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Storage news - 2006, April week 4

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Infineon's RAM Revenue Grows 49% from Q405

El Segundo, Calif. - April 27, 2006 - in Q106 German chipmaker Infineon capitalized on weak performances by its rivals to take the #2 position in global DRAM sales for the first time, according to a preliminary estimate fromiSuppli Corp.

Infineon achieved DRAM sales of $1.16 billion in Q106, up a blistering 49% from $778 million in Q405. Infineon's ranking rose to #2, up two places higher than the previous quarter, surpassing Micron Technology Inc. of the United States and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. of South Korea. This marks the first time that Infineon has taken second place in the market, according to iSuppli data. The table below presents iSuppli's preliminary first-quarter DRAM ranking.

(1) - Samsung - $1,762 million
(2) - Infineon - $1,160 million
(3) - Hynix - $953 million
(4) - Micron - $886 million
(5) - Elpida - $640 million

"Hynix and Samsung in the first quarter reduced their rate of DRAM production increases, resulting in disappointing results for the companies," said Nam Hyung Kim, director and principal analyst, memory ICs/storage, for iSuppli. "These companies have been engaging in diversification efforts, shifting production from DRAM to more lucrative NAND flash parts." Market research, storage chips, memory market cycles

Editor:- April 27, 2006 - buried in the detail of Hitachi, Ltd's financial results (published today) was the nugget that its hard disk subsidiary Hitachi GST increased its revenue in calendar 2005 by 9% to $10.3 billion. Hitachi's overall revenue was approximately $81 billion using the same conversion rate. ...Hitachi profile

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. - April 26, 2006 - Seagate Technology has started shipping the world's first 750GB desktop hard drive to the worldwide distribution channel. The monster drive is part of the new Barracuda 7200.10 family built on perpendicular recording technology. the new drive maximizes the consistency of read/write performance by adjusting the head fly height according to changes in environmental operating conditions. Seagate's clean sweep technology, used in the new drive, helps maintain media integrity and drive reliability by passing the drive head over the entire platter during power-on to smooth out any irregularities in the disc surface. ...Seagate profile

MILPITAS, Calif. - April 25, 2006 - Maxtor Corp and AMCC today announced they have joined forces to promote the use of SATA storage in enterprise applications. The two companies have collaborated on testing and product validation on the Maxtor MaXLine enterprise SATA drive and AMCC's 3ware 9550SX PCI-X to SATA II RAID controller, thereby offering design simplicity and ease of integration with these products. The 3ware RAID controller delivers over 800MB/sec RAID 5 reads and exceeds 380MB/sec RAID 5 writes. Featuring up to 16-ports, the controller cards can support up to 16 MaXLine Pro 500 drives for a combined capacity of 8TB. ...AMCC profile, ...Maxtor profile, RAID controllers, article:- SATA Raids the Datacenter

NASHVILLE, TN - April 25, 2006 - today Texas Memory Systems, Inc. and Confio Software announced a partnership designed to help Oracle customers improve application performance. Under the agreement, announced at COLLABORATE 06, Confio Ignite software is now available for a free 14 day trial through the TMS web site. Confio Ignite for Oracle is used by DBAs to conclusively identify the root causes of Oracle database performance problems and identify the specific application code, database configuration or file location creating the problem. By identifying the detailed cause of performance issues and suggesting steps for resolution, users can better determine whether faster storage is the appropriate solution.

"DBAs often turn to Texas Memory Systems' solid state disks to improve performance when software tuning is not possible, is too time consuming or is resulting in diminishing returns." said Woody Hutsell, Executive Vice President at Texas Memory Systems. "We believe the Ignite software will help DBAs make informed decisions about when to integrate our solid state disks." ...Texas Memory Systems profile, Storage Events

London, UK - April 25, 2006 - DISUK today launched a new data encryption appliance, which has been certified by Plasmon for use with its UDO media libraries. DISUK's Paranoia2 data encryption appliance sits between the archive server and the optical media library itself, and encrypts data as it is transferred. There is no impact in the overall write speed from encrypting the data. Customers with existing Plasmon UDO libraries can deploy DISUK's new Paranoia2 appliance without modifications to their library or to their archive software or processes. ...DISUK profile, ...Plasmon profile, Storage Security, Optical Libraries

