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No end to Seagate's bad news; Cisco, Brocade expand data center connectivity lines

Headlines: No end to Seagate's bad news; Cisco, Brocade expand data center connectivity lines

Storage channel news roundup for Jan. 21-28, 2009

Seagate's new CEO faces declining sales, faulty drives

The bad news keeps coming for disk drive maker Seagate Technology LLC.

Last week, Seagate reported revenue from last quarter of $2.27 billion, which was at the bottom of its revised outlook and a decrease of more than $1 billion from last year. It also lost $496 million, far more than expected. The earnings report follows a string of news in recent weeks of management changes, layoffs, wage freezes and product failures.

While new CEO Steve Luczo said he's confident Seagate will eventually turn its fortunes around, he painted a gloomy picture through the middle of 2010.

"Macro-economic trends are worse than what anyone expected even just a few months ago," he said on the company's earnings call.

Read about Seagate's recent announcement of 3.5-inch 15,000-rpm drives.

Brocade, Cisco expand data center platforms

Brocade and Cisco Systems Inc. rolled out additions to their data center connectivity platforms this week. Brocade brought out a smaller version of its DCX Backbone director, while Cisco launched a larger Nexus switch.

The Brocade DCX-4S Backbone is a 192-port version of the 384-port 8 Gbps DCX Backbone that Brocade launched a year ago. The DCX-4S has four blade slots vs. the original DCX device's eight slots. The 4S can be used as a smaller core backbone, implemented as an edge switch to complement the bigger DCX, or used as a router to move data between fabrics.

The new Cisco Nexus 7018 is an 18-slot chassis that supports 512 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 768 1 gig Ethernet ports. The Nexus 7010, launched last year, holds up to 256 10 Gig or 384 1 gig Ethernet ports. The Nexus isn't a Fibre Channel device, but is the central piece of Cisco's FCoE strategy.

Check out's resources on network infrastructure.

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

Quantum gives DXi7500 deduplication system a tuneup

Quantum Corp. this week expanded capacity of the DXi7500 data deduplication disk backup box and upgraded the software to make for more granular replication and better application integration.

Quantum added support for 1 TB SATA drives -- the previous high was 750 GB -- to bring the maximum capacity for the DXi7500 to 220 TB. Quantum is now supporting double-parity RAID 6 technology to better protect the larger drives.

On the software side, Quantum added features to further improve its replication, as well as support for Symantec OpenStorage API (OST) and Oracle RMAN, application-specific integration with tape drives, expanded command-line scripting and enhanced network and port management capabilities.

Get more deduplication resources in this data deduplication cheat sheet.

Nexsan offers SAS, SATA spin-down in one box

Nexsan Technologies Inc. is offering its first disk array with support for both SAS and SATA drives with the SASBeast, which started shipping this week.

In addition to tiered storage in a box, the product includes policy-based drive spin-down and new chassis designs meant to improve power, cooling and space efficiency.

Bob Woolery, Nexsan's senior vice president of marketing, says the market is shifting in response to pressure on capital expenditures this quarter and the global economic downturn still unfolding. "A year or two ago, brand recognition and reputation were a priority [in storage purchasing], but now customers are looking for value first, and quick return on investment," says Woolery.

Learn about the five top issues to consider when migrating customers to mixed SAS and SATA storage systems.

Hifn offers NIC with compression and encryption

Hifn Inc. will ship a new network interface card (NIC) with compression and data encryption capabilities to secure data being replicated to disaster recovery (DR) sites or to cloud storage.

Hifn claims the Express DR 4100 Gigabit Ethernet NIC can compress and encrypt data on two Gigabit Ethernet ports at line speed in a single pass. OEMs or service providers can insert the NIC into industry-standard servers on either side of an Ethernet connection, says Mike Goldgof, Hifn's vice president of product marketing. "It's just a 'bump in the wire' and doesn't require special integration," he says.

Read about using thin replication for disaster recovery.

CommVault sharpens focus on virtual server backup

CommVault Systems Inc. rolled out Simpana 8 today, adding block-level data deduplication for disk and tape and improved management of virtual machine backups.

Along with the long-awaited block-level dedupe, Simpana 8 introduces a single client for VMware ESX server and Microsoft's Hyper-V, which can be deployed at the host level rather than requiring a client on each guest.

Simpana 7 introduced file-level single instancing, but customers have called for block-level data deduplication in the backup application. Simpana 8 introduces global deduplication based at the Simpana host, so the deduplication can cut down on the amount of data written to disk and sent over the network. Simpana 8's dedupe works similarly to EMC Corp.'s Avamar and Symantec Corp.'s PureDisk.

The global deduplication with Simpana 8 also extends to tape, making it the first product of its kind to allow for writes to physical tape libraries without requiring reinflation of deduplicated data. "That's very appealing," said Paul Spotts, system engineer for Geisinger Health, a network of hospitals and clinics in central Pennsylvania.

Find virtual machine backup best practices in this story.

ProStor lands HP vet to run archiving business

ProStor Systems Inc. switched CEOs last week, naming Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co. veteran Frank Harbist to replace founder Steve Georgis as the removable disk startup seeks to expand its systems business.

Georgis will stay on to run the Boulder, Colo.-based startup's OEM-focused RDX business, which is sold by Dell Inc., HP, IBM Corp. and others. Harbist will concentrate on the InfiniVault archiving system, which consists of RDX removable disk along with internal disk cache and software that migrates data between the two tiers.

Check out details of ProStor's partner program.

Channel Chat: Can there be true White House mobile device security?

President Barack Obama may have won the battle to keep his BlackBerry, but security issues could still plague mobile devices used in the administration. In this edition of Channel Chat, former White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin discusses whether the so-called "ObamaBerry" will be secure enough to be the nation's first PDA-in-chief.

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