Storage UPDATE, August 25, 2003

Storage UPDATE--August 25, 2003

This Issue Sponsored By

Windows Scripting Solutions http://www.winscriptingsolutions.com/rd.cfm?code=fsei263xup

===============

1. Commentary

- Tape Moves Toward Predictive Failure Analysis

2. News and Views

- HP and Hitachi Extend Relationship

- Gateway Readies Fresh Start in Storage Market

3. Announcements

- Get the eBook That Will Help You Get Certified!

- Active Directory eBook Chapter 3 Published!

4. Event

- New--Mobile & Wireless Road Show

5. New and Improved

- Provide Enterprise Storage Functionality to Your Small Business

- Extend or Convert SCSI Interfaces

- Submit Top Product Ideas

6. Contact Us

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

==== Sponsored By: Windows Scripting Solutions ====

You might not be a programmer, but that doesn't mean you can't learn to create and deploy timesaving, problem-solving scripts. Discover Windows Scripting Solutions, the monthly print publication that helps you tackle common problems and automate everyday tasks with simple tools, tricks, and scripts. Try a sample issue today at:

http://www.winscriptingsolutions.com/rd.cfm?code=fsei263xup

==========

==== 1. Commentary ==== by Elliot King, [email protected]

Tape Moves Toward Predictive Failure Analysis

Hardware failure is a fact of life in the storage infrastructure. To ward off the risks of sudden failure--in which something that was working an instant ago abruptly stops functioning--companies invest heavily in redundant systems, failover capabilities, and backup and restore technologies.

In many organizations, the tape drive is the last line of defense in the storage infrastructure. Administrators back up and archive data on tape so that in the case of sudden failure they can retrieve the data from the tapes. But what if the tape drive fails? Discovering a tape or tape drive failure is typically an unpleasant surprise. Very few administrators have a last line of defense to back up their last line of defense. And yet, no storage administrator wants to be in the position of worrying whether a restore operation will actually work.

To address this danger, tape and tape drive manufacturers are incorporating predictive failure analysis technology in their equipment. Predictive failure analysis alerts administrators when equipment is in danger of failure. As a result, theoretically, technicians can proactively replace suspect tapes and drives, thereby minimizing interruptions to other ongoing processes.

Predictive failure analysis is particularly compelling to tape drive manufacturers. Unlike hard disks, tape technology has two components: the drive and the media. Either component can fail. Some tape drive manufacturers report that as many as 50 percent of all drives that users reporting a malfunctioning device return are actually working correctly--the problems lie in the media. Moreover, because so many technologies are involved in backup and archive operations, pinpointing the exact source of a failure is difficult even with advanced diagnostics. If an enterprise doesn't employ specialists in the technology, the problem becomes even more difficult.

The basis for predictive failure analysis in the tape arena is the medium auxiliary memory (MAM) standard. Developed under the auspices of the T10 Standard body--which includes representatives from Sony, with its AIT technology, and IBM and HP, which have promoted the alternative Linear Tape-Open (LTO) technology--MAM defines how vendors store status information on a tape cartridge's chip. MAM's primary purpose is to speed internal drive operations. Additional space on the chip is set aside to record medium-identification and usage information.

MAM has several interesting characteristics. First, MAM has its own reader for reading MAM information, so a tape drive doesn't necessarily have to read the information on the tape cartridge's chip. Second, by design, MAM bypasses the server's primary memory, so it doesn't add overhead to the overall system.

Typically, drives equipped with MAM capture a wide array of data, including the number of read/write errors, the amount of data read or written to the tape, the time the tape was last used, and associated identification information. Until now, LTO and AIT drive manufacturers' products have read (not captured) that data, then used certain statistical algorithms to assess when a failure might likely occur.

Quantum, a company that champions DLT--which has been the king of the hill in the tape backup and archiving sector--has recently raised the bar in the use of MAM statistics for predictive failure technology. In July, Quantum released its DLTSage technology, which goes beyond the use of statistical algorithms to predict failure. DLTSage captures and records actual error rates in the media, as well as a range of other statistics. Based on this data, which it draws from ongoing operations, the technology can provide a more accurate picture of a tape drive's vulnerability to failure. DLTSage can also give better insight into where a problem is developing--in a specific cartridge or in a specific drive.

