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storage news - archive June 2006

the Top SSD Companies
meet Ken and the SSD event horizon
how fast can your SSD run backwards?
decloaking hidden segments in the enterprise
Seagate Enters the Online Storage Market

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. - June 14, 2006 - Seagate Technology today introduced an online backup and file sharing product which consumers operate in their own home.

The service is bundled with a home NAS device called Maxtor Fusion (MSRP $799 ) which provides 500G disk storage connected via a Gigabit Ethernet network port that can be accessed from anywhere via the web. To view shared content, invited guests simply click on an emailed web link where they're directed to the content stored on Seagate's Maxtor Fusion personal media solution connected to your home network. No online registration is required for access. If desired, users can create a number of login names and passwords for their frequent guests. ...Seagate profile, online backup and storage

Softek Celebrates Data Migration Milestone

Vienna, Virginia - June 14, 2006 - Softek today announced it has non-disruptively moved more than 40 petabytes of mission-critical data (for more than 60% of the Fortune 1000) while keeping applications on-line in heterogeneous environments.

"This is quite an achievement as Softek becomes the first independent software vendor to surpass the 40 petabyte non-disruptive data migration milestone," said Steven Murphy, president and CEO at Softek. "Softek's Nonstop Data Mobility solutions provide a simple, unified approach to moving data over any vendor platform, operating system, or distance for the most complex applications that support the Fortune 2000 and government's most mission critical applications while never mandating an application outage. ...Softek profile, software

ProStor Secures $12 million Additional Funding

Boulder, Colo. - June 14, 2006 - ProStor Systems today announced that it has secured $12.2 million in Series B funding, bringing the current investment in ProStor Systems to $18.4 million.

The financing was led by Sutter Hill Ventures. Original ProStor Systems investors New Enterprise Associates and Boulder Ventures also participated in the round. The additional funds will be used to develop and sell the company's portfolio of RDX removable disk storage solutions as well as to expand its worldwide marketing and branding efforts.

Sutter Hill Ventures is one of the oldest and most respected venture firms in the information technology industry with a long history of successful investments in data storage companies, including StorageTek, Network Appliance, Quantum, Legato Systems and LSI Logic.

Representing Sutter Hill on the ProStor board of directors is Ron Bernal. Bernal brings over 25 years of experience in executive management in large technology companies such as SGI and Cisco, in leadership of successful technology startups and in venture investing.

"ProStor's seasoned management team has developed what we believe will become the next standard in removable storage for data backup and archive applications," said Ron Bernal. "ProStor Systems' RDX removable disk cartridge is the first product to offer simple data protection for the entry-level user while providing a roadmap that scales up into enterprise applications where magnetic tape is commonly used today." ...ProStor Systems profile, Venture Capital Funds in Storage

Broadbus Video Server Wins Editorial Accolades

Boxborough, Mass. - June 13, 2006 - Broadbus Technologies, Inc. today announced that its B-1 Video Server achieved the highest score in an annual review by Broadband Gear Report.

Products were rated on a scale of 0-5, with a 5 being a "perfect" score. Broadbus was among those receiving the highest composite score of 4.5, and the highest score of any video server vendor.

The Broadbus B-1 Video Server is a 100% solid-state, carrier-class solution for the delivery of on-demand video services. The platform's compact, switch-based architecture completely eliminates the use of mechanical hard drives for video streaming and ingest, instead leveraging the intelligent management of massive amounts of random-access memory. The result is unparalleled performance, reliability, scalability for video on-demand and advanced on-demand services at less than one-tenth the footprint and one-eighth the power requirements of traditional systems. ...Broadbus profile, ...Broadband Gear Report

Asigra and NetMass Offer Extended Online Backup Trial

HOUSTON, Texas - June 13, 2006 - With hurricane season here and 6 major hurricanes forecast Asigra and NetMass have teamed to offer an advanced solution for companies overwhelmed with protecting data at at remote offices and branch offices (ROBOs).

