Storage UPDATE--A Fundamental Shift in Storage Software--April 12, 2004

Storage UPDATE--A Fundamental Shift in Storage Software--April 12, 2004

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1. Commentary

- A Fundamental Shift in Storage Software

2. News and Views

- Microsoft Outlines Storage Innovations and Investments

- SNIA Announces First Storage Management Compliant Software

3. Resource

- Cluster Service Improvements for Storage Area Networks (SANs)

4. New and Improved

- IP SAN Software Gets New Features

- Large-Capacity SAIT Backup Appliances

- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

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1. ==== Commentary ====

by Elliot King, [email protected]

A Fundamental Shift in Storage Software

IT spending strengthened across the board last year, but the storage software market positively exploded. According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Storage Software Tracker, the global storage software market climbed 17.7 percent in terms of revenue in fourth quarter 2003 compared to fourth quarter 2002. For the year, storage software revenues jumped 8 percent, reaching nearly $6.3 billion.

IDC's report reveals several major trends that are underway in the industry. The most obvious is vendor consolidation. With EMC leading the way by virtue of its acquisition of LEGATO Systems (now LEGATO Software), the big storage software vendors are getting bigger, leaving a smaller piece of the pie for other players. The overall market share of the top five vendors grew from 72.5 percent in 2002 to 77.8 percent in 2003. Figures for fourth quarter 2003 show the top five vendors holding nearly 80 percent of the overall market.

For the year, market leader EMC's share climbed from 27.6 percent to 30.7 percent. According to IDC, EMC held 31.7 percent of the market in fourth quarter 2003. VERITAS Software and HP also gained market share, while IBM's share remained flat. HP, whose numbers include revenues from Compaq, had the fastest growth of any of the top players, with revenues climbing 28 percent. Computer Associates (CA), which holds the number three position after EMC and VERITAS, lost 0.5 percent of the market share during 2003.

Consolidation is only part of the story, however. Over the course of the year, companies began to focus their attention--and their funds--on backup and archiving technology. Although Storage Resource Management (SRM) applications and storage replication software were the best performers in the first half of 2003, revenues generated by backup and archiving jumped a healthy 17.6 percent year over year in the fourth quarter. In the same period, SRM software climbed 16.2 percent and storage replication software increased 14.7 percent. For 2003 as a whole, SRM turned in the best performance with an 11.3 percent gain, followed by storage replication software with an increase of 9.5 percent.

But IDC's report doesn't reveal the most significant trend underway in storage software. The big story is that the lines between storage management and data management, including data protection, are blurring. Storing large volumes of data cost effectively is only one part of the challenge storage administrators now face. Data protection and regulatory compliance are equally important. Two major announcements within the past 2 weeks underscore this trend.

First, at the end of March, VERITAS announced the general availability of Data Lifecycle Manager 5.0, which is geared to helping companies meet global regulatory requirements from data creation to data deletion across all storage media. Although storage software products play a central role in data lifecycle management, VERITAS also announced an API and developer's kit to help partners integrate their applications into the data lifecycle management framework. Twelve companies--ranging from Autonomy, which provides advanced pattern-recognition software for concept-based retrieval of email and other attachments, to Princeton Softech, which offers active archiving for database information--are participating in the program.

Second, IBM recently unveiled three new products aimed at ensuring regulatory compliance. IDC reports that regulatory compliance is the number one IT investment focus for organizations in 2004, and AMR Research forecasts that more than $5 billion will be spent on compliance-related activities and IT purchases this year alone.

What does all this activity mean? According to Anders Lofgren, vice president of BrightStor storage solutions marketing at CA, delivering a complete storage management strategy goes far beyond data movers and archiving tools. Even dealing with compliance and lifecycle management isn't enough, he said. Instead, storage strategies must address the broad range of IT challenges, including security, asset management, and application management.

Lofgren is right. Although using the storage infrastructure efficiently remains a pressing concern, storage administrators now have to be deeply involved with every piece of the IT puzzle. And although many solutions for data lifecycle management and compliance seem to be geared to large companies, all companies have to come up with plans to ensure that they can retrieve their mission-critical data in an appropriate form and within a reasonable timeframe. That need should fuel healthy growth for storage software solutions for the foreseeable future.

On another note, I received some feedback on my March 29 commentary about how the use of Exchange Server 2003 can spur storage infrastructure upgrades, particularly in small businesses. A reader pointed out that iSCSI can be used to create a SAN of sorts. Even small companies that never before considered a SAN can now consider an iSCSI-based storage network.

