Windows IT Pro Storage UPDATE--Where's EMC's Storage Virtualization?

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1. Commentary
- EMC Drags Its Feet on Storage Virtualization

2. From the Community
- Windows Storage Server 2003 VDS Memory Leak

3. New and Improved
- Rayslab Offers Secure Storage Pro 1.1
- StorageTek Launches Free Compliance Seminars
- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

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==== 1. Commentary: EMC Drags Its Feet on Storage Virtualization ====
by David Chernicoff, [email protected]

No one in the storage market disputes EMC's position as the 800- pound gorilla in the industry. By offering a broad product line and partnering with all types of companies from the big-iron world to the commodity PC space, EMC has done an excellent job of getting its message--and products--out to the IT community. Although EMC has made a few missteps along the way (the most glaring being its declaration that tape backup was dead, an opinion that the vendor completely reversed when it acquired longtime tape backup developer ADIC), it's managed to hold onto its leadership position in the storage industry.

However, EMC has a serious chink in its armor: None of its products support storage virtualization. In mid-2004, EMC announced it would create storage router products that would include a storage-virtualization capability, but as I write this we still haven't seen a shipping, end-user product from EMC that includes virtualization.

The storage-virtualization model lets a storage administrator manage all the storage within a network, so that you can create storage pools, assign storage where needed, and obtain a single- console view of the available enterprise storage capabilities. Although storage virtualization might seem little more than a management technique, it's one of the best ways to maximize utilization and improve ROI on the large investment in network storage that most large corporate enterprises have.

Naturally, the absence of storage virtualization in EMC's product line is a boon to other big storage players. IBM has already capitalized on this opportunity by adding support for EMC hardware systems to IBM TotalStorage SAN File System and IBM TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller. This new support lets IBM customers seamlessly integrate EMC storage devices into an IBM hardware-controlled environment.

The news gets worse for EMC: Last month, Hitachi Data Systems announced that it was incorporating immediate support for the EMC Symmetrix and EMC Symmetrix DMX product lines and pending support for the CLARiiON DX products in the latest version of Hitachi TagmaStore Universal Storage Platform. The Hitachi platform is very broad because in addition to supporting all the Hitachi and previously mentioned EMC products, TagmaStore supports other big- name storage products, including the IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server, HP StorageWorks XP disk arrays, and Sun Microsystems' Sun StorEdge system. Hitachi intends to continue adding support for more third-party storage systems and plans an additional announcement in that regard this year. The Sun support isn't surprising: Sun OEMs its StoreEdge 9900 system directly from Hitachi (it's the HDS Lightning 9900). The StorEdge 9900 uses the\TagmaStore virtualization technologies and offers the same third-party support as the Hitachi-branded products.

Given how heavily EMC markets to Sun and IBM customers, it's unlikely that those customers will be unaware of the storage offerings from the vendors that provide their server hardware. This likelihood increases the challenge that EMC will face in pushing its particular take on Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) on its customers. Because ILM is the industry's choice for the storage model of the future, EMC's current lack of virtualization technologies could place the vendor in an unfamiliar position: chasing the cutting-edge adopters, instead of leading them.

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

Windows Storage Server 2003 VDS Memory Leak

A memory leak can occur in the Virtual Disk Service (VDS) on a computer running Windows Storage Server 2003. When this problem occurs, VDS consumes the computer's available virtual memory, thereby decreasing the computer's performance. To learn more about the problem and obtain a hotfix, go to
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=886805 .

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

Rayslab Offers Secure Storage Pro 1.1

Rayslab has released Secure Storage Pro 1.1, a solution that lets you store confidential data on a secured virtual disk. The product, which runs on Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000, encrypts data on the fly, storing all disk contents inside a single encrypted file that can be easily copied or transferred to another computer. The product essentially hides files that you want to keep confidential from other users, even when you connect to the Internet. Secure Storage Pro 1.1 can be especially useful for mobile workers because it hides sensitive data on laptops that could be lost or stolen. For more information about Secure Storage Pro and to download a free demo version, contact Rayslab on the Web.
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StorageTek Launches Free Compliance Seminars

StorageTek recently kicked off a North American seminar tour that it's offering free to IT professionals to educate them about regulatory compliance issues and challenges and discuss solutions for compliant archiving and data protection. The tour, called "Compliance 2005: A Guideline to Renew Your Compliance Strategy," will visit 15 cities in the first quarter of this year. "These seminars will provide IT professionals with much-needed guidance on how to apply an Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) strategy that supports regulatory compliance requirements while enhancing overall data-management agility," says Gary Zasman, director for StorageTek's Information Lifecycle Management Solutions. To register, call 800-786-7835, ext. compliance, or contact StorageTek on the Web.
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