STEC CTO looks at the future of flash and solid-state drives
Solid-state drive (SSD) maker STEC Inc. made several announcements last week, including enterprise-class multi-level cell (MLC) drives. The vendor announced that OEMs shipping its drives in storage arrays are Compellent Technologies Inc., EMC Corp., Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co., Hitachi Data Systems, IBM and Sun Microsystems Inc.
In this Q&A with SearchStorage.com, STEC President and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Mark Moshayedi said he's hoping for more competitors in this space, as well as better market education of end users on the benefits of solid-state storage. He also reveals the company's top-selling customer and envisions a world beyond flash.
SearchStorage: Can you talk about what drove STEC to make MLC drives for the enterprise?
Moshayedi: Our [OEM] customers would like to see the high performance but a lower cost per gigabyte, about 40% lower than the SLC [single-level cell] equivalent. The performance of our drives is extremely good even with MLC, and the cost per GB becomes a key factor for deployment in read-intensive applications.
SearchStorage: Don't SLC drives also have slower write speeds?
Moshayedi: We can get pretty fast writes, up to 300 MBps, and up to 550 MBps reads, on our third-generation SLC product. That's much higher
Read the rest of this Q&A with STEC President and CTO Mark Moshayedi.
Will 2011 be the year of Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)?
Networking market research firm Dell'Oro Group Inc. predicts 2011 will be the tipping point when revenue from Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) storage devices outgrows Fibre Channel (FC) revenue.
In its bi-annual SAN 5-year Forecast Report, Dell'Oro Group adjusted predictions for FC sales downward from its January forecast. The new forecast calls for Fibre Channel revenue from switches and host bus adapters (HBAs) of $2.36 billion this year, $2.68 billion in 2010 and $2.86 billion in 2011. Previously, Dell'Oro Group saw revenue of $2.47 billion this year and $2.7 billion next year.
The FCoE forecast is for revenue of $77 million in 2009, $274 million in 2010 and $583 million in 2011. According to Dell'Oro Group projections, Fibre Channel over Ethernet revenue will grow approximately $300 million between 2010 and 2011 vs. a $180 million increase for Fibre Channel.
Read the rest of this story about FCoE adoption.
College finds early adoption of 10 Gigabit Ethernet iSCSI SAN a learning experience
As part of a $236 million building renovation project, Los Angeles Valley College became an early adopter of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) storage to improve performance and make its iSCSI storage-area network (SAN) easier to expand.
The renovations project started in 2003 at the community college's Valley Glen, Calif.-based campus and included approximately $2.3 million to build new data centers. The college tore down the library where the old data center was located and built redundant high-available data centers -- named Alpha and Omega -- for load balancing about a year ago.
The data centers are almost identical, according to Yefrem Kozin, manager of college information systems. The only difference is that all wide-area network (WAN) connectivity (routers, firewalls, etc.) runs from the Omega high-available data center. The only difference is that all wide-area network (WAN) connectivity (routers, firewalls, etc.) runs from the Omega high-available data center. Los Angeles Valley College uses two 10 GbE links between the data centers, and does three-way replication across the campus sites and to a remote disaster recovery (DR) site about 20 miles away in downtown Los Angeles.
Learn six reasons why your SMB customers need iSCSI SANs.
Data deduplication backup appliance market matures
As data deduplication becomes more common in data backup implementations, a slew of vendors have thrown their hat in the ring with Data Domain (recently acquired by EMC Corp.), the dedupe market's heavyweight.
Though the data deduplication market has matured quickly, "it's still the Wild West," in terms of widespread implementation, according to Arun Taneja, founder and consulting analyst at Taneja Group. And he said that because vendors haven't done apples-to-apples comparisons of their products, "there's a continuing mystery in the market about who does well under what circumstances. Everyone has places they do well and don't do well."
The data deduplication effect
"Deduplication is an effect, not even a technology," said Brian Biles, founder and vice president of product management at Data Domain. "There are lots of different ways you can do it, and a lot of them have varying side effects. A lot of key issues boil down to where it is the best fit."
Learn about how to use data deduplication for remote backup for your customers.
