EMC polishes Celerra arrays; Brocade sees slowdown in convergence demand (news roundup)

Headlines: EMC boosts multiprotocol arrays in its Celerra line with file-level data reduction, integration with VMware's SRM; Brocade sees demand for convergence slowing

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Storage channel news roundup for Feb. 19-24, 2009

EMC adds file-level single instancing, Flash to Celerra

The multiprotocol arrays in EMC Corp.'s Celerra line were refreshed this week as expected, with a new series of larger systems featuring file-level data reduction, integration with VMware Inc.'s disaster recovery (DR) application and support for Flash drives.

The Celerra NS-120, NS-480 and NS-960 will replace the previous NS series models, and the new systems include built-in single instancing through code port from EMC Avamar and RecoverPoint.

The new NS series arrays are ready for integration with a new feature coming soon for VMware's Site Recovery Manager (SRM). The new SRM will offer automated failback, as well as failover for disaster recovery and business continuity purposes. EMC said Celerra's replication has been certified to work with the automated failback process by letting VMware's vCenter Server execute replication operations through the array.

Like the Clariion CX4 and DMX before it, the new NS series will support 73 GB and 146 GB Flash drives. Flash drives will begin shipping for the new NS arrays when they become available this week, the company said.

Find out how to explain deduplication rates and single-instance storage to customers.

Brocade sees slowdown in convergence demand

Brocade executives say their acquisition of Ethernet vendor Foundry Networks hasn't changed the vendor's timeline for delivering converged network products.

Brocade has been less bullish over the timing of the implementation of convergence technologies such as enhanced Ethernet and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) than its main rival Cisco. And while other vendors such as Emulex and Mellanox are talking about cost savings pushing up the adoption of converged networks, Brocade sees shrinking budgets due to current economic conditions delaying their implementation.

During Brodcade's earnings conference call Thursday, CEO Mike Klayko said FCoE will cost twice as much as traditional Fibre Channel products in the near term.

Check out our Tech Watch on Fibre Channel over Ethernet.

Iron Mountain opens file archiving service

Other storage channel news
Find last week's storage channel news roundup here.

Iron Mountain Digital rolled out a new cloud storage offering this week with a service called Virtual File Store (VFS).

VFS combines an on-premise server and portable hard drives with storage as a service (SaaS) over the wide-area network (WAN). Customers send data to an Iron Mountain cloud data center by pointing file servers or applications at the on-premise device. Encrypted portable hard drives, which Iron Mountain calls "data shuttles," are used for seeding the first data to the cloud or for large restores.

VFS is similar to Iron Mountain's LiveVault or Connected Backup online backup services, but those services include software that crawls the user environment looking for incremental changes to data. With VFS, customers determine what data is inactive and send it in whole files to the storage device, the company said.

Read up on four possible cloud storage services offerings.

Storage industry debates standardized cloud API

As interest around the cloud grows, industry experts are debating whether or not to establish a standard application programming interface (API) for sending data to and from cloud service providers.

Proponents of drafting a standard now say it will boost customer adoption to the cloud. Opponents say attempts to standardize an "on ramp" to the cloud this early might stifle innovation.

People on both sides made their point during a Cloud Storage Summit held by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) in January. Sajai Krishnan, CEO of cloud storage startup ParaScale Inc., said the prospect was raised of basing a potential standard on Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3) API, which Krishnan said offers advances in the use of the HTTP to write and retrieve data over a network.

Read the whole cloud API story.

StorMagic goes virtual with iSCSI SAN for VMware

StorMagic today launched its first virtual storage appliance, the StorMagic SvSAN, designed to help small businesses create iSCSI SANs using VMware ESX server disk and attached external arrays.

A number of vendors sell virtual storage software appliances that run on VMware's ESX server, letting customers take advantage of VMware features such as VMotion without an external SAN.

StorMagic's SvSAN goes beyond that by running as a VM inside of VMware and integrating with VMware's vCenter to let administrators manage the iSCSI SAN and internal RAID controller from inside VMware.

Get advice for choosing among NAS, Fibre Channel or iSCSI SANs.

Study shows tech spending outlook better at small companies

A recent survey of IT professionals by Millward Brown, Research International and Lightspeed Research shows that most small businesses are "cautiously optimistic" and making fewer cuts in tech spending compared with larger companies.

The survey, which was fielded on the business-oriented social network LinkedIn, had 450 respondents across industries in the United States and United Kingdom. It showed that IT professionals at smaller companies are more likely than big companies to expect an increase in technology spending in the next 12 months (37% compared with 26% for enterprises).

In addition, 75% of small-business respondents said that finding new ways to maximize the benefits of the Internet was one of their top three challenges; only 27% and 13% of respondents from midsized and large companies, respectively, listed that as a top-three challenge.

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