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Storage UPDATE, March 24, 2003

Storage UPDATE, March 24, 2003


Storage UPDATE--brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network



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HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show (below COMMENTARY)


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March 24, 2003--In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY - Ready, Litigate, Settle

2. NEWS AND VIEWS - SNIA Announces Storage Management Interoperability Progress - More iSCSI Standards in the Works

3. ANNOUNCEMENT - Get a Sample Issue of Exchange & Outlook Administrator

4. RESOURCES - Setting Up a Media Server to Back Up to Exchange Server

5. NEW AND IMPROVED - Purchase an SAIT-1 Drive - Back Up QuickBooks 2003 Data - Submit Top Product Ideas

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




(contributed by Elliot King, [email protected])

* READY, LITIGATE, SETTLE The high technology community prides itself on competing in terms of innovation, but most major companies have also competed in the courtroom. Sun Microsystems and Microsoft have jousted with each other in lawsuits nonstop for years. A couple of weeks ago, the current incarnation of the SCO Group sued IBM for $1 billion, claiming that IBM misappropriated trade secrets by revealing aspects of the UNIX OS, which the SCO Group claims it currently owns, to the open-source community.

The storage community has also seen its share of litigation. About this time last year, EMC filed suit against Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) for infringing on EMC's patents for its Symmetrix Remote Data Facility, TimeFinder remote storage and data migration applications, mainframe storage patents, and business continuity software. EMC named Hitachi's Open Remote Copy, Open Synchronous Remote Copy, and ShadowImage as products violating the patents. When EMC filed suit, the company claimed that it had negotiated with Hitachi for 4 years to resolve the suit, to no avail. After EMC filed suit, Hitachi countersued, claiming that EMC had violated eight of Hitachi's patents.

Last September, Hewlett-Packard (HP) sued EMC in retaliation for EMC's suit against Hitachi. HP has partnered with Hitachi in the Storage Area Network (SAN) area and has had ongoing legal problems with EMC following HP's acquisition of StorageApps in 2002. At that point in time, the three largest SAN vendors were all at a legal standstill.

Against this stormy background, 2 weeks ago, EMC and Hitachi announced that they had settled their suit. In addition to what were described as "balancing payments" from Hitachi to EMC, both companies agreed to cross-license the patents at issue and provide access to each others' API. In essence, not only have these companies settled their legal differences, they now embrace each other.

So, what changed? After 4 years of negotiating, why did EMC feel the need to sue Hitachi? And, after 5 years, why were the companies finally able to resolve their legal problems with each other? One reason is product cycle. Over the past 2 years, Hitachi has grabbed a significant share of the enterprise storage market from EMC. But last month, EMC released a new generation of high-end storage arrays, following the release of a new generation of midtier solutions in December. This new technology has reinvigorated EMC and very possibly will blunt Hitachi's momentum.

Another reason for the legal breakthrough is due to open data storage systems. Although companies with well-accepted proprietary technology resist mightily, there's an inexorable move in the market toward open data storage systems. In settling the suit with EMC, Hitachi spokesperson Hirotaka Ono acknowledged that the suit was a step toward open systems and that Hitachi has basically bowed to the wishes of its customers.

Single sourcing is another factor in the companies' ability to resolve their problems. The consolidation that has characterized information technology over the past 3 years has meant doing more with less and beefing up the data center at the expense of departmental and midrange systems also, to a large degree, as systems have aged, consolidation has meant specifying a single source for specific technology. Consequently, although large companies might have storage technology from every provider under the sun due to merger, acquisition, and other major corporate changes, administrators are trying to pare their vendor list. Interestingly, when faced with an installed base supplied by a wide range of vendors, chief information officers (CIOs) have no specific brand preference. Instead, they let the vendors compete, and whoever offers the best deal gets all the business.

