Storage UPDATE—brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine Network.
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February 3, 2003—In this issue:
2. NEWS AND VIEWS
- EMC to Announce New Architecture
- EMC's Rivals Prepare for EMC's Announcement
- Join the HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show!
- Windows & .NET Magazine Connections: Real-World Technical Tips Here for You
4. INSTANT POLL
- Results of Previous Poll: Type of Backup
- New Instant Poll: Is Your Company Implementing Windows Server 2003?
- Back Up Exchange Filter List
6. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Use a Pocket-Sized System for External Storage
- Connect NAS Gateways to Existing Storage Systems
- Submit Top Product Ideas
7. CONTACT US
(contributed by Mark Smith, [email protected])
A Storage Area Network (SAN) can satisfy hefty storage requirements for large enterprises. For a large enterprise to invest in a million-dollar SAN installation with hundreds of terabytes of storage isn't unusual; however, such power and scalability come with a price. For example, IT staff who are accustomed to managing a Windows 2000 Server environment will need to master new storage management tools, including new Fibre Channel switch infrastructure and different backup schemes. In addition, whereas SANs store data in block format to enhance application server storage performance, file servers use a file-based system to store data, which is incompatible with block format storage. Therefore, you can't use your million-dollar SAN to consolidate your file servers.
In response to these problems, storage manufacturers developed the Network Attached Storage (NAS) head—a protocol handler gateway to an existing SAN. Having no drives of its own, a NAS head uses the SAN for its disk storage. If you use a Windows Powered NAS head, your SAN appears as a standard Windows-based server, and all Microsoft and third-party storage management tools, virus checkers, and group policies work as if they were attached to a standard Windows-based server. This compatibility includes Active Directory (AD) support and the ability to use IP Security (IPSec) support to encrypt data as it travels across the wire.
A NAS head lets you leverage your SAN investment for file-server consolidation. For example, if you have 21 file servers that you want to consolidate, you can move all your files onto the SAN and put three Windows Powered NAS heads in front of the SAN. Each NAS head provides failover and load-balancing capability and handles all the protocol handling necessary to move data from file to block format and back again. Your end users access data and applications as if on a Windows server. And because the SAN stores your data, you can use all the high-end management tools available on your SAN.
A word of caution: Only Windows Powered NAS heads provide Windows server functionality. Non-Windows NAS heads provide some of the same functionality but don't emulate a pure Windows server environment. For example, an IT technician couldn't count on running typical Windows server management utilities with a non-Windows NAS head.
Though NAS heads have only been around for a year, they already represent 10 to 12 percent of the overall NAS market. In fact, some analysts predict that more than half of new SAN installations will include a NAS head because of the increased functionality NAS heads provide. So when you think about investing in SAN, you might also consider a NAS head so that you can get the most out of your SAN investment and your existing Windows-trained staff and functionality.
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2. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Keith Furman, [email protected])
This week, EMC is expected to unveil a long-anticipated revamp of its high-end storage products. The new products are intended to help the Massachusetts-based storage company catch up to its hardware rivals' performance. The company will introduce a new EMC Symmetrix 6 line. Advances in the new line include a new "matrix" architecture, which is designed to increase the speed of internal information processing. New products in the line will provide increased amounts of cache memory and will change EMC's RAID strategy from RAID 1 to RAID 5.
Analysts who have been briefed about EMC's plans stated that the Symmetrix 6 line will consist of three models: the modular DMX800, the single-enclosure DMX1000, and the dual-enclosure DMX2000. EMC will provide details about the products at a scheduled news conference this week. According to some estimates, EMC has experienced a loss of more than 30 percent of high-end hardware revenue share to IBM and Hitachi over the past 2 years, with a 15 percent loss in the past year alone. Analysts expect the new high-end Direct Attached Storage (DAS) releases to help the company in the short term but believe that the growth of the less-expensive Network Attached Storage (NAS) market is key to EMC's success in the long term.
Two companies that have gained the most market share from EMC's decline in the last few years, Hitachi and IBM, don't intend to sit idling on the sidelines as EMC improves its products. Both Hitachi and IBM have plans to upgrade their offerings.
Last week, Hitachi announced its 148TB Lightning 9900V systems, which were released last May with 73GB drives but will now be available with 146GB drives. The devices' connectivity has also been upgraded with support for as many as 64 Fibre Channel ports for connecting to storage networks and servers and 32 Fibre Connection (FICON) ports for connecting to mainframes. Hitachi also announced its new Virtual Storage Ports. The ports will let you attach as many as 128 servers to a Fibre Channel port.
IBM is expected to announce an upgrade to its enterprise storage products next month with the release of a minor upgrade to its Enterprise Storage System 800 (also know as Shark) family. On February 17, IBM is also expected to announce that it has licensed LSI Logic's midrange E5600 system, which will ship in March and which IBM will market as the IBM FAStT 900 series.
(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)
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4. INSTANT POLL
The voting has closed in the Windows & .NET Magazine Network's Storage Admin Channel nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "What type of backup do you use?" Here are the results from the 107 votes.
73%—Back up to tape 16%—Disk-to-disk backup 9%—Mirroring and snapshot technologies 2%—Other
(Deviations from 100 percent are due to rounding error.)
The current Instant Poll question is, "Is your organization planning to implement Windows Server 2003?" Go to the Storage Admin Channel home page and submit your vote for a) Yes, this year, b) Within the next 2 years, or c) No
Forum member Chandleya has an Exchange server that contains an extensive filtered email list. He's looking for a way to back up the filtered email list. To lend Chandleya a helping hand, go to the following URL:
6. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])
Procom Technology announced ProMobile, a backup system for notebook and desktop computers that you can use for external storage. The portable, pocket-sized system is available in 60GB, 40GB, 30GB, and 20GB capacities. The software and hardware solution plugs into the computer's USB interface and automatically scans the source drive, copying only the files that you've changed or created since the last backup was performed. ProMobile lets you access lost data files in native format. ProMobile models start at $249 and come with a 3-year warranty. Contact Procom Technology at 800-800-8600.
Spinnaker Networks announced the SpinServer 3300G, a Network Attached Storage (NAS) gateway that combines Spinnaker's NAS solution with existing Storage Area Network (SAN) storage systems. The SpinServer 3300G consolidates the file services in any size enterprise into one file system and scales from 1TB to 11,000TB of capacity. Pricing for the SpinServer 3300G is less than $50,000. Contact Spinnaker Networks at 412-968-7746.
Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Do you know of a terrific product that others should know about? Tell us! We want to write about the product in a future What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions to [email protected].
7. CONTACT US
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