Storage UPDATE--NAS for Small Business--June 21, 2004
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Windows & .NET Magazine
Implementing Client Security on Windows 2000/XP
- NAS for Small Business
2. News and Views
- EMC Taps ADIC for Tape Libraries
- HDS Offers New Options for Fixed Content and Unstructured Data Applications
- Cannot Install a Mass Storage Device on a RIPrep Image
4. New and Improved
- New SAIT Tape Libraries
- Data Protection Partnership
- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!
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==== 1. Commentary ====
by David Chernicoff, [email protected]
NAS for Small Businesses
One of the most puzzling things about storage for a workgroup or small business is that networking components and hard disks are inexpensive, yet Network Attached Storage (NAS) is very expensive compared with the cost of its parts. Enterprise administrators understand that the cost includes management tools that let them control the NAS as a managed resource. But for departmental or small-business use, especially in organizations that have few or no dedicated IT personnel, all the customer sees is a very big price tag for adding network-attached hard disks as additional storage.
Adding storage to workstations has become much simpler with the general availability of USB 2.0- and 1394-attached hard disks. In both cases, the bandwidth is sufficient to make an external enclosure practical for any use. A quick look at the Web shows prices for 250GB hard disks at well under $200 and enclosures for USB or 1394 devices for less than $50. Ready-to-plug devices can be had for about a 10 percent premium over the cost of buying the components individually.
For example, my desktop computer has two USB 2.0-attached 120GB disks and one 1394-attached 250GB disk. But to make that storage available to other users on the network, I'd have to make sure that they have accounts on my computer and that my computer is always on. If I need to reboot, I'd have to ensure that any user attached to that storage isn't doing anything that would be affected by the storage going away.
In a small-office or departmental environment, the only solutions to this problem have been to invest in NAS devices or to add storage to local servers. The local-server solution can be significantly less expensive, but it's the technical equivalent of putting all your eggs in one basket. The more expensive NAS solution adds some redundancy for storage devices and provides an independent device that doesn't rely on your existing network hardware.
Recognizing the need to provide a storage solution to small-business users, Linksys has come up with an inexpensive approach. For $99 (the suggested retail price), Network Storage Link lets you attach a pair of USB 2.0 hard disk enclosures directly to your network and share those disks with all network users who run Windows clients. (Network Storage Link is a Windows-only solution at this time.) Add a pair of 250GB hard disks, and you'll spend only about $500, compared with approximately $2000 for similarly configured NAS solutions from other major vendors.
As a complete, simple, and inexpensive NAS solution, Linksys is offering a bundle that includes a Maxtor OneTouch USB hard disk. If you take advantage of the bundle price for the Maxtor disk, you also get Dantz Retrospect backup software, which lets you automatically back up files from each client computer to the storage attached to the Network Storage Link.
The Network Storage Link NAS solution has some limitations, such as nonstandard networking software, the ability to attach only two hard disks, and its inability to integrate with Active Directory (AD). But given its low price and ease of use, you're unlikely to find a less expensive, simpler method to add as much as half a terabyte of shared storage to a small network or workgroup.
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==== 2. News and Views ====
by Keith Furman, [email protected]
EMC Taps ADIC for Tape Libraries
EMC has announced that starting next month it will expand its information lifecycle management (ILM) offerings by reselling Scalar tape libraries from Advanced Digital Information Corporation (ADIC). ADIC will in turn resell EMC's CLARiiON CX series networked storage devices as part of its Pathlight VX virtual tape solution. "By selecting ADIC as our partner, EMC now provides customers the option of a tape solution for nearline storage and offsite vaulting, completing the final tier of storage in an ILM strategy," said Howard Elias, EMC executive vice president of corporate marketing and Office of Technology.
ADIC's Scalar automated tape libraries, which include the Scalar 24, Scalar 100, Scalar i2000, and Scalar 10K models, use Linear Tape-Open (LTO) tape drive technology. According to EMC and ADIC, the Scalar family features integrated Storage Area Network (SAN) support, intelligent monitoring and alerting functions, capacity-on-demand scalability, and optional fully redundant robotics and controllers for high-availability operations. ADIC's Pathlight VX virtual tape solution, which will now include the CLARiiON CX networked storage drive, uses a combination of disk and tape in one integrated system for increased backup and restore performance. The products will be available in July.
HDS Offers New Options for Fixed Content and Unstructured Data Applications
Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has added an option to its Thunder 9500 V Series modular storage systems that lets consumers use Serial ATA (SATA) hard disks. Available on both new and existing systems, the SATA Intermix Option lets customers use low-cost native SATA storage. The company touts the new option as the world's first "in a box" high-speed Fibre Channel-with-SATA solution. The solution is one of HDS's Application Optimized Storage solutions, which integrate HDS products with a common management and software platform for storage devices.
Offering as much as 107TB of storage in one system, the SATA Intermix Option addresses customers' increasing need to store data that isn't frequently accessed, such as email and database archives. HDS is also offering a data retention utility, called Open LDEV Guard, that provides a disk-based write once, read many (WORM) capability that lets consumers make data stored on HDS systems non-erasable and non-rewritable for specified periods of time.
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==== 3. Resource ====
Cannot Install a Mass Storage Device on a RIPrep Image
In Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000, you might receive an Access Denied error when you try to install a mass storage device on a Remote Installation Preparation Wizard (RIPrep) image. This problem occurs because registry permissions are configured incorrectly. To learn more about the problem and how to solve it, go to the URL below.
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==== 4. New and Improved ====
by Renee Munshi, [email protected]
New SAIT Tape Libraries
Cybernetics has announced the availability of Super AIT (SAIT) tape library models. Each tape stores from 500GB to 1.5TB of data at a rate of 108GB to 324GB per hour, and the new libraries offer automated access to 10 tapes for a total unattended backup capacity of 5TB to 15TB in just 4U (7") of rack space. Cybernetics offers SAIT libraries as direct SCSI-attached models and as iTape models that attach directly to the Ethernet network. For more information, call 757-833-9000 or go to Cybernetics' Web site.
Data Protection Partnership
StorageTek has qualified VERITAS NetBackup and Data Lifecycle Manager software with the StorageTek StreamLine SL8500 modular library system. VERITAS NetBackup software supports the SL8500's mixed-media and drive capabilities, letting customers choose the most appropriate tape media and drives for their situation. VERITAS NetBackup also supports StorageTek's Automated Cartridge System Library Software (ACSLS Manager) for centralized tape library management in open systems environments.
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