Enterprise Storage Snapshots – 1/9/04

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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 first full week of January: CNT releases a FICON extension solution for its UltraNet Storage Director, MicroNet debuts a 1.5TB FireWire SAN solution, Arkeia and RAID Inc. partner on data protection, and SBS Technologies expands its InfiniBand product line with a new switch and PCI-X HCA.

CNT’s Ultranet Storage Director Does FICON

CNT has released a new FICON extension solution for its UltraNet Storage Director that is designed to help enterprise customers accelerate the move from ESCON (Enterprise Systems Connection) mainframe environments to FICON (Fiber Connection). FICON extends disk mirroring distances and allows customers to safely and quickly move data thousands of miles, bolstering their business continuity capabilities.

The extension solution also includes support for IBM’s TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server Extended Remote Copy (XRC), a technology designed for the fast recovery of data. XRC provides copy services to help maintain secondary sites with mirrored data so that a switch-over can take place in a short amount of time.

“IBM views its support of FICON connections as an opportunity for customers to improve upon the already impressive speed and scalability of IBM TotalStorage solutions, particularly as it applies to extended remote copy functionality,” says Roland Hagan, vice president of storage systems marketing at IBM. “CNT’s offering provides customers with additional choice for their storage systems.”

The UltraNet Storage Director (USD) is a high-performance platform from CNT that supports all storage-related data replication applications for both disk and tape, along with remote channel networking for a wide range of device types. Customers can connect their primary site to a secondary site using CNT’s UltraNet Storage Director and any major network link, including T1/E1, T3/E3, ATM, SONET or Ethernet.

“CNT has more than 60 IBM XRC (ESCON) installations at some of the largest data centers in the world. We’ve also been supporting FICON for several years,” says Mark Knittel, group vice president of worldwide product operations at CNT. “We have a great deal of experience with both the sophisticated capabilities of XRC as well as the FICON protocol, and it’s only natural that we’d extend that expertise to support IBM’s latest XRC-based solutions.”


MicroNet Debuts 1.5TB FireWire SAN Solution

MicroNet has released the latest in its line of complete FireWire storage area network solutions. The recently announced SANcube800 serverless storage network delivers extremely fast connectivity and up to 1.5 terabytes online with the speed and fault tolerance of a hardware RAID controller, according to MicroNet.

Specifically tailored to digital content designers who create and transfer large mission-critical video projects on PowerMac systems, SANcube utilizes the power of FireWire to deliver up to 70MB/sec transfer rates for efficiently handling high bandwidth applications such as DV Video and Prepress.

The SANcube800 consists of a centralized “data cube” that incorporates five 300GB 7200RPM ATA-6 hard drives (yielding a total capacity of up to 1.5TB) and provides the ability to connect up to four Macintosh computers together. The product is also hot-pluggable, offers RAID fault tolerance, and provides share level data access.

The 1.5TB unit joins an existing lineup of SANcube solutions that includes 240GB, 360GB, 480GB, 720GB, and 960GB models.

MicroNet’s SANcube800 is scheduled to ship in the first quarter of 2004, and will be available from MicroNet VARs and select resellers.


RAID Inc. Partners with Arkeia on Data Protection

RAID Inc. has entered into a strategic partnership with Arkeia in which it will integrate Arkeia’s high-performance data protection solution into its end-to-end storage systems and StorageWatch managed services packages. Arkeia offers enterprise network backup solutions that take advantage of high-performance SAN and RAID installations in protecting and managing data in heterogeneous environments.

“RAID looks forward to a partnership with Arkeia. We believe our customers will be completely satisfied with the quality and affordability of Arkeia’s network backup solutions,” says Ed Zraket, general manager of RAID Inc. “Arkeia’s heterogeneous, enterprise-class solutions will be a perfect complement to RAID’s product set and customer base.”

Arkeia also recently released v5.2 of its enterprise backup solution. The new version enables users to benefit from new customizable reporting functions, offers even faster backup for large servers, and provides a graphically integrated tape duplication feature.

“Our partnership with RAID validates our technology leadership and ability to provide an effective sales channel,” said Charles Coble, Arkeia’s North America channel manager. “The combination of RAID’s integrated solutions and support, combined with the Arkeia backup and recovery solutions for heterogeneous networks, will raise the performance bar for the next generation of enterprise networks.”


SBS Technologies Expands InfiniBand Product Line

SBS Technologies has expanded its line of InfiniBand products with the addition of a new 24-port switch and a PCI-X host channel adapter (HCA). The 24-port low-latency, unmanaged InfiniBand switch contains independent 4x ports supporting bit rates of up to 10 Gb/s in each direction, while the PCI-X HCA provides two 4x InfiniBand ports on a low-profile PCI form factor card.

The company’s InfiniBand switches and HCAs are targeted at embedded data transport applications, computer clustering, high-performance technical and scientific computing, and storage networking applications.

“OEM manufacturers need new product choices to meet a variety of application requirements within the embedded computing market. InfiniBand technology uniquely addresses that need,” says Bill Molyneux, Vice President of SBS’ General Purpose I/O Products. “SBS has put together a well rounded complement of InfiniBand components that make this technology a reality for the embedded market.”

The EIS-4024-1U 24-port switch features an aggregate bandwidth of 480 Gb/s and less than 200 nanosecond latency. The switch is enclosed in a compact 1U 19-inch rackmount chassis.

With dual 20 Gb/s 4x InfiniBand ports, the IB4X-LPCIX-2 HCA is capable of full wire speed transmissions over InfiniBand links. The HCA includes application support for the Sockets Direct Protocol (SDP), Internet Protocol over InfiniBand (IPoIB) to enable TCP/IP to run over InfiniBand links, and a SCSI Remote Protocol (SRP) initiator to enable storage area networking.

Both products are currently available, with the 24-port switch priced at $7500 and the HCA available for $1200. A Linux driver for RedHat Linux 7.3 is included with the hardware.


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