Enterprise Storage Snapshots - 2/20/04

Friday Feb 20th 2004 by Forrest Stroud
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This week's highlights: XIOtech seeks to simplify SANs, Marvell expands its SATA II offerings, LSI Logic launches its MegaRAID SATA II solution, and Unitrends unveils a 3TB DPU.

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 February: XIOtech seeks to simplify SANs with the debut of its entry-level Magnitude 3D Edge SAN, Marvell expands its SATA II family with new port multiplier and port selector offerings, LSI Logic launches its MegaRAID SATA II solution, and Unitrends unveils a 3TB Data Protection Unit.


XIOtech Seeks to Simplify SANs

XIOtech Corporation this week announced the debut of its Magnitude 3D Edge, an entry-level SAN solution specifically designed to meet the needs of enterprise departments, first-time small and medium-sized business (SMB) SAN buyers, and disaster resilience sites.

A long-standing barrier to storage area networks has been the cost of such systems, both in terms of initial purchase price as well as the cost to manage and maintain them. XIOtech is one of several companies seeking to capitalize on this by delivering simplified solutions that lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) for SANs.

"Magnitude 3D Edge eliminates the complexity and costs most first-time buyers associate with SANs," states Alain Andreoli, CEO of XIOtech. "Its dynamic simplicity and enterprise-class capabilities allow buyers to optimize their first storage investment and immediately begin to reap return on investment. As a customer's business data grows, Magnitude 3D expands to deliver enterprise-class SAN abilities, without business disruption."

The Eden Prairie, Minn.-based company's new solution offers simplified administration with dynamic provisioning for enabling businesses to easily reconfigure and upgrade storage while data remains online and available. Featuring the ability to scale from under 100GB to over 200TB without downtime or disruption, the solution also presents customers with a cost-effective way to scale to a full enterprise-class solution as business needs expand and evolve,

Additional features include enhanced resilience in the form of intra-controller failover, which enables server access to be automatically and transparently redirected between ports within the controller in the event of a component failure, and dynamic virtual linking, which enables simple server redirects to remote disaster resilience sites in the case of primary site outages.

The Magnitude 3D Edge will be available in Q1 2004 and will be sold exclusively through value-added resellers (VARs) participating in XIOtech's Dimensional Partner Program. Pricing for an entry-level configuration starts at less than $50,000.

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Marvell Expands SATA II Offerings

Seeking to capitalize on its leadership position by continuing to deliver next-generation enterprise storage features and performance, Marvell this week released a Serial ATA II 1:4 Port Multiplier and a SATA II Port Selector with advanced load-balancing capabilities that take advantage of newly added features and functionality in the SATA II spec. The new products join the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company's existing line of SATA II products, which includes 4- and 8-port host controllers.

"Marvell has extended its leadership in Serial ATA connectivity solutions once again by being the first to go to full production on Serial ATA II Port Multipliers and Port Selectors," states Balaji Baktha, Marvell's General Manager of Embedded and Emerging Business Unit. "These two technologies enable our storage and system OEM customers to build high-density, redundant storage systems for the enterprise and the home."

The products are designed to enable enterprise-class port expansion and port redundancy inside storage arrays, JBODs (Just a Bunch Of Disks), and servers. The port multiplier, which enables one active host connection to communicate with up to 4 Serial ATA I or II disk drives at speeds of 1.5Gbps or 3.0Gbps, is expected to find a home in home storage applications. It offers up to 1TB of storage expansion, roughly equivalent to more than 250,000 songs or over 1,000 full-length feature films.

The port selector makes it possible for two Serial ATA host ports to connect to the same disk drive, creating a redundant path to the drive, a capability imperative to high-availability, enterprise-class storage systems. The selector supports 3 modes of port selection control: side-band switch control, protocol-based switch control, and primitive-based switch control.

"The Serial ATA II Port Multiplier and Port Selector technologies not only provide the connectivity and redundancy capabilities necessary to address the needs of server and networked storage solutions, but also creates new opportunities for Serial ATA in consumer electronics and home media applications where cost-effective dense storage is required," says Knut Grimsrud, Chairman of the Serial ATA Working Group and Intel Senior Principal Engineer.