While backing up data at a single location is not easy, backing up data at remote locations has, until recently, carried its own set of difficulties. An estimated 60% to 70% of mission-critical data is stored at branch and remote locations. According to the U.S. Census Bureau there are more than one million remote ROBO sites nationwide.

Last year, NetMass' Houston office experienced firsthand the desperation of businesses trying to protect their data in the path of Hurricane Rita. "When Category-5 Rita was barreling toward Houston, the city completely shut down - businesses were calling us for help, desperate to back up their data," said NetMass CEO Mark Martin. "What we learned was that concerns for personal safety naturally came before concerns for computer data. Employees fled with their families, which is understandable, but critical business records and data backup tapes were left behind. That is why businesses need a disaster recovery plan that includes automated offsite data protection."

NetMass and Asigra are offering businesses in hurricane-prone states such as Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina and Texas an extended free trial of their advanced remote backup software service. Companies can call NetMass at 1.800.731.2737 to see if they qualify. ...Asigra profile, ...NetMass profile, online backup and storage

e-WORM Archiving Comes to iSCSI

Ottawa ON, Canada - June 13, 2006 - KOM Networks Inc. and EqualLogic today announced the deployment of a joint hard disk archiving and iSCSI SAN data archival solution.

"EqualLogic has created a SAN solution that takes minutes to install instead of hours and allows IT administrators across all vertical industries to take advantage of easy-to-manage, enterprise-class consolidated storage," said Rob Higby, director of product marketing for EqualLogic. "Our iSCSI SAN combined with KOM Networks e-WORM solution, which permanently archives fixed content data on hard disks in an un-alterable format, helps customers not only archive data but also address ever-changing compliance requirements." ...EqualLogic profile, ...KOM Networks profile, Storage Software

Kazeon and Google Expand Storage Search Boxes

Mountain View, Calif. - June 13, 2006 - Kazeon today unveiled a solution with Google that extends enterprise search deep into the storage infrastructure.

The integration of Kazeon's Information Server IS1200 with Google OneBox for Enterprise provides more users easier access to the billions of files scattered across corporate servers, archives and disk-based backups.

"As Kazeon brings the power of Google enterprise search to archives, disk-to-disk backups, and additional types of file storage via Kazeon's products, our customers will benefit from the ease-of-use and efficiency of the Google OneBox for Enterprise feature of the Google Search Appliance," said Kevin Smith, Partner Program Manager for Google Enterprise. "From a simple search box, with no training, enterprise users can quickly locate critical information stored anywhere on a corporate network."

Kazeon's IS1200 is an indexing platform optimized for searching large backup stores and corporate archives. It can support a range of applications from file recovery to legal discovery and archive search. The IS1200 delivers a full text search capability that supports flexible entity extraction along with proximity and parametric searches. The system can recognize more than 370 different kinds of files including MS Office, PDF, .zip containers and variety of email formats. Files can be located on any Windows, Unix or Linux server and can also be in NAS appliances or EMC Centera storage. ...Google profile, ...Kazeon Systems profile

NetApp Shatters NFS Performance Record

Sunnyvale, CA. - June 12, 2006 - Network Appliance, Inc. is now shipping its powerful new Data ONTAP GX operating system for high-performance computing applications.

Data ONTAP GX, coupled with the new FAS6070, scales in capacity up to 6PB and achieves more than 1 million operations per second, based on the SPEC SFS benchmark (3 times faster than the previous performance record for this NFS benchmark). Data ONTAP GX is the result of over 2 years of strategic engineering work, combining the global namespace functionality of SpinOS (which NetApp acquired when it bought Spinnaker Networks) with the data management, performance, and high-availability features of Data ONTAP 7G. ...Network Appliance profile, Record Breaking Storage

SiliconSystems Launches SSDs with Granular Security

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. - June 12, 2006 - SiliconSystems, Inc. today announced its SiliconDrive Secure family of products which offer an unprecedented level of storage system security.

