SNW: First Take

We've sifted through the horde of releases for this week's tradeshow in San Diego

April 16, 2007

14 Min Read
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SAN DIEGO -- Storage Networking World -- It will be tough to nail down specific themes at this week's Storage Networking World tradeshow thanks to the sheer number and range of announcements slated for the show. While some of these releases are less about news than noisemaking, we've scanned the initial pack and picked some highlights. Of course, we expect more to come, and we'll be on hand to keep you posted.

Dot Hill is offering a new version of its 2730 RAID platform based on a new processor that improves performance by over 40 percent, the vendor claims. The 2730 Turbo is set for use at the "high end of the entry level," competing against EMC's AX150, IBM's DS3000, and HP's MSA1500.

ONStor has added global namespace to the latest version of its Pantera clustered NAS systems and Bobcat gateways. The vendor, which brought out its own clustered NAS last year, now supports the management of policies for replication across not only its own file systems but those of Windows-based file servers in a network. (See ONStor Launches Into GNS and ONStor Adds Its Own Back End.)

Isilon has revealed three new customers, in a release that's meant to showcase its emphasis on the digital broadcasting and entertainment vertical market. The trio includes NBC Universal, XM Satellite Radio, and Discovery Communications. A gleeful Brett Goodwin, VP of marketing at Isilon, plans to shuttle between Las Vegas and San Diego to hobnob at both SNW and the NAB2007 broadcasting show. (See Storage Players 'Nab' Broadcasters.) Isilon will also reveal a slew of new partners in a separate release.

EqualLogic will launch a NAS gateway based on Windows Storage Server that is optimized for use with its iSCSI SANs. The point is to follow the trend toward integrating Windows file services with block-level storage.In that vein, Fujitsu will announce NAS connectivity for its Eternus storage systems. (See Fujitsu Adds New Eternus.) Launched last year, the Eternus 4000 and 8000 devices were initially sold as SAN appliances, though the vendor is now adding NAS to the mix. The new NAS gateway fits into the Eternus rack. "This will enable both file and block-level data access so that customers can consolidate all kinds of data onto the Eternus systems," says Nori Kondo, Fujitsu's vice president of product marketing.

Fujitsu's NAS gateway is an OEM'd version of NetApp's V-Series product. Available now, it costs around $160,000. (See NetApp Releases Platforms.) Fujitsu is not the first vendor to go down this road -- last year IBM began selling NetApps V3000 gateways as the IBM System Storage N5000 Series Gateway. (See IBM Swings NetApp Gateway, IBM Adds NetApp, and NetApp Promotes SATA.)

In other NAS news, Verari will unveil the latest version of its VB5150 storage system this week, as it looks to tap into growing demand for low-cost storage drives. (See LSI Lassos SiliconStor, SATA-IO Delivers Features, and Emulex Locks Onto SAS.) The vendor will unveil its VB1056S disk blade, which contains two more SATA drives than it 10-drive predecessor, the VM1055S.

Verari has also enhanced the storage controller used to push data around the system, which it claims can now deliver up to 38 percent higher throughput. (See Verari Delivers Blade Clusters and Verari Intros VB5150.) Pricing for the VB1056S, which will be available within the next 60 days, starts at $1 per Gbyte, according to Eric Seidman, Verari's storage systems manager.

SMB Storage

Intel will take the wraps off storage/server combo designed specifically for SMBs today. The rack-mounted device, which goes by the catchy title of SSR212MC2 (kudos to the Intel marketing team on that one) offers up to two Xeon processors. "We expect most of our partners and OEMs will rebrand it with their own name," says Scott Peiffer, director of Intel's storage solutions marketing. (Thankfullly, we say.)The device contains up to 14 SAS or SATA drives, offering a maximum capacity of 3.6 Tbytes and 9 Tybtes, respectively. A number of storage specialists have already agreed to support the device, including FalconStor, with its IPstor SAN software and VTL, Microsoft, with its Windows Storage Server, and Wasabi Systems with its StorageBuilder iSCSI target software.