Editor:- April 25, 2006 - an article in the SPARC Product Directory comments on Scott McNealy's long overdue departure from the CEO slot at Sun Microsystems. Here's an extract... "...unlike Ken Olsen (DEC's founder) who stayed at the wheel far too long, steering his company on the wrong course - there are still realistic prospects that McNealy's departure, while overdue, is not terminally late for Sun." the article

NAB2006, Las Vegas - April 24, 2006 - Vicom Systems today announced Vmirror, a new family of high-availability and data protection appliances for Apple Computer's Xserve RAID storage systems. Vmirror is a solid state 1U rackmount Fibre Channel appliance that routes and transparently mirrors data from any number of Apple hosts to Xserve RAID storage systems at Fibre Channel line speed.

For continuous access and data protection, the Vmirror appliance mirrors one or two pairs of Xserve RAID arrays and presents these to connected host systems as a single, "unbreakable" storage unit. In the event of an array outage, data is made instantly available from its mirrored counterpart through hardware-based mirroring. Recovery from an outage is also instantaneous and invisible to the Apple host systems. There is no software to install, and adding the appliance to an Xserve configuration requires only a few mouse clicks, without need for proprietary device drivers or software agents on each host. The Vmirror appliance includes mirroring software and hardware, and supports up to four Xserve RAID systems. Pricing starts at $8,950. ...Vicom Systems profile, ...Apple profile, Rackmount Storage

CHICAGO - April 24, 2006 - ActionFront Data Recovery Labs has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Seagate Technology. Following a world-wide search for a partner with which to provide data recovery services, Seagate selected ActionFront to provide Seagate's own branded Data Recovery Services in April 2005, under contract. This was followed by ActionFront's acquisition in late 2005.

"ActionFront Data Recovery stood well ahead of its competitors in the areas of recovery success rates, server recovery expertise, R&D commitment and customer service excellence," stated Mark Grace, Senior Vice President, Seagate Sales Operations and Services. "In addition, ActionFront was the only data recovery organization that had implemented a structured quality management system with ISO 9001:2000 certification."

"ActionFront will truly benefit from Seagate's technical and logistic leadership while continuing to remain hardware agnostic," says Ron Austin, President of ActionFront. "Rest assured, the vast majority of data recovery cases we handle involve non-Seagate products." ...ActionFront profile, ...Seagate profile, Data Recovery

Sunnyvale, Calif. - April 24, 2006 - AMCC today announced its next generation of SATA RAID controllers designed for high-performance PCI-Express platforms. The 3ware 9590SE family is available in 8-, 12- and 16-port versions, allowing a single controller to manage up to 8TB of raw storage with 500GB drives. The feature-rich controllers offer support for SATA II, including native command queuing. All members of the family are also available with AMCC's Multi-lane connector system that combines 4 SATA ports into a single locked connection on the controller. The 3ware 9590SE family has an optional battery backup unit for protecting controller cache and disk cache. The 9590SE family also offers AMCC's StreamFusion technology, an intelligent cache algorithm that maximizes application performance under heavy loads by dynamically detecting the presence of multiple simultaneous write data streams and efficiently allocating controller cache for maximum bandwidth. ...AMCC profile, RAID controllers

Minneapolis, MN - April 24 2006 - Network Instruments announced today integrated support for Fibre Channel analysis with a new line of hardware monitoring appliances. With Network Instruments' new systems, network administrators can easily watch for session delays, view Fibre Channel specific statistics and errors, set alarms to proactively notify on potential problems, and obtain expert help on link issues. For guaranteed capture performance, Network Instruments has engineered a specific Fibre Channel capture card utilising the company's own Gen2T technology.

"The Gen2 platform enables the fastest real-time expert processing and the largest capture buffer available in the industry," said Roman Oliynyk, CEO and co-founder of Network Instruments.. "Now we've expanded our Gen2 card to support Fibre Channel. We've also added Fibre Channel support to our GigaStor appliance. The same GigaStor advantages-historical data analysis, up to 8T of storage, real-time Expert processing at the probe are now applicable for Fibre Channel."