SiliconDrive Secure is a low-power solid state disk which integrates security to guard against critical user data falling into the wrong hands or software intellectual property theft. Available features include:-
  • SiKey - Ties SiliconDrive Secure to a specific host and/or software IP.
  • SiZone - Allows users to define up to 5 independent security zones on each SiliconDrive Secure
  • SiSweep - Ultra-fast data erasure (2GB in 5 sec). Drive is reusable afterwards.
  • SiScrub - Ultra-fast data erasure followed by a programmed pattern. Drive is reusable afterwards.
  • SiPurge - Non-recoverable data erasure. (2GB in 5.5 sec). Drive is unusable afterwards.
  • SiProtect - Software write protection zone for read-only access.
  • SiSecure - Password required for read and write access to zone.
SiliconDrive Secure enables OEM system manufacturers to create new market and business opportunities while enhancing product differentiation. SiliconDrive Secure provides the industry's most comprehensive suite of proprietary technologies that supply multiple user-selectable options for assuring data and software intellectual property security.

Michael Hajeck, CEO at SiliconSystems said "SiliconDrive Secure is an ideal solution for software IP managers and others responsible for stopping sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands and preventing software IP theft, which according to the Commerce Department, costs U.S. businesses more than $250 billion annually." ...SiliconSystems profile, Disk Sanitizers

Editor's comments:- about 18 months ago I wrote an article proposing WORM mode would be a good value added feature for hard disk drives. We haven't got there yet - but in recent weeks 3 oems have introduced encryption into their HDD products. Today's announcement from SiliconSystems pushes the storage security fence into new territory and offers server manufacturers and ISVs a flexible range of options which may become trail blazers for other types of storage drives - not just flash SSDs.

CENATEK Announces Beta Release of RAMDisk Server

Redding, CA - June 12, 2006 - CENATEK, Inc. announced today availability of its award-winning RAMDisk software for Windows Server operating systems for public beta testing.

RAMDiskSE (Server Edition) is now available for download RAMDisk is a full-featured software that emulates the functionality of a hard disk, producing a very fast, low-cost storage solution ideal for speeding up disk-intensive applications.

"RAMDiskSE is a kernel-level driver that presents a standard disk drive to the OS; however, it stores and retrieves data from the system RAM on your motherboard instead of an actual, physical disk," says Jason Caulkins, CEO of CENATEK. "This provides blazing throughput in the GB/s range, along with incredibly fast I/O performance. You can partition, format, mount a volume, and assign multiple drive letters to RAMDisk. Save and restore settings allow the RAMDisk to appear as persistent storage through reboots."

RAMDiskSE works on all versions of Windows 2000 and 2003 Server. In addition to server support, 64-bit addressing is now supported allowing RAMDiskSE to run on 64-bit versions of Windows 2003 Server. Moving to 64-bit also allows an increase in the maximum disk size to 32GB (with Windows 2003 Server Enterprise Edition). Pricing for RAMDiskSE is expected to be under $300. ...Cenatek profile, Storage Software

Colorado's Changing Storage Job Scene

Editor:- June 11, 2006 - an article published today on looks at the changing job prospects in Colorado's storage corridor.

Voltaire Ships InfiniBand for Microsoft HPC Environments

BILLERICA, Mass. - June 9, 2006 - Voltaire today announced the immediate availability of a complete InfiniBand-based switching solution and software stack to support Microsoft Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003.

The Voltaire solution enhances the performance and scalability of Windows-based clusters and provides a dramatic increase in application performance. The solution is ideal for commercial HPC applications employed by industries including automotive, aerospace, scientific engineering, geo sciences and financial services. ...Voltaire profile, InfiniBand pageviews grew 51% in May

last week's news (archive)
Editor: - June 8, 2006 - reports on readers' changing interests in May.

In May 2006 pageviews grew 51% and readership grew 31% compared to the year before period. The top 3 subjects viewed by readers (out of 70 storage categories on our home page) were:-
  1. Hard disk drives (as before)
  2. Solid state disks (as before)
  3. NAS (as before)
The most popular storage article was once again the Solid State Disks Buyers Guide.

