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November 18, 2002—In this issue:
- Redefining Near-Online Storage
2. NEWS AND VIEWS
- Adaptec Acquires Tricord Systems' Assets
- IBM Accelerates Data Storage with New Offerings
- Give Us Your Feedback and Be Entered to Win an Xbox
- Planning on Getting Certified? Make Sure to Pick Up Our New eBook!
- Storage Highlight: Use Windows XP's NTBackup to Back Up Files to CD-RW
- Submit Top Product Ideas
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Optimize SANs
- Meet Growing Data Storage Needs
6. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Elliot King, [email protected])
New types of data and new business requirements are driving change for the typical storage infrastructure. Traditionally, storage infrastructure has consisted of three distinct layers: primary storage for workloads that require high-volume access to data such as online transaction processing (OLTP) applications, backup and recovery applications, and archiving applications. Primary storage has been disk-based; backup and recovery and archiving have been tape-based.
In some cases, enterprises have data that they aren't ready to archive but don't want to maintain on disk drives. Many businesses in this situation have opted to store this data near-online on either optical media or quick-loading tape drives. Although using those technologies can drop access times significantly, it can also increase the cost of storage. According to some studies, the lifetime total cost of ownership (TCO) for disk-based systems for near-online storage can be as much as 30 times greater than the alternatives.
During the past year or so, however, lower-cost disk-based products for near-online storage have begun to gain a toehold in the market. Five areas of need are fueling the interest in disk-based near-online storage. The most obvious is the growth of email. According to research from StorageTek, which released an innovative solution to the near-online storage problem, Instant Messaging (IM) and email data will account for half of all stored corporate data by 2004. Email has distinctive storage requirements: On the one hand, most users don't regularly need to access vast amounts of stored email; on the other hand, when users do need to retrieve messages, they want to do so quickly. In addition to offering an email storage solution, near-online storage is a good solution for audio, image, and video databases, which often require random access to significant amounts of storage capacity but aren't subjected to high I/O demands.
Business continuity and disaster recovery are the last two areas of need driving the search for a better near-online storage alternative. Companies are taking a hard look at how quickly they can recover after a disaster. Often, it takes too long to restore mission-critical data from tape.
Low-cost IDE ATA disk arrays are one solution for more cost-effective disk-based near-online storage. IDE ATA disks are the workhorses of the PC marketplace. According to the ATTO Technology white paper "Using ATA Disk Technology and ADXT to Power Next Generation Storage Arrays" ( http://www.attotech.com/diamond/pdf/adxtwhitepaper.pdf ),
approximately 85 percent of all primary PC disk drives sold have an IDE ATA interface. And although IDE ATA drives entered the marketplace as a low-cost, low-speed, low-reliability technology, their performance and reliability have improved significantly.
Network Appliance (NetApp) has packaged an array of ATA disk drives with its Data ONTAP OS in a product called NearStore (http://www.netapp.com/products/nearstore). NearStore is targeted to applications that demand quicker random access than tape systems can provide but don't have the high volume demands associated with primary storage. EMC has built what it calls a "content address storage" (CAS) system around an array of ATA disks (http://www.emc.com/products/networked/cas/index.jsp). And EMC argues that its Celerra product (http://www.emc.com/products/networking/celerra.jsp)is the first storage system designed to meet the storage requirements of high data volumes such as email.
StorageTek recently unveiled what might be the most innovative near-online storage solution yet. The company has packaged IDE ATA disk arrays into what it calls "storage blades." The storage blade concept is similar to the server blade concept. A server blade is a single circuit board populated with components such as processors, memory, and network connections that are usually found on multiple boards. Server blades are designed to slide into a chassis to increase the computer power of a server. StorageTek's BladeStore System (http://storagetek.shareholder.com/news/20021021-92950.cfm )is a group of servers with attached IDE ATA hard disks. Each blade contains 5 disks and a CPU; a 6U (10.5") chassis can hold 10 blades. Consequently, the system can scale from 4TB to 160TB of storage. Storage controllers simply see 10 high-capacity Fibre Channel disks.
Disk-based near-online systems are finding their place in the enterprise between primary storage and archiving. IDE ATA disk arrays are changing the way storage managers make economic and infrastructure decisions by increasing their storage options.
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2. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Keith Furman, [email protected])
Adaptec has acquired Tricord Systems' assets through bankruptcy proceedings. Tricord, which filed for bankruptcy in August, developed patented technology for managing scalable Network Attached Storage (NAS) systems. Tricord's technologies include the Illumina clustering software product and Lunar Flare technology. Adaptec plans to use Tricord's technology to deepen its storage products line to include file and block-based storage systems.
"Tricord's solution is a powerful extension of our \[storage\] vision, enabling hands-off management, fail-over capabilities, and seamless storage expansion—key capabilities for Network Attached Storage solutions," said Ahmet Houssein, vice president and general manager for Adaptec's Storage Systems Group. Adaptec will pay $2 million in cash for Tricord Systems' technology assets. The purchase should be complete this month, and will not include liabilities or customer obligations.
IBM has launched Network Attached Storage (NAS) systems that improve upon previous models and that target midsized customers. New features include doubled processor speed and increased storage capacity.
IBM's new products include the TotalStorage NAS 200, which features both integrated accelerator adapters to help speed storage network traffic, and support for 146.8GB disk drives to enable storage capacity of up to 7TB. TotalStorage NAS Gateway 300 includes integrated accelerator adapters to speed storage network traffic, and a 2GB Fibre Channel attachment. TotalStorage FAStT supports as much as 32TB of storage. An update to IBM Tivoli Software will include storage resource manager software.
"IBM's strategy is to deliver the latest technology advances to our customers as quickly as possible so that they can take advantage of these new technologies," said Walter Raizner, general manager of the storage products division, IBM Storage Systems Group. "These new and powerful Network Attached Storage models are targeted to midsized customers who require rock-solid performance and the IT infrastructure to grow their business." Most of the products are due to ship by the end of the month, and the remainder will be available by the end of the year.
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Windows XP can write data to CD-RW, but not directly from NTBackup. However, you can place backup files in the XP CD-RW write subsystem's spooler, which effectively writes the data directly to CD-RW. To learn how to add files to the spooler, see the following article:
Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Do you know of a terrific product that others should know about? Tell us! We want to write about the product in a future What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions to [email protected]
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])
TrueSAN Networks released Cloudbreak, storage software for managing, protecting, and optimizing Storage Area Networks (SANs). Cloudbreak provides storage network management, volume management, storage resource management, and data protection. The product's modular software architecture lets you activate only the features you want to employ for your storage solution. For pricing, contact TrueSAN at 408-869-4200, 877-468-7837, or [email protected].
ADIC announced Scalar 24, a compact tape library that combines Linear Tape-Open (LTO) or Super DLT technology, scalable management, and integrated storage networking architecture. The Scalar 24 supports one or two LTO 1 or SDLT320 drives, as many as 24 tape cartridges for as much as 64MB of throughput, and 6.8TB storage capacity. Pricing starts at less than $12,000 for one unit. Contact ADIC at 425-881-8004 or 800-336-1233.
6. CONTACT US
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