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EMC's Tucci hints at future storage products; storage industry makes a wish list for SSD

Headlines: It's time for Phase 2 of EMC's SSD product development, according to president and CEO Joe Tucci, along with federated search for compliance archiving; and industry experts and storage administrators say vendors could do more to drive adoption of SSD.

Storage channel news roundup for March 12-18, 2009

EMC CEO drops storage product hints at investors' forum

EMC Corp. president and CEO Joe Tucci dropped hints last week about what customers can expect from the vendor's storage product lines this year, including a second phase of solid-state drive (SSD) deployment and new federated search for compliance archiving.

Speaking at a Strategic Forum for Institutional Investors in Boston, Tucci identified SSDs as the top area of growing interest for the storage market.

"SSD-tuned arrays will totally change the storage game," he said. EMC added solid-state drive support over the last year to its Symmetrix, Clariion and Celerra disk arrays.

During his keynote talk, Tucci said, "We're going into phase two of this." While he didn't go into further details, industry sources said EMC will be looking to make its array controllers work better with SSDs by providing automated migration of data to and from the SSD tier.

Read up on how EMC partners have prepared for an IT spending slowdown.

Storage industry makes SSD wish list

Now that nearly every storage vendor supports solid-state drives (SSDs) in storage arrays, customers are looking for improvements that will spur widespread adoption.

If storage experts get their way, the next phase will include automated tiering and sub-logical unit number (LUN) allocation, support for more writes, higher capacity points, and better education and assessment of the appropriate data to put on SSDs. And customers would obviously like to see lower pricing for solid-state drives.

Industry experts expect more vendors to follow Compellent Technologies Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc. in offering automated management of solid-state capacity along with traditional hard drive capacity.

Storage product news of the week
Find last week's storage channel news roundup here.

"SSD looks a lot like dedicated cache in the way it is managed now," Nashua, N.H.-based Illuminata Inc. principal advisor John Webster wrote in an email to "Phase 2, I believe, will be automated tiering with more sophisticated data management in and out of the SSD tier than the caching algorithms that have been used for decades."

Some are leery of this concept, though.

Read the full story on an SSD wish list.

Sun flashes new NAND module

Sun Microsystems Inc. last week launched a module for holding NAND chips that looks more like a server memory module than a disk drive, and added support for small-form-factor (SFF) Intel Corp. solid-state drives (SSDs) across its server product lines.

Graham Lovell, senior director, open storage at Sun, described the new Open Flash Module as the basis for a new standardization effort at Sun that aims to push solid-state storage away from disk form factors. It consists of 24 GB of Flash chips attached to a small board with the same footprint and style as a small outline dual in-line memory module (SO-DIMM).

Read's report on how VARs are reacting to a possible takeover of Sun by IBM.

IT budget planning turns to virtualization, deduplication

As economic news worsens, storage professionals at shops of all sizes are carefully scrutinizing their existing IT budget plans, leaving some jobs vacant, and searching for even more savings as they head into Q2 and the rest of 2009. Technologies such as virtualization and deduplication are getting special attention for their long-term cost saving potential, according to several storage pros on the front lines.

The Rockville, Md.-based law firm of Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A., has been fortunate enough to avoid cuts in their 2009 IT budget, said network administrator Tim Smith. But when an IT staff member left recently, no one was hired to fill the position, said Smith.

The law firm also has the added budget pressure of preparing for a move, and the focus is now on emphasizing more cost-effective storage solutions.

"This past year, in 2008, we went with virtualization. The law firm as an entity is joining the green bandwagon," Smith said. "Virtualization has been a major effort in terms of cost cutting."

Read the full story on IT budget planning.

NASA to send lunar data to Nirvanix's cloud for disaster recovery

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) will launch into orbit around the moon this year to take high-resolution photographs of the lunar surface and beam them back to earth. From there, a triple set of storage architectures will process and protect the data, including a disaster recovery site hosted by cloud storage provider Nirvanix Inc.

Ernest Bowman-Cisneros, LROC Science Operations Center manager, said NASA expects about 30 GB of data per day to be sent through a satellite link to Arizona State University's (ASU) Fulton School of High Performance Computing. The lunar mission is scheduled to launch in May. Other spacecraft data will be sent to ASU from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, and NASA expects approximately 330 TB of data to accumulate on ASU's NetApp Inc. disk arrays during the processing phase.

Read the full story on NASA's use of Nirvanix's cloud.

Continuity Software adds proactive monitoring for disaster recovery

Continuity Software rolled out RecoverGuard 4.0, upgrading its disaster recovery (DR) monitoring and change management software by adding features to proactively identify devices added to a network and assess whether they're protected according to policy.

The new features in RecoverGuard 4.0 are high availability (HA) cluster verification, an availability advisor, an infrastructure change log, root cause analysis and proactive assets identification. Continuity added a service option last year through a component that sends reports to an engineer back at the vendor's site.

Check out our disaster recovery and business continuity topics page.

Texas Memory brings out PCIe-based solid state

Texas Memory Systems Inc. today introduced the RamSan-20, its first PCI Express (PCIe) solid-state disk (SSD) product.

Woody Hutsell, Texas Memory's president, said the RamSan-20 is "a complete storage system on a PCIe card." The drive is intended for use inside servers.

Texas Memory Systems already produces Fibre Channel-attached SSD drives for high-end systems, such as those used in currency conversion and credit card validation. Last month, NetApp certified Texas Memory Systems' RamSan-500 SSD with its V-series open storage system.

The RamSan-20 is a 450 GB drive that delivers 120,000 IOPS, and is the highest capacity, enterprise-class PCIe Flash card on the market today.

Mimosa adds SharePoint archiving

Mimosa Systems has expanded its NearPoint archiving and data protection software with a module for Microsoft SharePoint.

The SharePoint module works similarly to Mimosa's email and file archiving applications. It identifies files to be archived according to user-set policy, leaves stub files on the primary storage repository and migrates the data to the customer's archive. The software module can run on a grid of servers.

NearPoint for files, Exchange and SharePoint can be purchased and run separately or together through the same management console. Existing policies can also be applied to SharePoint items. Customers can manage multiple SharePoint farms through one NearPoint console.

Learn about deploying an email archiving system.

CA makes its SRM more virtualization-friendly

CA today upgraded its open-systems and mainframe storage resource management software, adding support for virtualized environments and a new interface for single-view management of both SRM applications.

Although they're separate applications, customers can manage CA Storage Resource Manager for open systems and CA Vantage SRM for mainframes from one console. The company said the products will remain on the same upgrade release cycle.

The biggest changes have come on the open-systems side, where CA has added support for VMware host virtualization and IBM SVC storage virtualization.

Find out how to predict data storage growth without the use of SRM tools.

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