Storage UPDATE, July 14, 2003

Storage UPDATE--July 14, 2003

This Issue Sponsored By

HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show


1. Commentary: The Storage Industry's Shifting Crosscurrents

2. News and Views - EMC Buys Storage Management Software from BMC Software and Forms Alliance - EMC Acquires LEGATO - Companies Demonstrate Fibre Channel over IP

3. Announcements - Exchange 2003: Do You Plan to Migrate or Wait? - Get the eBook That Will Help You Get Certified!

4. Events - New Active Directory Web Seminar!

5. Resources - Daily Backups

6. New and Improved - Evaluate SANs - Learn More About Backup Technology - Submit Top Product Ideas

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

==== Sponsor: HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show ==== Missed the Network Storage Solutions Road Show? If you couldn't make the HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show, you missed Mark Smith discussing Windows-powered NAS, file-server consolidation, and more. The good news is that you can now view the Webcast in its entirety at:


==== 1. Commentary: The Storage Industry's Shifting Crosscurrents ==== by Elliot King, [email protected] Since Y2K (remember that?), the big storage story has been consolidation, simplification, and unification. Storage administrators have been occupied with creating larger, more flexible storage capacities by using Network Attached Storage (NAS) and Storage Area Network (SAN) devices, while increasing the centralized control of those devices through Storage Resource Management (SRM) software management tools. The idea is for an enterprise's storage infrastructure to function as a single pool that storage administrators can fill efficiently. The payoff is that utilization rates increase as administration costs go down.

But a countervailing impulse is also at work. Analysts and observers are increasingly coming to realize that storage technology shouldn't be seen simply as a part of a generalized infrastructure. Rather, storage solutions should be seen as application-specific. This viewpoint is represented through the development of content-specific storage technology and storage hardware and software intended for specific applications.

The fundamental idea behind application-specific storage software is that all data isn't equal. Transactional data, fixed and reference data, audio and video data, and backup data play different roles in most contexts, and their storage requirements aren't identical. Perhaps the highest-profile acknowledgement of the differentiation and stratification of data types was EMC's introduction of Centera. Centera is a disk-based, write once, read many (WORM) device specifically created to store fixed, active reference data.

Although its competitors have contested EMC's claim that Centera was the first content-addressed storage solution, EMC still markets Centera as the first solution in which the address of a particular object also contains information about the object. Due to the proliferation of audio and video files, EMC officials believe that in time, content-addressed storage could make up as much as 75 percent of all stored data. Regardless, Centera is one of many efforts to create hardware and software storage solutions for very specific purposes.

Glen Otero, president of Callident, a provider of performance computing on Linux clusters, said, "The access patterns to different data are very different and depend largely on the specific application context, which drives the development of an appropriate solution." Callident is teaming with Promicro Systems, a high-performance computing solutions provider, to create a Linux computing cluster solution for the biotechnology industry that employs a Serial ATA mass storage solution for the cluster data. As Otero explained, scientists working in the life sciences have very complicated storage needs. "Their data is very heterogeneous and comes from more than one source. The data comes in chunks of different sizes. They need to combine internal and external sources of data. Data from an Oracle database may be combined with data from GenBank." GenBank, a daily-updated public database of nucleotide sequences from more than 130,000 organisms, is the product of an international collaboration.

Otero also points out that scientists need access to data stored in terabytes to as much as half a petabyte, although not all this data needs to be immediately accessible. Furthermore, he said that scientists don't often need enterprisewide access to experimental data. As Otero put it, "There are no clear cut out-of-the-box hierarchical storage management solutions for life scientists."

The storage industry is realizing the growing need for additional sophistication in storage solutions in areas outside science technology. For example, Randy Thorburn, vice president of sales and marketing at Avail Solutions, has created storage solutions with the retail industry in mind and argues that backup and restore technology has to become more intelligent. Thorburn said, "Until now, backup has consisted of putting all data into one blob and then moving that blob around." Thorburn contends that storage administrators should back up different data types in different ways. He believes that backup storage has to become more like a library in which the locations of different data files are clearly delineated.

The drive toward application-specific and content-specific storage solutions runs parallel with the dominant move toward a simpler, more unified storage infrastructure. Such a driving force adds complexity to the storage equation. But sometimes complexity is a good thing.


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

EMC Buys Storage Management Software from BMC Software and Forms Alliance EMC and BMC Software have formed a partnership to strengthen the companies' enterprise software product lines. Under the partnership agreement, EMC will acquire BMC Software's PATROL Storage Management software and BMC Software agrees to resell EMC's storage management software. BMC Software develops and sells enterprise management software. Joe Tucci, EMC president and CEO, said, "\[EMC's\] ControlCenter family will enhance and complement BMC's leading enterprise systems management and services offerings. Customers will benefit both from BMC's deep knowledge at the server and application level and from EMC's expertise at the storage and storage network level, providing an end-to-end management solution handling nearly every layer of the IT infrastructure."

