Storage UPDATE—brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network
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June 3, 2002—In this issue:
- How Will You Manage Your Storage Networks?
2. NEWS AND VIEWS
- Bluefin Details Emerge
- TidalWire Acquires McDATA's HBA Business
- Get Valuable Info for Free with IT Consultant Newsletter
- Time Is Running Out to Attend Our Free Security Summit!
4. INSTANT POLL
- Results of Previous Poll: Storage Content
- Instant Poll: Dealing with Storage Needs
- Tip: PC Cards
- Featured Thread: Directory Size Limits
6. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Automate the Backup Process
- Move to Proactive Storage Management
7. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Sheila Childs, [email protected])
The value proposition for storage networks centers around the growing volume and importance of data—and applications' need for data availability and protection. Strong overall data management boosts a company's competitive edge, lowers total cost of ownership (TCO), and ultimately contributes to the bottom line. However, most existing storage-management tools (e.g., SNMP, proprietary vendor APIs) are inadequate to the task of managing heterogeneous storage-networking environments.
When it comes to managing storage networks, the lack of standards (or rather, the fact that standards are evolving slowly) makes the management task difficult in heterogeneous storage environments. Imagine a storage network consisting of disk subsystems from Compaq and EMC, optical libraries from Hewlett-Packard (HP), tape storage from StorageTek, and Fibre Channel switches and routers from various other vendors. Throw a few UNIX servers into a predominately Windows environment with host bus adapters (HBAs) from different vendors—and you have the makings of a storage-networking-management nightmare.
The storage-networking industry recognizes that managing these heterogeneous environments presents a significant challenge and has been working on solutions. Many organizations have contributed standards to help provide the framework for storage management, and storage administrators should be aware of those standards. The Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) manages the set of standards, which consists of the Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) Initiative and the Common Information Model. CIM is an information model comprising a modeling specification and an XML-based encoding specification. HTTP is the transport protocol for Internet-based management. Mapping to other legacy-management models (e.g., SNMP) is part of the model. CIM's object-oriented (OO) design abstracts and classifies objects, object inheritance, and object dependencies and associations, which lets an administrator unify data from several sources through an abstract information model.
Although the DMTF helped in CIM's initial development, the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) has been primarily responsible for the ongoing development work that's growing the model in the areas of storage and storage networking. Various groups have steadily built the model for devices that include disk arrays, Fibre Channel switches, and media libraries. At Storage Networking World in April 2002, a group of 13 vendors demonstrated an application they wrote cooperatively to handle a storage network's volume management, LUN masking and mapping, asset management, and status and event monitoring using WBEM and CIM. This event was a milestone in the area of storage-network management because end users saw that they could manage interoperable storage-networking components from competing vendors.
In addition to the work the DMTF and SNIA are doing, other groups are adding value to the management model in areas such as security, lock management, and discovery. All the work accelerates standard development and brings useful products to market more quickly. In fact, several companies are already shipping products that incorporate CIM-based management.
Although the lack of interoperability has impeded storage network adoption, so has the lack of storage-network management tools. The WBEM and CIM standards—along with available CIM-based management products—will move storage-networking technologies further into the mainstream. As storage administrators evaluate new storage-networking technologies, they need to ask each vendor about its plans for CIM-based management. If a vendor doesn't have plans for CIM, storage administrators might want to rethink their partner strategy. For more information about the WBEM and CIM standards, visit the Web sites listed below.
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2. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Keith Furman, [email protected])
The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) announced last week that a group of storage companies plans to contribute new technology aimed at advancing standards-based Storage Area Network (SAN) management (see first URL below). The technology, code-named Bluefin, uses Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM), Managed Object Format (MOF), and Common Information Model (CIM) to provide a common interface (i.e., API) for SAN management. Bluefin will include security, locking, and discovery, as well as provide identity, classification, monitoring, and the ability to control physical and logical resources across the enterprise using a common communication transport.
