Enterprise Storage Snapshots – 2/6/04

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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 week of February: QLogic ships the industry’s first stackable Fibre Channel switches, ADIC doubles the disk cache for its AMASS for UNIX archive software, Vormetric’s CoreGuard Data Security System secure Oracle database environments, and Absolute Analysis announces its new Explorer and Excursion series of serial bus and storage/network analyzers.

QLogic Ships First Stackable FC Switches Featuring 10G Technology

Taking a cue from the IP networking world, QLogic Corp. is seeking to provide storage customers with the combination of a lower cost of entry and scalability to high port-count configurations by offering the industry’s first stackable switches. The firm’s SANbox 5200 family of switches is designed to deliver the scalability and performance of a modular switch in a pay-as-you-grow solution. The switches are also the first from the Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based company to feature 10 Gigabit (10Gb) Fibre Channel technology.

“The stackable IP switch has proven to be the most popular type of Ethernet switch because of its scalability and ease of use,” says George Lyon, senior
systems administrator, State of Oregon. “Finally, it’s possible to set up Fibre Channel storage networks with the same approach. The SANbox 5200 is a simple, affordable solution designed to grow with our business as our storage needs evolve.”

Each switch features sixteen 1Gb/2Gb ports and four high-speed 10Gb inter-switch link (ISL) ports, all in a 1U full-width rack form-factor. The SANbox 5200 switches also offer complete stack management from a single application as well as the ability to scale up to 64 ports (in 4, 8, 12, or 16-port increments) without losing a single port to ISLs.

The switches are interoperable with popular servers, storage, and networking products from major manufacturers, including ADIC, Brocade, Cisco, Computer Associates, Dell, EMC, Emulex, HDS, HP, IBM, LSI Logic, McDATA, Microsoft, Quantum, StorageTek, Sun, and VERITAS.

QLogic this week also announced the launch of its “10Gb Ready” partner solution verification program, a program designed to increase visibility and momentum for next-generation SAN solutions leveraging 10 Gigabit Fibre Channel technology, which delivers up to six times the bandwidth of current 2Gb Fibre Channel products.

In addition to promoting industry adoption of 10Gb Fibre Channel, QLogic has been active in promoting 4Gb Fibre Channel and plans to launch a 4Gb Ready program as 4Gb solutions are brought to market.

The SANbox 5200 switches are currently available to resellers via QLogic authorized distributors worldwide, with an MSRP of $5795 for an 8-port configuration. Additional information on the SANbox 5200 switch is available from the QLogic web site.


ADIC’s AMASS for UNIX Software Double-Sizes Its Disk Cache

Advanced Digital Information Corporation (ADIC) has released an update for its archive software solution, AMASS for UNIX. AMASS is designed to offer a cost-effective way for enterprises to create archives with disk-level performance using removable media such as tape, optical disks, or DVDs. The software delivers disk-level performance, according to ADIC, through its use of a multi-terabyte cache that buffers any delays associated with retrieving and loading the removable media.

With the new release, v5.3.3, the size of the supported disk cache in AMASS has doubled from two terabytes to four terabytes, enabling customers to provide higher-performance read and write access for larger data sets. The update also offers newly supported technologies such as ADIC Scalar i2000 tape
libraries, IBM LTO-2 and StorageTek 9840C tape drives, and Panasonic SW-9571 Multi-Drive DVD systems.

Operating system and library control software upgrade support now includes SGI IRIX 6.5.19m and 6.5.20m, StorageTek ACSLS version 6.1.1, ADIC AML server 3.12, and ADIC Scalar Distributed Library Controller (SDLC) version 2.4. Overall, AMASS supports more than 100 different libraries and 15 drive types.

“With the expanded disk cache in version 5.3.3, we’ve focused on extending the primary benefits of AMASS — giving general-purpose applications the
scalability, cost, and security advantages of removable media — to larger data sets and more active archiving systems,” says Bill Yaman, vice president, ADIC Software. “We’re also continuing to improve device and platform support so that AMASS keeps addressing the widest range of enterprise storage requirements.”

AMASS for UNIX 5.3.3 is currently available from ADIC reseller partners. Additional information and a complete list of AMASS features are available from the ADIC website.


Additional Briefs for 2/6/04 on Page 2:

Vormetric’s CoreGuard Looks to Secure Oracle Databases

Excursion Analyzers from Absolute Analysis Receive 4G FC Support

Additional Briefs for 2/6/04 on Page 1:

QLogic Ships First Stackable FC Switches Featuring 10G Technology

ADIC’s AMASS for UNIX Software Double-Sizes Its Disk Cache

Vormetric’s CoreGuard Looks to Secure Oracle Databases

Vormetric has added support for the Oracle platform environment to its CoreGuard Data Security System. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company’s flagship product secures data from the inside out by ensuring host and application integrity and by protecting the principal target of attack: stored data.

Specifically, the CoreGuard system will now provide transparent, high-speed encryption of live databases for Oracle customers, protect against the exploitation of vulnerabilities in host environments, and offer operating system context-aware control of data accesses.

“We are pleased to have Oracle’s support and recognition as part of Oracle PartnerNetwork. We are also excited to be able to offer enterprises a comprehensive solution for securing sensitive digital assets and improving IT system auditability,” states Bill Schroeder, president & CEO of Vormetric.

Vormetric says its CoreGuard 2.0 security system is designed to address security threats that cannot be addressed solely by perimeter security, such as unauthorized use of data, theft of proprietary information, worms and viruses, denial of service, and insider abuse of network access.

In working to prevent theft of sensitive information, CoreGuard helps enterprises pass stringent system audit requirements for data integrity that may now be required under regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Pricing for CoreGuard systems starts at $39,500 per appliance, with a minimum footprint of two CoreGuard appliances in a high-availability pair and Policy Enforcement Modules (PEMs) for each server that needs to access protected data targets. Additional servers can be brought into an existing core security domain for $1,500 to $2,500 per server (exact pricing depends on the amount of CPUs per server and the operating system). Additional information is available from the Vormetric Web site.


Excursion Analyzers from Absolute Analysis Receive 4G FC Support

Absolute Analysis is expanding its Investigator line of serial bus and storage/network analyzers with the addition of two new series. The Excursion series will add support for the 4 Gigabit (4Gb) Fibre Channel protocol, while the Explorer series will offer support for multiple serial bus protocols on each blade, including support for 1Gb/2Gb Fibre Channel, Gigabit Ethernet with iSCSI, and Serial FPDP (Front Port Data Port) bus protocols.

The architecture for both the Excursion and Explorer series continues Absolute’s ‘never miss bit’ philosophy by providing hardware needed to capture data, at full line rate, through sophisticated filters and triggers utilizing the company’s Investigator software. The software includes Absolute’s Analysis Link Tester module, while a module that provides Traffic Generation, a Protocol Editor, and a remote access software package are available as add-on options.

The Explorer and Excursions series will be available in a variety of form-factors, including field portable, rack-mount (1U and 4U depending on blade count), and PC desktops. The Newbury Park, Calif.-based company also offers a specific 1394a/b PCI blade for those needing 1394a/b capabilities.

Shipping of the Explorer and Excursion series will begin in March, with pricing based on a per protocol, per blade basis. Additional information is available from the Absolute Analysis website.


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