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storage history - 2006, December weeks 3 - 4

Megabyte's selection of storage news
Megabyte loves reading storage news.
... the SSD Buyers Guide
the Top 10 SSD Companies
SSD Myths and Legends - "write endurance"
the Problem with Write IOPS - in flash SSDs
Clarifying SSD Pricing - where does all the money go?
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Seagate Acquires EVault

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif - December 21, 2006 - Seagate Technology today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire EVault, Inc.

"Today's announcement highlights a strategic next step into services, which is a natural extension of Seagate's core business and will leverage our brand leadership and channel expertise to deliver solutions to the SMB market," said Bill Watkins, Seagate CEO. ...EVault profile, ...Seagate profile

Storage Visions 2007 Live Web Cast

San Jose, CA - December 19, 2006 - Storage Visions Conference announces that TVWorldwide will be the official conference web caster.

Storage Visions will be held January 6 & 7 at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. TVWorldwide will record it and make video and audio feeds of the conference available live on January 7. After December 29 on-line registration will close and the on-site registration fee increases by $200. For remaining sponsorships or exhibit opportunities call 408-871-8808. ...Storage Visions, Storage Events, SSD videos

D2d Storage Market Accelerator Plugs into Your Board(room)

Los Angeles - December 19, 2006 - Storage market accelerator Diamond Lauffin has launched The Lauffin Group Inc. which will provide expert guidance in nurturing and growing channels for client companies.

Unlike consultancy groups, TLG executives will not only provide advice and guidance, but will roll up their sleeves and become part of their clients' sales and marketing teams.

Lauffin formed his new consultancy group after serving 6 years as executive VP of Nexsan Technologies, with whom he'll still advise. At Nexsan he played a significant role in forming the management and sales teams, obtaining financing, defining the company's products and the market. He spearheaded the launch of the company, evangelizing disk-to-disk backup far and wide, creating controversy while noting its many benefits over tape, and opened a market in which nearly every tape vendor has entered.

Prior to joining Nexsan, Lauffin was responsible for worldwide sales and technical support at Qualstar where he conceptualized, developed and introduced products, which drove annual company revenues from $7 million to more than $60 million. ...The Lauffin Group, Marketing Views, Storage People

Editor's comments:-
The storage market is so complicated that many oems I talk to don't understand what's going on in their own market segments. And market predictions from the "usual suspects" have mostly proven to be wildly incorrect and over optimistic in recent years - particularly with regard to the rate of new technology adoption - leading to a cold crowded graveyard of VC funded storage startups. There's no substitute for experienced marketing people who have been in the storage market for a long time and learned from their own successes - and from the failures and missed opportunities they have observed in their own and other organizations. There are many companies who could benefit from this new service.

Advanced Media Enters SSD Market

Diamond Bar, CA - December 18, 2006 - Advanced Media, Inc. has entered the Solid State Disk market.

Its new 1.8" / 2.5" RIDATA Flash SSD (MSRP $169) is now shipping and is available in 16GB and 32GB capacities. Interface options include ATA/IDE and SATA. It also supports up to PIO Mode-4 and up to Multiword DMA Mode-2. It has a flash media interface of 8- or 16-bit access and can support up to 8 flash-media devices directly and 32 such devices through external decoding logic. A built-in ECC corrects up to three-random 12-bit symbols per 512-byte sector. RIDATA offers 1.8" and 2.5" module-type Flash SSD for an ATA/IDE interface and 2.5" for a SATA interface. It will be on display next month at CES. ...Advanced Media profile, Solid state disks

Editor's comments:-
the number of SSD manufacturers, now standing at 44, has quadrupled since 1999. As the market is expected to grow from niche mode to a colossal $5 -10 billion per annum in the next few years - I expect the number of active oems in this segment to double in the next year.

Agere Previews Mobile Content Server

Allentown, PA. - December 18, 2006 - Agere Systems today introduced the BluOnyx mobile content server.

About the size of a credit card the BluOnyx will provide from 1 to 40GB capacity and connect via USB and wireless. The BluOnyx is controlled via cell phone, PC or TV and can stream video to one or more cell phones. It will be shownnext month at CES in Las Vegas. ...Agere Systems profile, Mobile Storage

Expansion Box Extends Tape Library to 10 Petabytes

BOULDER, Colo- December 18, 2006 - Spectra Logic has increased the maximum capacity of its enterprise-class Spectra T950 library by adding an additional, optional expansion frame.

The 6 frame T950, which is now shipping and in use in multiple customer product locations, uses a single robot to manage up to 7,450 tapes and 120 tape drives, and scales to 9.6 petabytes capacity with the highest storage density of any enterprise-class library on the market. Pricing begins at $160,000 for a 6 frame unit. ...Spectra Logic profile, Tape Libraries

Deduplication Components for ISVs and OEMs

Bilbao, Spain - December 18, 2006 - Lortu Software S.L. announced today the public release of new components based on technology for implementing deduplication, replication and WAN optimization products.

