Enterprise Storage Snapshots – 1/23/04

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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 January: XIOtech and CommVault partner on compliance and recovery for Microsoft Exchange Server, SteelEye eyes Linux with its new disaster recovery solution, Xiran releases a new
iSCSI+ Accelerator HBA, nStor showcases its new NexStor 4700 Serial ATA systems at LinuxWorld, and Silverback Systems’ iSNAP2110 iSCSI chip debuts.

XIOtech and CommVault Team on Compliance and Recovery for Exchange

XIOtech has partnered with CommVault Systems on a new Fast Restore for Exchange product, a solution that combines the “dynamic simplicity” of XIOTech’s Magnitude 3D with the intelligent archiving and quick recovery of CommVault’s QiNetix. Fast Restore for Exchange offers the ability to track, archive, and store all messages in and out of an Exchange server as well as the capability to recover information based on content from messages or message attachments.

The Fast Restore for Exchange solution is the latest in a growing class of new products designed to help customers ensure compliance with the ever-increasing number of government regulations. Enterprises are facing requirements to manage their information stores – especially e-mail messages – for longer periods of time due to compliance regulations.

Fast Restore for Exchange steps in as a solution that meets these challenges through its Intelligent Archiving and Dynamic Virtual Linking capabilities. The product also takes full advantage of the new storage and shadow management features of Exchange Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003.

“Recovery of critical applications like Exchange must help meet the uptime demands of customer environments,” states Bob Hammer, President and CEO, CommVault Systems. “The joint CommVault/XIOtech Fast Restore for Exchange solution gives customers the responsiveness and performance they require.”

In addition to the Fast Restore for Exchange solution, XIOtech also announced this week the availability of a hardware provider for Microsoft Volume Shadow Service (VSS) and support for Microsoft Virtual Disk Service (VDS) and Multipath IO (MPIO).

The hardware provider for VSS enables customers to make point-in-time copies of data without planned downtime, while support for VDS enables the automation and dynamic delivery of storage management, thereby reducing the overall cost of storage management. Support for MPIO within a clustered storage architecture delivers the highest levels of server and data availability, according to XIOtech.

Fast Restore for Exchange will be available in the first quarter of 2004 and will be shipped, installed, and integrated into customer environments by joint partners of XIOtech and CommVault.


SteelEye Eyes Linux with New DR Solution

SteelEye used this week’s LinuxWorld show as a platform for showcasing its new SteelEye LifeKeeper Disaster Recovery Solution for Linux, a product the company claims is the first to deliver fully automated and integrated application-centric clustering and wide-area data replication and recovery for Linux.

The LifeKeeper DR solution “enables customers to gain the full cost-saving and other benefits of Linux with complete confidence that their business operations are protected from even the most catastrophic of events,” said Paul Adams, president and CEO of SteelEye Technology, Inc.

SteelEye and IBM partnered at LinuxWorld to demonstrate the DR solution by clustering two eServer IBM BladeCenter systems located in each of the SteelEye and IBM booths, and failing over an Apache and DB2 Universal Database application between them, across the show floor.

“We are pleased to work with SteelEye LifeKeeper to establish a DB2 Linux Cluster solution that enables distributed enterprises, and small and medium-size businesses, to implement scalable, fault resilient on-demand computing today, with the flexibility to evolve with minimum cost and complexity as business needs evolve in the future,” said Tony Rummans, VP, Business Development, IBM Information Management.

The LifeKeeper for Linux system utilizes high-availability (HA) clustering software to ensure the continuous availability of all critical components to run applications, including servers, storage, data, and networks. In the event of any single component or system failure, the software automatically detects and recovers the resources needed to provide maximum application uptime. Specific DR features include multi-directional recovery and cascading failover for as many as 16 or more active nodes.


Xiran’s iSCSI+ HBA Accelerates IP SANs

Xiran, a division of SimpleTech, Inc. , this week announced a new iSCSI host bus adapter (HBA) that leverages the company’s patented DirectPathT protocol acceleration technology and high-speed PCI-X bus architecture. The new DPA-1400 iSCSI+ Accelerator is designed to improve CPU utilization in application servers, workstations, and storage subsystems while introducing low-cost, easy to manage IP-based iSCSI Storage Area Networks (SANs) as an alternative to more costly – and often more complex – Fibre Channel SANs.

“Cost, complexity, and interoperability issues continue to put Fibre Channel SANs beyond the reach of many small to mid-size businesses that either can’t afford the capital expense or don’t possess the IT staff required to successfully deploy conventional Fibre Channel SANs,” states Jeanclaude Toma, vice president of marketing and business development for Xiran.

“The DPA-1400 iSCSI+ Accelerator is an elegant and affordable solution that allows these customers to leverage their existing Ethernet network infrastructure to quickly and efficiently move iSCSI block data between storage resources and servers,” Toma continues.

The DPA-1400 iSCSI+ Accelerator combines three key functionalities – a Gigabit Ethernet NIC (Network Interface Card), a TCP/IP offload engine (TOE), and iSCSI offload processing – in a single standard PCI-X adapter. The HBA’s TCP/IP Offload Engine (TOE) and iSCSI protocol processors provide 100 percent offloading, according to Xiran, enabling high-speed iSCSI data movement across IP networks with zero impact on host CPUs.

When used as an iSCSI target, the DPA-1400 delivers scalable performance of greater than 30,000 IOPS (Input/Output operations per second) and more than 100 MB/s with zero percent host CPU utilization.

The DPA-1400 iSCSI+ Accelerator is now sampling to OEMs and is scheduled to be available to channel partners in the first quarter of 2004 at an MSRP of $750.


NexStor 4700 SATA Systems Showcased at LinuxWorld

nStor Corporation unveiled its NexStor 4700 Serial ATA (SATA) series of products at this week’s LinuxWorld show. The series includes both Fibre Channel-to-SATA and SCSI-to-SATA models, and has been designed to provide cost-effective, continuous data protection and advanced storage management to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

The systems support up to two 2Gbit Fibre Channel or four Ultra320 SCSI host interfaces, with capacity growth in 3TB increments and scalability to 60TB of storage using the current largest capacity disk drives in a single data center cabinet.

The series also includes nStor’s Wahoo Fibre Channel RAID engine and StorView storage management software. StorView provides an array of high-end storage management features, including real-time performance and statistical data, automatic cache adjustments, flexible LUN management, and event reporting and trending analysis.

nStor is targeting environments ranging from shared storage, high-bandwidth video applications to near-line storage in disk-to-disk backup and disaster recovery operations with the NexStor 4700.

Available in February, the NexStor 4700 SCSI-to-SATA system will cost $7,495, while the NexStor Fibre Channel-to-SATA system will retail for $7,995.


Silverback’s iSNAP2110 iSCSI Chip Debuts

Silverback Systems this week introduced the iSNAP2110, a new chip that the company claims allows equipment vendors to offer their customers even greater value through lower power dissipation, higher performance, and reduced design-in cost while maintaining complete software compatibility with the iSNAP family.

Providing dual-port iSCSI support as well as TOE (TCP/IP Offload Engine) Acceleration and throughput of 440 MB/s, the iSNAP2110 delivers 220,000 I/Os per second (IOPS) while dissipating only two watts per channel, according to Silverback.

Targeted applications for the iSNAP2110 include SAN edge devices such as servers and storage arrays, storage-aware devices in the SAN cloud such as virtualization engines, and IP-based data centers based on the emerging blade server product category.

The iSNAP2110 is sampling now with volume production slated for February of this year. Pricing for the chip is $120 in high volume.


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