Enterprise Storage Snapshots – 11/21/03

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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 third week of November: Nexsan’s ATABeast brings home ‘Best of Comdex’ Award,
IntraDyn reinforces its RocketVault line of DR appliances, Plasmon introduces Ultra Density Optical (UDO) technology and a line of UDO drives and media, Breece Hill’s Information Storage and Retrieval Architecture (iStoRA) debuts, and 3ware previews its new Escalade SATA Controllers with Multi-lane Connectors.

The Beast Brings Home ‘Best of Comdex’ Award

Nexsan’s ATABeast enterprise disk array took home this year’s Best of Comdex Award in the “Enterprise Hardware” category. Nexsan has now taken the top storage award two out of the last three years, with its InfiniSAN disk-to-disk backup storage solution taking top honors in 2001.

ATABeast is an enterprise-class RAID array that features redundant, hot swappable, high-speed ATA disk drives with a high density per square inch — 10.5 drives per U to be exact, or 3.15TB per U, using 300GB drives.

“We don’t design and develop the most innovative storage devices on the market today simply for award recognition,” says Brendan Kinkade, Vice President of Marketing at Nexsan. “However, we are overjoyed to have won this award two out of the past three years.”

“This award validates what our global customer base already knows,” continues Kinkade, “that the technological innovation of Nexsan products directly address business needs at a common sense price point.”


IntraDdyn Reinforces RocketVault Line

IntraDyn Inc. has added two new standalone archive, backup, compliance, and disaster-recovery appliances to its RocketVault line. The company claims its new RocketVault appliances are the first single, purpose-built, self-contained units to offer archiving, backup, and lifecycle management.

Designed to address pressing concerns about regulatory compliance and secure protection of mission-critical business data, the RocketVault products back up data on the local area network (LAN) and store it locally and remotely — all automatically. RocketVault customers have a choice of backup and archiving technologies, including pre-encryption of local and remote data, in addition to standard encrypted transmission, so that mission-critical data can easily and safely be sent to other company sites or to any off-site storage location.

The new SMB-targeted rack-mountable RocketVault 1U and 2U models utilize serial ATA (SATA) disk-to disk (D2D) RAID 5 backup and archiving technology, and feature from 640 gigabytes up to 4 terabytes of local archive storage. The appliances will back up desktops, laptops, servers, popular databases, mail servers, and open files on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X environments.

“RocketVault is the first appliance I’ve seen that offers sophisticated archiving capabilities like schedule load balancing, lifecycle management, and the storage of encrypted files on both its internal disk drives and at a remote site,” says Mike Karp, Senior Enterprise Storage Analyst, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA). “Its automation of the backup and archiving processes provides improved reliability and reduced staff costs.”

RocketVault pricing starts at $1,495 for the RocketVault Mini 240, which has 240 gigabytes of local archive capacity. Pricing for the 1U and 2U units starts at $4,995 and $10,995 each, respectively.


Plasmon Launches UDO Technology and Drives

Plasmon this week used Comdex as a stage for unveiling its new line of Ultra Density Optical (UDO) drives and media for secure archival storage. Available in both Write Once and Rewritable media formats, UDO is being touted by Plasmon as “the new professional optical storage standard” and the successor to 5.25 inch MO (Magneto Optical) technology.

Featuring blue laser recording rather than the red lasers used in MO and DVD optical drives, UDO can achieve greater data densities, resulting in dramatically higher media capacities. First generation UDO products will have a capacity of 30GB, with a roadmap that scales to 120GB by the third generation. The densities achieved through blue lasers allow UDO to be priced at $2.00/GB in the first generation — one-fifth the price of MO media.

“The need for archiving is being accelerated by increased regulation and litigation, as well as the growing perceived value of long-term knowledge assets,” says Steve Duplessie, Founder and Senior Analyst at the Enterprise Storage Group. “UDO provides an excellent archival storage alternative.”

