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Storage news - 2008, February week 3

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The Greener Side of Defrag?

Editor:- February 21, 2008 - Diskeeper Corp Europe claims that the use of its Diskeeper 2008 does not only improve systems performance but can also make your company greener by enhancing its power consumption.

Diskeeper says that its disk defragmentation software can not only make reading files from a hard disk twice as fast (compared to the fragmented state) but also gives a proportional increase in energy savings. Unlike Microsoft's dog of a utility (my words - not theirs) Diskeeper's software maintains your PC performance at its peak while operating on the background on idle resources. Defragmentation thus runs automatically while you work.

Saving electrical power has got to be the nuttiest argument I've ever heard for defrag and based on my estimates I don't believe you'd ever recover the cost of buying this software from the energy saved. ...Diskeeper profile

Qualstar expansion module MEM ll holds 856 terabytes

SIMI VALLEY, Calif - February 20, 2008 - Qualstar Corp today announced that the MEM ll (Memory Expansion Module), is now available on its popular XLS-812300 tape library.

Each MEM ll delivers 535 tape storage slots in just 5.3 square feet of floor space. Using LTO 4 tape technology with typical compression, a single MEM ll holds 856 terabytes, one of the highest storage densities in the industry. One or two MEM ll's can be added to each XLS-812300 Library System, raising its total capacity to 1,365 slots, or 2.2 petabytes of data.

XLS-812300 libraries hold up to 12 LTO 4 tape drives, delivering data throughput rates of over 5 terabytes per hour to meet ever-narrowing backup windows. Adding capacity or drives is readily accomplished in the field with minimal interruption to on-going operations. The MEM ll can be intermixed with the XLS-812300 Expansion Pods to provide granular solutions to meet a broad range of data protection and archival storage growth requirements. ...Qualstar profile, Tape Libraries & Autoloaders

iSuppli Says Flash Prices Are Dropping Below Costs

Editor:- February 20, 2008 - iSuppli Corp. is cutting its outlook for global NAND flash revenue growth in 2008 to the single digit percentage range, down from their previous outlook of a 27% rise.

In an early warning sign of consumer weakness, Apple has slashed its 2008 NAND order forecast significantly and has informed suppliers that its demand growth will slow in 2008 compared to 2007, according to iSuppli sources. This is expected to have a huge impact on the NAND market. With its extremely popular flash-memory based iPods, Apple was the world's 3rd largest OEM buyer of NAND flash memory in 2007.

On the supply side, slower NAND demand will have a major impact on suppliers' financial results. Capital spending on NAND production will rise by more than 20% this year, ensuring easy availability of parts. This will cause prices to decrease. iSuppli believes that NAND prices already are below suppliers' fully loaded costs. ...iSuppli profile

Editor's comments:-
buyers in the fast growing flash SSD market will be the beneficiaries of this downturn. As I predicted last year overcrowding in the notebook SSD market means that prices are already well below previously forecast levels.

Traditionally the big memory chip makers switch fab production between RAM and flash to whichever reaps the highest price. But many analysts already predicted this would not be a good year for RAM oems either.

Fantom's New eSATA+USB Desktop MegaDisk

TORRANCE, CA - February 20, 2008 - Fantom Drives today announces its new G-Force MegaDisk eSATA + USB external storage systems.

Now available in 1TB ($319.95), 1.5TB ($459.95) and 2TB ($649.95) capacities , the MegaDisk storage system includes both eSATA (300MB/S) and USB 2.0 (60MB/S )interfaces and also includes NTI Shadow Backup. Fantom Drives' new offering has RAID built in and is housed in a desktop aluminum enclosure. ...Fantom Drives profile, Firewire Storage


MILPITAS, Calif - February 20, 2008 - LSI Corp today announced that its MegaRAID technology was selected for integration into IBM's System x server line.

The ServeRAID-MR10M SAS/SATA controller is a high performance x8 PCI Express RAID Controller for external DAS storage. This RAID adapter utilizes the LSI SAS1078 ROC and provides investment protection by supporting SAS and SATA hard drive configurations and providing performance enhancements enabled by a standard battery. The battery provides cached data protection during unexpected power outages for ServeRAID-10M when operating in its higher performance, write back mode.

The ServeRAID-MR10k SAS/SATA adapter enables full ROMB for LSI 1078-based subsystems on high performance servers, including the IBM System x3950 M2 and x3850 M2 servers. The System x3950 M2 is ready for virtualization right out of the box by eliminating software setup and installation time and enables four times the amount of memory to be hosted on a single chassis compared to the previous system for more virtualization workloads.

The ROMB solution is ideal for space-limited server environments. The adapters offer external connectivity with the ability to cascade up to 10 EXP3000s per port. It also features removable Battery Backed Cache and a RAID activation key along with RAID 6 Protection. ...LSI profile, RAID controllers

Editor's comments:-
the MegaRAID brand has been around for a long time. LSI acquired it along with 200 RAID employees from AMI in September 2001 the week before 9/11.

