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Hitachi expands thin provisioning; DataDirect challenges EMC in the cloud

Headlines: Hitachi's thin provisioning now supports midrange disk arrays, an HDS Storage Reclamation Service feature and a new Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning assessment service; DataDirect claims its Web Object Scaler (WOS) object-based scale-out cloud data storage system for Web 2.0 data centers is faster than EMC's Atmos product.

Storage channel news roundup for June 18-24, 2009

Hitachi expands thin provisioning with Storage Reclamation Service and Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning

As enterprises concentrate on improving storage utilization in a down economy, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) Corp. is sprucing up its Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning software and offering a new thin provisioning Storage Reclamation Service assessment service in an effort to reach cost-conscious users.

The new HDS Storage Reclamation Service (SRS) can provide a quick sampling of a handful of a customer's hosts and their attached storage at no charge, or customers can choose a more comprehensive assessment of how much storage can be freed up in the environment by using Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning (HDP) software.

Read this Channel Explained on thin provisioning.

DataDirect's Web Object Scaler (WOS) challenges EMC's Atmos in the cloud

DataDirect Networks Inc. is bringing out an object-based scale-out cloud data storage system called the Web Object Scaler (WOS) to challenge EMC Corp.'s Atmos, and vie for the attention of Web 2.0 data centers.

WOS, in beta now and expected to be generally available in the third quarter, is the latest step in DataDirect's strategy to move beyond the niche of high-performance computing (HPC). Like EMC Corp.'s Atmos, Web Object Scaler scales into the petabyte range -- up to 6 PB in a 100-node system. However, the minimum capacity of two 7.2 TB nodes is smaller than the Atmos starting configuration of 120 TB.

Web Object Scaler nodes come in several configurations. The 3U WOS 1600 is available as a 7.2 TB SAS node optimized for performance or a 16 TB SATA node optimized for capacity. The 4U WOS 6000 can be configured for capacity, performance or both, and can hold up to 60 TB.

Check out our Project FAQ on cloud storage services.

Mimosa NearPoint, LiveOffice Mail Archive offer hybrid SaaS email archiving approach

Mimosa Systems Inc. and LiveOffice LLC are looking to short-circuit the debate about on-premise email archiving vs. email archiving SaaS with a new offering that combines Mimosa's NearPoint on-premise email archiving software with LiveOffice's Mail Archive service.

"Each of our worlds will say 'We're the best thing since sliced bread,'" said LiveOffice CEO Nick Mehta of the competition between on-premise and hosted email archiving concepts in the last few years. "But the reality is that there are benefits to both."

"This is the first legitimate hybrid SaaS and on-premise email archive solution," said Brian Babineau, a senior analyst at Milford, Mass.-based Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). "Autonomy [Corp.] tried in the past but didn't have success."

Find out how one solution provider helped an interior designer cut contract dispute costs with email archiving SaaS.

Dell launches EqualLogic PS4000 iSCSI SAN for SMBs

Dell Inc. is expanding its EqualLogic iSCSI SAN platform with a product family for SMBs and remote offices built on the same architecture as its flagship midrange systems.

The EqualLogic PS4000 is a lower-end version of the EqualLogic PS6000 that launched in March. Like the PS6000, the PS4000 is a 3U, 16-drive chassis that can be half populated or fully populated with disk. The major differences between the two are the PS4000 includes two Gigabit Ethernet ports per controller and only scales to two nodes, while the PS6000 has four Ethernet ports per controller and scales to 12 nodes.

The PS4000 family has three models.

See our report on how EqualLogic partners like the acquisition by Dell.

Pivot3 and Seanodes increase performance, scalability of iSCSI storage products

Startups Pivot3 Inc. and Seanodes are taking steps to increase the performance and scalability of their iSCSI offerings.

Pivot3 is upgrading the Pivot3 Serverless Computing platform. Pivot3's Serverless Computing eliminates physical application servers by moving them onto its x86-based storage nodes running an open-source Xen hypervisor. Pivot3 is adding what it calls RAID 6e -- which allows three simultaneous drive failures or one appliance and one drive failure -- while bumping up maximum capacity from eight appliances (96 drives) to 12 appliances (144 drives). It's also adding NAS capability through Microsoft Windows Storage Server. Each array scales to 48 server cores for 24 Gbps of iSCSI bandwidth.

Seanodes, meanwhile, is widening its support to hardware with solid-state drives (SSDs). Its underlying server nodes can hold up to 48 SSDs or hard disk drives, but Seanodes Business Director Frank Gana said customers are more likely to deploy 2 SSDs per Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) I/O controller for maximum performance benefit. From there, up to 128 CPU nodes can be aggregated together with Exanodes, and all the SSD capacity in that pool can be accessed from any host attached to it.

Read the full story on Pivot3 and Seanodes, and learn about iSCSI adoption among storage buyers.

Tiered storage, data reduction technologies manage capacity growth for companies as IT budgets shrink

Storage administrators are combining tiered storage policies with data reduction technologies to manage capacity growth as IT budgets shrink or stay flat in 2009.

Clackamas County in north central Oregon deployed tiered storage using F5 Networks Inc.'s ARX file virtualization switch and Data Domain's DD565 data deduplication disk arrays in an effort to put off adding capacity to its tier 1 SAS-based iSCSI storage-area network (SAN) storage. In addition, Vancouver, B.C.-based Rainmaker Entertainment Inc. will use an ECO appliance from Ocarina Networks with BlueArc Corp.'s Titan and network-attached storage (NAS) systems from Isilon Systems Inc. to free up primary storage and keep more archival data online.

Read the full profiles on Clackamas County and Rainmaker Entertainment.

Pixorial's video-sharing website virtualizes network resources with Xsigo I/O Director

Pixorial Inc., an online video-sharing website, turned to Xsigo Systems Inc.'s I/O virtualization director switch, Xsigo I/O Director, to build an infrastructure that will allow for quick scaling of storage and network bandwidth.

Pixorial lets users upload video to its website in any format, and they can edit the video and share it as high-resolution digital files or on DVDs. The website uses a co-location center in Aurora, Colo., for its main data center, but converts film and tapes sent in by users into high-resolution files at its Littleton, Colo.-based headquarters, said Joshua Terry, Pixorial's director of systems engineering.

Terry said the major concern when he began building the infrastructure eight months ago was having enough capacity and bandwidth to support the site's users.

Read the full story on Pixorial's video-sharing website.

NaviSite signs cloud storage deal with Mezeo

Mezeo Software Corp. announced last week that managed service provider NaviSite will use Mezeo's Cloud Storage Platform for its cloud storage offerings.

Mezeo's Cloud Storage Platform features secure file storage, advanced file sharing and collaboration, content tagging and access from Windows desktops and mobile device clients.

Additional storage news

Check out last week's storage channel news roundup here. And here's a roundup of SMB-related storage news from

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