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2. ==== News and Views ====

by Keith Furman, [email protected]

Microsoft Outlines Storage Innovations and Investments

At this year's Storage Networking World Spring 2004 trade show, Microsoft made clear that it's serious about storage. The company released new tools as well as outlining upcoming innovations for storage in Windows. Microsoft announced a new feature pack for its specialized storage OS, Windows Storage Server 2003, that will enable consolidation of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 data on Windows Storage Server-based Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. Microsoft also announced innovations directed at both competing Storage Area Network (SAN) technologies--Fibre Channel and Internet SCSI (iSCSI)--for use with Windows. "These announcements reflect how we are meeting customers' need to reduce storage costs with consolidated, simplified management of Exchange Server data on Windows Storage Server and how we are helping make SANs more manageable and cost-effective for organizations of all sizes," said Zane Adam, director of product management and marketing for Microsoft's Enterprise Storage Division.

Microsoft is set to release technology to make using Fibre Channel SANs in Windows easier for consumers. The company will release a new (and free) Fibre Channel Information Tool in May. The tool will dynamically gather SAN information and will provide easy access to configuration data needed to troubleshoot multivendor environments. The company demonstrated the product at the show with Emulex, LSI Logic, and QLogic. The software giant will add storage tracing support to Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1), which is scheduled to be released later this year. Storage tracing support will consolidate the various tracing and logging mechanisms used by storage drivers on SANs. Adaptec, Emulex, Intel, LSI Logic, and QLogic will support this new capability in their storage drivers.

Microsoft announced that Windows Server 2003 DataCenter Edition now supports the company's iSCSI architecture. To date, more than 18 storage hardware vendors have received the company's iSCSI Designed for Windows Logo. Vendors will now be able to have their products tested with Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition. Microsoft iSCSI Software Initiator 2.0 will be available by the end of 2004 and will include improved native iSCSI support for Microsoft Multipath I/O (MPIO). The improvements will include multipath failover and load balancing between the initiator and iSCSI targets. A beta version of the new initiator is available at (use the case-sensitive guest ID iSCSI).

SNIA Announces First Storage Management Compliant Software

The Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA) has announced the products that have passed the organization's compliance testing for the first version of the Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S). The association set up a SNIA Conformance Testing Program (SNIA-CTP) to determine compliance with the new storage-management standard. "For the first time ever, end users will be able to select storage management products with SMI-S conformant interfaces, which will help make their storage simpler to implement and manage. We believe SMI-S will ease the day-to-day routines of storage management and that the specification will be widely adopted in all new products by the end of 2005," said Ray Dunn, chairman of the SNIA Storage Management Forum.

More than 100 products from 14 companies have been certified to work with SMI-S. The companies that have certified products are Brocade Communications Systems, Computer Network Technology (CNT), Dell, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, IBM, LSI Logic Storage Systems, McDATA, Network Appliance (NetApp), QLogic, Silicon Graphics, StorageTek, and Sun Microsystems. Products that pass the SNIA-CTP will carry an official logo and are listed on SNIA's Web site.

The association also announced the SMI-S 1.0.2 standard specification has entered a technical review that will result in it becoming an ANSI standard by this summer.

==== Announcements ====

(from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

Storage World Conference 2004, Long Beach, CA, June 28-July 1

Storage World Conference, the most comprehensive educational conference and tradeshow for storage networking professionals, is holding its fourth annual event at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, CA June 28-July 1. This year's event features a Tutorials Day, Certificate Program, Hands-on Storage Clinic, Awards Night, Vendor Expo, and much more.

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3. ==== Resource ====

Cluster Service Improvements for Storage Area Networks (SANs)

In Windows Server 2003, Microsoft improved its support for clustering in a Fibre Channel topology. Whereas earlier versions of Windows clusters treated all communications to the shared disk as a SCSI bus, the Windows 2003 Cluster service can do a targeted reset for disks that are on a Fibre Channel topology. For more information, go to the URL below.

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4. ==== New and Improved ====

by Renee Munshi, [email protected]

IP SAN Software Gets New Features

SANRAD released StoragePro Services 2.0 for its V-Switch family of IP Storage Area Network (SAN) solutions. New features include a volume snapshot feature, on-the-fly volume expansion, and the ability to maintain as many as four mirrored copies of any volume for data protection. Users can also copy data between volumes, devices, or storage systems at up to 1TB per hour with the FastCopy feature. Storage Pro Services 2.0 supports Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) authentication and is bundled with every SANRAD V-Switch product.

Large-Capacity SAIT Backup Appliances

STORServer announced that it's shipping a new line of backup and recovery solutions. The STORServer K3000 and STORServer K5000 Super Advanced Intelligent Tape (SAIT) backup appliances use the new half-inch Sony AIT from Qualstar. The K5000, with 500GB of data per slot and from 132 to 262 slots, provides a 131TB library at uncompressed capacity in the online storage pool. With compression, the pool can reach 343TB of storage in one 3' by 5' cabinet. The K3000 starts at 33 slots and expands to 66 slots.

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