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EMC overhauls its archiving line; extended coverage from SNW

Headlines: The new EMC SourceOne family includes a replacement for EmailXtender email archiving system and beefed-up e-discovery tools, with integration of DiskXtender file archiving to follow; plus, primary storage reductions, DAS, SSD, FCoE making news at Storage Networking World.

Storage channel news roundup for April 2-8, 2009

EMC overhauls data archiving product line

EMC Corp. is overhauling its content management and archiving (CMA) product lines with the introduction of SourceOne, a group of archiving and e-discovery tools to manage data in multiple repositories.

The initial focus of SourceOne is primarily email archiving with the following products:

  • SourceOne Email Management, which replaces EmailXtender for email archiving;
  • SourceOne Discovery Manager, an add-on to the Email Management product that performs discovery and legal holds on email archives; and
  • SourceOne Discovery Collector, an appliance that automates data collection in multiple repositories for e-discovery purposes.

Entry pricing for 1,000 mailboxes on Email Management is $50,000. Each custodian requires an additional $30 license for Discovery Manager. EMC will also be making an open API available later this year so partners can add meta data for tagging in Discovery Manager.

Read our tip on gaining revenue from enterprise content management and e-discovery.

SNW: Primary storage data reduction takes center stage

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Primary storage capacity optimization is playing a prominent role at Storage Networking World (SNW) this week, with vendors launching products to deduplicate or compress data.

Data deduplication remains mostly a backup product, but has become a hot topic among storage administrators looking to manage rapid data growth in the face of shrinking or flat budgets.

Storwize Inc. is launching a new series of appliances designed to compress data for primary storage. Storwize claims its STN-6000i series and STN-OS v.3.6 will offer 35% better performance than its previous compression appliances, writing data at approximately 800 MBps. The entry-level STN-6300i is a 1U box with one quad-core 5410 CPU, 16 GB RAM and eight ports. The midrange STN-6500i is a 2U box with two quad-core 5410 CPUs, 32 GB RAM and 12 ports. The high-end STN-6800i is a 2U, dual quad-core 5440 CPU box with 48 GB RAM and 16 ports. Storwize has also added new software modules for reporting and management, including support for Active Directory authentication, SNMP and external syslog servers.

See additional company announcements from SNW.

SNW: DAS makes a comeback as alternative to SAN, NAS

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Discussion among attendees at Storage Networking World (SNW) this week has turned to a familiar topic -- direct-attached storage (DAS). Serial-attached SCSI (SAS) and application-based data protection features are making DAS more viable, while scale-out systems could bring an emergence of a new converged infrastructure.

During a panel discussion about 6 Gbps SAS on Monday, representatives from Dell Inc., IBM Corp. and LSI Corp. said they see a strong demand for DAS from their customers. This demand is fueled by the advent of speedy small-form-factor SAS drives that can help cut costs.

Jacob Farmer, chief technology officer at storage integrator Cambridge Computer Services Inc., said on the show floor Tuesday night that clients are reconsidering DAS.

"The question is why you went to networked storage in the first place," he said. "If it was for I/O performance, you could probably buy the performance you need by bringing storage closer to the server CPU."

Application features such as Microsoft Corp.'s Cluster Continuous Replication (CCR) also mean SANs aren't required for clusters or replication. "These things are re-enabling DAS in some cases, but they're few and far between," Farmer said. "Most people want disk storage managed externally."

Read the rest of the story on direct-attached storage.

SNW: Storage admins mull SSDs

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Administrators at Storage Networking World (SNW) say they're evaluating solid-state drives (SSDs), but are still sorting through the best deployment options and trying to come to terms with the high price of enterprise SSDs in a declining economy.

"We're usually bleeding edge on a lot of stuff but, on this one, we're sitting back and waiting." said John Fagg, manager of storage services at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City.

The hospital is evaluating products such as Fusion-io's ioDrive and NetApp's Performance Acceleration Module (PAM) mainly to support read-intensive Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) data and database logs.

Fagg said he's shied away from SSDs within the disk array. "Our [HDS] USP V arrays have a lot of cache in them anyway," he said. "There's still a benefit [to SSDs inside an array] but it could be even better if it's not behind a standard drive interface."

Read the full story from SNW.

SNW: Brocade rolls out FCoE switch, adapters

Brocade Communications Systems Inc. made its move into the converged networking space this week by launching its first Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) switch and converged network adapters (CNAs) at Storage Networking World in Orlando, Fla.

The Brocade 8000 is a top-of-rack FCoE switch with eight 8 Gbps FC and 24 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) ports, while the Brocade 1010/1020 CNAs are single- and dual-port adapters. Brocade claims the adapters are capable of 500,000 IOPS, but that remains to be seen in production. Brocade's Data Center Fabric Manager (DCFM) software, which is used to manage its FC switches, will support the FCoE devices.

