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School district maintains uptime with Xiotech, DataCore; Jungle Disk preps cloud Server Edition

Headlines: Barren County, Ky., IT director turns to Xiotech Emprise 5000 and DataCore SANmelody for thin provisioning and mirroring; Rackspace's Jungle Disk is ready to launch the Server Edition of its cloud backup software with the option of connecting to Amazon S3 or the Rackspace Cloud.

School district maintains uptime with Xiotech, DataCore

The Barren County, Ky., school district discovered it could make good use of management features such as thin provisioning and remote mirroring even if they're not included natively with its storage arrays.

As part of a virtualization project, the district installed an Emprise 5000 storage system from Xiotech Corp. and DataCore Software Corp.'s SANmelody software to increase uptime and decrease the impact of maintenance on its users.

Barren County school district includes around 4,600 students and 700 faculty. IT Director Steve Gumm and his team handle a high school, middle school, seven elementary schools, the board office, a day care location and four other buildings -- all connected by fiber optic cabling.

Gumm said the district set out to virtualize its network and storage, beginning with its servers, to guarantee availability during unscheduled maintenance work or system crashes.

Read here for more about the risks and rewards of thin provisioning for customers.

Rackspace's Jungle Disk preps cloud data backup Server Edition

Jungle Disk is preparing to enter the small- to medium-sized business (SMB) cloud backup market this month with general availability of its Server Edition as the Rackspace Hosting subsidiary continues to move up in scale.

Server Edition will join Jungle Disk's previous Desktop and Workgroup Editions. Jungle Disk, founded in 1998, staked its claim to fame by writing software that provided a GUI interface into Amazon's S3 cloud data storage as an alternative to the service's native APIs. After Rackspace acquired Jungle Disk in October 2008, it added support in its Desktop and Workgroup Editions for the Rackspace Cloud hosting service back end.

"We initially started with a focus on consumer online storage and backup, but last year we released our first Workgroup Edition for business desktops," Jungle Disk president Dave Wright said.

Read about developing online backup and archiving services.

Microsoft Exchange 2010 adds email archiving and high availability features

Microsoft Corp. released Exchange 2010 this week with improved email archiving, compliance, and high availability features.

Despite the improvements, some storage pros and analysts are taking a wait-and-see approach to the new features and are leery of an approach that doesn't allow for tiered storage.

Rajesh Jha, Microsoft corporate vice president for Exchange, says Microsoft optimized the way the email application performs I/O to disk. He says by updating algorithms and "smoothing out" I/O patterns, Microsoft has improved I/O performance tenfold between Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2010. "I/O used to be bursty, but we smoothed it out so that read and write patterns were more consistent," Jha said.

Like Exchange 2007 and other Microsoft applications launched in recent years, Exchange 2010 also supports a 64-bit operating system and more memory than in previous versions. Microsoft contends the improvements let customers run Exchange 2010 on SATA disks while keeping mailboxes archived for legal compliance within the application, rather than moving messages out of the primary Exchange Store for archiving using third-party products.

"Archive data tends to take up a lot of storage but be less I/O intensive, and 'hot' active data tends to be more I/O intensive but take up less storage," Jha said. "So it may be more cost-effective to keep both archive and the primary mailbox together in the Exchange database."

EVault and LiveOffice look to add cloud storage to Microsoft DPM 2010 and Exchange 2010

i365 and LiveOffice LLC are looking to add a cloud storage touch to the latest releases of Microsoft's Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2010 backup and email software in an attempt to tap into markets they anticipate growing in the next few years.

EVault looks to fold non-Windows backups into DPM with a cloud connection

i365, owned by Seagate, said this week at the Microsoft Tech Ed Europe 2009 conference that it has been working for the last few months on new integration between its EVault backup product and Microsoft's DPM 2010. EVault already offers cloud backup as well as on-premise backup and replication for Windows servers.

LiveOffice offers cloud email archiving for hosted email services

Microsoft is also renewing its cloud storage push for email with the launch of Microsoft Exchange 2010 this week. It now offers Exchange Online hosted email in the cloud, and Exchange 2010 includes its own data archiving features.

Read the full story on EVault and LiveOffice.

Dexrex Gear offers cloud instant messaging and social media data archiving

A company already offering consumers the ability to back up instant messages and social media messages from platforms like Twitter and Facebook is looking to take a cloud storage-based data archiving offering into the enterprise, at a time when some experts expect government regulations to tighten in the wake of last year's mortgage crisis and more recent scandals.

Dexrex Gear, the business division of social media backup company Dexrex, last week launched ChatSync, which can intercept messages sent from corporate mobile devices using Web 2.0 communication networks including text messaging, AOL Instant Messenger, Google Talk, GMail chat, Twitter and Facebook.

Dexrex already lets consumers back up instant messages and social media messages from platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, and Dexrex Gear is looking to extend that capability into an enterprise data archiving tool.

Read the rest of this article about cloud instant messaging and social networking data archiving.

Emulex rolls out new partner program

Emulex Corp. this week announced its Emulex Edge Partner Program, which the company said is designed to increase VARs' revenue using a streamlined approach across products segments, a single channel program framework and a consistent eligibility and rewards structure.

The networking equipment vendor, which has a recent entrant in Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) space, said the partner program includes deal registration, a rebate program, access to demo and proof-of-concept equipment, and lead generation benefits.

Additional storage news

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

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