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Storage news - 2008, June week 4

Snap Server Changes Ownership Again

MILPITAS, Calif - June 30, 2008 - Adaptec Inc. today announced that it has sold its Snap Server NAS business, including the brand and all assets to Overland Storage Inc. for a net consideration of $3.6 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, Adaptec will retain ownership of all iSCSI-based hardware and software products and assets, which will be rebranded and managed by Adaptec.

Overland Storage will take over control of all existing Snap Server networked and desktop storage appliance assets including licenses, patents, existing product inventory and fixed assets and assume customer support obligations. Approximately 50 Adaptec employees will receive offers to join Overland Storage effective June 30, 2008. ...Adaptec profile, ...Overland Storage profile

Editor's comments:-
spun off from Quantum in October 2002 - Snap Appliance was acquired by Adaptec in July 2004. So in 6 years it's bounced from a tape backup owner, to a RAID HBA owner and now back to a tape / d2d company again.

ET Mission Pics - 3PAR's Utility Storage

FREMONT, CA - June 30, 2008 - NASA Ames Research Center has chosen 3PAR's SAN storage for a mission that will send the Kepler Space Telescope into orbit around the Sun to find planets in solar systems outside our own.

Set to launch in February of 2009, the mission will use 3PAR Utility Storage to store digital images taken with the powerful telescope and its camera. NASA Ames chose the resilient 3PAR storage system to meet its strict cost and performance requirements while maintaining massive scalability and avoiding the need for a full-time, dedicated storage expert.

During the Kepler mission, the telescope will orbit the Sun while capturing images of approximately 100,000 solar systems in 30-minute intervals. Scientists will then use these images to analyze the orbital patterns of planets in these other solar systems. The aim of this research is to identify planets with the potential to sustain life, based on their sizes and distances from their respective suns.

Over the course of the Kepler mission, NASA Ames anticipates requiring between 30 and 90 terabytes of capacity to allow storage and analysis of images captured by the telescope. ...3PAR profile

the Biggest Storage Companies in 2012

Editor:- June 27, 2008 - published a new article which asks the question - "who will be the 10 Biggest Storage Companies in 2012?"

This carries on a popular series of annual articles first published in 2001 - which made remarkably accurate long range (3 years ahead) predictions in the storage market. But for reasons explained in the new article, it may be the last one in the series. the article

QLogic's Fibre Channel Adapters are Virtually as Fast

ALISO VIEJO, Calif - June 26, 2008 - QLogic Corp. and Microsoft today announced near-native transaction performance in a virtualized SAN environment.

The companies tested SAN attached, Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V virtual machines and achieved I/O performance that closely matches the 200,000 IOs per second performance native with QLogic 8Gb adapters and Windows Server 2008. ...QLogic profile, Fibre-channel adapters

Seagate Launches NAS for the Home

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif - June 25, 2008 - Seagate today announced a new network storage drive for the home.

Maxtor Central Axis network drive (suggested retail price of $329.99) allows for each computer in the home to be automatically backed up. It also supports file sharing. As the storage device is connected to the router and not formatted for an individual computer, files can be accessed and stored from both Mac OS X and Windows operated PCs. ...Seagate profile, NAS, Disk to disk backup

Preparing for the Next Phase in the SSD Market Revolution

Editor:- June 25, 2008 today called for new papers on the theme - "Understanding Data Failure Modes in Large Solid State Storage Arrays".

Multi-terabyte solid state storage arrays are seeping into the server environment in the same way that RAID systems did back in the early 1990s.

But just as those RAID pioneers learned that there was a lot more to making a reliable disk array than stuffing a bunch of PC hard disks into a box with a fan and a power supply - so too will multi-terabyte SSD users discover that problems which are undetectable or do no harm in small SSDs can lead to serious data corruption risks when those same SSDs are scaled up without the right architecture and sometimes with it in place too.

I know from the emails I get that many readers think that once they've looked at the single issue of flash endurance - they've covered covered the bases for enterprise SSDs.

That's why is planning to publish a collection of definitive technology articles to help guide the industry through this risky transition process.

The new articles will provide users with the theoretical justifications they need when they are faced with the difficult economic choices that come from deploying different types of SSDs (with different cost models) in diverse applications within their organizations. the article

EcoRAM - DIMM Compatible NOR Flash Memory Slims Server Watts

SUNNYVALE, Calif - June 24, 2008 - Spansion Inc. today unveiled plans for a new class of memory, called EcoRAM, designed to solve the growing energy consumption crisis in data centers.

When combined with Virident Systems' new GreenGateway technology announced today, Spansion EcoRAM can help slash energy consumption by up to 75% in Internet data center servers, and offer 4x the memory capacity of traditional DRAM-only servers for the same energy consumption.