Dell shop switches EqualLogic SAN for 3PAR InServ F-Class disk array to meet performance needs
A Dell Inc. server customer has swapped out its Dell EqualLogic iSCSI storage-area network (SAN) hardware in favor of 3PAR Inc.'s InServ F-Class midsized disk array, claiming the 3PAR device system can better handle the performance requirements of the company's databases.
Gregory Thomas, vice president of IT at Florham Park, N.J.-based Managed Health Care Associates (MHA) Inc., said the health services organization had been using a Dell Equallogic PS5500X system since March 2008. MHA began evaluating expansion of that system in October 2008 when it entered a new line of business that would increase data growth. At the time, the company stored about 6 TB on EqualLogic and about 10 TB of database data on direct-attached storage (DAS). It currently has approximately 40 TB of storage.
Rather than managing a growing DAS farm, MHA looked at consolidating databases that were running on DAS. "We needed to get away from DAS," Thomas said.
Read the rest of the story on how a Dell shop dropped its EqualLogic SAN in favor of a 3PAR In-Serv F-Class array.
Consultant Toigo issues caveats on storage virtualization for disaster recovery
NEWTON, Mass. -- Although enterprise data storage administrators have pointed to server and storage virtualization as tools to make disaster recovery (DR) more affordable in the economic downturn, consultant Jon Toigo warns that virtualization can obscure visibility into the underlying infrastructure and possibly complicate recovery.
The CEO of Toigo Partners International spoke to users from the New England area attending the Storage Decisions Disaster Recovery Planning Seminar last week advised them to think carefully about the role of virtualization in disaster recovery plans.
"Some of the foibles we have in IT are being built right into products by joining proprietary software to proprietary storage controllers, locking the customer in," he said. "You should manage the software separately, in two different layers, or you risk obfuscating visibility into the underlying environment."
Toigo said some storage virtualization software avoids lock-in, such as the gateway version of DataCore's SANmelody and SANsymphony or FalconStor's Network Storage Server (NSS). However, FalconStor this week also introduced an integrated version of NSS, called the HC series, saying users want to simplify management.
STEC ships enterprise-ready MLC solid-state drives, but acknowledges tradeoffs
STEC Inc., a solid-state drive (SSD) supplier to several large storage OEMs, is expanding its product lineup with enterprise-ready multi-level cell (MLC) drives with capacities up to 800 GB for a lower price than the single-level cell (SLC) versions currently in use for most enterprise applications.
The MLC-based ZeusIOPS Solid State Drives are sampling to OEM customers and are expected to ship by the beginning of 2010. MLC SSDs use multiple layers of NAND to pack more data into the same physical area than SLC SSDs, which use one layer per cell.
Because NAND can endure a finite number of write/erase cycles, MLC devices tend to wear out more quickly.
Read the rest of this story on STEC's enterprise-ready MLC solid-state drives.
Rackspace launches cloud storage email archiving service
Rackspace Hosting Inc. is launching Rackspace Archiving, a new cloud-based email archiving service that will allow its hosted email customers to replicate message data into a cloud-based archive for quick recoveries and long-term retention.
Rackspace Archiving will copy all message data as it's created to two separate storage services for redundancy -- Rackspace's own Cloud Files and Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3). The service is available for Rackspace's Hosted Microsoft Exchange and Rackspace Email customers.
Kirk Averett, director of products in Rackspace's email and applications division, said the dual clouds are necessary "for customers concerned about having all their eggs in one basket." Cloud Files has redundancies, "but there are some folks regardless of what you tell them, [who] really want to make sure anything cloud based has full redundancy."
Read the rest of this story on Rackspace and cloud storage email archiving services.
Symantec announces free financing for 60 days
Symantec Corp. this week announced a financing deal for qualifying partners. Through Jan. 30, 2010, Registered- and Silver-level partners who've achieved Symantec's SMB Specialization status can defer payment for 60 days on select Symantec products. Financed through a partnership with GE Capital, the program's credit limit is $500,000. To submit an application, go to www.smbfinance.com.
Additional storage news
Check out last week's storage channel news roundup.