Storage UPDATE--Next-Generation Optical Storage--October 11, 2004

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1. Commentary
- Optical Storage Media: Blu-ray and Beyond

2. News and Views
- Symantec Targets Data Recovery
- EMC Adds ILM to NAS

3. Resource
- Windows Server 2003 Backup Problem

4. New and Improved
- QLogic Fibre Down Integrated in HP Blade Servers
- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!



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==== 1. Commentary ====
by David Chernicoff, [email protected]

Optical Storage Media: Blu-ray and Beyond

I get a fair amount of email from readers asking about the suitability of using recordable DVD technology for data backup and archiving. After I respond to such messages by pointing out DVD's pros and cons, I usually receive a follow-up query about which format is best--DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RAM, and so on. In general, I've recommended the multiformat drives to readers because those drives offer users the broadest possible range of media.

Recently I've been telling folks to keep an eye out for the availability of Blu-ray-format media. Vendors such as Sony have announced the imminent availability of drives that will support 25GB on a single Blu-ray disk. The driving force behind Blu-ray technology is High-Definition Television (HDTV); that 25GB disk supports a little more than two hours of HDTV video and has a 36Mbps data transfer rate, so that Blu-ray can maintain the original quality of the HDTV stream. Plans are already on the drawing board for a version of Blu-ray that greatly increases disk capacity up to 100GB.

Obviously, the availability of reliable Blu-ray drives and media means that the technology will affect the storage market. At present, with desktop computers commonly having 160GB hard drives and no backup system, a technology that lets you back up the contents of an entire desktop locally on just a few disks has a built-in market. Disk changers that support multiple drives will find a place in the server backup market, too, because the inexpensive automation that's in disk-changer technology will make high-capacity optical disk storage available to even entry-level server users.

Nevertheless, even as Blu-ray is about to appear on our doorstep, the next-generation technologies are in sight. In late September, Imperial College London, a science-based university in the UK, announced a new technology that can store a terabyte of data (1000GB) on a disk that's the size of a CD-ROM. (For more information about the Imperial College announcement, see "One-Terabyte Optical Disk Technology Unveiled," Don't hold your breath waiting for a commercial appearance of the drive; the Imperial College development team has stated that although they can get the data onto the disk, they haven't yet developed a drive that can read the data back fast enough to be useful. The development team doesn't expect a commercially viable product to be available before 2009.

While we're talking about futuristic optical storage technologies, let's go all out and highlight a company with the possibly wishful, yet self-describing name of Colossal Storage Corporation ( that claims it possesses the technology to develop a 3.5" optical disk with the capacity of 10TB, or 100 times the capacity of the forthcoming Blu-ray media. Now it's true that the "Atomic Holographic Optical NanoStorage Drive" proposed by Colossal Storage isn't even in the proof-of-concept stage at this time, but the company has been granted patents for the enabling technologies that it believes will lead to these incredibly high-capacity optical storage devices.

Optical storage appears to be a moving target, even though these next generations of super-high-capacity devices are yet to be proven real. Industry observers hope that Blu-ray will offer the standardization that the current DVD market lacks and provide corporate buyers who seek writeable optical media solutions a standard that has sufficient capacity to suit their present needs.

Comment on this article at

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==== 2. News and Views ====
by Keith Furman, [email protected]

Symantec Targets Data Recovery
Symantec has launched a new family of products designed for disk-based system and data recovery. The new Symantec LiveState Recovery products--which are based on technology from Symantec's acquisition of PowerQuest late last year--come in three different editions: Advanced Server, Standard Server, and a Desktop edition. The products capture point-in-time snapshots of operating states of servers and desktops. The captured information includes application, data, and settings in one file that's easy to restore in the event of a disaster. The file can easily be stored on another server and can be used for everything from full system recovery to restoring individual files.

Read the rest of this article and give us your feedback at

EMC is looking to add a competitive edge to its Network Attached Storage (NAS) products with a new software offering that leverages EMC's Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) technology. All new Celerra NAS systems will ship with the new offering, called Celerra FileMover. Celerra FileMover automates moving data between primary and secondary storage resources according to user-set policies. The software uses open technology that lets it easily integrate with other EMC software as well as third-party storage management software. EMC expects Celerra FileMover to be used primarily for automatically copying data from expensive storage to lower-cost storage or tape for archiving.

Read the rest of this article and give us your feedback at

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==== 3. Resource: Windows Server 2003 Backup Problem ====

Forum participant "Guma" is having a problem backing up on a standalone Windows Server 2003 server. When he right-clicks a backup-log entry that isn't designated as Offline and selects "Make as free," the entry disappears; however, the backup won't work until he selects "Make as free" again. If you can help solve the problem, join the discussion at

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==== 4. New and Improved ====
by Jason Bovberg, [email protected]

QLogic Fibre Down Integrated in HP Blade Servers
QLogic announced that QLogic Fibre Down technology is now shipping in HP ProLiant BL30p blade servers. QLogic Fibre Down--the integration of single-chip Fibre Channel host bus adapters (HBAs) onto blade servers--will increase storage-expansion capabilities in the HP ProLiant BL30p blade server's dual-port Fibre Channel adapters by providing reliable, high-bandwidth, long-distance connectivity to Fibre Channel Storage Area Networks (SANs). Customers will be able to install future blades without changing power, cooling, management, or interconnect devices. With 16 blades per 6U (10.5") enclosure, a standard rack of HP ProLiant BL30p blade servers can provide as many as 192 processors and 96 Fibre Channel connections with 192 data paths. For more information about this announcement, contact QLogic on the Web.

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