Thanks to its byte level deduplication algorithms, Kondar can be used to achieve a data reduction ratio of between 10 and 100 times. "...Kondar is not a final product or a closed component." said Carlos Ardanza, CEO of Lortu Software. "Instead, Kondar is a technology that can provide the API that best suits our clients' products. Even more, we can fine-tune our technology in order to get the best performance and easiest integration with your products."

For companies interested in implementing deduplication technology in hardware, Kondar algorithms have been especially designed to be implemented in FPGA, ASIC or proprietary multi-processor hardware where our clients can take advantage of their parallelism and multithreading capabilities, providing a great throughput and scalability grade. ...Lortu Software profile, Backup Software, online backup

FrankeNAS Supports 750GB Removable Disks

GAITHERSBURG, MD - December 18, 2006 - Idealstor announced today the release of 750GB removable disks for use with its FrankeNAS backup systems.

This will increase the capacity of all existing systems that have been sold over the last 4 years without the need for existing clients to purchase new base systems. Idealstor uses industry standard 3.5 inch hard drives from manufactures from Seagate and Hitachi. The Idealstor Backup Appliance comes configured with 1 to 8 removable drive bays. The Idealstor FrankeNAS, which combines storage and backup, is configured with up to 2TB of RAID and 4 removable drive bays.

Jeff Cobb, Information Technology Manager at National Renal Healthcare has been an Idealstor client since 2004. "When we first purchased our 8 Bay system as a replacement for our tape backups, 300GB disks were the largest capacities on the market. Over time our 2.4TB backup system has now increased to a 6TB backup system and all we've had to do is purchase new disks as our data grew." ...Idealstor profile

The Perils of Early Hard Drives

Editor:- December 18, 2006 - there have been many stories published this year related to the 50th anniversary of the hard disk drive. But yesterday I heard a story with a different spin - about the dangers posed by early mass storage devices. It came from my brother in law Peter Downes .

"In 1964 I was a programmer / operator at Pilkington Glass in St Helens. At that time Pilkington had one of the largest commercial computer installations in the UK. It included ICT computers, countless card punches and readers, Ampex tape drives, and, I think, CDC disk drives.

"One night in the main computer room I witnessed the internal cylinder of a hard drive break out of its cabinet. It was several feet in diameter and spinning at high speed. It bounced when it hit the floor, then as if deciding which way to go, it hovered and raced through the glass partition, and sped along until it hit the solid wall of the building at which point it exploded. The computer room was sprayed with glass, but luckily it was safety glass and I wasn't hurt. I couldn't help thinking that if it had come for me it would have killed me. One thing I'm not sure about is why it bounced when it first hit the floor and only exploded when it hit the concrete wall. There was a lot of energy in the cylinder - and it had a horizontal spindle."

SOUTHBOROUGH, MASS. - December 15, 2006 - Double-Take Software, Inc. announced today the pricing of its IPO of 7,500,000 shares of its common stock at $11.00 per share, (before underwriting discounts and commissions). The offering is expected to close on December 20, 2006. ...Double-Take Software profile

Double-Take and Isilon Announce IPOs

SEATTLE, WA - December 15, 2006 - Isilon Systems, Inc. today announced an IPO of 8,350,000 shares of its common stock at a price of $13 per share.

Isilon and several of its stockholders have granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 1,252,500 additional shares to cover over-allotments. Isilon's common stock will be listed on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol "ISLN" and will begin trading Friday, December 15, 2006. ...Isilon Systems profile, InfiniBand

Previewing the Fastest Growing Storage Companies

Editor:- December 15, 2006 - will publish its 6th annual report on the fastest growing storage companies on February 1, 2007.

Although many important results will not be in for another 6 weeks - we can already see which way the wind's blowing from a sample of results like those reported below. (All percentages are year on year increases.) The message seems to be that the headline revenue growth rates in 2006 were more likely to be in double digits rather than triple digits as in 2005. But it would be a mistake to draw a negative inference about the state of the storage market from that. Because there will be more companies with multibillion revenues represented in the 2006 list when it is published, implying a bigger storage market - and not just gains in market share.

My preliminary estimate is that overall - the storage market - which was worth over $150 billion in 2005 - grew on the order of 10% during 2006. As usual the annual report will contain a summary of projections for each major segment in the storage market.

Looking ahead I predict that the fastest growing segments in 2007 will be disk to disk backup, iSCSI, solid state disks and disk sanitisers. Also any small independent company which has good data deduplication or real-time data compression software has a good chance of being gobbled up - because these technologies will give a big competitive advantage to the storage oems who embed them in their storage arrays.
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