The EMC-Hitachi settlement is a reflection of changes taking place now in the development of enterprise storage. The pressure for technology to interoperate is steadily building. If a vendor's products can't play nicely with other companies' solutions, that vendor risks losing all its business in specific accounts.

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(contributed by Keith Furman, [email protected])

* SNIA ANNOUNCES STORAGE MANAGEMENT INTEROPERABILITY PROGRESS The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) announced continued progress in its Storage Management Initiative (SMI). According to the organization, the SNIA Technical Work Group has completed its initial review of the specification document and has reached the testing cycle phase. The 6-month long testing cycle, called CIM-SAN-2 Developers Demonstration Program, will include a series of public demonstrations and events called "plugfests," in which storage companies get together to test their technologies' compatibility. The demonstration program is expected to help SNIA reach its goal of delivering a standard specification by the end of 2003.

Last fall's demonstrations resulted in the Storage Management Forum incorporating new discovery, management, and security features into the CIM-SAN 2 standard. The new features include Array volume creation, which enables the creation of logical volumes in arrays and virtualizers, making them available for use by hosts; Array LUN masking, a security function that controls the visibility of logical volumes to hosts; Array snapshot and mirror control, which creates, splits and synchronizes snapshots and mirrored volumes; and Fabric topology and zoning discovery, which facilitates the discovery of how devices are connected to switches and their zoning parameters.

Many companies in the industry are expected to participate in the CIM-SAN-2 Developer Demonstration Program. SNIA's SMI was created to help increase interoperability between multivendor storage products. Interoperability has been a big focus recently for storage and storage management vendors.

* MORE iSCSI STANDARDS IN THE WORKS The approval of the iSCSI standard hasn't stopped the Internet Engineering Task Force's (IETF's) IP Storage Working Group from working on iSCSI improvements. The group met last week to discuss and review 24 working drafts intended to enhance and improve the iSCSI standard. In a letter to the IETF's IP Storage Working Group's mailing list, David Black, cochairman of the group and senior technologist at EMC, summarized the drafts. The drafts aren't expected to affect new iSCSI products emerging after standard finalization but will broaden iSCSI's usefulness.

The new drafts target technologies that make storage management easier. The drafts also target Fibre Channel over IP storage (FCIP), including Internet Storage Name Service (iSNS) extensions to FCIP. Members of IETF's Storage Working Group are expected to introduce more drafts in the near future, including gateways and bridges between iSCSI and other SCSI protocols.



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* SETTING UP A MEDIA SERVER TO BACK UP TO EXCHANGE SERVER Forum member Andrew26 is trying to set up a Media Server by using VERITAS Software's Backup Exec 8.6. He wants to be able to back up Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 from the Media Server and would like information about doing so. To lend a helping hand, go to the following URL:



(contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])

* PURCHASE AN SAIT-1 DRIVE Sony Electronics announced that it's shipping production units of its SAIT drives and media to tape library automation OEMs. SAIT-1 can store as much as 1.3TB of compressed data on a half-inch tape cartridge and features a transfer rate as fast as 78Mbps for data recording and recovery. Sony expects OEM partners to start selling automated SAIT-1 solutions this spring. SAIT-1 libraries will be available in several configurations, with a 1000-cartridge library storing as much as 1.3 petabytes of data.

* BACK UP QUICKBOOKS 2003 DATA NovaStor announced Keyster, an automatic backup device for QuickBooks 2003 users. Keyster is a keychain-sized hard drive that protects QuickBooks 2003 data. Just plug the Keyster into a port, and it works without any complicated software setup. Keyster is the simplest way to insure your business's most valuable QuickBooks 2003 data. To recover a QuickBooks 2003 backup from the Keyster, plug the Keyster in and use QuickBooks' built-in restore feature. The Keyster is available in 32MB, 64MB, and 128MB storage capacities. Pricing is $99.99 for 32MB, $129.99 for 64MB, and $179.99 for 128MB. Contact NovaStor at 805-579-6710.

* 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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