"With the introduction of new Serial ATA II products such as [these]," Grimsrud continues, "cost-effective Serial ATA-based storage solutions can deliver new capabilities and value to customers and creates the opportunity for exciting new applications of Serial ATA storage."

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Additional Briefs for 2/20/04 on Page 2:
LSI Logic Launches MegaRAID SATA II Solution
Unitrends Rolls Out 3TB Data Protection Unit

Additional Briefs for 2/20/04 on Page 1:
XIOtech Seeks to Simplify SANs
Marvell Expands SATA II Offerings


LSI Logic Launches MegaRAID SATA II Solution

LSI Logic Corporation launched the industry's first PCI-X-enabled, hardware-based, eight-port SATA II RAID solution at this past week's Intel Developer Forum Spring 2004 conference. The company's MegaRAID SATA 300-8X is a point-to-point, scalable PCI-X SATA II RAID controller that offers data transfer speeds of up to 300MB/s per port.

"Serial ATA II extends the performance and functionality of SATA, improving and extending its applicability in low-cost enterprise storage environments," says Phil Bullinger, vice president and general manager of the LSI Logic RAID Storage Adapters division. "Native Command Queuing, Enclosure Management, and Port Multiplier support are key new [SATA II] features that enable our customers to employ robust RAID solutions in a variety of cost-sensitive storage applications.

The MegaRAID SATA 300-8x also features the technology of the Intel IOP331 I/O processor and 128MB of embedded DDR 333 memory. The Intel IOP331 I/O processor integrates DDR memory and a PCI-X bridge, making it the first complete Intel XScale architecture-based I/O system on a chip (SoC).

LSI Logic's PCI-X MegaRAID SATA II products will offer advanced hardware-based RAID features essential to server environments. The MegaRAID SATA 300-8X solution will take full advantage of LSI Logic's MegaRAID software features, including RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 10, and 50; fast initialization for quick array setup; and auto resume during array rebuild or reconstruction if the system shuts down.

"LSI Logic MegaRAID solutions continue to set the standard for high-performance fault-tolerant data protection, and the MegaRAID SATA 300-8X builds on this with high data throughput, extensive fault tolerance capabilities, and advanced management utilities," says Bullinger. "The MegaRAID SATA 300-8X brings the full spectrum of SATA II features and capabilities to market, built upon the proven MegaRAID architecture and a complete suite of system and application support software."

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Unitrends Rolls Out 3TB Data Protection Unit

Unitrends Software Corp. this week announced the availability of its Data Protection Unit (DPU) 3000 appliance, a data protection device that offers three terabytes of local, disk-to-disk backup capacity. The DPU 3000 joins a family of DPUs designed to provide rapid file-level backup, restore, and bare metal recovery for more than 20 operating environments.

Unitrends Data Protection Unit

Unitrends Data Protection Unit

The DPU 3000 features 16 SATA drives (two arrays with 7 250GB disks in RAID 5 configuration and one additional drive assigned as a hot spare in each array), as well as four network ports that work in tandem with hardware- and driver-based load balancing and offer up to four GBs of network throughput. With its enhanced hardware redundancy, the large-capacity unit delivers the same functional and administrative benefits of existing DPUs, but is able to store larger quantities of data and bare metal images.

The DPU 3000 ships with preinstalled Unitrends Data Protection Software, which features bare metal functionality that enables an administrator to burn a single CD for use in recovering a variety of systems and operating environments. As with other DPUs in the Unitrends family, multiple DPU 3000s can be combined with Unitrends Secure Data Sync software for moving data across networks to a Data Protection Vault (DPV) that provides remote offsite disaster recovery.

"More customers are recognizing the performance and management advantages of disk-to-disk backup," states Jacques McCormack, Unitrends' president. "And they realize the need to protect all of their data and applications. This translates into higher storage capacity requirements for local data-protection solutions. The DPU 3000 answers our customers' demand for increased storage capacity."

Pricing for the DPU 3000 starts at an MSRP of $55,861. The units are available exclusively through Unitrends' network of authorized resellers. Additional Information is available on the Unitrends web site.

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