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Symantec launches file platform for cloud storage; Former EMC exec Atkinson becomes Xiotech CEO

Headlines: Symantec looks to push deeper into cloud storage with FileStore for file storage and an upcoming object file system due to ship next year; Former EMC exec and WysDM CEO Alan Atkinson, who is taking the helm of Xiotech, talks about plans for the company, including cloud storage and FCoE.

Symantec launches file platform for cloud storage

Symantec Corp. today rolled out a new clustered storage file system and previewed an object file system to follow as part of its cloud storage strategy.

Symantec FileStore extends the capabilities of the Veritas Cluster File System. A FileStore system scales to 16 nodes and 2 PB of total storage and can handle files up to 256 TB and up to 200 million files per file system, according to Symantec VP of clustered storage Jeff Reed. While Cluster File System only supports NFS, FileStore also supports CIFS, HTTP, FTP and file-based replication. FileStore is designed to let organizations add new storage or replace nodes while staying online.

Learn how to become a cloud storage service provider.

Former EMC exec Atkinson becomes Xiotech CEO

Xiotech Corp. today named Alan Atkinson CEO, replacing Casey Powell. Atkinson is the former CEO of WysDM Software Inc. and had served as vice president of the Storage Software Group at EMC Corp. after EMC acquired WysDM in 2008. Powell will remain on Xiotech's board of directors.

In an exclusive interview with, Atkinson laid out plans to extend Xiotech's ISE platform into a "cloud-ready, virtualization-ready platform" and build out its sales channel. Along with the change in CEO, Xiotech closed a $10 million funding round and secured an additional $10 million line of credit in September. Your background with WysDM and EMC was in storage management software. Why a hardware company like Xiotech and why now?

Atkinson: If you go back in my history, I did a whole lot of stuff with hardware back when I was with Bell Labs and when I was at Goldman [Sachs], I worked with people like Kumar [Malavalli] at Brocade, a lot of the early Fibre Channel people. Actually at Storage Networks I was into the hands-on hardware and software side, both sides of the fence. So, obviously with WysDM we took a turn down the software path and stayed there with EMC, but I have actually done both sides of things.

All that being said, if you really look at where the exciting IP is here at Xiotech, it's around the ISE product, which is really firmware, right? It's really the code that the guys have cooked up that allows us to not only get better utilization and better reliability but also drive a lot of cost out, and that was what was really compelling.

Read the rest of this exclusive interview with Atkinson.

IBM offers Smart Business Storage Cloud and Information Archive for cloud storage, data archiving

BOSTON, Mass. -- IBM launched two new data storage product packages aimed at simplifying deployments for customers looking to install private storage clouds and consolidate data archiving infrastructures at the IBM Information Infrastructure Analyst Summit held yesterday.

IBM also laid out a new strategy at the meeting of industry analysts and press for packaging stacks of products according to applications and use cases to make them easier to install and manage, instead of "delivering just a big bag of Tinkertoys," said Barry Rudolph, vice president, IBM System Storage.

As part of the plan to supply turnkey stacks for cloud computing and data archiving, IBM rolled out the IBM Smart Business Storage Cloud and the IBM Information Archive appliance.

IBM Smart Business Storage Cloud

The Smart Business Storage Cloud is based on IBM's Scale-out File Services (SOFS) and is a variation on the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance package IBM launched in June. Customers can run SOFS on either IBM System x or BladeCenter servers. SOFS is a management "wrapper" around IBM's General Parallel File System (GPFS). On its own, GPFS is intended for specialized high-performance computing (HPC) environments and is administered using a command-line interface (CLI), according to Tom Clark, an IBM distinguished engineer. SOFS adds reporting and a Web-based user interface.

Read the rest of the article on IBM's Smart Business Storage Cloud.

Avere looks to optimize performance of tiered storage with FXT Series

Avere Systems Inc. this week said it will begin shipping its first product, the FXT Series of tiered clustered network-attached storage (NAS) appliances with automated block-level storage across RAM, nonvolatile memory (NVRAM), Flash, Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) and SATA tiers, on Oct. 15.

