Enterprise Storage Snapshots – 10/31/03

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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 final week of October: MaXXan cruises into the SAN management space with its SANCrusier system, Quantum goes second generation with its disk-based backup system for enterprises, StorageTek’s new MirrorStore data replication appliance launches as part of the company’s ILM Strategy, Isilon’s IQ network storage system debuts for storing and managing digital content, LSI Logic launches a pair of PCI-X FC HBA kits, and Agilent announces a dual-channel FC controller with error detection code.

MaXXan Cruises into SAN Management Space

MaXXan has launched storage management software designed from the ground up to simplify the management of storage networks. The SANCruiser system allows IT administrators to take complete control of their storage network and its services, and specifically allows users to monitor, configure, and maintain the MaXXan MXV320 Intelligent Application Switch and all of its integrated devices.

The software provides a variety of real-time displays for port configuration, network discovery, SAN topology maps, port configuration, alert notification, performance management, license management, environmental monitors, and more. Examples of activities that could be controlled through SANCruiser include the ability to monitor the temperature of a chassis in a remote location or quickly and easily upgrading firmware on all systems in a storage network.

“MaXXan is focused on enabling storage services to be integrated into enterprise storage networks. A critical component of this strategy is the ability to offer users a simple way to manage all of their storage network assets,” says Mike Witkowski, chief technology officer at MaXXan Systems. “SANCruiser is the industry’s first SAN management system designed to support an intelligent application switch and all its integrated devices with a complete set of features to automate daily tasks and gain better control of their services and infrastructure.”

The SANCruiser SAN management system is available now for shipment with the Intelligent Application Switch. List price for the switch and pre-installed software system is $14,900.


Quantum Steps Up to Second Generation Backup System

With the introduction of its second generation DX100 for high-speed data backup and restore and the recently announced “MAKO” PX720 tape library for archiving, Quantum is seeking to offer enterprise customers the ability to improve performance and reliability while lowering their costs of data protection. The DX100 improves on the capabilities of its predecessor, the DX30, and is designed to lower overall costs through more efficient use of media in a tape library, while also allowing the library to focus on archive operations for disaster recovery and regulatory compliance.

Starting at 8 TB, the DX100’s capacity can be expanded in scalable increments of 4 TB, up to 64 TB, while the system continues to be managed by the backup
software as a single tape library. With a state-of-the-art controller for data management and the flexibility to add up to 16 disk arrays, the DX100 can optimize backup and restore at rates of up to 2 TB/hour. In comparison, the first generation DX30 offers a maximum capacity of 3 TB and data transfer rates in the range of 288GB/hour.

The DX100 ships with high-availability hardware features, including redundant hot swap fans, power supplies, dual redundant Fibre Channel ports, and RAID protection. Added software benefits include operational management through SNMP, performance monitoring, and remote replication.

The DX100 is currently available through Quantum’s channel network of value-added resellers (VARs), with an MSRP starting at $105,000 for an 8 TB configuration. Pricing includes installation services and one year of on-site service and support.


MirrorStore Debuts as Key Component of StorageTek’s ILM Strategy

The data protection component of StorageTek’s Information Lifecycle Management strategy took another step forward this week with the unveiling of its MirrorStore replication appliance for local and remote data replication and mirroring. MirrorStore is designed to deliver advanced enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities, enhanced disk-to-disk backup, and centralized storage management and consolidation at a low total cost of ownership (TCO), according to StorageTek.

“MirrorStore plays a key role in StorageTek’s Information Lifecycle Management strategy by enabling customers to create a secondary copy of their critical information to protect it in the event of system failure or disaster,” says Pierre Cousin, StorageTek vice president and general manager, Online
Solutions. “Furthermore, they can leverage innovative disk technologies like BladeStore into their existing storage environments as a way of protecting more data online.”

The in-band, SAN-level replication appliance fits into enterprises’ open system computing environments to deliver high data availability and fast recovery from disasters and system failures. Additionally, MirrorStore works in tandem with StorageTek’s D-Series and B-Series BladeStore disk subsystems to provide cost-effective tiered storage and a robust disk-based data protection solution.

MirrorStore enables both synchronous and asynchronous mirroring, transaction-aware replication over Fibre Channel or IP networks, and point-in-time snapshot technology with volume rollbacks. With its Java-based console, MirrorStore leverages advanced virtualization technology to provide heterogeneous storage consolidation and highly centralized storage management to reduce costs and management complexity, according to StorageTek.