“Professional optical technology has always featured excellent durability and good random access, and UDO now addresses the cost equation,” continues Duplessie. “I see tremendous opportunity for this technology in the health care, financial services, and government markets, and any markets where the need for rock-solid, long-term storage continues to grow.”

UDO media is packaged in an ISO standard 5.25 inch cartridge, allowing UDO and MO media to be supported in the same libraries, and reducing the cost of existing media migration. Support for both 30GB UDO and 9.1GB Magneto Optical (MO) media in the new G-series libraries reduces the need for media migration.

The Entry Level G-series libraries have one or two drives, 24 or 32 disk slots, and fully populated UDO storage capacities ranging from 720GB to just under 1TB. The Midrange G-series libraries scale from two to four drives and are available in 72 and 80 slot configurations with UDO storage capacities up to 2.4TB. Entry Level library list prices start at $7,935, and pricing for the Midrange library starts at $20,000.


Breece Hill Partners with Avail on iStoRA Platform

Breece Hill has partnered with Avail Solutions on its new Information Storage and Retrieval Architecture (iStoRA), a disk-to-disk-to-removable storage platform for small and medium-sized business (SMB) customers. The iStoRA product line will feature Avail Integrity software and is designed to combine the best features of both removable storage and NAS technology in delivering a complete and easy-to-use data protection and archiving solution for SMBs.

Breece Hill claims its iStoRA is the first platform to offer seamless integration of hardware and software that provides SMBs with enterprise-level replication, backup, migration, and individual file recovery utilizing disk, tape, and other removable media.

“Our customers are demanding an affordable integrated approach to information storage that reduces complexity and costs of management while meeting increasingly complex business and regulatory requirements for data protection and retention,” says Phil Pascarelli, President of Breece Hill, LLC. “Avail’s Integrity software is a powerful key ingredient in our integrated Disk-to-Disk-to-Tape (D2D2T) and Disk-to-Disk-to-Removable storage platforms.”

“There is a tremendous value in seamless integration of disk, removable storage, network connectivity, and storage management software. Breece Hill is taking a market-leading approach in bringing this level of integration and functionality to the SMB sector. I believe this approach will be very well received,” comments storage industy analyst Fred Moore of Horison Information Strategies.

The iStoRA product line will be available through Breece Hill’s exclusive network of domestic and international Value Added Resellers and Integrators.


3ware Previews New Escalade SATA Controllers with Multi-lane Connectors

3ware, Inc. showcased its new multi-lane controllers for internal Serial ATA (SATA) RAID systems at this week’s Super Computing conference in Phoenix, Ariz. The 3ware Escalade 8506 Series Multi-lane Internal (MI) controllers are based on the company’s innovative StorSwitch architecture, which applies network packet switching to storage.

The Escalade multi-lane boards feature an integrated connector system that combines four SATA ports into a single connection on the controller side and a single connector on a backplane. Using InfiniBand 4x (10Gpbs) cables with the 3ware 12-port Escalade 8506-12MI reduces the number of cables typically required from 12 to three and from eight to two on the Escalade 8506-8MI 8-port card, dramatically increasing the reliability of the complete storage solution, according to 3ware. The connector also features a locking mechanism to ensure a strong connection between the board and the cable, making it suitable for industrial environments.

“As the installed base of Serial ATA RAID systems rapidly grows, customers have become more vocal about their needs for streamlined cabling and high reliability SATA storage solutions. This is especially true in high port count environments such as supercomputing and bulk storage,” states Barbara Murphy, VP of Marketing for 3ware.

“The new Escalade Multi-lane controllers are evidence that 3ware continues to be first-to-market with innovative solutions that drive Serial ATA technology advancements to meet the expanding storage needs of IT professionals as well as VARs and system integrators,” concludes Murphy.

The 3ware SATA controllers and chassis with new backplanes will be readily available in volume quantities by January 2004.


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