The emergence of technologies such as DLTSage signals two important shifts in the marketplace. First, it announces the adoption of the predictive-diagnostics concept throughout the technology stack. When downtime isn't an option, companies can't simply prepare to respond vigorously to system crashes--they must head them off. Second, an interesting ancillary benefit of increased data processing and storage muscle is the ability to cost-effectively capture and store statistics about hardware and software operations. Over time, the marketplace will want vendors to document the performance of their products in a way that facilitates more effective management.

==== 2. News and Views ==== by Keith Furman, [email protected]

HP and Hitachi Extend Relationship

HP and Hitachi have extended their joint technology agreement and manufacturing relationship (which started in May 1999) through 2008. The relationship includes the use of Hitachi technology for HP's StorageWorks Disk Array XP family. This family of products, which is targeted at enterprise-class data centers, uses Hitachi's high-end array technology and HP-developed software and service solutions. "Our partnership is reinforced by a mutual commitment to adding value to the enterprise with solutions based on the HP StorageWorks XP disk array platform," said Naoya Takahashi, chief operating officer (COO) of Hitachi's information and telecommunication systems.

As part of the announcement of the extended relationship, HP introduced a new disaster-recovery solution called the HP StorageWorks Multi-Site Disaster Tolerant Solution. The solution provides customers with application-recovery options in the case of local or regional disasters--in most cases, in less than 1 hour. Through the use of strategically placed recovery sites, the company can help mirror data to multiple locations, thereby providing automated recovery and continuation of business.

http://www.hp.com/go/storage http://global.hitachi.com

Gateway Readies Fresh Start in Storage Market

Gateway is expected to reenter the storage market this week with new products aimed at lowering the cost of recent storage technologies. The company has shifted its strategy primarily toward the consumer electronic market, but Gateway is also hoping to break into the enterprise hardware market. Two of its new products are the Gateway 850 SCSI JBOD subsystem and the Gateway 820 LTO Autoloader.

You can use the 2U (3.5") rack-optimized Gateway 850 unit as part of a Storage Area Network (SAN) or Network Attached Storage (NAS) system. The base configuration is expected to offer three 36GB drives at $2999, and you can expand to 12 hard disks for 1.7TB of storage at $12,000.

The Gateway 820 LTO autoloader is a Linear Tape-Open (LTO) Gateway-branded Seagate tape-backup system with a capacity of as much as 800GB of uncompressed data. The system will start at $5799 for 100GB of capacity. The system will be packaged with VERITAS Software backup software. Gateway traditionally hasn't been associated with enterprise hardware but is hoping that its new products, as well as forthcoming updated servers, will help change its reputation in the IT industry.

http://www.gateway.com

==== 3. Announcements ==== (from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

Get the eBook That Will Help You Get Certified!

The "Insider's Guide to IT Certification," from the Windows & .NET Magazine Network, has one goal: to help you save time and money on your quest for certification. Find out how to choose the best study guides, save hundreds of dollars, and be successful as an IT professional. The amount of time you spend reading this book will be more than made up by the time you save preparing for your certification exams. Order your copy today!

http://winnet.bookaisle.com/ebookcover.asp?ebookid=13475

Active Directory eBook Chapter 3 Published!

