Storage UPDATE, June 10, 2001

Storage UPDATE—brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine Network.
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(below COMMENTARY)


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June 10, 2002—In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

  • Distributed vs. Centralized Storage: The Struggle Continues

2. NEWS AND VIEWS

  • IBM and Hitachi Reach Storage Agreement
  • Imation, Quantum, and Maxell Settle DLT Dispute

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Win a Free $200 Gift Certificate to RoadWired.com!
  • Struggling with IIS and Web Administration Issues?

4. RESOURCES

  • Tip: Using Windows XP to Erase Files from a CD-RW Disk
  • Featured Thread: CRC Error Message with VERITAS Software's Backup Executive 7.0 for NT 4.0

5. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • Store as Much as 40GB on a Pocket-Sized Drive
  • Improve Application Performance in SANs

6. CONTACT US

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

1. COMMENTARY
(contributed by Elliot King, [email protected])

  • DISTRIBUTED VS. CENTRALIZED STORAGE: THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES

  • IBM recently announced iBoot, a new storage technology that enters the ongoing struggle between distributed and centralized storage strategies. In essence, iBoot, which IBM's Haifa Research Laboratory developed in Haifa, Israel, brings to desktop computing many of the same concepts that have long informed mainframe computing (see URL below). Instead of storing information locally on a hard disk, individual users designate storage space on a larger disk on the network. The disk appears to be local, but it isn't.
    http://www.haifa.il.ibm.com/projects/storage/iboot

    Fundamentally, the iBoot technology lets desktop computers operate without a local hard disk. Instead, the computer uses the Internet SCSI (iSCSI) to connect to a hard disk over the network and can boot up Windows XP, Windows 2000, or the Linux OS by using a remote machine (see first URL below). IBM researchers say that iBoot is the first technology to support the remote booting of any Windows OS. Although technologies such as Etherboot, an open source software (OSS) application (see second URL below), and Intel's Preboot Execution Environment (PXE—see third URL below) have supported remote boot for Linux, IBM researchers claim those approaches aren't transparent to the end user. Moreover, Etherboot and PXE require that the entire booted OS be sent to the diskless PC and retained in memory. Users can't make any permanent changes to the OS kernel.
    http://www.iscsistorage.com
    http://etherboot.sourceforge.net
    http://www.pcwebopaedia.com/term/p/pxe.html

    With Etherboot and PXE, a client computer obtains the location of a target computer, then, by using the Trivial FTP (TFTP), downloads a root file system and OS kernel and executes the OS kernel. IBM iBoot uses a different approach. For iBoot, however, IBM researchers have created a small-option ROM image that contains iSCSI client code, a TCP/IP stack, and BIOS interrupt code. When a user turns the machine on, the BIOS disk I/O interrupt uses the iBoot code to communicate directly with a remote drive. With this approach, users can make and retain permanent changes to the OS kernel. Although storage can then take place centrally, each desktop still retains its customized computing functionality.

    You can easily envision the advantages of consolidated desktop storage. Hard disk crashes have been a nightmare for a generation of users and systems administrators. One centralized storage space for desktop computing would make backup and restore operations much easier to manage.

    Desktop storage is an underutilized resource in many enterprises. As hard disk capacities continue to grow, each desktop contains more and more unused space. A standard desktop computer configuration in many enterprises now includes a hard disk with a minimum of 20GB. Disk drives with 80GB to 120GB hard disks are common. Many users use less than 25 percent of that capacity, and they'd use even less if they had an incentive to erase data they no longer need. However, as rich media use becomes more commonplace, users will need more storage to handle their audio and video files. Centralized hard disks would make it much easier for storage administrators to control that growth.

    Moreover, desktop storage centralization can reduce the cost of storage upgrades—every desktop would no longer need an upgrade. In the long run, iBoot could impact the design of many classes of computers, from servers to handhelds. IBM researchers have suggested that in the future, computers might come with very small hard disks designed to hold temporary files or small amounts of information (or in the case of servers, no disks at all).

    Currently, iBoot is a technology, not a product, and iSCSI network cards are only now being introduced into the market. Although most pundits think that iSCSI will soon catch on as a significant network storage protocol, its rate of acceptance is unknown. Nevertheless, iBoot is another technology that will require storage administrators to clearly think through organizational and end-user storage needs. Increased storage capacity isn't the issue; whether that capacity is centralized or distributed is.


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    2. NEWS AND VIEWS
    (contributed by Keith Furman, [email protected])

  • IBM AND HITACHI REACH STORAGE AGREEMENT

  • IBM and Hitachi have announced a definitive agreement for the companies to transfer their Hard Disk Drive (HDD) assets to a new standalone company. The transfer is one part of a business alliance the companies announced in April. The companies hope the transfer of assets will help them be more competitive in their core businesses. According to industry insiders, IBM's HDD business has lost money in recent years.

    Hitachi has agreed to purchase the majority of IBM's HDD-related assets for $2.05 billion, including the transfer of IBM's HDD-related intellectual property portfolio. Hitachi will initially own 70 percent of the new company and will make a series of fixed payments to IBM before assuming full ownership in 3 years.