This is accomplished by leveraging the standard memory DIMM form factor while requiring little platform modification. The complete solution will empower IT Internet data center managers to break from the constraints of DRAM-only servers. ...Spansion profile, Green Storage - Trends and Predictions , memory channel SSDs

IDC Publishes New SSD Market Report

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. - June 24, 2008 - IDC has published a 42 page market report - "Worldwide SSD 2007-2012 Forecast and Analysis" (price $4,500).

IDC says the SSD market generated nearly $400 million in revenues in 2007 and will grow at a 70% CAGR until 2012. ...IDC profile

Editor's comments:-
when started publishing the first regular reports on the SSD market 10 years ago storage analysts covering this market were as common as cats flying space-ships.

Now that the market's bigger there are lots of analysts who provide useful info for actual and potential SSD oems. Some analysts publish public reports, while others do custom research to answer specific questions. Examples of flash SSD focused analysts include:- Objective Analysis, Web-Feet Research, iSuppli, TrendFocus, Westwood Marketing and IDC.

Silicon Motion Enables New Type of Hybrid Flash SSD

TAIPEI, Taiwan - June 23, 2008 - Silicon Motion Technology Corp today announced the launch of 3 new SSD controllers.

"We are already a market leader in the SSD controller market, especially in the low cost notebook PC segment. We shipped almost 1 million units of SSD controllers in 1Q'08, which is more than any other company in the world" said Wallace Kou, CEO of Silicon Motion.

The new controllers can support hybrid SSDs that use a combination of SLC and MLC NAND flash to minimize device cost and maximize endurance. SM2240, for example, can manage a 64GB SSD using 8GB of SLC and 56GB of MLC flash. Through sophisticated and innovative algorithms, the controller is able to analyze the incoming files from the host and intelligently move frequently accessed data to SLC NAND and non-frequently accessed data to MLC NAND. With this hybrid architecture, the SSD system cost is significantly reduced to a level comparable to a pure MLC-based SSD, while endurance is significantly enhanced and comparable to a pure SLC-based SSD. ...Silicon Motion profile

Editor's comments:-
this new class of hybrid SSDs is one way to fix the endurance problem faced in cost conscious server apps that are only viable with MLC type budgets. Another solution is EasyCo's MFT - which inherently reduces writes while increasing write IOPS through a host resident driver. But some of the other risks revealed in my article Are MLC SSDs Safe in Enterprise Apps? haven't gone away.

New Article - Hybrid Storage Drives

Editor:- June 23, 2008 - published a new article and directory today called - "Hybrid Storage Drives".

It looks at winners, losers and maybes in the 3 types of hybrid disk drives now available in the market, and includes a directory, analyst round-up and a rare apology from me for not publishing it sooner. the article

Parascale Secures $11 million in Funding

CUPERTINO, Calif - June 23, 2008 - Parascale today announced it has closed a $11.4 million Series A financing round led by venture capital firms Charles River Ventures and Menlo Ventures.

Parascale has developed solutions designed to support content-intensive applications, including video-on-demand, digital document archiving, scientific data analysis, video surveillance and medical image remote diagnosis among others. ...Parascale profile, Storage Software, Storage VCs

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Green is the Color of My AutoMAID's Hair
Editor:- June 25, 2008 - I just noticed Nexsan's "Green Storage Blog" today.

Nexsan was an early evangelist of disk to disk backup and I wondered what had become of them (because everybody's doing it now - just as everyone will soon be selling SSDs.)

Their blog about AutoMAID brought back memories - because I couldn't remember what "AutoMAID" stood for. (And I can't be bothered to look it up in my storage glossary either.) But the concept sounded quite familiar.

Nexsan's Gary Watson says "It's the idea that when a drive is not in use, it is gradually spun down (the heads are unloaded first which reduces air resistance in the HDA, then after a further period of inactivity the drives are reduced to half their nominal RPM, and then if it remains idle we put it to sleep). AutoMAID takes advantage of the fact that typical Fibre Channel command timeouts are in the realm of 60 to 120 seconds, which is plenty of time to pop the drives back into full speed mode if an I/O request comes down the wire."

To me this shows that it's easy for marketers to create buzzwords which obscure meaning rather than help it. I've listed RAID's many other aliases in an article on the RAID page if you want to collect the full set of RAIN, RAIGE raggerty verbiage.

In case you're wondering about my headline I should explain. I'm color blind. So my AutoMAID's hair could be green - just as her eyes are red - and mine is turning a paler shade of gray.
Disk to disk backup And when I saw Procol Harem live in the mid 1970s they only had 2 good songs in the whole set - and no, like you - I can't remember the other one.
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