Under the agreement, EMC will provide maintenance service and support to existing PATROL Storage Manager customers. The companies have set up a program that will let BMC offer its PATROL Storage Manager customers an upgrade and migration option with equivalent EMC ControlCenter licensing. The partnership also includes cooperative marketing and technology initiatives.

EMC Acquires LEGATO EMC is enhancing its software solutions with a $1.3 billion acquisition of software company LEGATO Systems. The deal, which was rumored back in March, will be an all-stock transaction. LEGATO is known for its heterogeneous management software. The acquisition is one of many for EMC, which purchased Astrum Software in April and recently acquired software assets from BMC Software.

"This combination is all about improving the access, management, and protection of an organization's core asset--information--through its complete lifecycle," said Joe Tucci, EMC president and CEO. David B. Wright, LEGATO Systems chairman and CEO, added, "\[LEGATO Systems\] will now have additional resources to further accelerate the development and delivery of solutions to the market in order to fulfill our mission of delivering the software and services that protect and manage customer's information, assure the availability of their applications, and provide immediate access to business-critical information."

The transaction is expected to be complete by the end of 2003. After it's complete, LEGATO will operate as a software division of EMC and will be headquartered in Mountain View, California.

Companies Demonstrate Fibre Channel over IP

Cisco Systems, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), and Sprint have demonstrated technology that will help significantly decrease the cost of remote storage and recovery by using the IP networking protocol. The companies have successfully tested asynchronous data replication, which lets you copy data to a remote data-storage location, over an IP network using Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) technology. The distance between the two locations is more than 3600 miles. FCIP technology is expected to offer lower-cost options for companies looking for remote disaster recovery. The companies' demonstration shows that taking advantage of existing IP low-cost IP networks, such as the Internet, rather than using expensive dedicated fiber optic networks to replicate data, is possible.

The demonstration used a link from Sprint's lab in Overland Park, Kansas, to replicate the data to another Sprint lab in Burlingame, California. Equipment used in the link included a private Sprint circuit, Cisco MDS 900 SAN switches with IP Storage modules, and Hitachi Freedom Storage Lightning 9900 V Series systems running Hitachi's TrueCopy data replication software.

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

Exchange 2003: Do You Plan to Migrate or Wait?

Windows & .NET Magazine and Aelita Software would like to know about your organization's plans to migrate to Exchange Server 2003. Take our brief survey, "Windows & .NET Magazine: The State of Exchange Migration," and sign up to receive a free white paper titled, "Upgrade or Migrate? Deployment Options for Exchange 2000/2003." Give us your feedback today!

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!

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

New Active Directory Web Seminar!

Discover how to securely manage Active Directory in a multiforest environment, establish attribute-level auditing without affecting AD performance, and more! Space is limited--register today!

==== 5. Resources ====

Daily Backups

Forum member Panic is looking for software to perform daily backups. Panic has a computer with a hard disk with partitions named Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Panic wants to perform a full backup of a file server. The first week he'll perform a full backup onto each of the partitions. After that, he wants to back up only new files or changed files. For example, on Monday he wants to back up only new or changed files since the previous Monday onto the Monday partition. On Tuesday, he wants to back up only new or changed files since the previous Tuesday, which includes files copied on Monday, onto the Tuesday partition. Panic hasn't seen software that's capable of backing up data on Tuesday that was already backed up Monday. Do you have any software recommendations? To lend Panic a helping hand, visit:

==== 6. New and Improved ==== by Carolyn Mader, [email protected]

Evaluate SANs Finisar announced Xgig, a next-generation monitoring and analysis solution for Fibre Channel- and Ethernet-based networks. Xgig lets you design, implement, test, and evaluate Storage Area Networks (SANs). Xgig is available in a four-blade rack mount or bench-top chassis and also in a single-blade chassis. Xgig pricing starts at $40,800. Contact Finisar at 408-548-1000 or [email protected]

Learn More About Backup Technology Network Frontiers released Dorian J. Cougias' "The Backup Book: Disaster Recovery from Desktop to Data Center," a comprehensive guide to backup and recovery. Cougias writes about numerous vendors to provide you with a comprehensive analysis of top products for various backup scenarios. The 736-page book costs $49.95. Contact Network Frontiers at [email protected]

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]

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==== 7. Contact Us ====

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Copyright 2003, Penton Media, Inc.

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