The third chapter of Windows & .NET Magazine's popular eBook "Windows 2003: Active Directory Administration Essentials" is now available at no charge! Chapter 3 looks at what's new and improved with Windows Server 2003 Active Directory management. Download it now!

http://www.windowsitlibrary.com/ebooks/administeringad/index.cfm?pc=adupd

==== 4. Event ==== (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

New--Mobile & Wireless Road Show! Learn more about the wireless and mobility solutions that are available today! Register now for this free event! http://www.winnetmag.com/roadshows/wireless

==== 5. New and Improved ====

by Carolyn Mader, [email protected]

Provide Enterprise Storage Functionality to Your Small Business

HP announced HP StorageWorks NAS 1000s for enterprise remote offices and small-to-midsized businesses. The solution is a turnkey, multiprotocol file-serving Network Attached Storage (NAS) device that provides enterprise network storage functionality. Pricing for the HP StorageWorks NAS 1000s is $2999 for 320GB of storage, $4999 for 640GB of storage, and $6999 for 1TB of storage. http://www.hp.com

Extend or Convert SCSI Interfaces

Rancho Technology released the RTBLVD-HVD Expander, which you can configure to extend or convert SCSI interfaces. You can use the expander to extend the Ultra320 to double the cable length or connect new Ultra320 Low Voltage Differential (LVD) devices to older High Voltage Differential (HVD) servers. Pricing is $335. Contact Rancho Technology at 909-987-3966.

http://www.rancho.com

Submit Top Product Ideas

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]

==== Sponsored Links ====

Ultrabac FREE live trial-Backup & Disaster Recovery software w/ encryption http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;5945485;8214395;x?http://www.ultrabac.com/default.asp?src=WINTxtLAug03tgt=./

CrossTec Free Download - NEW NetOp 7.6 - faster, more secure, remote support http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;5930423;8214395;j?http://www.crossteccorp.com/tryit/w2k.html

=========

==== 6. Contact Us ====

About the commentary –- [email protected]

About the newsletter -- [email protected]

About technical questions -- http://www.winnetmag.com/forums

About product news -- [email protected]winnetmag.com

About your subscription -- [email protected]

About sponsoring UPDATE -- [email protected]

==========

Manage Your Account You are subscribed as #EmailAddr#.

To unsubscribe from this email newsletter, send an email message to mailto:#mailing.unsubemail#.

To make other changes to your email account such as change your email address, update your profile, and subscribe or unsubscribe to any of our email newsletters, simply log on to our Email Preference Center at http://www.winnetmag.com/email .

Copyright 2003, Penton Media, Inc.

Storage UPDATE--August 25, 2003

==== This Issue Sponsored By ====

Windows Scripting Solutions http://www.winscriptingsolutions.com/rd.cfm?code=fsei263xup

==========

1. Commentary

- Tape Moves Toward Predictive Failure Analysis

2. News and Views

- HP and Hitachi Extend Relationship

- Gateway Readies Fresh Start in Storage Market

3. Announcements

- Get the eBook That Will Help You Get Certified!

- Active Directory eBook Chapter 3 Published!

4. Event

- New--Mobile & Wireless Road Show

5. New and Improved

- Provide Enterprise Storage Functionality to Your Small Business

- Extend or Convert SCSI Interfaces

- Submit Top Product Ideas

6. Contact Us

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

==== Sponsored By: Windows Scripting Solutions ====

You might not be a programmer, but that doesn't mean you can't learn to create and deploy timesaving, problem-solving scripts. Discover Windows Scripting Solutions, the monthly print publication that helps you tackle common problems and automate everyday tasks with simple tools, tricks, and scripts. Try a sample issue today at:

http://www.winscriptingsolutions.com/rd.cfm?code=fsei263xup

==========

==== 1. Commentary ==== by Elliot King, [email protected]

Tape Moves Toward Predictive Failure Analysis

Hardware failure is a fact of life in the storage infrastructure. To ward off the risks of sudden failure--in which something that was working an instant ago abruptly stops functioning--companies invest heavily in redundant systems, failover capabilities, and backup and restore technologies.

In many organizations, the tape drive is the last line of defense in the storage infrastructure. Administrators back up and archive data on tape so that in the case of sudden failure they can retrieve the data from the tapes. But what if the tape drive fails? Discovering a tape or tape drive failure is typically an unpleasant surprise. Very few administrators have a last line of defense to back up their last line of defense. And yet, no storage administrator wants to be in the position of worrying whether a restore operation will actually work.

