Storage UPDATE, June 17, 2002

Storage UPDATE—brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine Network.
http://www.storageadmin.com


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Qualstar CLS-4216 Tape Library
http://www.qualstar.com/146084b.htm
(below COMMENTARY)


SPONSOR: WIN THE E-BUSINESS RACE!

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June 17, 2002—In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

  • The Intelligent Storage Network

2. NEWS AND VIEWS

  • Dell, HP, and Intel Collaborate on Next-Generation Server Storage
  • IBM Research: Trillion-Bit Data Storage Density

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Windows Scripting Solutions for the Systems Administrator
  • Special 2-for-1 Subscription Offer!

4. INSTANT POLL

  • Results of Previous Poll: Dealing with Storage Needs
  • New Instant Poll: Storage for Mobile Users

5. RESOURCE

  • Memory or Storage Space Errors After New Software Installation

6. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • Automate Data Movement and Removal
  • Let Multiple Applications Work Simultaneously on Duplicate Data Sets

7. CONTACT US

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

1. COMMENTARY
(contributed by Tom Clark, Storage UPDATE Contributing Editor, [email protected])

  • THE INTELLIGENT STORAGE NETWORK

  • Combining storage and networking technologies into an integral solution has revealed a number of inherent contradictions between the two. For example, traditional storage processes are based on a master-slave relationship between initiators (servers) and targets (storage devices). Storage devices such as disk arrays or tape subsystems wait passively for commands for data reads or writes. The target device requires little intelligence other than logic to perform RAID, tape loading, or other storage-specific functions. In contrast, traditional networking processes assume that all attached devices are active and intelligent. In conventional IP networking terminology, all attached devices in the network are "hosts," with each host responsible for making its presence known and for actively initiating communications with other networked devices.

    The existence of "dumb" storage devices on a network has required new mechanisms to facilitate discovery of devices and communications on a Storage Area Network (SAN). Because a storage device is a passive participant in the SAN, the network must provide intelligence to make the storage device's presence and capabilities known to initiators. In Fibre Channel, the Simple Name Server (SNS) agent present in every Fibre Channel switch provides this intelligence. Passive participants (e.g., disk or tape subsystems) register their presence with the SNS of the Fibre Channel switch as they connect to switch ports. The Fibre Channel switch thus builds a database of available target resources in the SAN. When a server connects to the SAN, it queries the switch's SNS to discover what targets are available.

    In addition, the Fibre Channel switch might enforce zoning policies that let only authorized servers discover and communicate with designated storage targets; this practice represents an additional layer of network intelligence to police conversations between servers and storage. Fibre Channel fabrics also provide Registered State Change Notification (RSCN) so that the network can notify initiators of the entry or exit of storage devices from the storage network.

    Intelligence in the storage network can also reside in unique products that provide advanced services. Typically, SAN bridge products attached to the network house Third Party Copy (extended copy) agents, which enable server-free backup. When a tape backup launches, the Third Party Copy agent assumes the task of reading data from disk and writing data to tape without further server intervention.

    IP storage networks are built on mainstream IP networking infrastructures that assume intelligence on the part of attached devices. Therefore, IP storage networking must supply additional intelligence in the network that's similar to the functions that Fibre Channel switches provide. The Internet Storage Name Service (iSNS) protocol provides for target discovery, zone policies management, and state change notification for IP storage. Similar to the DNS model, which associates Web sites with their IP addresses, the iSNS protocol combines IP discovery services with SNS storage target information, letting IP-attached servers find and establish authorized access to their intended IP-attached storage targets.

    In the future, the pinnacle of intelligence for storage networks will be provided by storage virtualization. Storage virtualization hides the complexities of physical storage devices and gives the user a simplified view of available storage resources. Ideally, intelligent virtualization products will monitor the types of data being stored and, based on established policies, automatically determine the appropriate level of access speed, security, and backup that specific types of data require. Virtualization will also be able to automatically allocate additional storage capacity on the fly, without requiring manual configuration. Application-aware virtualization products might be third-party "black boxes" in the storage network or be embedded in IP storage switches or intelligent agents within storage targets. As the storage network becomes more intelligent, administering and allocating storage resources will require less human effort, which results in significant savings for customers and enables them to leverage SAN technology to its fullest.

    Editor's Note: We need your help to make this and other email newsletters from Windows & .NET Magazine as useful to you as they can be. To help us with our editorial planning, please answer the Windows & .NET Magazine Network Email Newsletter & Web Site Survey, available at the following URL. If you provide your email address at the end of the survey, we'll put your name in a drawing for a Windows & .NET Magazine T-shirt. Thank you! We appreciate your help.
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    2. NEWS AND VIEWS
    (contributed by Keith Furman, [email protected])

  • DELL, HP, AND INTEL COLLABORATE ON NEXT-GENERATION SERVER STORAGE

  • Dell, Hewlett-Packard (HP), and Intel have announced plans to work together to define compatible Serial Attached SCSI and Serial ATA storage standard specifications. The companies will work with the industry associations responsible for the technologies, including SCSI Trade Association (STA) Serial ATA II Working Group, to create open standard interfaces.

    Serial Attached SCSI and Serial ATA are intended to replace the current parallel versions of SCSI and ATA. Serial technology is expected to help storage development for servers and storage solutions because it overcomes performance barriers in current parallel technologies. The companies hope that Serial ATA technology will evolve into an inexpensive but high-performing technology for desktops, servers, and storage solutions. Serial Attached SCSI is targeted toward markets that require robust feature sets for mainstream server-storage solutions.