The server is aimed at the channel, although Intel is playing its cards close to its chest on which partners have signed up. "We have OEMs lined up in each geography around the world," says Peiffer, adding that some partners, including MPC Computers, Patriot Technologies, and MaxData have already signed up to OEM the product.

Built around a two rack-unit chassis from Xyratex, the SSR212MC2, which will be available in May, is priced at $2,800 without a RAID controller. A version containing an Intel RAID controller is priced at $3,600.

To Page Two

IBM will unveil pre-packaged hardware bundles for its recently launched DS3000 controller family. The first offering consists of the DS3200 single SAS controller, a SAS HBA and a 3-meter SAS cable. This will be priced at less than $4,200, according to Harold Pike, who heads up product marketing for IBM's entry and midrange storage systems.The second package includes a dual SAS controller, two SAS HBAs and two 3 meter cables. This will be priced at around $6,250.

IBM will also be unveiling pre-packaged bundles of its DS3400 Fibre Channel controller for SAN environments. These consist of a single controller with two 4-Gbit/s SFP transceivers and two 5-meter fiber cables, priced at around $5,900. A dual controller bundle with four transceivers and cables, priced at around $8,750, will also be announced.

IBM's Pike told Byte and Switch that the bundles have been introduced in an effort to bypass the storage skills shortfall in many SMBs. "On average, [SMBs] have pretty good networking skills and server skills, but because they haven't deployed a lot of storage, they may lack skills in that," he says.

The vendor is likely to extend this strategy to other parts of its product portfolio over the coming months. "We will also be looking at putting bundles together with our software, such as Tivoli Storage Manager," says Pike.

Rival vendor HP will be focusing on storage management for SMBs this week, just days after reshuffling its StorageWorks division in an attempt to appeal to smaller businesses. (See HP Thinks Small and HP Intros All-in-One for SMBs.)Today, for example, the vendor will launch its Standard Edition Storage Resource Manager (SRM) software, a stripped-down version of the Enterprise SRM offering that was launched back in 2005. "We feel that there's quite a lot of untapped opportunity in the SMB market," says John Kelly, marketing manager for HP's Storage Essentials products, adding that the vendor's EVA, in particular, is gaining traction.

Unlike the heterogeneous Enterprise offering, which was originally developed by AppIQ, the standard edition can only manage HP storage. The scaled down version also lacks the provisioning capabilities of its predecessor, although it can be used for managing NAS and file systems.

Pricing for the Standard Edition, which will be available in June, will start at around $37,000, depending on the number of Fibre Channel ports and applications to be managed, compared to around $50,000 for the Enterprise Edition.

The Standard Edition of SRM is also the first product to emerge from HP's newly-created Enterprise Storage and Server (ESS) Software business unit. (See HP Reshuffles More Software and HP Creates New Biz Unit.)

Startup Siafu Software is also looking to tap into SMB spending with the launch of an iSCSI SAN/NAS device at SNW. Thankfully avoiding the alphanumeric nomenclature that blights the storage industry, the Swarm 100 appliance offers between 1 and 3 Tbytes of raw capacity.The 1 rack-unit high device is available now, priced at $3,995.

Another vendor focusing on SMBs this week is Iomega, which will be demonstrating its recently launched 450R NAS device. (See Iomega Unveils 450R.)


Decru will announce a firmware upgrade for its DataFort and Lifetime Key Management appliances later this week. This will enable users to manage multiple devices from a single GUI, according to Michelle Borovac, Decru's director of marketing. (See ISCorp Picks Decru, Decru, Sepaton Team, and Quantum, Decru Hook Up.) "We have some large customers that have deployments across 30 countries -- they are in a position where they may not have local security expertise to manage policies for the appliances," she says.

The firmware, which is called SecureView, is available now. Decru has not revealed specific pricing, although Borovac confirmed that the firmware will be priced based on the number of devices being managed.