The FXT Series nodes are available in two models, the FXT 2300 and FXT 2500. Each FXT Series node contains 64 GB of read-only DRAM and 1 GB of battery-backed NVRAM. The FXT 2300, list priced at $52,000, contains 1.2 TB of 15,000 rpm SAS drives. The FXT 2500, at $72,000, contains 3.5 TB of SAS disk.

The nodes can scale out under a global namespace. CEO Ron Bianchini said Avere has tested up to 25 nodes in a cluster internally and the largest cluster running at a beta testing site contains eight nodes, though there's no technical limitation on the number of nodes the cluster can support.

The clustered NAS system can be attached to third-party NFS NAS systems for archival and backup storage.

E-discovery a must-have for SMBs: How to choose an electronic discovery tool

Crews & Associates Inc., an investment banking and brokerage firm, may have fewer than 200 employees, but when this SMB needs to satisfy regulators or lawyers looking for an email audit trail, the compliance team has found that the size of a company definitely doesn't matter.

"The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority [FINRA] officially audits us every two years, but could drop in at any time they want to and we have to be ready," said Carter Malone, vice president of compliance at the Little Rock, Ark.-based firm.

Because FINRA can stop in at any time, the compliance team always has to have both their financials and email system ready for a regulator to look at. Often, if the regulators have questions about trades, such as the reason for a mark-up, they'll follow-up by searching through email exchanges between a trader and the client.

Malone credits the use of ZL Technologies' ZL Unified Archive e-discovery system for enabling his organization to meet the regulators' needs in real time. The on-premise server is an email archiving system that sits between a company's mail server and storage to categorize, meta-tag and encrypt all messages. The software, which creates a searchable index, can also stub messages and add pointers, which saves space and enables him to save more messages for a longer period of time.

Read the full story on e-discovery tools for SMBs.

VMware upgrades Site Recovery Manager for disaster recovery

VMware Inc. today made vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 4 available, adding many-to-one failover and NFS support to the automated disaster recovery application for virtual environments.

VMware previewed the upgraded Site Recovery Manager at VMWorld in August, but did not set a release date then. The application was informally known as Site Recovery Manager 1.5 until today but it is officially called version 4 to keep in line with VMware's vSphere virtualization platform. Site Recovery Manager 4 is priced the same as the initial version of Site Recovery Manager that launched in mid-2008 -- $1,750 per processor.

Although it still lacks automated failback and other features, Site Recovery Manager 4 can take advantage of vSphere 4 capabilities such as fault tolerance and lets customers replicate files through NFS as well as block storage. It also supports automated failover from multiple production sites into a single shared recovery site.

The new features for Site Recovery Manager come as organizations look to expand disaster recovery for their virtual server environments.

Read about helping customers choose a disaster recovery tool for a virtualization environment.

Florida's Medical Business Service rethinks data backup and disaster recovery with EVault

Medical Business Service (MBS), located in the hurricane-prone Miami suburb of Coral Gables, Fla., replaced its tape data backup and tape-based offsite disaster recovery plan with Seagate Technology subsidiary i365's EVault disk-based data replication in the midst of healthcare's digital transition.

MBS is a 300-person company that handles billing for hospital-based physicians. Syed Faisal came in as CIO a year ago from the University of Miami Medical Center. "I came in to deploy enterprise solutions, which required new sets of skills to improve the technical foundation of the business," he said.

Faisal said the goal is to double the size of the business in the next four years, and that means refreshing the company's entire technology infrastructure.

Read about hardware vs. host vs. backup remote data replication.

ConnectWise unveils cloud-based platform for third-party applications

ConnectWise, a SaaS/cloud provider of professional service automation (PSA) applications, announced it has developed a cloud-based platform for unified business process management systems to allow the integration of third-party applications for IT service companies. The new platform provides integration between ConnectWise PSA software and other products for VARs, MSPs and IT service companies.

Additional storage news

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