    The first Serial Attached SCSI products should be available in 2004. STA released Serial ATA I last year. The group expects to finalize the Serial ATA II specification by the end of the year and release products next year.
    http://www.serialata.org
    http://www.dell.com
    http://www.hp.com
    http://www.intel.com

  • IBM RESEARCH: TRILLION-BIT DATA STORAGE DENSITY

  • IBM researchers in Switzerland announced an amazing feat last week: data storage density of a trillion bits per square inch. The accomplishment—which boasts a storage density that is 20 times higher than the density of the densest magnetic storage available today—was made possible with innovative nanotechnology. The technology provides enough storage to store 25 million printed textbook pages on a postage-stamp-size surface. IBM developed the technology in its "Millipede" research project.

    In some respects, Millipede is a blast from the past. Taking a cue from the data-processing punch cards developed more than 110 years ago, Millipede uses thousands of nano-sharp tips to punch indentations into a thin plastic film. The big difference is that the nanotechnology is rewritable and has the potential to store more than three billion bits of data in the space occupied by just one bit in a standard punch card.

    The demonstration in Switzerland used a single "nano-tip" that was only 10 nanometers (one millionth of a millimeter) in diameter. Each mark was 50,000 times smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. IBM has proven the concept with an experimental setup using more than 1000 tips, but the research team hopes to build a prototype by next year that deploys more than 4000 tips working simultaneously over a 7 mm-square field. The research will help to greatly expand storage capacity, including enabling high-capacity data-storage systems for media that's similar to current flash memory. You can read more about the technology at the following URLs:
    http://domino.research.ibm.com/Comm/bios.nsf/pages/millipede.html
    http://www.ibm.com/research

    3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • WINDOWS SCRIPTING SOLUTIONS FOR THE SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR

  • So, you're not a programmer, but that doesn't mean you can't learn to create and deploy timesaving, problem-solving scripts. Discover Windows Scripting Solutions online, the Web site that can help you tackle common problems and automate everyday tasks with simple tools, tricks, and scripts. While you're there, check out this article on WMI scripting for beginners!
    http://www.winscriptingsolutions.com

  • SPECIAL 2-FOR-1 SUBSCRIPTION OFFER!

  • Windows & .NET Magazine can help you find the right answer to an urgent problem, discover better ways to manage your enterprise, or prepare for an important migration. How can we improve on a resource this good? Subscribe now at our regular rate, and bring on a friend or colleague for free! This is a limited time offer, so act now!
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    4. INSTANT POLL

  • RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: DEALING WITH STORAGE NEEDS
  • The voting has closed in the Windows & .NET Magazine Network's Storage Admin Channel nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Which approach would you prefer to use to deal with increasing storage needs?" Here are the results (+/-2 percent) from the 33 votes.

    15%—Increase capacity
    33%—Implement storage virtualization
    18%—Implement active archiving
    33%—Implement a policy-based system

  • NEW INSTANT POLL: STORAGE FOR MOBILE USERS
  • The current Instant Poll question is, "What type of storage do you provide for mobile users?" Go to the Storage Admin Channel home page and submit your vote for a) Optical storage devices, b) CF or PC Card RAM drives, c) USB or PC Card hard drives, d) USB or PC Card tape drives, or e) None.
    http://www.storageadmin.com

    5. RESOURCE

  • TIP: MEMORY OR STORAGE SPACE ERRORS AFTER NEW SOFTWARE INSTALLATION

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

    Q. Why do I receive memory or storage space errors after I install new software?

    A. Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows NT all have an IRPStackSize value that controls how much physical storage space and RAM are available to new applications, and some new software installations set this value incorrectly. The value ranges from 11 to 20 for XP and from 11 to 15 for Win2K and NT. If you set this value to less than 11, you'll receive an error message signaling that the system doesn't have enough server storage. As a result, clients won't be able to access network shares, and event ID 2011 will appear in the System log. To set the IRPStackSize value back to the default (15 for XP, 11 for NT), perform the following steps:

    1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
    2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters.
    3. Double-click IRPStackSize (or if this registry setting doesn't exist, create it of type DWORD and ensure that the case is correct).
    4. Change the base to decimal, set the value to 11 for Win2K or NT and 15 for XP, then click OK.
    5. Reboot the computer.

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

  • AUTOMATE DATA MOVEMENT AND REMOVAL

  • Astrum Software announced StorCast 4.6, Storage Resource Management (SRM) software that offers intelligent storage policies that use rules to automate movement and removal of specified data across the enterprise. You can create automated and manual policies from one console. The policies move data to client-selected areas for backup, archiving, or deletion across multiple systems. For pricing, contact Astrum Software at 617-242-5757.
    http://www.astrumsoftware.com

  • LET MULTIPLE APPLICATIONS WORK SIMULTANEOUSLY ON DUPLICATE DATA SETS

  • MTI announced that its DataSentry2 management tool is now available on MTI's Vivant 400 Series storage solution. With DataSentry2, the Vivant 400 Series 2GB Fibre Channel storage solution enables business productivity with data protection. DataSentry2 expands the Vivant 400 Series functionality by letting multiple applications work simultaneously on duplicate data sets. The Vivant 400 is available in both Storage Area Network (SAN) and direct-attach models. For pricing, contact MTI at 714-970-0300 or 800-999-9684.
    http://www.mti.com

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

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