Weekly compilation of storage news: Symantec unveils Storage Foundation 5.0

Symantec announces Storage Foundation for Windows 5.0, which adds multipathing and testing features; it also preannounced an earnings drop on disappointing Veritas sales.

Weekly compilation of storage news:

Symantec debuts Storage Foundation 5.0; earnings slip
Symantec Corp. announced Veritas Storage Foundation 5.0 High Availability (HA) for Windows, which adds new support for multipathing that will be released as a standard feature of Windows Vista later this year, and a feature analysts are praising called Fire Drill, which allows for nondisruptive failover testing in the Storage Foundation environment.

"Ease of use and clicks-to-install is getting warn out" in product differentiations, said Greg Schulz, founder and analyst with the StorageIO Group. The Fire Drill feature, he said, goes further toward ease of use by allowing nondisruptive "what if" testing in the environment. "I think you're going to see a lot of 'me toos' after this -- more vendors are going to want to get on the bandwagon," Schulz said.

EMC, NetApp execs debate future of iSCSI

IBM adds more FC, DAS products; dithers on iSCSI

EqualLogic CEO says IPO on the way

Brocade migration tool does the trick for EMC user

Also new to this release is Veritas Storage Foundation Basic for Windows, a free version of Storage Foundation for Windows, which includes Dynamic Multipathing (DMP) and runs on physical and virtual servers with system configurations that do not exceed four volumes or two physical processors in a single physical system.

The software will also include a new set of configuration wizards that make setup faster and allow administrators to use a GUI to schedule point-in-time copies when using the FlashSnap Option. The software also now includes dynamic optimization of storage volumes and load-balancing algorithms that work across heterogeneous storage arrays.

Meanwhile, however, Symantec preannounced this week that it expects its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2006 to miss targets, and CEO John Thompson said publicly that the problem can be attributed to disappointing sales from the Veritas data center management software group.

Analysts say Symantec needs to get its product lines and the messaging around them straight; the company has a boatload of often overlapping products, many with intricate interdependencies. "I think they're wrestling with the challenge of getting their message out," Schulz said. "They need to get everything under one umbrella and continue to build out their capabilities while integrating things further."

Symantec will hold a formal earnings call Jan. 24. Symantec stocks plummeted just over 13% between closing Friday and opening Wednesday on the heels of Thomas' statements.

Seagate introduces tiny, fast SAS drive
Seagate Technology introduced the Savvio 15K drive, a new 15K rpm addition to the Savvio line of 2.5-inch SAS enterprise drive solutions. Seagate said that the Savvio 15K drive was recently validated as the world's fastest drive within the latest HP ProLiant servers in benchmark testing.

Sun touts NAS customers, adds NAS box
Sun Microsystems Inc. announced that the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the National Archive Publishing Co. (NAPC) have selected Sun StorageTek NAS appliances to host file data. At Caltech, the Center for Advanced Computing Research (CACR) heads up computational science and engineering research; NAPC specializes in preservation, custom publishing and other academic services.

Sun also announced the Sun StorageTek 5220 NAS appliance, an entry-level network attached storage (NAS) appliance for departments, workgroups or remote offices in large enterprises. The StorageTek 5220 NAS appliance offers optional remote data mirroring among StorageTek 5000 NAS appliances, includes iSCSI target support and starts at $28,990 (U.S. list price) for a 2 terabyte (TB) configuration.

Law firms deploy Riverbed
Riverbed Technology Inc. announced that two law firms, Pepper Hamilton LLP and Loeb & Loeb LLP, as well as Electronic Evidence Discovery Inc., an electronic discovery services company, have deployed Riverbed's Steelhead wide-area data services (WDS) appliances.

Interstate Hotels and Resorts upgrades Sepaton
Sepaton Inc. announced that one of the nation's largest independent hotel management companies, Interstate Hotels and Resorts has deployed the S2100-ES2 virtual tape library (VTL) to replace the previous version of Sepaton's product, the S2100-DS. Interstate uses EMC's Legato backup software to back up Network Appliancefilers onto the Sepaton VTL.

Permabit offers grid storage
Permabit Inc. announced the availability of Permabit Dynamic Information Grid, which combines Permabit's Dynamic Information Services content-addressed storage (CAS) software and grid storage. A grid design eliminates major data migration as the system is expanded, automates load balancing and automates deduplication. The system will be integrated and distributed by Avnet Computing Systems (ACS).

Scentric announces Enterprise Classification Suites 
Scentric announced the availability of Scentric Destiny Enterprise Suites for Data Privacy, e-Discovery and Compliance. Each suite combines preconfigured software that has also been revised to manage more data. The product packages, which also include a year's maintenance in the licensing price of $80,000, start with the ability to classify 25 TB of data and are then sold in increments for 50 TB, 100 TB and 150 TB. The three packages are the Enterprise Suite for Data Privacy, which can automatically flag, migrate, delete or restrict access to information classified as containing personally sensitive information. The Enterprise Suite for e-Discovery preclassifies data for possible future litigation purposes. The Compliance Suite combines both the Data Privacy and e-Discovery products and adds 20 templates preconfigured to correspond with major corporate regulations including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). A 150 TB Compliance Suite would start at $250,000, according to the company.


Hitachi to resell Onaro
Continuing a strategy of partnering for new business that began with the recent announcement of an OEM deal with BlueArc, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) announced that it will resell Onaro Inc.'s SANscreen storage management software. Under the terms of the agreement, HDS will market, sell and provide first-level support for HDS' SANscreen customers. HDS is already a member of Onaro's recently launched Service Connections program and will use Onaro's SANscreen Service Connect application program interface (API) to provide information to its Hitachi HiCommandSuite Software.


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