The new GigaStor-FC is ideal for enterprise administrators that require historical Fibre Channel analysis and massive data collection. Finally, a new Fibre Channel field service solution operates as a combined console and probe for analysis portability. Every system reports back to Expert Observer or Observer Suite consoles located anywhere on the network for distributed visibility and real-time analysis. The new line of Fibre Channel analysis systems is available immediately. Pricing for the rack mountable hardware probe appliance begins at $11,995. The high-capacity GigaStor-FC begins at $19,995. ...Network Instruments profile, Storage Testers & Analyzers

Las Vegas, Nevada - April 24, 2006 - FirmTek, LLC unveiled their new SeriTek/2SE2-E today upon the opening of NAB 2006 (Booth SL 1238). The SeriTek/2SE2-E is a Serial ATA host adapter fully compatible with the new PCI Express bus architecture found in Apple's latest Dual-Core G5 Macintosh. Offering two external SATA II ports at up to 3 gigabits per second, the card enables individual drives or RAID arrays to be fully utilized as high-performance storage on Dual-Core systems. FirmTek's SeriTek/2SE2-E will be available in Q3 with estimated retail pricing of $99.95 ...FirmTek profile, Firewire Storage

Las Vegas, NV - April 23, 2006 - Sanbolic, Inc. today announced the release of the Quality of Service component in Melio FS shared file system. QoS allow the users to allocate bandwidth dynamically to specific workstations in a workgroup environment. Melio FS enables shared access to content files on SANs built using industry standard hardware in post production facilities. Shared access to content files on the SAN improves the work flow process by allowing content to be digitized centrally and eliminating the need to move very large video files among workstations. It also reduces the time to get programming on the air by allowing multiple editors to access content files for a project simultaneously, and simplifies versioning control. Sanbolic software currently supports Microsoft environemnts. ...Sanbolic profile, SAN software

Hollywood, FL - April 20, 2006 - Data Protection Solutions brings its DD4 mirroring technology to SATA drive users with the new EzRaid Dual Swap+ DD4. The EzRaid Dual Swap+ is designed to hold two SATA hard drives and fits easily into any 5.25 inch double drive bay. Users need only slip their SATA drives into the EzRaid Dual Swap+ and connect them to the computer's motherboard with the provided cables. Once connected, the drives are automatically integrated with the EzRaid Dual Swap+ hardware and data begins writing to both drives simultaneously, quickly building a mirror system. A mirror system can be created by installing two new drives or by having the EzRaid Dual Swap+ copy all data from an existing drive to a second drive. In either event, the process will result in the data on both drives being identical and remaining so as additional data is saved to the drives. Once the drives are mirrored no further user intervention is required.

Each time the user saves data, the information is automatically sent to both drives. If one of the drives fails, the EzRaid Dual Swap+ will seamlessly switch all operations to the functioning drive. The EzRaid Dual Swap+ will alert the user that only one drive is operational but the computer system will remain up and running and all applications will continue to function. The user may bring down the system and replace the failed drive at a convenient or non-peak time or simply hot swap the drive while the system is running. Once the failed drive is replaced, the EzRaid Dual Swap+ will automatically copy the data from the existing drive to the new drive in background and a new mirror system will be established. No additional oversight or administration is required.

Because the DD4 technology used in the EzRaid Dual Swap+ operates independently of the hardware platform and operating system, the EzRaid Dual Swap+ is compatible with all brands of SATA drives, drive formats and partitioning schemes. Additionally, it will function under a wide variety of operating systems, including all versions of Windows, DOS, LINUX, OS/2, Unix, Solaris, NetWare and others. MSRP is $599. ...Data Protection Solutions profile, RAID controllers

Paris, France, and Erie, PA - April 20, 2006 - Privately-held Micro-Journal, the French publisher of StorageNewsletter, has definitively acquired Mass Storage News, published by RMG Enterprises in Erie, PA. Both publications are dedicated to reporting on the worldwide professional storage community. From now on, as a result of this acquisition, Mass Storage News will be merged into StorageNewsletter. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"The storage industry is in a period of heated consolidation and this is also the case for storage publications. By acquiring Mass Storage News and merging it into StorageNewsletter, we will increase our audience and will by far lead the market of newsletters targeting storage professionals.", said Jean-Jacques Maleval, Editor of StorageNewsletter.

"We are very happy to see Mass Storage News join a publication of the caliber of StorageNewsletter, from which our readers can now benefit," commented Larry Roberts, CEO of RMG Enterprises and publisher of Mass Storage News. ...StorageNewsletter profile, Mass Storage News

Editor's note:- Lat year (March 18, 2005) Mass Storage News announced it had completed the acquisition of I've said before that I think the market doesn't need so many online storage publications. A smaller number of better quality publications works better for readers.