The most popular company profile (out of more than 1,000 storage companies listed on STORAGEsearch) was M-Systems.

The most popular classified ad page was Adtron's 2.5" SATA / IDE solid state flash disk.

For more information on the top subjects etc see Market research

STORAGE Security
SSD Security
SSD ad - click for more info
Nibble:- Storage Drive Innovations Blossom from Proprietary Shoots

If you've been in the computer market for a long time you'll have noticed a certain "sameness" in the products and features offered by different manufacturers.

PCs and servers from different companies use pretty much the same processors as 10 years ago (Intel compatible or Unix RISC dinosaur). Only difference - the clock rates have gone up a bit, and you now get multiple processors in one chip package.

Operating systems offer a smaller range of diversity than 10 years ago. The basic choice is still between "Windows something" from Microsoft and some flavor of Unix.

PCs, servers and laptops in the same price range offer similar performance and features from different suppliers. If you didn't look at the designer label on your new box - you would rarely know, or care, who made it (or who badge engineered it).

With a few honorable exceptions in the consumer market such as Apple's iPod, where ease of use and appearance are rated highly enough to break the mould (and command a higher price) - most IT products seem to be bland and interchangeable. Standardization is behind this, and it's a good thing, because it leads to more competitive markets and lower prices (for the same narrow set of functions).

Proprietary has become a dirty word in the IT market.

The "P word" is not quite as rude as the "F word" but you rarely hear companies raving about their proprietary credentials. "Open Systems" sound so much cleaner and nicer. But let's not forget that ALL innovation starts out as someone's unique original proprietary idea or technology.

Marketing programs such as licensing and standards consortiums often convert the raw proprietary technology into a more widely adopted "standard". But if it wasn't for the lure of profit and advantage offered by new proprietary products - the industry would stifle under the weight of ever faster but obsolete technology - solving the problems deemed important by earlier generations of techies who are now reaching retirement / the upper levels of corporate management / (the same thing).

The storage market is an area where standards have always been very important. Storage manufacturers have to fit in with an ecosystem which is largely dictated by PC and server companies. Complying with standards guarantees a bigger base of compatible slots which the storage can be sold into, and hence a bigger market.

But in the past month we've been seeing some important changes to this idea. A whole bunch of manufacturers have introduced storage drives with proprietary features which offer added value benefits to the systems which use them. Here are just a few of the examples.
  • Seagate launched a hard drive with built-in encryption, and Addonics launched a low cost enclosure which will add encryption to any manufacturer's 2.5" hard drive.
  • SiliconSystems launched a solid state disk which includes security zoning (which controls access rights to different segments of the disk) in addition to a range of conventional disk sanitization options - which have been around in some form or other in the SSD industry for several years now - but haven't migrated yet to hard drives.
Other innovative drives which have come to my attention in the past year include:-
  • ProStor Systems' RDX removable disk which uses a new patent-pending error correcting format, which makes the data 1,000 times more recoverable than in a standard hard drive.
  • Plasmon's Compliant write once UDO optical media. Using a special "shred" operation, targeted data sectors can be physically destroyed. Unlike the erase pass on magnetic disks, the shred operation on phase change media leaves no residual traces of previously written data.
  • Adtron's diskpak, which has 2 RAID mirrored IDE hard drives in a standard 3.5" form factor aimed at embedded high reliability applications.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that the underlying themes in the examples I've mentioned above are security and reliability. In an article last year I predicted that these would be 2 of the 3 main driving forces affecting storage during the next handful of years.

So next time someone mentions the "P word" in a product pitch don't dismiss what follows until you hear what's actually being said. It could be the new solution to your new storage problems.
SSD ad - click for more info
State of the storage market review

iSCSI, SAS, SATA and InfiniBand
In June 2006, five years after launched the storage industry's first web directories dedicated to the four new storage interfaces above, we went back to see how successful they'd been in the market compared to their original promise. the article, iSCSI, Serial SCSI, SATA, InfiniBand read the article - State of the market review  iSCSI, SAS, SATA and InfiniBand
SSD ad - click for more info

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