Isilon’s IQ Specializes in Storing Digital Content

Isilon Systems is first to market with a network storage system designed specifically for the exploding growth and unique storage requirements of digital content, such as video, audio, graphics, images, and other large files. The Isilon IQ was designed from the ground up for large files and combines intelligent software with Isilon’s OneFS distributed file system in a clustered, modular architecture based on industry standard hardware.

Unlike any other file system, OneFS combines three layers of traditional storage architectures – file system, volume manager, and RAID – into one layer, and creates a single, intelligent file system that is easy to manage and scale.

“As a high performance, enterprise class system, Isilon IQ combines incredibly simple management on the front end, with tremendous performance on the back end that is evident from the moment a customer plugs it in and turns it on,” says Steve Duplessie, Enterprise Storage Group founder and senior analyst. “At a time when disk-based storage costs are dramatically coming down and reference data usage is going up, Isilon has hit the epicenter of these trends with an impressive solution.”

Isilon also announced a roster of current customers that includes Paramount Digital Entertainment, Corbis, Digital FilmWorks, ResearchChannel, and the University of Washington Medical Center.

Each modular Isilon IQ node contains 1.44 TB of disk capacity in a self-contained 2U box, with a 3-node cluster bringing 4.3 TB of capacity, a 5-node cluster offering 7.2 TB of capacity, and a 10-node cluster delivering 14.4 TB of capacity. The network storage system is available immediately with entry prices starting at $49,950 for a complete system, including all software and hardware.


LSI Logic Launches Industry’s First PCI-X Fibre Channel Kits

LSI Logic Corporation has released what it claims is the industry’s first PCI-X Fibre Channel host bus adapter (HBA) kits. The LSI7102XP-LC single-channel and LSI7202XP-LC dual-channel 2Gb/s adapter card kits were announced at this week’s Storage Networking World conference in Orlando, Florida, and are now available from distribution partners.

“By bringing the industry’s first complete PCI-X Fibre Channel kits to market, LSI Logic is delivering a value-priced solution that makes it easy for small and medium businesses to deploy and maintain SANs,” says Joe Leader, senior director of worldwide channel marketing and business development, LSI Logic.

The kits are designed as “out of box” solutions containing everything necessary to quickly install the card and attach to an enclosure, hub, router, or switch. The single- and dual-channel adapter cards seamlessly support point-to-point, arbitrated loop, and switched fabric applications through automatic topology detection, and provide legacy support with automatic link speed detection.

The new PCI-X solutions build on LSI Logic’s portfolio of Serial ATA kit products, and the MegaRAID SCSI and SCSI Ultra320 kits with cables.

LSI Logic also introduced its MyStorage management software at the SNW conference. The software is designed to simplify SAN management and reduce SAN installation time. MyStorage users can control and configure any LSI Logic HBAs in their SAN network with just a few mouse clicks and can take advantage of advanced features that include remote management, multi-path management such as failover and load balancing, SNIA API v2.0 compliance, device persistence, and end-to-end diagnostics.


Agilent Stakes Claim to First FC Controller IC with Error Detection

Agilent Technologies Inc. has staked claim to the industry’s first 2 Gb/s dual-channel Fibre Channel controller with error detection code
(EDC) for early detection of data corruption in storage subsystems. EDC ensures end-to-end data integrity from the host server to the target storage devices, providing companies with increased reliability and safeguarding of valuable corporate data.

“The ever-increasing speeds in storage require more rigorous measures to preserve data integrity,” says Erik Ottem, marketing director of Agilent’s Storage Networking Division. “Being first to market with EDC in silicon is another significant milestone for Agilent, and well positions the new
Agilent Tachyon DX2+ chip with storage OEMs.”

The fifth-generation Agilent HPFC-5600 Tachyon DX2+ Fibre Channel controller offers industry-leading performance for storage subsystems, SCSI-to-Fibre Channel bridges, host bus adapters, and mid-to-high-end storage applications that use multi-processor systems. The controller supports dual-channel, full duplex Fibre Channel port operation, which saves valuable board space for system manufacturers. It features 1 Gb/s and 2 Gb/s operation, and provides backward compatibility to previous-generation Tachyon controllers.

The Agilent Tachyon controller IC is currently available in samples to select customers through Agilent’s direct sales channel. Volume production is expected in the first quarter of 2004, with pricing to be announced at that time.


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