Newburyport, MA - April 20, 2006 - Solid Access Technologies has decided, contrary to common practice, to publish end user pricing for its new generation of Universal Solid State Disk products on its web site. "When we wanted to get educated about pricing in all SSD categories, we had to invest an inordinate amount of time to research and compile the information - and I think that is ridiculous" said Solid Access managing partner Tomas Havrda. "We certainly do not want to put our potential customers through the same ordeal. You want to see pricing, you should be able to access it now. That's what "Solid Access" is all about. Naturally it is easier to publish prices that are half or less then that of competitors. For example, $18,000 is our published price for a 16GB USSD 200 with a standard Fibre Channel 2Gb/s dual port. This USSD 200 with 4 FC ports can deliver up to 160,000 IOPS." ...Solid Access profile

Editor's comments:- This is a milestone in the SSD Market. Previously the volatile nature of memory pricing and fear of price led competition had meant that most SSD oems declined to publish any pricing data. The SSD pricing exclusion zone included their own websites, press releases related to product launches, and even our own SSD Buyers Guide. Making it easier for users to research prices will speed up the growth of the SSD market, which is already the fastest growing segment in the storage industry

Montreal, CANADA - April 19, 2006 - Maximum Throughput Inc. announced today that they will be demonstrating several industry first technologies at the imminent National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas. In addition to demonstrating the Sledgehammer and Xstoner product lines as they are used in many facilities today, the company will be showing the following new technologies:
  • Sledgehammer Dual Stream - the industry's first-ever uncompressed dual stream HD-capable digital disk recorder (DDR). Sledgehammer's new dual stream capability allows it to supply the source footage for grading, and simultaneously act as the destination VTR, recording the final graded material to the same storage.
  • MAXcluster - the first clustered storage solution to support guaranteed real-time I/O streams even at 2K resolutions while still providing simultaneous NAS based access to all shared contents.
  • High-Speed Backup - backup via Infiniband or 10GigE connectivity - supporting sustained backup speeds of up to 500MB/sec.
...Maximum Throughput profile, Storage Events
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Other news on this page

Hitachi's Hard Disk Revenue Exceeded $10B in 2005

Seagate Ships World's First 750G HDD to Channel

Maxtor and AMCC Promote Enterprise SATA Storage

TMS Offers Free Trial of Oracle Tuning Software

Paranoia2 Encrypts UDO Libraries

McNealy Gives Up the CEO Hot Seat at Sun

Vmirror Creates Unbreakable Xserve RAID Arrays

Seagate Acquires ActionFront Data Recovery Labs

AMCC Launches New PCI-Express RAID Controllers

Network Instruments Launches 8T Deep SAN Analyzer

FirmTek Announces SATA PCI Express for Power Mac G5

Sanbolic Dynamically Adjusts SAN Bandwidth Priorities

EzRaid for SATA Disk Bays

StorageNewsletter Acquires Mass Storage News

Solid Access Challenges SSD Market with Online Pricing

Maximum Throughput at NAB

last week's news (archive)

Serial Attached SCSI
Serial Attached SCSI on
Megabyte found it difficult
adapting to the newer thinner
Serial SCSI connections.
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5 Years After - 4 New Storage Interfaces - How did they Fare?

n 2001, launched 4 new directory pages dedicated to emerging storage interface technologies which had got a lot of reader attention in our news pages at that time:-
These new storage interfaces, conceived at the start of the 2001-2003 US IT market recession did not all match up to the original hopes of their proponents.

SATA has been the most successful.

It has been a multi billion dollar market for several years. In 2006 over 300 million hard disk drives will have SATA interfaces. SATA has also made its appearance in solid state disks, DVD drives and tape drives.

iSCSI had an optimistic, much hyped but false start.

The market in 2006 is 2 to 3 years behind the market size which was originally predicted for this. In the early days of the iSCSI market optimistic projections from IDC led vendors to expect that iSCSI would be a $1 billion market in 2004. Those early projections for 2004 iSCSI revenue were ten times too high. We may have to wait till 2007 before the iSCSI market reaches the magic billion dollar size. The main reasons for iSCSI's slow take-off were:- slowness in the standard development process, early products which didn't work properly, and then finally, waiting for Microsoft to wake up and grasp the significance of the storage market. Looking to the future, the market is now hotting up. Recent iSCSI benchmarks on 10Gbps Ethernet have quoted faster IOPs than Fibre-channel SANs. Vendors are promising that iSCSI will be faster than FC without the setup complexity.

