Windows IT Pro Storage UPDATE--Large Storage Vendors Diversify--May 9, 2005

Windows IT Pro Storage UPDATE--Large Storage Vendors Diversify

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Optimizing Exchange: Strategies for Managing the Lifecycle of E-mail Data
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1. Commentary
- Large Storage Vendors Keep Branching Out

2. From the Community
- Can't Back Up Exchange 2003 Store and Windows 2003 System State
- Chat with Michael Otey about Windows 2003 SP1 on May 12, 2005, 12 p.m. Eastern Time

3. New and Improved
- XOsoft Releases Assured Recovery for Disaster Recovery Testing
- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

4. Windows IT Pro Resources

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==== 1. Commentary: Large Storage Vendors Keep Branching Out ===
by David Chernicoff, [email protected]

Providing software to manipulate and manage storage really seems to be the business to be in these days, especially for small start-up players. As I've reported previously in these columns, the big fish in the storage pond--Cisco Systems, EMC, IBM, and Network Appliance, to name a few--have been steadily acquiring small players. Through these acquisitions, the vendors aim to enhance their existing products with value-adds that will help them differentiate their offerings from the competition.

Last week, large storage vendors issued a flurry of announcements relating to current and prior acquisitions. IBM showcased its new integration software, WebSpere Data Integration Suite, which is based on the software it acquired in the purchase of Ascential Software in late 2004. The suite lets an organization build business intelligence systems and data warehouses and "right-size" enterprise applications to fit them to available hardware resources. WebSpere Data Integration Suite's capabilities focus on letting DBAs work with both metadata and source data, massaging data if necessary and preserving it intact through any necessary data transformations that application development and deployment require.

Brocade Communications Systems went on the biggest spending tear of the week, first by pumping $7,500,000 into Tacit Networks to support development of Tacit's Wide Area File Services product line. I've talked about the Tacit product in this column before; it's a unique combination of server and client software mixed with remote-office storage appliances that facilitates the integration and distribution of data sources across WAN links. Brocade's investment may well portend the future purchase of Tacit, much in the way that Cisco Systems entered the wide area file services market, by acquiring Actona Technologies in mid-2004. Alternatively, Brocade's investment and market support could allow Tacit to continue to grow without risk of acquisition by Brocade or another storage-management player.

Speaking of storage-management players, Brocade spent a few more dollars last week with the $9,300,000 acquisition of software-management start-up Therion Software. Reminiscent of its relationship with Tacit, Brocade purchased Therion outright after working with the small company for about a year, developing server-management and configuration software.

The general impression I've been getting is that major players in segments of the storage market (Brocade, for example, is known primarily as a switch vendor) are looking to expand their portfolio of offerings to their customers without making the mistake of going too far afield from their core constituencies. Vendors such as IBM and HP have a bit of an advantage here since their basic business units have such a broad variety of offerings. Vendors known for more limited sets of technologies, such as Brocade, Cisco Systems, and McData, can take advantage of their acquisitions of cutting-edge technology players to help them branch into markets that are logical growth paths from their current core technologies.

==== Sponsor: Optimizing Exchange: Strategies for Managing the Lifecycle of E-mail Data ====

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==== 2. From the Community ====

Can't Back Up Exchange 2003 Store and Windows 2003 System State

When you use the Windows Server 2003 backup utility to back up the Exchange Server 2003 store and the Windows system state data at the same time, the backup operation is unsuccessful, and an error message is logged in the Application log of Windows Event Viewer. To learn more about the problem's cause and obtain a workaround, go to http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=820852.