Bluefin was first demonstrated in early form at Storage Networking World in April 2002. Companies contributing to the Bluefin specification are BMC Software, Brocade Communications Systems, Computer Associates (CA), Dell, EMC, Emulex, Gadzoox Networks, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Hitachi, IBM, JNI, Prisa Networks, QLogic, StorageTek, Sun Microsystems, and VERITAS Software. The contributing companies and SNIA are creating a transition plan to address incorporating the specification into SNIA technical and marketing activities. SNIA expects to complete the plan in July 2002.
TidalWire, a Storage Area Network (SAN) interconnect products and services company, announced that it has acquired McDATA's host bus adapter (HBA) business. Effective this month, McDATA will outsource its HBA business to TidalWire, which will provide McDATA's HBA services worldwide. The new arrangement leverages McDATA's SAN hardware, software management, and support and TidalWire's HBA fulfillment and support capabilities.
"McDATA chose TidalWire to fulfill its future HBA requirements based on TidalWire's lengthy experience with Storage Area Network products, distribution, and its worldwide support and logistics infrastructure," said John Kelley, McDATA's president and CEO. "Outsourcing future HBA services to TidalWire allows McDATA to focus on its core products, while continuing to provide best-in-class solutions to our customers. McDATA is confident that TidalWire will provide customers with world-class HBA sales, fulfillment, and technical support."
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4. INSTANT POLL
The voting has closed in Windows & .NET Magazine Network's Storage Admin Channel nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "What type of storage content are you most interested in?" Here are the results (+/-2 percent) from the 49 votes.
- 20%—New technologies and protocols
- 20%—Hardware and software reviews
- 12%—Management strategies
- 47%—Backup and recovery
The current Instant Poll question is, "Which approach would you prefer to use to deal with increasing storage needs?" Go to the Storage Admin Channel home page and submit your vote for a) increase capacity, b) implement storage virtualization, c) implement active archiving, or d) implement a policy-based system.
( contributed by David Ciccone, [email protected] )
Q. What are Type I, Type II, and Type III PC Cards?
A. Type I, Type II, and Type III PC Cards are portable storage devices, each about the size of a credit card. The main difference between the cards is their thickness. Type III PC Cards are thicker than Type II PC Cards, and Type II PC Cards are thicker than Type I PC Cards. Type III PC Cards accommodate more electronics than the other cards. The most prominent Type III PC Cards are hard drives; however, Type II PC Card hard drives have become available in recent years. Type I PC Cards are less common because they're primarily available as Flash storage cards and tend to be more expensive than other types of storage cards such as CompactFlash (CF).
(One message in this thread)
Mike wants to limit directory sizes to different thresholds. After a directory reaches the specified limit, data IN requests are denied. The directory limits don't need to be specific to users, just size. He wants to know what products you use or know about that meet his objective. To read more about Mike's question or offer your expertise, use the following link:
6. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])
Sony Electronics announced StorStation LIB-81 AIT library, which features a 1.75" rack unit, as much as 2.08TB storage capacity, and a 112.3GB-per-hour data-transfer rate. The unit houses one AIT-3, AIT-2, or AIT-1 drive and as many as eight media cartridges in an internal carousel design. All three drives feature backward read/write AIT media compatibility. The library incorporates a Web-based remote monitoring and diagnostic system and an optional barcode reader that can instantly verify and inventory media. Pricing starts at less than $4500.
PowerQuest released PowerQuest PowerExpert SRM 5.0, software that provides realtime Storage Resource Management (SRM) for the enterprise. You can use the software to move from traditional crisis-driven, reactive storage management to proactive, predictive storage management. New reporting and policy management features in PowerQuest PowerExpert SRM ensure data availability and enforce corporate data-storage policies. The cost is $1295 per server. Contact PowerQuest at 801-437-8900.
7. CONTACT US
Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:
(please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)
- TECHNICAL QUESTIONS — http://www.winnetmag.net/forums
- PRODUCT NEWS — [email protected]
- QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR Storage UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION?
Customer Support — [email protected]
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