Introducing Another Enterprise SSD Player - Pliant Technology

Milpitas, Calif - February 19, 2008 - Pliant Technology today announced that it has received $8 million in Series A funding to drive the development of SSD storage devices for enterprise computing markets.

Pliant's new Enterprise Flash Drive devices are being designed to deliver dramatically higher levels of performance while meeting the growing need for increased energy efficiency and reliability in enterprise computing environments.

Pliant Technology was formed by several of the foremost experts and innovators in the data storage industry including:- Jim McCoy (co-founder of Maxtor and Quantum), Amyl Ahola (former CEO of TeraStor and Mike Chenery (former VP of advanced product engineering at Fujitsu). Pliant's solution is expected to be available to OEM and data center customers in the 4th quarter of 2008. ...Pliant Technology profile, SAS SSDs

Editor's comments:-
over 20 oems currently make products for what Pliant calls the "new" enterprise SSD market. This will be as big a market in revenue as the consumer notebook SSD market - but with (mostly) different players.

Some of Pliant's founders have worked together before on the same concept (replacing hard drives) at TeraStor which went through more than $85 million in the 1990s working on an unsuccessful optical storage technology. Computer architecture, applications experience and marketing are the key factors needed to make a successful enterprise SSD business today. There are plenty of companies who will sell you cheap memory chips. The enterprise SSD market in 2009 will be an exciting area to watch. See also:- RAM SSDs versus Flash SSDs - which is Best?

Avnet to Distribute BridgeHead's Archiving Products

Woburn, MA - February 19, 2008 - BridgeHead Software today announced a distribution agreement with Avnet Technology Solutions in the U.S.

"BridgeHead Software has experienced rapid growth in the North American healthcare market, largely as a result of its long-established relationship with MEDITECH" said Ryan Witt, senior VP, sales & marketing, BridgeHead Software. "Our new relationship with Avnet will allow us to build on that market success and to expand into other verticals."

"Healthcare is a highly specialized market that requires a deep level of expertise and knowledge which can take years to acquire" said Tony Vottima, VP of vertical market solutions at Avnet Technology Solutions. "To address the needs of Avnet's channel partners, we launched our HealthPath practice in 2006 (which) provides in-depth pre- and post-sales support, along with comprehensive sales training and market-specific technology solutions..." ...BridgeHead Software profile, Backup Software, Storage VARs

Data Domain's 1U Deduper and D2d Aims at Remote Offices

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - February 19, 2008 - Data Domain today announced it is shipping the DD120 - a scaled down full-function deduplication and disk backup system for remote offices.

The $12,500 list price unit provides up to 150GB/hour of inline deduplicated storage throughput and up to 18TB of logical capacity in a 1U chassis.

"The DD120 offers a low cost way to simply and automatically backup and recover locally as well as replicate remotely, for less than was possible before," said Brian Biles, VP of Product Management at Data Domain. "This is a great new option for distributed enterprise sites who would normally consider a tape autoloader but hate the hassle. They no longer have to make sure they have an administrator to replace the tapes and get them on a truck on time. Those days are over. With the DD120, storage and transport are automated, and management can be centralized." ...Data Domain profile

Kirk Roller Joins iSCSI Wannabe Wasabi

Norfolk, Virginia - February 19, 2008 - Wasabi Systems today announced that Kirk Roller has joined its ranks as Senior VP, Worldwide Sales and Marketing.

Formerly President and COO of Emulex, Kirk's extensive background in the storage industry helped put Emulex on the map while boosting Fibre Channel HBA revenues from $3M to over $400M.

Kirk brings more than 20 years of executive management expertise to Wasabi's executive team and is excited about the opportunities in the iSCSI market and is looking forward to partnering with leading resellers to reach a market that is presently growing over 100% each year.

Prior to Emulex, Kirk held various sales and management positions with Compaq, Interconnections, and Thomas-Conrad. He is presently based in Wasabi's newly opened Dallas sales office. ...Wasabi Systems profile, Storage People

IDC Reports on Storage Replication Technology

FRAMINGHAM, Mass - February 19, 2008 - Dynamics in the storage replication software market are shifting, according to a new study from IDC.

While array-based replication accounted for close to 84% of worldwide market revenues in 2007, the highest annual growth came from smaller segments, including host-based methods (+25.4%) and network and appliance-based replication approaches (+20.6%).

"Future opportunities for replication suppliers are numerous," said Laura DuBois, program director, Storage Software at IDC. "To succeed, vendors need to increase their focus on heterogeneous replication and replication/recovery management, and integrate replication services with other high availability services and virtualized server environments. They should also expand into data reduction approaches and offer replication-as-a-service to reach new market segments." ...IDC profile, Market research

New SSD Article from BiTMICRO

Editor:- February 19, 2008 - BiTMICRO Networks has recently published a new article called - SSDs: Carving a Niche in the Consumer and Enterprise Markets.