Chat with Michael Otey about Windows 2003 SP1 on May 12, 2005, 12 p.m. Eastern Time

What can you expect when you deploy Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) in real life? What features are most useful and interesting? Are there any challenges to watch out for? Following up on Windows IT Pro magazine's May cover story on SP1, Michael Otey reviews the service pack and answers your questions about Windows Firewall, Data Execution prevention (DEP), boot-time protection, the anxiously awaited Security Configuration Wizard (SCW), and much more. Click here to access the chat:
http://www.microsoft.com/communities/chats/default.mspx

==== 3. New and Improved ====
by Anne Grubb, [email protected]

XOsoft Releases Assured Recovery for Disaster Recovery Testing

Today XOsoft launched a product that will let sites test server failovers in real time without disrupting users. The product, Assured Recovery, lets a site shut down its master production server in real time and automatically switch to a backup server. By performing this type of test, a company can ensure the integrity of its replicated backup data and therefore, that its backup and recovery plan will work in the event of an actual system failure. According to XOsoft founder and CEO Leonid Shtilman, Assured Recovery will initially be sold bundled with XOsoft's replication engines, WANSync and WANSync HA, but will eventually be bundled with replication products from other vendors. For more information about Assured Recovery, contact XOsoft on the Web:
http://www.xosoft.com

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

Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Tell us about the product, and we'll send you a T-shirt if we write about the product in a future Windows IT Pro What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions with information about how the product has helped you to [email protected]

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==== 4. Windows IT Pro Resources ====

Check out these links to a wealth of Windows IT Pro resources: white papers, eBooks, Web seminars, conferences, and other events.

==== Resources and Events ====
(brought to you by Windows IT Pro)

Improve the Availability of Your Exchange Servers

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Updating Software on Windows Desktops and Servers: WSUS and Beyond

In this free Web seminar, join industry expert Dan Holme as he explores options for implementing and managing WSUS and other automated solutions in your organization. You'll learn how WSUS makes it easy to keep Windows systems and Microsoft applications up-to-date with patches, security rollups, drivers, and updates. Plus, you'll discover alternatives to manage the deployment and patching of non-Microsoft software.
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Get Ready for SQL Server 2005 Roadshow in a City Near You

Get the facts about migrating to SQL Server 2005. SQL Server experts will present real-world information about administration, development, and business intelligence to help you implement a best-practices migration to SQL Server 2005 and improve your database-computing environment. Attend and receive a 1-year membership to PASS and 1-year subscription to SQL Server Magazine. Register now!
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Establish a Manageable Desktop Software Configuration and Control IT Costs

Managing desktop software configurations is a manual process, resulting in unplanned costs, deployment delays, and client confusion. In this free Web seminar, find out how you can meet software-package-preparation requirements and increase your desktop reliability, user satisfaction, and IT cost effectiveness. You'll learn about the new application process, issue management during package preparation, historical recording and reporting, and more.
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Take the Hack IIS 6.0 challenge now!

Follow along as industry guru Roger Grimes puts IIS 6.0 to the test. The first hacker will win an xBox.
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Get Ready for SQL Server 2005 Roadshow in Europe

Get the facts about migrating to SQL Server 2005. SQL Server experts will present real-world information about administration, development, and business intelligence to help you implement a best-practices migration to SQL Server 2005 and improve your database-computing environment. Receive a 1-year membership to PASS and 1-year subscription to SQL Server Magazine. Register Now!
http://www.windowsitpro.com/roadshows/sqlservereurope/index.cfm?code=0511emailannc

==== Featured White Paper ====

Phishing, Viruses, Bot-Nets and More: How to Prevent the "Perfect Storm" from Devastating Your Email System

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==== Announcements ====
(from Windows IT Pro and its partners)

You Be the Judge!

Your favorite products are on trial in the SQL Server 2005 Readers' Choice Awards. Cast your vote now, and you could win an iPod Shuffle or a SQL Server Magazine T-shirt. Voting ends May 15, 2005, so don't miss out!
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Storage World Conference, June 7-9, 2005, Long Beach

Register now for Storage World Conference (SWC) 2005 on June 7- 9, 2005, at the Long Beach Convention Center. SWC is the most comprehensive educational program in the industry. Keynotes from: AOL, Chevron/Texaco, EMC, StorageTek, and over 50 top exhibitors. All end-users can attend at no cost. To receive 10% off, use priority code swc10. Register online at
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