Storage UPDATE, June 2, 2003

Storage UPDATE--June 2, 2003

This Issue Sponsored By

Dantz Development Corporation

Precise SRM Software Solutions


1. Commentary: Pieces of the iSCSI Puzzle Starting to Fall into Place

2. Announcements - Cast Your Vote in Our Annual Readers' Choice Awards! - Get Exclusive VIP Web Site Access!

3. Instant Poll - Results of Previous Poll: Is Backup and Archiving Important? - New Instant Poll: iSCSI Excitement?

4. Resources - Configuring a Windows Backup

5. Events - Security 2003 Road Show

6. New and Improved - Back Up According to Performance - Submit Top Product Ideas

7. Contact Us - See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

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==== 1. Commentary: Pieces of the iSCSI Puzzle Starting to Fall into Place ==== by Elliot King, [email protected]

In general, most of the recent hype about new storage technologies has focused on big-picture elements such as storage network technology and storage management applications. But in order for new technologies to meet or exceed expectations, the technology must expand to the edge of the network. You must incorporate both the desktop clients and the target devices (i.e., disk drives and tape drives) into new storage infrastructures. If the desktop clients and target devices aren't available, end users will shy away from incorporating the new host technology. Over the past couple of months, iSCSI client and target-device development has begun to accelerate, paving the way for iSCSI to make its presence felt in the enterprise by early 2004, if not sooner. Although market research company Gartner anticipates that by 2006 iSCSI will connect nearly 1.5 million servers to Storage Area Networks (SANs), the adoption of iSCSI technology to date has been slower than anticipated. The logic behind the technology is compelling. By using standard Ethernet TCP/IP networks, iSCSI lets companies build low-cost storage networks at a fraction of the cost of alternative technologies. By some estimates, implementing iSCSI networks could cost as much as 75 percent less than using Fibre Channel technology. The decrease in expense means more companies, particularly smaller companies, could be willing to try iSCSI. In addition to providing a lower cost alternative to Fibre Channel in creating SANs, iSCSI has several other applications. You can use iSCSI to link independent Fibre Channel SANs, in data replication and data mirroring applications, for offsite data storage and disaster-recovery settings, and you can apply the technology in almost any scenario in which high performance isn't a concern. Despite its obvious attractions, several barriers have slowed the widespread adoption of iSCSI. Although major vendors have given lip service to their support of iSCSI, their commitment to and follow through in releasing compatible products hasn't been as robust as might be desired. One major barrier facing vendors was that the iSCSI standard wasn't finalized at the time they were trying to release compatible products. Another concern, as stated by Peter Cmaylo, vice president of business development at iStor Networks, which has released new OEM-oriented technology in this area, is that, "there has been a lot of work on the host side but the target side has been neglected." iSCSI is finally starting to overcome those barriers. The first major development came in February when the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) approved the iSCSI standard. The finalization of the standard lets manufacturers in all sectors of the storage market develop products that are compatible through their adherence to the standard. In a second major development, this month, Microsoft will release free iSCSI software drivers. Although drivers are already available from IBM, Cisco Systems, and Intel, Microsoft's support is crucial to iSCSI's success. The Microsoft drivers support data encryption, the Internet Storage Name Service (iSNS) management, and an architecture for incorporating hardware from different vendors. Reportedly, more than 60 companies are using the Microsoft iSCSI protocols to create hardware and software products. Microsoft has launched a logo program for hardware vendors that use the company's protocols. And, along with the University of New Hampshire and the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), Microsoft is conducting interoperability tests with iSCSI technology from other vendors. Another part of the iSCSI puzzle that's starting to fall into place is the availability of native iSCSI target devices. Although IBM was first to market with an iSCSI disk array, the company pulled its product from the market last year. At the end of last year, Eurologic unveiled an iSCSI disk array, which the company recently upgraded. In January, EqualLogic previewed an iSCSI disk array. And last month, iStor Networks unveiled technology that can aggregate as many as eight independent IP storage networks into a single system. The technology expands the number of Serial ATA (SATA) disk drives in the same storage domain from 16 to 128, and, according to iStor officials, helps iSCSI overcome storage capacity and bandwidth limitations. As more target devices emerge, it could be as easy to set up a SAN as it is to set up a home area network. When that happens, iSCSI will have lived up to its promise. By early next year, however, iSCSI should make an impact in the enterprise arena.



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==== 2. Announcements ==== (from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

Cast Your Vote in Our Annual Readers' Choice Awards! Which companies and products are the best on the market? Tell us by nominating your favorites in the annual Windows & .NET Magazine Readers' Choice Awards survey. Click here!

Get Exclusive VIP Web Site Access! The Windows & .NET Magazine VIP Site is a subscription-based online technical resource that's chock-full of problem-solving articles from all our publications. For a limited time, you can access this banner-free site at which you'll find exclusive content usually reserved for VIP Site members only. Only VIP subscribers can access this site after June 13, so check it out today!

==== 3. Instant Poll ====

Results of Previous Poll: Is Backup and Archiving Important? The voting has closed in the Windows & .NET Magazine Network's Storage Admin Channel nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Have you found that backup and archiving have become more important during the past couple of years than in the past?" Here are the results from the 27 votes. 81%--Yes 19%--No

New Instant Poll: iSCSI Excitement? The current Instant Poll question is, "Are you looking forward to iSCSI making its presence felt in the enterprise?" Go to the Storage Admin Channel home page and submit your vote for a) Yes, b) I don't really care, or c) No, not really.

==== 4. Resources ====

Configuring a Windows Backup Forum member Studiomix's company uses a Windows 2000 Server and Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 for voicemail. The company uses Windows internal backup software and the Exchange agent that installs with Exchange. Studiomix needs to know how to configure the voicemail backup and how to properly automate the backup schedule. To lend a helping hand, join the discussion at the following URL:

==== 5. Events ==== (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

Security 2003 Road Show Join Mark Minasi and Paul Thurrott as they deliver sound security advice at our popular Security 2003 Road Show event. For more information, go to the following URL.

==== 6. New and Improved ==== by Carolyn Mader, [email protected]

Back Up According to Performance Avail Solutions and First Intelligent Array (FIA) announced a partnership in which FIA will bundle Avail's Integrity backup and recovery software with FIA's POPnetserver line of Network Attached Storage (NAS) systems. Integrity supports any number and variety of storage devices. During backup, Integrity targets a storage device according to performance, longevity, and other data needs. Pricing for the POP Integrity Backup appliances starts under $10,000 but varies according to configuration. Contact Avail Solutions at 760-743-7200, or contact FIA at 888-353-0337.

Submit Top Product Ideas 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]

==== Sponsored Links ====

- FaxBack Integrate FAX into Exchange/Outlook (Whitepaper, ROI, Trial)


==== 7. Contact Us ====

About the commentary -- [email protected] About the newsletter -- [email protected] About technical questions -- About product news -- [email protected] About your subscription -- [email protected] About sponsoring UPDATE -- [email protected]

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Copyright 2003, Penton Media, Inc.

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