To address this danger, tape and tape drive manufacturers are incorporating predictive failure analysis technology in their equipment. Predictive failure analysis alerts administrators when equipment is in danger of failure. As a result, theoretically, technicians can proactively replace suspect tapes and drives, thereby minimizing interruptions to other ongoing processes.

Predictive failure analysis is particularly compelling to tape drive manufacturers. Unlike hard disks, tape technology has two components: the drive and the media. Either component can fail. Some tape drive manufacturers report that as many as 50 percent of all drives that users reporting a malfunctioning device return are actually working correctly--the problems lie in the media. Moreover, because so many technologies are involved in backup and archive operations, pinpointing the exact source of a failure is difficult even with advanced diagnostics. If an enterprise doesn't employ specialists in the technology, the problem becomes even more difficult.

The basis for predictive failure analysis in the tape arena is the medium auxiliary memory (MAM) standard. Developed under the auspices of the T10 Standard body--which includes representatives from Sony, with its AIT technology, and IBM and HP, which have promoted the alternative Linear Tape-Open (LTO) technology--MAM defines how vendors store status information on a tape cartridge's chip. MAM's primary purpose is to speed internal drive operations. Additional space on the chip is set aside to record medium-identification and usage information.

MAM has several interesting characteristics. First, MAM has its own reader for reading MAM information, so a tape drive doesn't necessarily have to read the information on the tape cartridge's chip. Second, by design, MAM bypasses the server's primary memory, so it doesn't add overhead to the overall system.

Typically, drives equipped with MAM capture a wide array of data, including the number of read/write errors, the amount of data read or written to the tape, the time the tape was last used, and associated identification information. Until now, LTO and AIT drive manufacturers' products have read (not captured) that data, then used certain statistical algorithms to assess when a failure might likely occur.

Quantum, a company that champions DLT--which has been the king of the hill in the tape backup and archiving sector--has recently raised the bar in the use of MAM statistics for predictive failure technology. In July, Quantum released its DLTSage technology, which goes beyond the use of statistical algorithms to predict failure. DLTSage captures and records actual error rates in the media, as well as a range of other statistics. Based on this data, which it draws from ongoing operations, the technology can provide a more accurate picture of a tape drive's vulnerability to failure. DLTSage can also give better insight into where a problem is developing--in a specific cartridge or in a specific drive.

The emergence of technologies such as DLTSage signals two important shifts in the marketplace. First, it announces the adoption of the predictive-diagnostics concept throughout the technology stack. When downtime isn't an option, companies can't simply prepare to respond vigorously to system crashes--they must head them off. Second, an interesting ancillary benefit of increased data processing and storage muscle is the ability to cost-effectively capture and store statistics about hardware and software operations. Over time, the marketplace will want vendors to document the performance of their products in a way that facilitates more effective management.

==== 2. News and Views ==== by Keith Furman, [email protected]

HP and Hitachi Extend Relationship

HP and Hitachi have extended their joint technology agreement and manufacturing relationship (which started in May 1999) through 2008. The relationship includes the use of Hitachi technology for HP's StorageWorks Disk Array XP family. This family of products, which is targeted at enterprise-class data centers, uses Hitachi's high-end array technology and HP-developed software and service solutions. "Our partnership is reinforced by a mutual commitment to adding value to the enterprise with solutions based on the HP StorageWorks XP disk array platform," said Naoya Takahashi, chief operating officer (COO) of Hitachi's information and telecommunication systems.

As part of the announcement of the extended relationship, HP introduced a new disaster-recovery solution called the HP StorageWorks Multi-Site Disaster Tolerant Solution. The solution provides customers with application-recovery options in the case of local or regional disasters--in most cases, in less than 1 hour. Through the use of strategically placed recovery sites, the company can help mirror data to multiple locations, thereby providing automated recovery and continuation of business.

http://www.hp.com/go/storage http://global.hitachi.com

Gateway Readies Fresh Start in Storage Market

Gateway is expected to reenter the storage market this week with new products aimed at lowering the cost of recent storage technologies. The company has shifted its strategy primarily toward the consumer electronic market, but Gateway is also hoping to break into the enterprise hardware market. Two of its new products are the Gateway 850 SCSI JBOD subsystem and the Gateway 820 LTO Autoloader.

