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December 02, 2002—In this issue:
- DVD Acceptance Could Have Unanticipated Impact
2. NEWS AND VIEWS
- Cisco Lines Up Another Partner
- NetApp and Hitachi Relationship on the Horizon?
- Planning on Getting Certified? Make Sure to Pick Up Our New Ebook!
- Sample Our Security Administrator Newsletter!
4. INSTANT POLL
- Results of Previous Poll: Microsoft New Licensing 6.0
- New Instant Poll: Storage-Management Policy
- Storage Highlight: Install NTBackup for Windows XP Home
6. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Operate a NAS That Provides Data Protection
- Protect Crucial Data
- Submit Top Product Ideas
7. CONTACT US
See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Elliot King, [email protected])
For many years, removable media was the ugly ducking of storage infrastructure. Those savvy enough to use more sophisticated technology such as LANs and email considered the use of floppy disks to share information "sneakernet." And as network bandwidth and storage capacity increased, the specific variety of removable storage that appeared at the desktop seemed less and less significant. At one point, Apple Computer introduced a computer model with no removable storage at all. (It bombed.)
What a difference half a decade makes. Today, Apple is one of the driving forces behind the newest removable storage media technology—a recordable DVD drive (DVD-R), which, combined with an even newer technology, rewriteable DVD drives (DVD-RW), might spark a revolution of sorts. According to Gartner Dataquest research that Maxell released at COMDEX, Apple has shipped over 500,000 Macintosh computers equipped with DVD-R capability, accounting for two-thirds of the total number of Macs shipped in 2002. Gartner Dataquest predicted that next year, 3.9 million DVD-R drives will be shipped, which is an increase of 600 percent from 2002.
Maxell announced that it has sold more than 3.5 million DVD-R disks in all formats, with DVD-R accounting for 70 percent of the recordable DVD market. The Santa Clara Consulting Group estimates that more than 70 percent of the DVD-R devices sold this year will be used for data storage applications.
DVD has had the same sort of turbulent history that other optical disk products have endured. Originally named for digital video disk but now standing for digital versatile disk, DVD was introduced as a medium for both video and computer storage applications. DVD has gone through its share of legal struggles, incompatibilities among competing formats, and over-optimistic expectations. Whereas only 2 companies pioneered CD technology, 11 companies created a DVD alliance in the mid-1990s. For a short history about DVD technology go to http://www.pctechguide.com/10dvd.htm#history.
Three factors are fueling the attention of the public, developers, manufacturers, and technology-followers on DVD technology: Universal Disk Format (UDF), improved pricing, and the growth in popularity of consumer DVD players.
In the late 1990s, the Optical Storage Technology Association (http://www.osta.org) developed UDF, which ensures data exchange and compatibility across platforms and the consistency of data written to different optical media. In addition to DVD, UDF has been incorporated into CD-R and CD-RW technology. Although the technology isn't perfect, UDF takes a big step toward resolving problems with compatibility of stored data. In a key development, Microsoft incorporated UDF support into Windows 98 and then Windows Me. Windows XP has several enhancements that let developers use digital video content embedded in applications. (For more information about these enhancements, visit http://www.microsoft.com/hwdev/tech/stream/dvd/dvdwp.asp#_toc376909168).
DVD-R technology is hitting the sweet spot in the technology market, in which falling prices combine with improved capacity and performance. When the technology was first made available, DVD-R disks cost $35 each. The price has since dropped to $10 per disk. Maxell has released a disk with access speeds of 44.32Mbps and 9.4GB of storage capacity, twice the capacity of previous DVD-R generations. A 9.4GB disk can store as many as 240 minutes of digital video and can also serve as an effective local backup device for personal computers with 60GB and 70GB hard disks. You can incorporate DVD-R devices into jukeboxes for more enterprise-oriented applications. DVD might just be the technology that pushes optical storage into mainstream storage infrastructures.
Growth in Popularity of Consumer DVD Players
DVD is quickly becoming the format of choice in the home video market with companies such as Blockbuster throwing their marketing muscle behind the technology. DVD clearly offers a superior end-user experience in home video because it >provides better video resolution and is more durable.
