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IBM rolls out SONAS clustered NAS based on GPFS; EMC refreshes Atmos cloud storage platform

Headlines: IBM's SONAS is based on its GPFS and Scale-Out File Services (SOFS) offering intended for large deployments; EMC adds denser hardware configurations and a GeoProtect option to Atmos for more efficient long-term data retention.

Storage channel news roundup for Feb. 11-17, 2010

IBM rolls out SONAS clustered NAS based on GPFS

IBM Corp. became the latest major storage vendor to add a clustered NAS product to its enterprise data storage portfolio, as scale-out quickly becomes a checklist feature for unstructured data storage systems.

The new product, Scale Out Network Attached Storage (SONAS), is based on IBM's General Parallel File System (GPFS) and a cousin of the Scale-Out File Services (SOFS) IBM has offered through IBM Global Technology Services. IBM also launched standalone bundles based on SOFS for information archiving and cloud computing in October, but SONAS project executive Todd Neville said SONAS is a different animal.

While GPFS is the foundation of both types of scale-out systems, "those [Smart Business bundles] offered a variation in back-end storage between the XIV and DS series, and between blade and rackmount servers," Neville said.

Read about Gridstore's release of a clustered NAS platform for SMBs and MSPs.

EMC refreshes Atmos cloud storage platform

EMC Corp. made its first update to its Atmos cloud storage system since its release in November 2008, adding a series of high-density hardware configurations and a new data protection option called GeoProtect.

The next generation of EMC Atmos hardware, the WS2 series, adds Intel Corp.'s Nehalem quad-core processors to the server component of the rack, and 2 TB SATA drives for double the capacity of the WS1 models. EMC has also added memory to the new hardware configurations, which has the company claiming a 50% total performance improvement over the WS1 series.

The WS2-120 can now offer up to 240 TB capacity, and a half-populated 60 TB version of the WS2-120 is also being made available for entry configurations or remote offices of large enterprise companies. The WS2-240 holds up to 480 TB, while the WS2-360 holds 720 TB.

Read about how to become a cloud storage services provider.

Isilon Systems clustered NAS adds solid-state drives (SSDs), 10 GbE connectivity

Isilon Systems Inc. last week added solid-state drive (SSD) support with automated tiered storage features and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) connectivity options to its clustered NAS systems.

The Isilon IQ 5000S-SSD, 10000X-SSD and 32000X-SSD nodes with solid-state drives from STEC Inc. become generally available last week. The 5000S-SSD contains 5 TB SAS capacity and one 100 GB SSD. The 10000X-SSD contains 10 TB of 7,200 rpm SATA disk drives and two 100 GB SSDs. The 32000X-SSD contains 32 TB of SATA drives and four 100 GB SSDs. The 5000S-SSD has a list price of $59,000 per node with a minimum three-node configuration. The 10000X-SSD lists for $65,000 per node, and the 32000X-SSD at $125,000. Isilon's largest field-tested cluster is 144 nodes.

Isilon is also rolling out 10 GbE versions of all its IQ nodes launched in the last year except for legacy 6000X and 12000X nodes. Sam Grocott, Isilon's vice president of marketing, said the 6000X and 12000X will be refreshed soon, and 10 GbE will be added then.

Read Eric Slack's blog post about clustered NAS as a requirement for VARs in 2010.

The importance of WAN optimization technology in disaster recovery programs

Wide-area network (WAN) optimization technology is used to maximize the data flow across a WAN. The goal of WAN optimization is to increase the speed of access to critical applications and information. But what are some benefits to WAN optimization? How does WAN optimization help in disaster recovery (DR) programs?

Continue reading about how WAN optimization benefits DR programs.

Virsto Software launches Virsto One server virtualization storage management software for Hyper-V

Startup Virsto Software is coming out of stealth with a product now in public beta that looks to improve storage management for customers using Microsoft Hyper-V to virtualize servers.

Virsto CEO Mark Davis said his company's Virsto One software can tackle common problems associated with enterprise data storage management in a server virtualization environment. Virsto is addressing the Windows Server 2008 R2 version of Hyper-V first, but Davis said there will also be a version supporting VMware Inc.'s ESX Server.

Virsto One is deployed within the hypervisor on the physical server, inside what Microsoft calls the parent partition. It intercepts I/O coming from guest machines and creates a sequential log file as a database would, so that writes and reads from disk are sequential in all cases. "Because of this log we can also optimize the layout of data when we destage it to disk," Davis said.

This approach, Virsto claims, can mitigate the "I/O blender" problem that comes when the hypervisor itself feeds multiple I/O streams from multiple guests to the underlying disk subsystem, causing contention and performance problems.

The log also makes "unlimited high-performance thin snapshots and clones" of virtual machines (VMs) possible, according to Davis, which is another selling point for Virsto One.

Read about tools to help manage storage resources in a server virtualization environment.

Overland Storage launches iSCSI SAN with hooks into VMware and Hyper-V

Overland Storage Inc. this week launched the Snap Server SAN S2000, a new iSCSI SAN with VMware Inc. vSphere and Microsoft Corp. Hyper-V virtual server integration, and automated provisioning features starting at $15,000.

The storage area network launch comes as Overland looks to re-establish itself as a competitor in the enterprise data storage market following a downward spiral since it lost its most lucrative OEM tape deal with Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co. in 2006. Earlier this month, Overland CEO Eric Kelly went on a media tour to explain Overland's new business strategy, which will emphasize Snap Server NAS and SAN as well as low-end tape and disk-based data backup and recovery products.

Read about how to choose among storage networking protocol options for VMware.

itControl Suite integrates with ConnectWise

itControl Solutions Inc. last week announced it will integrate its appliance-based remote monitoring and management (RMM) tool itControl Suite with ConnectWise, an IT application for professional service automation (PSA). The platform provides integration between the Suite and ConnectWise PSA software for VARs, MSPs and IT service companies.

According to itControl Solutions, the suite works with single or multiple locations and does not require software, agents, nodes, probes or servers. The company claims that the ConnectWise platform provides PSA business applications such as CRM, financial management, collaboration, and sales and service ticketing, and enables customers, partners and third-party developers to build and integrate hosted applications. itControl Suite alerts can be set to generate ConnectWise service tickets, and administrators can access the specific device that created the alert. Diagnosis and repair activities can be centrally managed and tracked for billing purposes.

Additional storage news

Check out last week's storage channel news roundup.

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