To Page ThreeArchiving
EMC will unveil enhanced versions of its DiskXtender and EmailXtender archiving products this week, in an attempt to give end-users more control over their own archiving and better Microsoft integration. (See Legato Intros Latest DiskXtender, EMC Vows More for Infoscape, and EMC Pounds ILM Pulpit.)

A feature called "user-driven archiving" has been added to EmailXtender, which is up against Symantec's Enterprise Vault products. (See Symantec Upgrades Mail Archive and Symantec Certifies Plasmon.) The idea here is that administrators and selected users can drag and drop specific messages to specially created archiving folders within EmailXtender. "You may allocate a three-year retention requirement [to emails relating to a certain project], so the admin can push that folder out to the people that are working on the project," says Kelly Ferguson, EMC's senior product marketing manager.

This could be particularly relevant in Europe, according to Ferguson. "With privacy considerations, you can't automatically archive messages in some European countries," she says. "Germany, for example, is very strict on ownership of emails belonging to individuals."

EMC is also introducing a feature called "Archive Monitoring" to EmailXtender, which tracks emails from the message server right through the archive.

On the DiskXtender side, the vendor has added the ability to build an index of Windows file system data based on file metadata or specific keywords in the text. This could be, for example, words such as "confidential" or "private." In previous versions of the product, it was only possible to search based on file attributes such as ownership, the date the document was created, and when it was modified. This feature is priced at $12,000, in addition to the $5,699 DiskXtender fee.Pricing for the enhanced version of EmailXtender ranges from $36 to $45, depending on the number of mailboxes. The latest version of DiskXtender is available immediately, with the enhanced EmailXtender available in mid-May.

Software vendor Arkeia will offer a sneak preview of its yet-to-be-launched EdgeFort appliance at SNW. EdgeFort, which is Arkeia's first hardware product, contains disk-to-disk-to-tape software, a VTL, and encryption. Dave Elliott, Arkeia's vice president of marketing, told Byte and Switch that the EdgeFort devices are aimed squarely at remote offices. "With this architecture, you don't need anyone locally to install or manage the backup software, or manage the daily backups," he says.

The 1U EdgeFort 100 is intended for disk-based backup, whereas the 2U EdgeFort 200 contains both disk and tape. Both devices will be available later in Q2, with pricing for the 100 likely to be below $3,000 and the 200 priced somewhere between $6,000 and $8,000.

Elsewhere, Kazeon will announce that Largo, Maryland-based Bartron Medical Imaging has deployed its Information Server 1S1200-ECS for archiving medical images.

Startup Mimosa is expected to reveal a handful of customers this week, one of which is the City of Chula Vista in California, which is using the vendor's Nearpoint product for legal discovery and mailbox management.In partnering news, archiving specialist Zantaz will join the HDS partner program for ISVs today.


Symantec is one of a number of vendors retelling their backup stories in San Diego this week. On Tuesday, the vendor will announce a series of enhancements to its Backup Exec product line centered on systems management, email, and virtualization.

Specifically, the vendor has beefed up its Backup Exec System Recovery software, adding support for quad core servers, centralized management of agents across hundreds of systems, and the ability to recover individual emails from specific folders. "Before, you would have had to restore the whole Exchange database server and recover that one file," explains Steve Fairbanks, Symantec's director of product management.

With System Discovery 7.0, Symantec has also added support for VMware's ESX Server and Microsoft's Virtual Server. (See VMware Eyes Enterprise, Microsoft and Microsoft Makes Virtualization Play.) According to Fairbanks, this could prove useful for testing backups. "Let's say you wanted to do testing, but didn't want to tie up physical servers -- now you can test in a virtual environment and go back to a physical environment," he says.

Pricing for Backup Exec Systems Recovery 7.0, which will be available later this month, starts at $1,095 per server, the same as the earlier version of the product. There is a price premium for other upgrades. The centralized management feature, for example, costs an additional $1,495 for up to 500 servers. Exchange Retrieve, the ability to recover individual emails, costs $995 per Exchange server.To Page Four

Startup StorServer is also adding to its virtualization story this week with news that its Business Continuity appliances now support VMware's consolidated backup software, which manages backups across virtual machines. StorServer is now selling a pre-packaged bundle consisting of its own appliances and the VMware software, which will start at around $20,000, depending on the amount of storage and the number of VMware servers to be backed up.

