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Fibre Channel switch adoption at a crossroads; EMC's Slootman dishes on EMC's disk-based backup plan

Headlines: Fibre Channel switch port shipments are expected to increase after first-time decline in 2009, but long-term outlook calls for eventual decline as Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) picks up steam; head of EMC's backup division discusses plans to add high-availability pairs and backup software integration to Data Domain data deduplication series, streamline EMC's data protection portfolio, and move data deduplication beyond backup.

Storage channel news roundup for Feb. 18-24, 2010


Fibre Channel switch port shipments expected to spike after 2009 drop, then decline over long term

Fibre Channel (FC) switch port sales declined for the first time in 2009, and market research firms predict a temporary upswing over the next few years before a permanent decline as Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) cuts into FC use.

In its November quarterly report, Dell'Oro Group Inc. forecasted that last year's 12% drop will be offset by a healthy rebound in the range of 20% during 2010 and 2011, largely fueled by shipments of new 8 Gbps ports and purchases of next-generation servers based on Intel Corp.'s Nehalem chips.

Dell'Oro predicted increases of 12% in 2012 and 3% in 2013 before a 3% decline in 2014, as shipments of FCoE ports ramp up and command a larger part of the SAN mix.

"At this point, it would be hard to bet against FCoE," said Seamus Crehan, a Dell'Oro Group vice president. "It's got a very compelling value proposition in terms of cost and power savings, and all of the incumbent vendors have strong programs and offerings."

Read this tutorial on Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) implementation.


EMC's Slootman: Data Domain planning global deduplication, NetWorker integration this spring

EMC Corp. reported in its fourth-quarter earnings call last month that it had taken share in the data deduplication market thanks to its $2.1 billion acquisition of Data Domain last summer. EMC CEO Joe Tucci said he expects the data backup product group including Data Domain and data deduplication to be EMC's fastest growing segment, and the company plans to increase its R&D spending on data backup and data archiving this year.

Former Data Domain CEO Frank Slootman, now president of EMC's backup and recovery division, sat down with this week to discuss EMC's data backup plans.

Read about EMC's data backup plans in this interview with Slootman.


Health care system rolls its own data storage 'cloud' for researchers

Faced with cost constraints, Partners HealthCare Systems put together a clustered NAS system with open-source storage software, off-the-shelf hardware and InfiniBand switches that scales to hundreds of terabytes for about one-third the price it would have paid for a commercial NAS cluster.

Boston-based Partners is a non-profit health care system and teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Brent Richter, Partners' corporate manager for enterprise research infrastructure and services, said about two years ago he sought a central storage repository for data generated by about 40 research teams across several hospitals in the Partners system. The data would have to be secure and kept separately. Researchers pay for storage through their grant money, so price was an issue.

"Our central storage needs were not being fulfilled," he said. "We needed relatively good performing -- but more importantly low-cost -- storage so these researchers could park data, not necessarily during analysis but after analysis."


Read this tip on how to become a cloud storage services provider.


Iron Mountain Digital spends $112 million on Mimosa Systems for on-premise data archiving 

Iron Mountain Digital, a subsidiary of Iron Mountain Inc., acquired data archiving software vendor Mimosa Systems Inc. for $112 million as part of a strategy to put the services-focused Iron Mountain on premise in more enterprise data centers.

Mimosa's NearPoint software suite began as an email archiving product when the company first launched in 2004, but has since added file archiving, SharePoint archiving and case management for e-discovery. It has a relationship with cloud email management vendor LiveOffice that connects NearPoint to the cloud, but has been primarily focused on deployments on-site at large enterprises.


Double-Take, Amazon form disaster recovery cloud with Double-Take Cloud

Double-Take Software Inc. is teaming up with Amazon for cloud disaster recovery. Double-Take launched Double-Take Cloud, which lets customers use Double-Take Backup software and a subscription to Amazon's Elastic Computer Cloud (EC2) to set up a server for disaster recovery purposes. Double-Take positions the cloud service as a DRF solution for SMBs and other organizations that don't have a second data center or offsite facility to use for DR.

Double-Take Backup uses continuous data protection (CDP) to replicate changes to data, applications and operating systems in real time. In case of a disaster, it allows recovery to physically dissimilar hardware or virtual servers.


Read this tip about how to participate in the cloud data backup market.

U.K. hosting company launches cloud storage services using Mezeo software

Nimbus Technology Systems Ltd., a U.K.-based infrastructure hosting company, announced the launch of the Nimbus Cloud Storage Service powered by Mezeo Software's Cloud Storage Platform, Web services API-based cloud storage software built for service providers.

With the Mezeo Cloud Storage Platform, Nimbus Cloud Storage says that it will offer advanced file sharing and collaboration, content tagging and access to stored files via WebDAV, Windows desktops, and BlackBerry and Windows Mobile smartphone clients. The platform also offers SSL encryption for in-transit data and 256-bit AES encryption for data at rest. A new Sync Application allows users to select which folders they want to sync between the cloud and a Windows desktop.

Additional storage news

Check out last week's storage channel news roundup.

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