Storage channel news roundup for Feb. 11-Feb. 18, 2009
IBM unleashes updates for DS8000, XIV, deduplication and cloud
IBM Corp. has floated a raft of product updates
Storage product updates include adding support for SATA, solid-state drives (SSDs) and drive encryption on the DS8000 disk array; new ProtecTier data deduplication appliances; a 27 TB entry-level configuration for the XIV Storage System; and a preview of a new online backup option for Tivoli.
IBM will join competitors, including EMC Corp., in supporting Fibre Channel (FC)-attached SSDs from STEC Inc. on the DS8000 enterprise system. DB2 for z/OS has also been updated to automatically place more active database tables on solid-state disks. New analytics features are planned later this year for Tivoli Total Storage Productivity Center 4.1, which will assist non-z/OS customers in identifying "hot spots" where SSDs might help performance.
The DS8000 now supports up to 1 TB SATA drives attached to the DS8000 through an FC-SATA bridge.
Read the full story and get details on the other announcements the company made at Pulse 20009.
Sun jumbles key management picture
Sun Microsystems Inc. has released an open-source protocol for enterprise encryption key management, a week after a consortium led by other major vendors submitted a standards protocol to the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS).
Sun's protocol has been part of its self-encrypting tape drives for more than a year. Company executives say their protocol is more advanced than the specification submitted to OASIS by a group led by EMC Corp./RSA, Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp. and Thales Group. A Sun spokesperson described the OASIS submission as a "low-level binary protocol for communication, rather than [the] more advanced XML solution used in the latest OASIS and current IEEE 1619.3 discussions."
Get details on the key management proposal from HP, IBM and EMC.
Hewlett-Packard releases first LeftHand iSCSI SAN products
Hewlett-Packard Co. is rolling out a SAS Starter SAN, the first new iSCSI SAN system from its $360 million acquisition of LeftHand Networks Inc. last year.
HP's plan for LeftHand is to sell its SAN/iQ software exclusively with HP server hardware. The SAS Starter SAN comes in a two-node configuration based on the HP ProLiant DL185 server chassis with 4.8 TB of 15,000 rpm SAS disk drives for approximately $35,000.
In addition, HP has bumped up the LeftHand SATA Starter SAN starting configuration from 9 TB capacity to 12 TB.
Get the channel's take on HP's acquisition of LeftHand.
City of Pittsburgh rolls out VMware disaster recovery
Virtualizing servers and connecting them between primary and secondary data centers turned out to be the only affordable way for the City of Pittsburgh to offer multisite disaster recovery (DR) last year. However, the city's network analysts said integrating VMware's Site Recovery Manager (SRM) with its Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co. EVA6000 arrays was harder than anticipated.
The city's servers have been about 80% virtualized since the summer of 2007, estimated the city's network analyst Alex Musicante. But it wasn't until last December when SRM was integrated with HP's replication software that Pittsburgh could implement a disaster recovery plan.
Read the full story on SearchDisasterRecovery.com.
Mellanox builds bridge to consolidation
Mellanox Technologies Ltd. today rolled out another alternative for data center consolidation, a gateway that lets organizations run Fibre Channel (FC), Ethernet and InfiniBand on one network.
The BridgeX gateway connects Ethernet or InfiniBand switches to Ethernet or FC networks. Mellanox sells InfiniBand switches, silicon and host bus connectors (HBCs), and last year began diversifying its product platform to provide one fabric to connect the entire data center.
BridgeX supports the Virtual Protocol Interconnect (VPI) technology that Mellanox launched last year for its ConnectX host adapters that support InfiniBand, Ethernet and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). VPI supports port auto-sensing of the fabric, and configures the adapter to the correct mode.
The BridgeX gateway comes as Brocade, Cisco Systems Inc. and other network connectivity vendors are putting together an ecosystem for FCoE to consolidate storage-area networks (SANs) and local-area networks (LANs).
Get advice for helping customers choose among iSCSI, FCoE and InfiniBand for storage networking.
Survey: Indian channel partners cautiously optimistic
Access Markets International, based in New York, released results of a survey this week showing that channel partners in India are "cautiously optimistic about their revenue growth," despite a down economy in that country. SMB-focused solution providers who responded to the survey said they expect to grow by 12-13% in 2009, while enterprise-focused solution providers expect 17% revenue growth this year.
The survey also showed that profit margins from hardware products have dropped from 29% last year to 20% this year. But margins on IT services have risen, from 12% to 14%.
Read SearchITChannel.com's report on the economic meltdown in India.
MSP chooses AppAssure's Replay tool for Exchange backup
Apptix, a managed service provider based in Herndon, Va., has settled on AppAssure's Replay AppImage software to protect the 200,000 Exchange mailboxes it supports, AppAssure said this week.
AppAssure said Apptix chose the tool because the increasing number of Exchange mailboxes it supports was burdening its backup processes. Apptix found a way to cut backup times and improve recovery assurance with Replay AppImage, said AppAssure.
"With Replay AppImage we now do backups every 15 to 30 minutes and we can restore mailboxes and messages on the fly, said Jose Uribe, vice president of engineering and operations at Apptix. "That process used to take hours. With Replay, it takes minutes."
Read up on using snapshots vs. CDP for Exchange data protection.