree' data center to run a highly complex, storage-intensive application," said Don Pettini, Chief Technology and Information Security Officer, IHM. "The Voltaire and FalconStor solutions combine iSCSI's management capabilities with the high performance of InfiniBand, enabling us to accelerate backups and data replication for our most important applications."
IPStor software supports many protocols including iSCSI, and provides storage services including remote replication, accelerated backup and recovery, and fail-over services to optimize business continuity. ...FalconStor profile, ...Voltaire profile
Alera Technologies Launches DVD/CD Shredder
CHATSWORTH, Calif. - October 24, 2005 - Alera Technologies, Inc. announced its new DVD/CD Shredder Plus XC that cross cuts DVDs, CDs, Credit Cards, and ATM Cards into small unusable bits, permanently preventing unauthorized use.
Alera's new DVD/CD shredder can also shred upto 5 folded sheets of paper. The DVD/CD Shredder Plus XC has auto start, auto stop, reverse operation and is equipped with a slide out 3.5 Liter basket with a transparent window to catch the pieces. It even comes with a brush to clean the basket. Aleratec now has media shredder products based on three media destruction technologies: cross cut, strip cut, and embossing. The DVD/CD Shredder XC (Alera Technologies Part No. 240130) has an estimated street price of only $119.99. ...Alera Technologies profile, Storage Testers, Disk Sanitizers
NAS Gateway Helps Users Reap Benefits from SSDs
Editor:- October 24, 2005 - ONStor Inc. today announced that it has qualified solid state disk systems from Texas Memory Systems for compatible operation with its NAS gateways.
This will bring the benefits of the "world's fastest storage" to a bigger market than the fibre-channel SAN market which is the native interface type for these SSD systems from TMS. Although SSDs with native NAS interfaces have been available from several SSD manufacturers for the last couple of years, these previously available, flash based, SSD NAS systems have been designed for use in inaccessible or hostile environments rather than as application speedup acccelerators. According to the recently published 2005 NAS and NAS Virtualization Report from Peripheral Concepts, 20% of big US user sites have already consolidated their NAS and SAN storage into a single storage pool, and that number will more than triple in the next twelve months. ...ONStor profile, ...Texas Memory Systems profile, Solid State Disks
Maxtor Ships 3 Families of 500GB HDDs
Storage Networking World - Orlando, FL - October 24, 2005 - Maxtor Corporation announced today that the company is shipping its SATA II and ATA/133 hard drives with a capacity point up to 500GB this quarter.
Maxtor is shipping 3 different families of 500GB HDDs optimized for the enterprise, desktop and consumer markets. ...Maxtor profile
BBC Drama Waking the Dead - Data Recovery Goof
Editor:- October 24, 2005 - if you live in Europe and watched the new episode of Waking the Dead on BBC1 last night - did you spot the error in the data recovery story line?
They used the wrong kind of cable when attempting the data recovery from the damaged disk.
In real-life a data forensic expert would always use a cable connected to the disk which has built in hardware to prevent accidental or deliberate deletion of data. Such cables are available from Intelligent Computer Solutions.
This would have reduced the tension in last night's episode - but shows that - however good the Cold Case fictional team are at recovering DNA from old crime scenes - they should leave disk data recovery to the experts.
In tonight's episode - will Spence redeeem himself? and will we find that MI5 was involved in the murder? Tune in at 9.00 pm. ...Data Recovery
Later:- In Monday night's episode Spence got shot up badly and did a lot of crawling round leaving realistic looking trails of blood - but it all ended happily - except for the bad guys.
Overland Introduces ULTAMUS Disk to Disk Backup
SAN DIEGO - October 24, 2005 - Overland Storage, Inc. today introduced the ULTAMUS SERIES of protected primary storage appliances at Storage Networking World.
Deployable as either iSCSI or Fibre Channel storage area network, the ULTAMUS SERIES combines up to two storage processors, or servers, with as many as four 8TB expansion arrays, for up to 32 TB of raw storage capacity. The storage processors include embedded Protection OS software, which delivers enterprise-class features including snapshot, replication, virtualization, high availability and thin provisioning.
The expansion array offers RAID 5 as well as redundant, hot swappable components, providing an added level of data protection. Patent-pending snapshot technology allows data to be quickly protected and instantly recovered without using traditional backup software or servers. Snapshots can be taken as often as every minute for virtually any-point-in-time recovery. The ULTAMUS is available worldwide at a starting MSRP of $49,995. ...Overland profile, Disk to disk backup, storage history
Editor's comments:- the disk to disk / virtual tape library market offers a bewildering number of proprietary solutions for the same fundamental problem - which is speedy data backup / replication across a network to disk.
In some ways the market reminds me of the wordprocessor market in the late 1970s and early 1980s - when companies like Wang and IBM offered dedicated wordprocessor systems. As we now know, users preferred to integrate high volume standard wp packages onto standard high volume PCs instead of buying the proprietary systems.
My guess is that disk to disk backup systems which don't simply consist of hardware independent software added to vanilla RAID will be market dead ends. Customers need to ask themselves if they can afford the high risk of being locked into proprietary solutions like ULTAMUS.
Atempo Protects Hollywood's Ad Creations
PALO ALTO, Calif. - October 24, 2005 - Atempo today announced that Hollywood's leading advertising firm, The Cimarron Group, has selected Time Navigator to protect more than 32TB of business-critical data stored on their Apple Xsan.
The agency produces award-winning advertising and promotion campaigns for every major movie studio and prime TV network. Cimarron chose Atempo's Time Navigator data protection solution because it was the only product that provided out-of-the-box support for Apple Xsan, rapid file restoration and excelled at delivering high performance backup and restore in heterogeneous operating environments. Prior to working with Atempo and as part of the vendor evaluation process, Cimarron tested a number of products. Maximum file and volume size limitations, lack of simultaneous Apple Xsan and Windows and inability to meet basic requirements, such as LTO3 tape library support and fast backup and restore performance, eliminated most of the alternatives. ...Atempo profile, SSDs in movie creation
Editor's comments:- the fire which two weeks ago destroyed decades of archived Wallace and Gromit archives shows the need to backup creative content (even ads). It wasn't so easy archiving stuff in the days when rubber and foam were an integral part of the artform - but now everything is digital or digitized - so there's no excuse.
Exanet Scores Well in NAS Brand Survey
Herzliya, Israel - October 23, 2005 - Exanet is the "most recognized new NAS vendor" according to a recent survey by Peripheral Concepts, Inc.
The comprehensive survey covered IT managers at more than two thousand data centers. "We are delighted to be positioned as the most recognized new vendor in the NAS space," said Per Sjofors, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Exanet. ...Exanet profile, ...Peripheral Concepts profile, ...NAS Survey report
Editor's comments:- vendors always choose stats which put them in a good light. I thought I'd check our own reader stats - which show Exanet's popularity (based on company profile rank) is 144 in the top 1,000 storage companies (sample size = 190,000 readers in the last few months). While Exanet's popularity is nowhere near the top of NAS vendors - being in the top 15% of all storage vendors is indeed a good rank.
Later:- on Monday (October 24) Exanet announced general availability of ExaStore Version 2.2