StorServer's vice president of product development Laura Buckley told Byte and Switch that the deal was prompted by a desire to simplify users' VMware deployments. "It removes the need for customers to have individual backup client agents on each virtual machine," she says, adding that the StorServer device now performs the backups.

Elsewhere, backup specialist WysDM will announce that Double-Take is OEM'ing its software for managing and monitoring its backups. (See WysDM Enhances Software and WysDM Shows Off.) This follows similar deals between WysDM and EMC, Copan, and Avamar (which was acquired by EMC last November). (See WysDM Announces Partnership, WysDM Builds Channel , EMC Acquires Avamar, and EMC Picks Up Avamar.)

Data Domain will also announce today that the San Francisco Giants baseball team has deployed its DD430 appliance for local disk backup.Tape & VTL

Overland will unveil its ARCVault 48 tape device this week, a 38-Tbyte backup appliance for SMBs. The system uses LTO 3 tape drives and offers both SCSI and native Fibre Channel interfaces. It fills out the high-end of the vendor's ARCVault family.

Prior to this, Overland's largest ARCVault offering was the ARCVault 24 device, which held 19.2 Tbytes. (See Overland Ships ARCvaults and Overland Looks for Rebound.) "This is for users that are typically backing up 7 to 10 Tbytes a week in Windows or Unix environments," says Perri Grover, Overland's director of product management.

Pricing for the ARCVault 48, which is available now, starts at $13,500.

Xyratex will demonstrate its recently launched F5404E RAID system at SNW this week. The 36-Tbyte device supports four 4-Gbit/s Fibre Channel host connections and is being touted as a way for users to add additional storage to their VTL deployments. (See Xyratex Intros F5404E.)

Overland already has an agreement to integrate the RAID system's predecessor, the F5402E, with its ULTAMUS 1200 product and is expected to follow a similar course with the F5404E. (See Overland, Xyratex in OEM Deal and Overland Chooses Xyratex.)Today, FalconStor will announce a reseller relationship with compression and security specialist Hifn to provide hardware compression on the vendor's VTL products. Camberley Bates, FalconStor's chief marketing officer, told Byte and Switch that this will reduce the amount of storage needed for backups by 50 percent without impacting the backup performance.

Dell is also expected to announce new tape drives and media later this week. These are likely to focus on security, capacity, and performance enhancements, and follow the vendor's recent overhaul of its midrange tape library products.

Hifn's PCI-X bus, which will fit into FalconStor's VTL appliances, will be available next month, priced at $6,000. FalconStor is also expected to make other partner announcements this week.

— James Rogers, Senior Editor, and Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch

  • Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD)

  • AppIQ Inc.

  • Arkeia Corp.

  • Avamar Technologies Inc.

  • Copan Systems Inc.

  • Data Domain Inc. (Nasdaq: DDUP)

  • Decru Inc.

  • Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL)

  • EqualLogic Inc.

  • Dot Hill Systems Corp. (Nasdaq: HILL)

  • Double-Take Software Inc. (Nasdaq: DBTK)

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • FalconStor Software Inc. (Nasdaq: FALC)

  • Fujitsu Ltd. (Tokyo: 6702; London: FUJ; OTC: FJTSY)

  • Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)

  • Hifn Inc. (Nasdaq: HIFN)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

  • Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)

  • Iomega Corp. (NYSE: IOM)

  • Isilon Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ISLN)

  • Kazeon Inc.

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

  • Mimosa Systems Inc.

  • MPC Computers

  • Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP)

  • Overland Storage Inc. (Nasdaq: OVRL)

  • Siafu Software LLC

  • StorServer Inc.

  • Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC)

  • Verari Systems Inc.

  • VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW)

  • Wasabi Systems Inc.

  • WysDM Software Inc.

  • Xyratex Ltd. (Nasdaq: XRTX)

  • Zantaz Inc.

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