NetApp founder Hitz on Flash, SAS and the cloud; Seagate drive reaches 2 TB

Headlines: NetApp founder Hitz on Flash, SAS and the cloud; Seagate drive reaches 2 TB

Storage channel news roundup for Jan. 28-Feb. 4, 2009

NetApp founder discusses Flash, SAS, cloud storage

As NetApp's "chief philosophy officer," part of Dave Hitz's job is to set goals and future directions for the company he founded with two partners in 1992. Following this month's publication of his book (with contributor Pat Walsh) about NetApp's evolution from startup to billion-dollar company, How to Castrate a Bull: Unexpected Lessons on Risk, Growth, and Success in Business, Hitz sat down to talk about where he sees the storage industry going.

SearchStorage: NetApp has taken a varied approach to Flash, where it's released solid-state disk (SSD) support as both an expansion of read cache, as well as a disk drive. I'm wondering how you see those two use cases playing out.

Dave Hitz: Flash is fascinating stuff. It's about 10 times more expensive than disk drives -- a lot cheaper than memory, though. It's 10 times more expensive than disk drives, but for random-access stuff about 100 times faster. Awesome bang for the buck for performance.

The tricky thing about Flash, though, is that it's so expensive; it's not appropriate for all storage for most applications. In a lot of applications, if it's a relatively small amount of data, it can be. We've seen that with iPods switching to Flash, and more and more PCs are switching to Flash -- I'm sure the next PC I buy or the next laptop will be all Flash. In the context of a large storage system, though, only a very high-performance, high cost database kind of app that really, really needs that performance would probably be worth paying that 10x cost for the whole amount of storage.

Read the rest of the interview here.

Seagate announces 2 TB enterprise disk drive

Seagate Technology today launched the industry's first 2 TB enterprise-class disk drive as part of a new family of nearline SAS and SATA drives that includes built-in spin-down features for power management.

The Constellation and Constellation ES models will replace Seagate's Barracuda ES enterprise drives. (Seagate will keep the Barracuda for desktop drives). Constellation drives are 2.5-inch small form factor (SFF) model SAS/SATA drives, with the first ones available in 160 GB and 500 GB capacities. Constellation ES 3.5-inch SAS/SATA drives will come in 500 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB capacities.

Seagate forecasts SAS drives eventually replacing Fibre Channel drives for high-performance applications and showing up in archiving systems.

Read about Seagate's recent bad news.

Sun adds midrange arrays to 'traditional' storage line

Sun Microsystems Inc. rolled out two new models in its Sun Storage 6000 series of "traditional" Fibre Channel (FC) disk arrays this week, despite a strong push over the last year to ramp up its Open Storage line of products.

The midrange systems, the Sun Storage 6780 and 6580, are based on LSI Corp.'s Engenio 7900 storage system, and will also be made available as heads that can repurpose existing Sun Storage 6000 capacity behind the 6780 and 6580 controllers. The Sun arrays support 4 Gbps FC and 1 Gigabit iSCSI connections to the host, but customers will be able to swap out or mix those interfaces with 8 Gbps FC or 10 Gbps iSCSI in the future. Both arrays support FC and SATA disks, as well as RAID 6.

Read about Sun's Open Access Channel Program for VARs selling the company's software.

NetApp discontinues SMB storage line

NetApp Inc. quietly notified users via its online support forums over the weekend that it will discontinue its S-family -- previously known as StoreVault -- entry-level storage products.

NetApp said it will continue to support S550 hardware through 2012 should users choose to keep the product. Customers can purchase up to three years of warranty and support extension. NetApp is also offering users of the S550 an upgrade program to FAS2020 entry-level configurations. The S550 replaced the S500 and S300 products a year ago.

Robert Miles, IT director for the Woodland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tenn., said it bothers him that the S500 is not included in the upgrade program although it is less than two years old. "The $6,500 I put into this product is a ton of money for my business," he said. "Now I feel like that's down the tubes."

Check out this Partner Program Directory on storage arrays.

Data Domain, Quantum increase deduplication sales

Despite a recession and increased competition, Data Domain Inc. had better-than-expected sales of its data deduplication backup systems last quarter. And Quantum continued its recent trend of increasing its disk sales while losing money on tape.

Data Domain reported revenue of $85 million for the quarter, while financial analysts expected $83.4 million. Data Domain claimed 383 new customers last quarter and 1,367 in 2008. Revenue for the quarter increased 90% over last year, while revenue of $274.1 million for the year was up 122% over 2007.

Quantum, for its part, reported $31 million in disk and software revenue, as CEO Rick Belluzzo said his company received a boost from its OEM deal with EMC and sales of a new DXi7500 Express midrange dedupe product. Quantum claims its dedupe technology is used to protect more than 400 PB of data, counting EMC sales.

Learn the five questions to ask in a data deduplication project.

Focus on storage efficiency as budgets shrink

Instead of adding raw storage capacity during tough economic times, storage shops are looking to take advantage of new features in their existing disk arrays.

Peter Fitch, IT planning and infrastructure manager at semiconductor testing company Rudolph Technologies Inc., based in Flanders, N.J., says the features he bundled in with the Compellent Technologies Inc. Storage Center SAN arrays first installed at four data center locations three years ago will cut down on expenses in this climate.

Among these features is Compellent's Data Progression, which automatically moves blocks of data among tiers of storage within the Storage Center Chassis. Fitch says this has allowed his company to save on expensive tier 1 Fibre Channel (FC) capacity. "We have only about 2 terabytes on tier 1 storage and most of our data -- 10.2 terabytes -- is on tier 3 SATA disk," he says. Some of that 2 TB FC capacity also includes free space, adds Fitch.

Read about using deduplication with tiered storage.

Barracuda to acquire Yosemite

As part of its expansion into the data backup and storage space, email security and archiving vendor Barracuda Networks Inc. disclosed Tuesday that it has snapped up Yosemite Technologies for an undisclosed amount.

Barracuda vice president of product management Stephen Pao said Barracuda will continue to sell Yosemite Backup and Yosemite FileKeeper data protection software, as well as integrate the IP into a cloud backup service.

Test yourself with our email archiving study guide.

Nexsan rolls out two-for-one deal on SAS drives

Nexsan recently announced The Value Advantage, a year-long channel sales program that includes quarterly promotions and special product bundles.

Nexsan customers that purchase its SASBeast or SASBoy by March 16 qualify for a free SAS drive for every two bought. And customers that buy SASBoy, SATABoy®, SASBeast or SATABeast® with at least 14 drives will qualify for a next-business-day onsite support deal.

Storage product news of the week

Catch up on all the e-discovery and compliance news coming out of the LegalTech trade show in New York. And find last week's storage channel news roundup here.

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