The author Joanne De Peralta observes that "Nobody is pushing us to jump into the SSD bandwagon. The only reason why all these talks have surfaced is because we have been presented with something that can elevate our computing experience to a higher level, something that will enable us to thrive in previously impossible situations and perform really well." the article, ...BiTMICRO profile, 83 more Articles, FAQs, Case Studies about SSDs

Heise Article Shows HDD Encryption Flaws

Editor:- February 18, 2008 - an article today on Heise Online reveals that the so called 128 bit hardware encryption in some hard disk products is ineffective - because it hasn't been implemented properly.

Mtron's Notebook SSD will be 6x faster than Hard Drive

SEOUL, South Korea - February 18, 2008 - Mtron Technology Co. Ltd - announced today that they have completed the development of a new 1.8" ZIF-type SSD family for laptop PCs and will begin production in April.

Mtron's new SLC flash SSD has a maximum reading speed of 120MB/s and writing speed of 100MB/s, which is more than 6x faster than a typical 1.8" HDD. Therefore when it's used in a laptop PC and UMPC it delivers much faster performance than a desktop.

Mtron also released a 1.8" MLC Flash SSD with up to 128GB capacity along with a maximum reading speed of 110MB/s and writing speed of 40MB/s.

Steve Jeon, CEO of Mtron, said, "With our new 1.8 inch SSD, Mtron has added another great product line as a leader in the SSD market, which is expected to grow into $10 billion in 2012. Our new product is a result of careful market analysis and research of consumer needs." ...Mtron profile

HD DVD Takes Early Retirement

Editor:- February 18, 2008 - industry rumors speculate that Toshiba may pull the plug on its HD DVD standard conceding to Blu-ray.

Blu Ray marketers will be rejoicing - but this media war is a side issue. 4 years ago in an article called Do CDs and DVDs Have a Long Term Future? I warned that the 20 year long run of removable consumer optical media which started with the CD - would come to an early end because eventually internet downloads would replace physical disks as the primary form of non broadcast movie distribution.

...Later:- next day in a press release commenting about this market shift Strategy Analytics opined...

Blu-ray Disc's victory over HD-DVD is the first battle in a much longer struggle. A major challenge lies ahead if the industry is to persuade hundreds of millions of DVD owners that they should switch to a completely new format. DVD players costing less than $100 can already offer HD-like video quality through upscaling techniques. The industry must now unite behind a major promotional campaign to push Blu-ray Disc as the preferred optical disc standard for the high definition age.

"Blu-ray Disc has passed its first real test by beating HD-DVD," says David Mercer, Principal Analyst at Strategy Analytics. "But a much bigger challenge now lies ahead if BD is to become as successful as DVD, and content owners, retailers and manufacturers must now demonstrate that they can work together to promote BD effectively."

Strategy Analytics predicts that cumulative sales of stand-alone Blu-ray Disc players excluding games consoles, PCs and other devices will reach more that 100 million units worldwide by 2012.

Sans Digital Introduces 3.5" InstaRAID

Santa Fe Springs, CA - February 15, 2008 - Sans Digital today introduced the InstaRAID IR12TB - a a 3.5" SATA hard drive module which houses 2 internal 2.5" drives with RAID support.

The IR12TB has a built-in hardware RAID engine to support RAID 1 (mirroring) and RAID 0 (stripping) allowing data redundancy or performance increase, while only occupying the space of a single 3.5" hard drive. ...Sans Digital profile, Storage Boxes

Editor's comments:-
the idea is not entirely new. A few years ago Adtron used to market the I35MB Diskpak which included 2x PATA mirrored disks.

Samsung Ships Faster 64GB SSDs

Seoul, Korea - February 15, 2008 - Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd announced today that it has begun mass producing 64GB solid state drives with its new SATA II interface.

Aimed at the premium notebook PC market the new SSDs can read data at 100MB/s and write at upto 80MB/s while consuming 75% less power than typical hard drives.

"While there will always be a market for HDDs, we see growing demand for our new SSDs, especially now that they are available with the SATA II interface," said Jim Elliott, director, flash marketing, Samsung Semiconductor. "SSD technology is especially viable for the business and high-end consumer notebook markets because of its outstanding performance, as well as the added value gained from virtually no downtime and faster operating speeds." ...Samsung profile

Editor's comments:-
my first reaction on seeing this press release was "how many times are Samsung going to launch their 64GB products?" There was a samey feel to it (and some companies do relaunch the same products every 3 months or so in the hope that editors will forget). But on closer scrutiny I realized this is not the same lack-luster 64GB SSD they talked about in March 2007 - but an improved go-faster model. That new improved speed is still a long way behind the fastest SSDs which are aimed at servers, however.

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