You can use the 2U (3.5") rack-optimized Gateway 850 unit as part of a Storage Area Network (SAN) or Network Attached Storage (NAS) system. The base configuration is expected to offer three 36GB drives at $2999, and you can expand to 12 hard disks for 1.7TB of storage at $12,000.

The Gateway 820 LTO autoloader is a Linear Tape-Open (LTO) Gateway-branded Seagate tape-backup system with a capacity of as much as 800GB of uncompressed data. The system will start at $5799 for 100GB of capacity. The system will be packaged with VERITAS Software backup software. Gateway traditionally hasn't been associated with enterprise hardware but is hoping that its new products, as well as forthcoming updated servers, will help change its reputation in the IT industry.

http://www.gateway.com

==== 3. Announcements ==== (from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

Get the eBook That Will Help You Get Certified!

The "Insider's Guide to IT Certification," from the Windows & .NET Magazine Network, has one goal: to help you save time and money on your quest for certification. Find out how to choose the best study guides, save hundreds of dollars, and be successful as an IT professional. The amount of time you spend reading this book will be more than made up by the time you save preparing for your certification exams. Order your copy today!

http://winnet.bookaisle.com/ebookcover.asp?ebookid=13475

Active Directory eBook Chapter 3 Published!

The third chapter of Windows & .NET Magazine's popular eBook "Windows 2003: Active Directory Administration Essentials" is now available at no charge! Chapter 3 looks at what's new and improved with Windows Server 2003 Active Directory management. Download it now!

http://www.windowsitlibrary.com/ebooks/administeringad/index.cfm?pc=adupd

==== 4. Event ==== (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

New--Mobile & Wireless Road Show! Learn more about the wireless and mobility solutions that are available today! Register now for this free event! http://www.winnetmag.com/roadshows/wireless

==== 5. New and Improved ====

by Carolyn Mader, [email protected]

Provide Enterprise Storage Functionality to Your Small Business

HP announced HP StorageWorks NAS 1000s for enterprise remote offices and small-to-midsized businesses. The solution is a turnkey, multiprotocol file-serving Network Attached Storage (NAS) device that provides enterprise network storage functionality. Pricing for the HP StorageWorks NAS 1000s is $2999 for 320GB of storage, $4999 for 640GB of storage, and $6999 for 1TB of storage. http://www.hp.com

Extend or Convert SCSI Interfaces

Rancho Technology released the RTBLVD-HVD Expander, which you can configure to extend or convert SCSI interfaces. You can use the expander to extend the Ultra320 to double the cable length or connect new Ultra320 Low Voltage Differential (LVD) devices to older High Voltage Differential (HVD) servers. Pricing is $335. Contact Rancho Technology at 909-987-3966.

http://www.rancho.com

Submit Top Product Ideas

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]

==== Sponsored Links ====

Ultrabac FREE live trial-Backup & Disaster Recovery software w/ encryption http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;5945485;8214395;x?http://www.ultrabac.com/default.asp?src=WINTxtLAug03tgt=./

CrossTec Free Download - NEW NetOp 7.6 - faster, more secure, remote support http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;5930423;8214395;j?http://www.crossteccorp.com/tryit/w2k.html

=========

==== 6. Contact Us ====

About the commentary –- [email protected]

About the newsletter -- [email protected]

About technical questions -- http://www.winnetmag.com/forums

About product news -- [email protected]

About your subscription -- [email protected]

About sponsoring UPDATE -- [email protected]

=============== Manage Your Account You are subscribed as #EmailAddr#.

To unsubscribe from this email newsletter, send an email message to mailto:#mailing.unsubemail#.

To make other changes to your email account such as change your email address, update your profile, and subscribe or unsubscribe to any of our email newsletters, simply log on to our Email Preference Center at http://www.winnetmag.com/email .

Copyright 2003, Penton Media, Inc.

Hide comments

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Publish