    The new company will be based in San Jose, California, and will comprise about 18,000 employees from IBM and 6000 employees from Hitachi. An independent team of executives drawn from Hitachi and IBM's existing HDD operations will manage the new company.

    Hitachi estimates the new company will make about $5 billion in sales in fiscal year 2003 and $7 billion in sales by 2006. Both IBM and Hitachi will use the new company as their HDD supplier. The companies expect the agreement to close by the end of the year.
    http://www.storageadmin.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=25063
    http://www.storage.ibm.com
    http://www.hitachi.com

  • IMATION, QUANTUM, AND MAXELL SETTLE DLT DISPUTE

  • Imation, Quantum, and Maxell announced that they have settled all legal claims between the companies involving DLTtape media products. (The DLT technology competes with Linear Tape-Open—LTO—and AIT.) Last October, Imation filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against Quantum, accusing the company of thwarting Imation's efforts to produce DLT-compatible cartridges. In December, Imation amended the complaint to add Maxell. Quantum filed a counterclaim in California state court, stating that Imation violated Quantum's trade secrets and seeking an injunction to prevent Imation from selling DLT products. Maxell also filed a counterclaim, alleging that Imation engaged in false advertising. As part of the settlement, all suits will be dismissed.

    Under terms of the settlement, Quantum will pay Imation $5 million over 18 months and enter into a multiyear business and supply agreement. Further details of the settlement weren't released. Maxwell will also pay Imation an undisclosed sum. Imation will now be able to sell certified DLT and SuperDLT products.
    http://www.imation.com http://www.quantum.com http://www.maxell.com

    3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • WIN A FREE $200 GIFT CERTIFICATE TO ROADWIRED.COM!

  • Visit the Connected Home Virtual Tour and browse through the latest home entertainment, home networking, and home automation options. Sign up for prize drawings, too, and you might win a free gift certificate to RoadWired.com. Take the tour today!
    http://www.connectedhomemag.com/virtualtour

  • STRUGGLING WITH IIS AND WEB ADMINISTRATION ISSUES?

  • Discover Windows Web Solutions online, the Web site with articles, tips, and more to help you manage and overcome the security, performance, and maintenance concerns Web site administrators deal with every day. Don't miss this article: "15 Tips for Troubleshooting VPN Connections" ( http://www.windowswebsolutions.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=8290 ). Check it out!
    http://www.windowswebsolutions.com

    4. RESOURCES

  • TIP: USING WINDOWS XP TO ERASE FILES FROM A CD-RW DISK

  • (contributed by John Savill, http://www.windows2000faq.com)

    Q. How can I use Windows XP to erase files from a CD-RW disk?

    A. You can delete files from a CD-RW disk by performing the following steps:

    1. Place the CD-RW disk in your CD writer.
    2. Start My Computer (go to Start and click My Computer).
    3. Right-click the CD-RW drive icon and select Open from the context menu.
    4. Select "Erase this CD-RW" from the CD Writing Tasks bar in the left-hand pane of Windows Explorer to start the CD Writing Wizard.
    5. Click Next to begin the wizard's erase process. A progress dialog box will display and confirm that XP has erased the files from your CD-RW.

  • FEATURED THREAD: CRC ERROR MESSAGE WITH VERITAS SOFTWARE'S BACKUP EXECUTIVE 7.0 FOR NT 4.0

  • (One message in this thread)

    Jeffrey uses VERITAS Software's Backup Executive 7.0 for Windows NT 4.0. The backup fails intermittently, giving him a cyclical redundancy check (CRC) error message. To read more about Jeffrey's problem or offer your expertise, use the following link:
    http://www.winnetmag.com/forums/rd.cfm?app=78&id=104932

    5. NEW AND IMPROVED
    (contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])

  • STORE AS MUCH AS 40GB ON A POCKET-SIZED DRIVE

  • Pocketec released Pockey USB 2.0, a portable storage product that measures 5" x 3" x .5" and can store as much as 20GB, 30GB, or 40GB of data. You can use the Pockey to store MP3 files, digital photos, and video files. The Pockey provides transfer rates as fast as 480Mbps. USB-compliant, the Pockey includes a free USB 2.0 PC Card. The 20GB, 30GB, and 40GB drives cost $199, $299, and $399, respectively, and run on Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Me, and Windows 98 systems. Contact Pocketec at 818-717-9556.
    http://www.pocketec.net

  • IMPROVE APPLICATION PERFORMANCE IN SANs

  • Imperial Technology released SANaccelerator, a data acceleration device designed to improve application performance in Storage Area Networks (SANs). SANaccelerator connects directly to the Fibre Channel SANs and provides shared capacity to multiple applications and multiple servers. A fully configured system ready for SAN installation costs less than $60,000. Contact Imperial Technology at [email protected]
    http://www.sanaccelerator.com

    6. CONTACT US
    Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

    (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)

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