DVD is perhaps the first true crossover technology that's equally as valuable in consumer electronics devices as in computers. Consequently, the technology should help to accelerate the development of devices that comfortably span both markets—thin laptops that double as DVD players, for example.
As the market for DVD devices grows, so does the demand to build infrastructure, including wireless networks. Over the next several years, DVD-R devices could play a large role in reshaping our primary computing platform and determining where we store our data.
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2. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Keith Furman, [email protected])
According to industry publication "Byte and Switch," Cisco Systems and Network Appliance (NetApp) are codeveloping a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device. "Byte and Switch" sources said that the two companies are in the early stages of developing a NAS blade for Cisco's MDS 9500 series of Fibre Channel switches. Cisco's strategy for becoming a bigger player in the storage market has been to partner with other companies. Last summer, Cisco announced plans to acquire storage networking company Andiamo Systems to increase its product offerings.
Cisco and NetApp's collaboration would include developing a file services card for the MDS 9500 chassis-based switches to provide access to back-end storage through NFS and Common Internet File System (CIFS) protocols. The product isn't expected to be available until the end of 2003 and will be licensed to third parties, rather than sold directly by Cisco. According to an industry observer quoted by "Byte and Switch," the partnership "would be consistent with Cisco's statement that they would not enter the NAS market 'directly.' That doesn't rule out a partnership blade."
A new report by Merrill Lynch suggests Network Appliance (NetApp) and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) are likely to form a partnership to compete more aggressively with EMC. Merrill Lynch analysts recently visited storage companies on the West Coast and made the conclusion about the possible NetApp and HDS partnership. Neither company has commented on the rumor, but according to the Merrill Lynch analysts, Silicon Valley sources indicate the teaming is likely. NetApp originally specialized in Network Attached Storage (NAS) storage systems but has recently started to expand into high-end storage, such as Storage Area Network (SAN) products. HDS products are mostly targeted to large enterprises.
According to the report, storage companies are doing fine economically. Although storage-product sales have been tight, IT departments are buying to fill immediate demand. The report included speculation that EMC will release its new Symmetrix 6 in first quarter 2003. Symmetrix 6 will have over 500GB of cache and a nonblocking "matrix" backplane.
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Security breaches and viruses can happen to your enterprise. But there are steps you can take to prevent disaster, like subscribing to Security Administrator, the print newsletter from the experts at Windows & .NET Magazine. Every issue shows you how to protect your systems with informative, in-depth articles, timely tips, and practical advice. Don't just take our word for it—get a sample issue today!
4. INSTANT POLL
The voting has closed in the Windows & .NET Magazine Network's Storage Admin Channel nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "How do you plan to deal with Microsoft's new Licensing 6.0?" Here are the results (+/-2 percent) from the 43 votes.
9%—We plan to sign up for the standard License (L) program. 2%—We plan to sign up for License and Software Assurance (L&SA). 14%—We plan to sign up for an Enterprise Agreement (EA). 58%—We're considering switching to a non-Microsoft product. 16%—We don't use Microsoft products.
The current Instant Poll question is, "Do you have a corporate storage-management policy?" Go to the Storage Admin Channel home page and submit your vote for a) Yes, b) No, but we're developing one, or c) No.
Windows XP Professional Edition and XP Home Edition both ship with NTBackup, but only XP Pro installs NTBackup by default. Visit the following URL to discover steps to install NTBackup for XP Home:
6. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])
Avail Solutions and Promicro Systems have teamed up to bundle Avail Solution's Integrity data protection software with Promicro's ProStore Network Attached Storage (NAS) unit and an 8-cartridge DLT automated tape library. The ProStore Backup Appliance is the first to seamlessly connect hard disk and tape technology for less than $8000. The system is preconfigured to retain backed-up data for as many as 4 days on the hard disk unit. You can purchase the bundled solution from Promicro Systems. Contact Promicro Systems at 858-391-1515 or 866-776-6427.
StorageTek announced BladeStore, a disk subsystem that lets businesses that generate high volumes of data protect crucial information. The BladeStore architecture provides the ability to store large amounts of data in a small footprint. The architecture combines ATA disk drives with Fibre Channel performance. BladeStore is scalable from 4TB to 160TB of storage capacity. For pricing, contact StorageTek at 800-786-7835.
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].
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