Enterprise Storage Snapshots - 2/20/04


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Enterprise Storage Snapshots offers a weekly wrap-up of what's going on in the storage industry.Here are our storage news highlights for the third week of February: XIOtech seeks to simplify SANs with the debut of its entry-level Magnitude 3D Edge SAN, Marvell expands its SATA II family with new port multiplier and port selector offerings, LSI Logic launches its MegaRAID SATA II solution, and Unitrends unveils a 3TB Data Protection Unit.

XIOtech Seeks to Simplify SANs

XIOtech Corporation this week announced the debut of its Magnitude 3D Edge, an entry-level SAN solution specifically designed to meet the needs of enterprise departments, first-time small and medium-sized business (SMB) SAN buyers, and disaster resilience sites.

A long-standing barrier to storage area networks has been the cost of such systems, both in terms of initial purchase price as well as the cost to manage and maintain them. XIOtech is one of several companies seeking to capitalize on this by delivering simplified solutions that lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) for SANs.

"Magnitude 3D Edge eliminates the complexity and costs most first-time buyers associate with SANs," states Alain Andreoli, CEO of XIOtech. "Its dynamic simplicity and enterprise-class capabilities allow buyers to optimize their first storage investment and immediately begin to reap return on investment. As a customer's business data grows, Magnitude 3D expands to deliver enterprise-class SAN abilities, without business disruption."

The Eden Prairie, Minn.-based company's new solution offers simplified administration with dynamic provisioning for enabling businesses to easily reconfigure and upgrade storage while data remains online and available. Featuring the ability to scale from under 100GB to over 200TB without downtime or disruption, the solution also presents customers with a cost-effective way to scale to a full enterprise-class solution as business needs expand and evolve,

Additional features include enhanced resilience in the form of intra-controller failover, which enables server access to be automatically and transparently redirected between ports within the controller in the event of a component failure, and dynamic virtual linking, which enables simple server redirects to remote disaster resilience sites in the case of primary site outages.

The Magnitude 3D Edge will be available in Q1 2004 and will be sold exclusively through value-added resellers (VARs) participating in XIOtech's Dimensional Partner Program. Pricing for an entry-level configuration starts at less than $50,000.


Marvell Expands SATA II Offerings

Seeking to capitalize on its leadership position by continuing to deliver next-generation enterprise storage features and performance, Marvell this week released a Serial ATA II 1:4 Port Multiplier and a SATA II Port Selector with advanced load-balancing capabilities that take advantage of newly added features and functionality in the SATA II spec. The new products join the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company's existing line of SATA II products, which includes 4- and 8-port host controllers.

"Marvell has extended its leadership in Serial ATA connectivity solutions once again by being the first to go to full production on Serial ATA II Port Multipliers and Port Selectors," states Balaji Baktha, Marvell's General Manager of Embedded and Emerging Business Unit. "These two technologies enable our storage and system OEM customers to build high-density, redundant storage systems for the enterprise and the home."

The products are designed to enable enterprise-class port expansion and port redundancy inside storage arrays, JBODs (Just a Bunch Of Disks), and servers. The port multiplier, which enables one active host connection to communicate with up to 4 Serial ATA I or II disk drives at speeds of 1.5Gbps or 3.0Gbps, is expected to find a home in home storage applications. It offers up to 1TB of storage expansion, roughly equivalent to more than 250,000 songs or over 1,000 full-length feature films.

The port selector makes it possible for two Serial ATA host ports to connect to the same disk drive, creating a redundant path to the drive, a capability imperative to high-availability, enterprise-class storage systems. The selector supports 3 modes of port selection control: side-band switch control, protocol-based switch control, and primitive-based switch control.

"The Serial ATA II Port Multiplier and Port Selector technologies not only provide the connectivity and redundancy capabilities necessary to address the needs of server and networked storage solutions, but also creates new opportunities for Serial ATA in consumer electronics and home media applications where cost-effective dense storage is required," says Knut Grimsrud, Chairman of the Serial ATA Working Group and Intel Senior Principal Engineer.

"With the introduction of new Serial ATA II products such as [these]," Grimsrud continues, "cost-effective Serial ATA-based storage solutions can deliver new capabilities and value to customers and creates the opportunity for exciting new applications of Serial ATA storage."


Additional Briefs for 2/20/04 on Page 2:
LSI Logic Launches MegaRAID SATA II Solution
Unitrends Rolls Out 3TB Data Protection Unit

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