FCoE lets data centers run Fibre Channel storage and Ethernet traffic over one network. FCoE devices will replace FC host bus adapters (HBAs) and Ethernet network interface cards (NICs), and eliminate the need for separate cabling for FC and Ethernet connectivity. But standards aren't yet set for FCoE or the enhanced Ethernet that will be required to support storage traffic, and no native FCoE storage arrays are on the market yet.

Read the rest of the story on Brocade's FCoE switch and adapters.

AmeriVault combines with disaster recovery service to become Venyu

Healthcare IT firm PHNS is combining two service providers it acquired last year into a single entity, called Venyu, which will start offering data backup and disaster recovery (DR) services to customers this week.

online backup service provider AmeriVault Corp. and data center disaster recovery managed service provider NTG were the companies picked up by PHNS. Former NTG CEO Scott Thompson, now the CEO of the combined entity, sat down with last week to talk about the strategy for the new business and how backup and disaster recovery services are combining in the cloud. Is this type of broadening of AmeriVault's data backup services to incorporate DR going to become necessary for other players in this market? And was this integration between the two companies planned before the acquisition or did it emerge as the two were integrated into PHNS?

Thompson: This was the plan prior to acquisition. We had already been doing these things just out of necessity. But I think the conversation for so long has only been about backup, and that's not really the conversation I think we need to be having. The conversation we need to be having is, what is your disaster recovery plan, period. And about the restorability of the data.

For instance, we don't do tape at all anymore. There's no tape in our environment. We won't do tape. We keep the customer's data at all times on spinning disk in diverse geographic locations. AmeriVault was partnered with Asigra. Is that still ongoing?

Thompson: It is. EVault and Asigra are our primary backup technologies. EVault was partnered with NTG. We're now offering that not so much as a product differentiator as we are selling backup and will apply the right technical solution to the problem.

Read the rest of the interview with PHNS CEO Scott Thompson.

Sepaton gets funding, looks to add replication, disaster recovery to deduplication

The smart money is on data deduplication these days, and virtual tape library (VTL) pioneer Sepaton Inc. just closed a $15.5 million funding round to help fuel growth of its VTLs with deduplication.

Sepaton CEO Mike Worhach said his company's sales spiked in the second half of last year after getting its DeltaStor software out following some delays. We spoke in depth with Worhach about Sepaton's plans following the funding round, and where he sees disk backup and data deduplication heading.

SearchDataBackup: How hard was it to raise funding this time around?

Worhach: Our round closed quickly. They say the best time to raise money is when you don't need it, and we just came off a strong second half. Our business doubled from the first half to the second half. People are starting to realize we have a differentiated architecture. We're happy to have Focus Ventures come on along with our other investors Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), Menlo Ventures, Valhalla Partners, and HarbourVest Partners all participated. Focus is a growth fund, they invest in late stage companies.

Read the rest of the interview with Sepaton CEO Mike Worhach.

Aptare widens SRM net to include VMware, NetApp replication

Aptare Inc. upgraded and expanded its StorageConsole storage resource management (SRM) suite last week, adding products to manage resources in VMware virtual server and NetApp replication environments.

StorageConsole 7.0 also includes Aptare's previous products, Backup Manager and Capacity Manager. Those products, along with the new Virtualization Manager and Replication Manager, can be managed through one console.

Virtualization Manager and Replication Manager each support only one vendor's software out of the gate, but Aptare CEO and president Rick Clark said they'll be expanded to work with more products.

Virtualization Manager lets customers determine the amount of storage capacity required for deploying virtual servers, as well as the amount of storage capacity available for that deployment. Like Aptare's Capacity Manager, the software interrogates the storage array through a Unix utility called "DF minus K" to assess the available space left on file systems. It then queries applications to find out how much space the application is actually using, compares the data and produces a capacity utilization number based on actual usage rather than allocation.

Aptare's Virtualization Manager has a list price of $1,495 per physical virtual machine (VM) server.

For more on this story, download a podcast of our interview with Aptare CEO and President Rick Clark about how the company has grown in recent months.

Brocade names partners of the year

Brocade Communications recently announced its partner of the year award winners, distinguishing three resellers in the United States. Cleveland-based Agilysys took the SAN reseller designation, SolidIT won the IP reseller designation, and Washington, D.C.-based ViON was named federal reseller of the year.

Rebit signs on with D&H Distributing

Backup vendor Rebit, based in Longmont, Colo., announced this week that its products will be distributed by D&H Distributing. D&H will distribute Rebit's small-business-centric appliances and software to resellers and systems integrators in the United States and Canada.

Rebit appliances plug directly into a PC's USB port, providing CDP protection of data, as well as applications, user settings and the operating systems. The company recently introduced a CD version that enables any USB drive to be used as a Rebit appliance; as well as a multi-PC version that protects up to six computers with a single appliance.

Storage product news of the week

Check out last week's storage channel news roundup here.

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