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NexentaStor adds HA features; VMotion between data centers looms

Headlines: Nexenta is looking to appeal to traditional enterprise data centers with the addition of new high-availability features for Sun's open-storage ZFS in NexentaStor 2.0; VMware and Cisco demonstrate a live virtual server migration, or VMotion, over distance.

Storage channel news roundup for June 25 to July 1, 2009

NexentaStor reaches out to the enterprise with high availability

Nexenta Systems Inc. is adding automated high availability (HA) and 24/7 phone support to its NexentaStor 2.0 product as the company looks to boost the appeal of its ZFS and OpenSolaris-based data storage products for traditional enterprises.

NexentaStor combines Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Zettabyte File System (ZFS) and OpenSolaris operating system with an Ubuntu Linux user interface, and adds usability and data protection features for the open-source file system with its own software. According to Nexenta CEO Evan Powell, the company has collected 400 installations of its NexentaStor software since the community first launched in April 2008 at about 300 separate customer sites.

Version 2.0 is Nexenta's attempt to "cross the chasm" between the open-source community and the traditional enterprise.

Read the full story on NexentaStor.

VMware VMotion between data centers could change disaster recovery

According to a blog posted by a VMware official this week, VMware Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. have demonstrated a proof of concept for performing live virtual server migrations between data centers. Industry experts see the potential for disaster recovery, but say distance VMotion is years away from being realistic.

"Last year, Cisco and VMware began the task of trying to solve these long-distance VMotion issues with the target of seamlessly migrating a virtual machine (VM) between two data centers separated by a reasonable distance," wrote Guy Brunsdon, VMware's senior technical marketing architect for networking, in a blog post on Monday. "The demo as it stands incorporates a distance of [50 miles]."

Brunsdon wrote that customers often ask whether VMotion can be used between data centers for load balancing, failover during data center maintenance, and disaster recovery -- or, ideally, avoidance. Today, virtual servers can migrate and fail over between data centers, but with at least a short disruption to the application.

Learn how to use VMotion in this tip.

Mimosa Systems adds case management tool to NearPoint 4.0 data archiving software

Mimosa Systems Inc. this week announced Version 4.0 of its Mimosa NearPoint data archiving software, with new support for case management workflows, federated search across geographic sites and various types of content, and new capture methods for ingesting data into the data archive.

With Version 4.0, users will have the option of deploying a case management tool with the archive that will allow for role-based delegated administration of e-discovery and compliance searches.

Industry analysts say this capability will be a key advantage for Mimosa. The company doesn't claim the tool will replace full-fledged legal review software, and it doesn't have the features of a larger suite like Autonomy Corp.'s Zantaz.

Coraid EtherDrive gives North Canton, Ohio, school district a lesson in AoE storage

Coraid Inc.'s EtherDrive products provided the City of North Canton, Ohio, with a lesson in ATA over Ethernet (AoE) storage when it was trying to deal with the increased demands of a growing school district and capacity-sucking multimedia files.

With more than 5,000 administrative, teacher, student and remote users, Network Systems Administrator John Fano needed a system that was available 24/7, simple to use and accessible to multiple types of servers.

But as public and private funding dried up, Fano's small budget ruled out Fibre Channel (FC) and even iSCSI solutions. "We just don't have the budget," Fano said. "So cost was a big issue."

Fano researched the little-used AoE data transfer protocol, and was set to build his own system when he accidentally ran across Coraid's ATA over Ethernet-based storage solutions during a Google search.

Read the full story on AoE storage at the Ohio school district.

CIO interview: Data backups must run on time at DFW Airport

As vice president of IT/CIO of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, William Flowers is responsible for an IT operation that includes thousands of users, 23 departments and spans an area with a land mass larger than the borough of Manhattan. We recently spoke with Flowers about what it's like to run an IT operation of that size.

SearchStorage: What's unique about running IT for an airport?

Flowers: Our airport is 18,000 acres -- you can fit Manhattan in our land mass. We're a city. We have our own post office; the only thing we don't have is a judge. We have facilities all over the place. We have three major computer rooms and we're building a data center as we speak.

Read the full interview with the CIO of DFW Airport.

New Orleans law firm prepares for hurricane season with detailed disaster recovery plan

Like other businesses in the New Orleans area, the employees at law firm Deutsch Kerrigan & Stiles (DK&S) know they are vulnerable to hurricanes this time of year. However, they also know the firm has a battle-tested disaster recovery (DR) plan that got them through hurricane Gustav last year.

The DK&S disaster recovery plan was devised after the Katrina disaster in 2005. The firm's office building was closed for about a month after Katrina. Its disaster recovery plan then consisted of a few staffers who had evacuated to Lafayette, La., coming back into New Orleans accompanied by a police SWAT team to fend off looters to retrieve servers, desktops and laptops out of the main office. They loaded the equipment into trucks and brought it back to Lafayette, but Katrina also affected Lafayette and the temporary office had no Internet access for three weeks although the accounting team could set up servers and start collecting money and paying bills.

When the New Orleans office opened about a month later, the computers were returned and set up again.

Unitrends chooses Pitney Bowes as service provider

Backup appliance vendor Unitrends announced recently that it has chosen Pitney Bowes to provide on-site repair, installation and maintenance services for its customers nationwide.

Under the agreement, Pitney Bowes will become the exclusive provider of services for Unitrends.

Pitney Bowes also provides services for printers, copiers, multi-function devices, scanners, shredders, PCs and workstations, mail stream solutions and kiosk devices.

Additional storage news

Check out last week's storage channel news roundup here. And read this compilation of the latest disaster recovery news.

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