News Analysis

Xiotech, Pillar scale down, support iSCSI

SearchStorage.com Editors
Weekly compilation of storage news

Xiotech, Pillar add entry-level boxes
Xiotech Corp., and Pillar Data Systems Inc., both makers of midrange arrays, announced new, scaled-down versions of their products for the SMB market, both of which also include iSCSI support.

The Xiotech Magnitude 750 is an IP SAN only box; a minimum 2 terabyte (TB) configuration with one controller and four SATA II drives is priced at $18,000. For a dual-controller configuration, the price is $28,000. The Magnitude 750 scales up to 12 TB in one box. The 750 is not upgradeable directly to the Magnitude 3000 if a user wants to scale up, according to Xiotech officials.

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Pillar, meanwhile, has introduced a smaller configuration of its modular storage system, which starts at $50,000 for 1.6 TB, and can be scaled into the midrange Axiom array, with the replacement of the controller and management software. Pillar also offers upgrade services for users looking to switch from an entry-level system to a midrange Axiom array. Pillar's new entry-level configuration options also include Fibre Channel (FC), iSCSI SAN or NAS connectivity, and SATA or FC storage.

Pillar also announced that the midrange Axiom, finally shipping with FC, will scale up to 380 TB at the high end, double the previous capacity ceiling. Other high-end features include the ability to dynamically change quality of service (QoS) levels for different types of data and a write once read many (WORM) file system. Previously, Pillar allowed different QoS levels for data, but that data's QoS level was fixed and some migration needed to be performed to change the service level.

Overland loses Dell deal, launches RAID array
Overland Storage Inc., announced it's jumping into the nearline storage market with new Ultamus RAID arrays, which include RAID-6 data protection as well as a feature called "Drive Alive" which puts off a full rebuild of the system if one disk or storage blade is removed from the array for routine swap-out purposes. The arrays come in two models -- the Ultamus RAID 1200 and the Ultamus RAID 5200. The 1200 houses up to 12 SATA drives and 6 TB of storage in a 2U enclosure, and the 5200 offers up to 52 SATA drives and 26 TB of storage in a 4U enclosure. The boxes each include 4 gigabits per second (Gbps) FC connections which use SAS connections to the SATA disks.

Overland also reported this week that Dell had terminated its supply agreement for automated tape libraries originally announced by Overland in November 2005. No products had yet shipped.

EMC, IBM report earnings
EMC Corp., announced that revenues were up for the third quarter, which it said was boosted by customer demand for the new Symmetrix and Clariion CX-3 systems, as well as the fact that inventory issues the company suffered in delivering those systems in the second quarter had been resolved. Total consolidated revenue for the third quarter of 2006 was a record $2.82 billion, 19% higher than the $2.37 billion reported for the third quarter of 2005. The September 2006 acquisitions of RSA Security and Network Intelligence, which form the foundation of EMC's new security division, contributed $37.8 million to EMC's third quarter 2006 revenue, according to an EMC release. However, despite the increase in revenue, EMC profits were down from $422 million last year to $284 million last quarter, and the company announced it will be laying off more than 1,200 employees in an effort to consolidate staff following 21 acquisitions made over the last three years. The acquisition spree will also be coming to an end from now on, according to EMC.

IBM, meanwhile, credited its own software acquisitions with higher third-quarter profits and revenues. Revenues in the third quarter rose to $22.6 billion from $21.5 billion a year earlier, when IBM recorded a $525 million tax charge related to the repatriation of overseas earnings. Excluding that charge, profits went up this past quarter 15%, from $1.52 billion a year ago to $2.22 billion this past quarter. Like EMC, IBM has been on a software acquisition spree over the last several years, having shelled out $11.4 billion on 50 acquisitions since 2003.

Powell Plant picks ExaGrid for backup
Powell Plant Farms, one of the nation's largest flowering plant producers, is using ExaGrid's disk-based backup product for 1 TB of data from 12 Windows-based servers containing its corporate data and critical information from SAP, eliminating tape in its environment and reducing its backup window from overnight to 30 minutes.

Breece Hill targets healthcare with Ultrarad
PACS and radiology system vendor UltraRad Corporation and storage vendor Breece Hill announced they have teamed up to market a backup, recovery and archive appliance to small and medium-sized medical organizations, as well as departments or remote sites of large health care operations. The product is based on Breece Hill's disk-to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T) iStoRA backup and recovery appliance and UltraRad's UltraArchive software that provides levels of service on either a fee-per-TB stored or a fee-per-procedure basis.

Texas Memory Systems intros entry-level solid state disk
Texas Memory Systems unveiled the RamSan-300 -- an entry-level solid state disk (SSD) platform intended as high-performance storage for databases. The new RamSan-300 solid state disk can sustain over 200,000 random IOs per second (IOPS) and 1.5 gigabytes per second of bandwidth. The RamSan-300's 16- to 32-gigabytes of DDR-RAM is designed to accelerate performance-critical log files and indices of large databases or store a small database. The system includes new RamSan firmware that supports up to 1,024 LUNs. The new system has a starting list price of $28,000.

Digital effects firm OEMs Xyratex
Xyratex Ltd., announced that Autodesk has integrated Xyratex's 4 Gb F5402E RAID storage subsystem, into its line of media and entertainment appliances. Products based on the Xyratex system include the Autodesk Lustre digital color grading system, Autodesk Inferno, Flame and Flint visual effects systems, Autodesk Fire and Smoke editing and finishing systems, and Autodesk Backdraft Conform media management and background input/output system.

NTP updates QFS for NAS
NTP Software announced Version 3.2 of its QFS file system software. The new software will feature faster processing (up to 15,000 IOPS) through performance optimization, as well as a feature for excluding unauthorized files on shared storage called Storage Firewall.

EVault updates management software
Backup and DR software vendor/outsourcer EVault, Inc., announced the general availability of new versions of its EVault InfoStage disk-to-disk backup software and EVault Reports managed services Web portal.

New server agents for InfoStage will now allow for user-defined dynamic bandwidth throttling, and file filtering and searching options and restoration from multiple points in time. EVault Reports will feature a simplified dashboard, centralized reporting features, including flexible filtering and output options, customization to present only the required reports to designated users, and the ability to automatically schedule and distribute reports in HTML or PDF via email.

BridgeHead integrates with Centera
BridgeHead Software announced it has completed integration between its HT Integrated Storage Management software platform (HT ISM) and EMC Centera CAS. HT ISM is a storage management platform that allows users to integrate storage management functions such as archive, backup and replication under one management console.

Permabit unveils new release of DIS
Long-term archive vendor Permabit, Inc., introduced Release 3 of its Dynamic Information Services (DIS) platform. Version 3 of the company's archiving software has been expanded to include a new Information Discovery service module that allows users to locate and retrieve information based on meta-data and content search, based on software from FAST Search and Transfer. The new version also includes capacity utilization and chargeback features that offer support for 'soft quotas' to ensure that staff is notified when a volume exceeds its expected capacity. The product will also now include support for Microsoft Active Directory-based authentication and access control for Windows environments as well as Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and Network Information Service (NIS) for Linux and UNIX environments, and remote access through secure Web portals.

SNIA and ARMA International announce alliance
The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) and Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA) International announced a formal alliance between the two organizations to cooperate on educational and technical programs. ARMA International and the SNIA's Data Management Forum have worked closely together for more than two years on events such as the first annual Enterprise Information World conference which took place in May 2006.


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