Storage UPDATE--Future Data Growth--March 1, 2004

Storage UPDATE--Future Data Growth--March 1, 2004

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- The Tsunami of Data Growth

News and Views

- Hitachi Announces 300GB Enterprise Drive

- Dot Hill Acquires Chaparral Network Storage

New and Improved

- Storage Enclosure Becomes More Reliable

- Multiplexing Improves Backup Performance

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

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==== Commentary ====

by Elliot King, [email protected]

The Tsunami of Data Growth

Explosive data growth has been a defining feature in the growth of the storage infrastructure over the past 10 years. The amount of data captured and stored has climbed impressively. In its annual study of the largest database implementations, Winter Corporation found that the workload of the largest transactional database nearly doubled from 2001 to 2003. Last year, the most heavily used database system (according to Winter)--the database management system (DBMS) at US Customs & Border Protection (CBP)--supported 51,448 transactions per second (tps), up from 26,655tps in 2001.

Although the CBP database runs on an IBM eSeries mainframe, Winter identified similar growth at every level of database technology. For the first time, Winter named the top 10 databases running on the Windows platform; the largest of those recorded 3634tps.

Increased workload reflects increased data volumes. The database that contains the largest volume of normalized data (94.3TB) is at AT&T Labs-Research. (The normalized-data metric measures how much information a database manages, excluding indexes and other management-oriented data.) The AT&T implementation uses AT&T's Daytona database management software, Sun Microsystems SunFire E10000 servers, and Sun StorEdge storage systems. In Winter's new category of hybrid databases, in which most information is stored on tape rather than on disk, the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) was the largest. The 828TB SLAC database also uses SunFire servers and Sun StorEdge storage arrays.

The question is, where is all this data coming from? Looking back, the answer is four-fold: improved instrumentation, automated enterprise business processes, individual productivity software, and analytics. Improved instrumentation that captures digital rather than analog data has driven the growth of scientific, engineering, and production data. In business, data growth has come from the implementation of IT systems that automate enterprise-level business processes such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) and from individual productivity applications such as email and word processing. The final piece of the puzzle has been analytics. After companies capture data, they want to use it to improve their business processes and outcomes. Transforming transactional data into a format suitable for analytics generates even more data and is a major source of data growth.

The future promises new sources of significant data growth. These sources include the proliferation of new data types, such as audio and video information; the development of handheld devices that have data management capabilities; and the adoption of radio frequency identification (RFID).

Digital audio and video might not seem new--their development stretches back nearly a quarter of a century. But as network and storage technology has improved, the use of digital audio and video has grown. For example, although the press has concentrated on the impact of Apple Computer's iPod music player on the music business, the iPod is a storage story as well. Suddenly, people were able to buy a thousand songs for a very reasonable price and carry those songs around with them. From a wider perspective, as recording, transmitting, and receiving audio files over computer networks becomes easier, new uses for audio in the enterprise will emerge.

The iPod is just one of an emerging new generation of devices that let users manage data locally and periodically synchronize the data with a storage infrastructure. A generation of specialized handheld devices is being developed for applications ranging from field service to medical data management. Increased use of handheld devices that have significant local-data-management capabilities will result in people generating more data that will eventually make its way to centralized corporate storage devices.

But RFID is the heavyweight in the future-data-growth arena. Experts view RFID, which facilitates the tracking of goods through the supply chain, as the most important new information technology since the development of universal product codes (UPCs). Over time, virtually all goods will be tagged with a small radio transmitter. Tracking is the first application, but the tags will undoubtedly evolve to produce additional data for other applications, and that data will also have to be stored. Business executives inevitably will want to analyze the data, and transforming it into a format suitable for analysis will result in yet more data that must be stored.

The amount of stored data has grown exponentially over the past decade. But emerging technologies will cause a veritable tsunami of data in the years to come.

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==== News and Views ====

by Keith Furman, [email protected]

Hitachi Announces 300GB Enterprise Drive

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, the company formed by the combination of Hitachi's and IBM's storage technology businesses last year, has unveiled what it claims is the first enterprise hard drive to reach 300GB of storage capacity. The Ultrastar 10K300 is a 3.5", 10,000rpm hard drive that supports mission-critical features such as data analysis, media streaming, and online transaction processing (OLTP). The drive is shipping now in limited quantities; volume shipments will begin in second quarter 2004. The company expects storage vendors to use these large-capacity drives to provide customers with more powerful storage systems. The Ultrastar 10K300 will be available in 2GBbps Fibre Channel and Ultra 320 SCSI interfaces.

The new drive is Hitachi Global Storage Technologies' first new product. The company has been able to reverse the market-loss trend that IBM's enterprise hard drive division experienced over the 2 years preceding the merger. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies reported an operating profit of $105 million for fourth quarter 2003. The company ended 2003 with $4.2 billion in revenue.

Dot Hill Acquires Chaparral Network Storage

Storage networking company Dot Hill Systems has completed its acquisition of Chaparral Network Storage, a developer of specialized storage appliances, RAID controllers, and data routers. Dot Hill plans to use Chaparral's technology within its storage systems and to extend its product line and customer base. "One of Dot Hill's strategic goals is to increase the amount of proprietary intellectual property within our storage systems. We expect that this acquisition will enhance our technological edge and enable us to more fully control future product engineering, improve sales margins, increase our market share, and better compete at the midrange market level," said Jim Lambert, Dot Hill's president and CEO.

The acquisition was valued at approximately $62 million in cash and $10.4 million in specified obligations. According to Dot Hill, Chaparral's revenues for the 9-month period ending December 31, 2003, were $8.7 million. Chaparral will continue to operate at its current Longmont, Colorado, location, which will become Dot Hill's Controller Technology Center and a Dot Hill regional office.

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==== Resource ====

HOW TO: View the Storage Devices that Are Displayed as "USB SCSI Storage Device" in Windows XP

To see a list of devices that use a SCSI-to-USB adapter, you can double-click the Safe Removal icon that appears in the notification area to the far right of the Windows XP task bar. However, if you want to remove a device and you have more than one such device, you can't identify the one you want to remove because they all appear as "USB SCSI Storage Device." To help differentiate storage devices, select the Display Device Components check box in the Safe Removal icon, and XP will display the components that are connected to each device. For more information, click the URL below.

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==== New and Improved ====

by Renee Munshi, [email protected]

Storage Enclosure Becomes More Reliable

Xyratex has deployed Emulex's InSpeed SOC 320 Fibre Channel switching technology in its recently announced RS-1600-FC-SBD storage enclosure. Xyratex uses Emulex's 20-port, 2Gbps switch-on-a-chip (SOC) to create a Switched Bunch of Disks (SBOD) application that brings high-performance switched connectivity to each drive in the storage enclosure. Xyratex is the first storage company to make an InSpeed SOC 320-based storage enclosure commercially available. For more information, click the URLs below.

Multiplexing Improves Backup Performance

Computer Associates (CA) announced the general availability of BrightStor ARCserve Backup 11.0 for Windows, a data-protection solution for Windows, Novell NetWare, Linux, UNIX, and Mac OS X servers and clients. Supporting Direct Attached Storage (DAS), Network Attached Storage (NAS), and Storage Area Network (SAN) environments, the new release lets multiple backup jobs be written to the same tape media simultaneously and provides a Microsoft Exchange agent that enables message-level, mailbox-level, and database-level backup and restore. For more information about new features in version 11.0, see the CA Web site.

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