Serial Attached SCSI - It took 4 years for SAS products and systems to start reaching end-users.

Hitachi shipped the first 15K RPM SAS hard drives a year ago (May 2005) and most leading server manufacturers had launched SAS based servers by the end of 2005. But I get the impression that most users are underwhelmed by the performance promise that SAS based systems offer. The main reason is that the fastest SATA disks overlap in performance with mid range SAS drives. So the benefits from adopting SAS only appeal to a small segment of the market.

Another reason for the small size of the SAS market may be that parallel SCSI had become a niche for RISC based servers running various flavors of Unix. So although users of Sun's SPARC servers, for example, have seen an upward shift in performance from the new SAS drives, the Unix part of the server market has been overtaken by Windows based servers using Intel Architecture processors. Most I.A. server makers were natural early adopters of the Intel rooted SATA interface. In contrast, most RISC servers never supported PATA, and those product lines had to wait a few more years for the software compatible Serial SCSI disks to emerge.

InfiniBand has been a graveyard for many startups which came into being to support this technology. Of the 4 interface standards which started at about the same time the InfiniBand market is today the smallest in revenue and in growth potential.

The original idea behind InfiniBand was that it would offer an industry standard alternative to the many high speed proprietary busses which server manufacturers used to cluster their most powerful servers. The server recession in 2001-2003 slowed down the pace of new server developments and provided a disincentive for manufacturers to end of life their most profitable products. In the past 4 years two other factors have reduced the potential market size for InfiniBand.

The availability of processor chips with multiple central processing units on the same chip has reduced the need for motherboard to motherboard memory access of the type provided by a factor of two, four or eight - for different chip implementations. Furthermore the availability of 10Gbps Ethernet, and the possibility of 20GbE provides a workable alternative in many applications which would have looked like natural slots for InfiniBand just a few years ago.

Although InfiniBand has reached the stage where there are many working products - the shape of the market is a small number of end-users who consume a large number (thousands each) of InfiniBand ports. It is doubtful that this will become a high volume market unless something radically changes in the architecture of server systems. If that change happens - you'll be the first to know as it gets reported in these news pages.

Summary - The storage market has changed a lot since these new storage interfaces were hatched in 2001. The new interfaces have survived a recession and it's likely that they will all still be around in some upgraded form till the end of the decade. They were designed to meet the needs of computer networks in which the main form of online storage is hard disk based. In the next few years we'll start to see a shift away from rotating mechanical storage (hard disks, DVDs and tapes) towards faster, more reliable solid state storage. Solid state disks currently use interfaces which are hand-me-downs from the magnetic storage era. The next generation of new storage interfaces which may start life in 2011 will be completely different. Watch this space.

You can get more detailed information about all the above markets, vendors, history, applications etc by clicking on the links above.

See also:- 10 Years After - (featuring Alvin Lee on lead guitar).
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Squeak! - Why are Most Analysts Wrong About Solid State Disks?
read the article - Why are Most Analysts  Wrong About Solid State Disks?
Most analysts and editors of other computer publications don't really understand the solid state disk market. They show their ignorance and naivete by prefacing every discussion of SSDs with a superficial analysis which compares the cost per byte of storage between flash and hard disk drives. That's the wrong answer to the wrong question. And it's far removed from why the SSD market is racing to become a multi billion dollar market seemingly in blithe ignorance of the cost per byte proposition.

This article tells you what's important to users and the main applications in which SSDs are already being used and new applications where they will be used in the next 3 years. the article, Solid State Disks
Connexion Point
Connexion Point specialises in the repair,
maintenance, support and rental of tape drives
and tape autoloaders in Europe and Australasia.
Squeak! - the Top 10 Storage Software Companies - 2005
.read the article - top 10 software companies
This is the 5th annual edition of this popular report (published January 18, 2006). The ranking - based on analyzing millions of pageviews from over 640,000 readers during 2005 - shows what readers are actually interested in. the article, backup software, Storage Software

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