SGI picks up Copan, readies a new spin on MAID; FalconStor, Violin combine on flash SAN accelerator

Headlines: With SGI acquiring MAID-maker Copan Systems at a clearance price, customers hope to see Copan disk arrays get a performance improvement, as well as easier and cheaper upgrades; FalconStor and startup Violin Memory partner on a SAN acceleration device that uses flash solid-state drives (SSDs) and FalconStor software to speed write performance.

Storage channel news roundup for Feb. 25 to March 3, 2010


SGI picks up Copan, prepares to put a new spin on MAID arrays

Following its acquisition of Copan Systems, Silicon Graphics International (SGI) will look to improve Copan's massive array of idle disks (MAID) spin-down technology. That will be necessary to save the product line, according to an analyst and a Copan customer who say the Copan concept was good but its technical execution fell short.

SGI picked up Copan's assets and engineering staff for $2 million in a foreclosure sale and will maintain Copan's Longmont, Colo., headquarters, according to Tony Carrozza, SGI's senior vice president of sales.

SGI isn't saying yet exactly how it will develop Copan's IP, which includes the disk drive spin-down software that let it pack hundreds of disk drives into a small footprint within its Revolution 300T/TX virtual tape library (VTL) and archiving products.

Get Eric Slack's take on why MAID technology isn't dead.


FalconStor, Violin combine on flash SAN accelerator

FalconStor Software is launching a SAN accelerator gateway that uses flash solid-state drives (SSDs) from Violin Memory Inc. to increase performance of Fibre Channel (FC) and iSCSI storage arrays.

The FalconStor NSS SAN Accelerator combines FalconStor's Network Storage Server (NSS) and storage management software with the Violin 1010 Memory Appliance. FalconStor said the accelerator, which uses the Violin module as a caching device, can improve the performance of any SAN.

FalconStor claims the gateway significantly increases the speed of writes through a SafeCache that devotes a segment of solid-state memory to application writes, and random reads through a HotZone feature that copies data on hot disk sectors to cache.

With the SAN Accelerator, FalconStor joins the growing legion of storage vendors incorporating solid state in their storage products.

Read this tip on flash-based vs. DRAM-based SSDs.


U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association takes Iomega NAS system to the Olympics

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) used network-attached storage (NAS) systems from EMC Corp. subsidiary Iomega Corp. as part of its training and during the Olympic Games in Vancouver. This is part of an increased role played by IT, according to one USSA official.

USSA stored video on Iomega systems, and used the NAS systems in Vancouver to access data stored at its Utah training facility.

The USSA provides resources, facilities and equipment to train about 50,000 skiers and snowboarders from novice to Olympic levels. USSA director of IT Jon Larson said the association moved into new national headquarters in Park City, Utah, after the 2006 Olympics in Turin. During the move, USSA also revamped its IT infrastructure to support a growth in digital multimedia used in athlete training.

See Storage magazine's/'s report on the fourth annual NAS Quality Awards to find out which NAS systems your customers rank the highest.


The H1N1 pandemic and IT disaster recovery planning: Lessons learned

The H1N1 influenza virus that grabbed the attention of IT people around the world last year will have an impact on disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC) planning that will be felt for years to come, according to DR planning experts.

The H1N1 influenza virus was first detected last April, and it was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) in June. Individuals were urged to get vaccinated, to wash their hands to prevent the spread of the virus, and to stay away from infected individuals, particularly if you were in a risk group (children, pregnant women and the elderly). Businesses were urged to update their disaster recovery (DR) plans and pandemic recovery plans -- and organizations without one could be in big trouble.

Read the full story about H1N1's impact on disaster recovery planning.


Storwize adds HA, Compression Accelerator to primary storage data reduction device 

Storwize Inc. rolled out updates to its STN series of primary file storage data reduction products, adding high-availability (HA) features and reporting on capacity and compression ratios plus the ability to reclaim space by compressing customer data stored on legacy systems.

Storwize now lets customers set up a high-availability configuration between devices, with automated failover and synchronized mirroring between the two nodes of the compression configuration. Previously, Storwize offered active-passive failover options.

The new Storwize Capacity Analyzer is a storage resource management (SRM) utility that reports on storage consumption and access, historical and predicted data growth, and data reduction trends for the entire storage environment, or at the file, share or directory level.

Read about the motivators and the market landscape for primary storage data deduplication and data reduction.


Quantum, Overland get LTO-5 tape backup ball rolling

LTO-5 tape has arrived, bringing larger capacity and faster transfer rates for organizations relying on tape for their backups. Quantum Corp. began offering general availability of LTO-5 tape autoloaders, drives and media, and launched an early customer adoption program of LTO-5 for its Scalar tape libraries. Last week, Overland Storage rolled out an E Series of its NEO tape libraries with LTO-5.

Other vendors are expected to follow soon with LTO-5 tape products, according to the LTO Program roadmap calling for the launch of LTO-5 early this year.

LTO-5 cartridges have twice the capacity of LTO-4 tape, holding 1.5 TB native and 3 TB compressed data. The data transfer rate increases from 120 MBps to 140 MBps native, and 240 MBps to 280 MBps compressed. LTO-5 carries over LTO-4 features such as hardware encryption and adds a partitioning functionality that lets applications index data on tape to make it easier to access.

Read about tape backup vs. disk backup at customer sites.


Symantec plans Data Insight software to link storage resources with data owners

Symantec Corp. is planning to pull together more intellectual property (IP) from its data storage and security businesses this year. The company says it will launch software in mid-2010 called Data Insight and integrate it with other products in the Symantec portfolio to link IT resources with data owners.

Other vendors have products that can provide this functionality, including data classification offerings from EMC Corp.'s Kazeon and StoredIQ and legal review products from e-discovery software vendors that track data according to case and custodian. Where Symantec is looking to get an edge on the market is in integrating Data Insight with its Data Loss Prevention (DLP) software, CommandCentral Storage storage resource management (SRM) tool and Enterprise Vault data archiving product.

Read the full story on Symantec's launch of Data Insight.


Asigra and NetApp team up to deliver integrated cloud backup and recovery solution for service providers

Asigra Inc. announced that it will team with NetApp Inc. to enable service providers to deploy a hardware-software solution for the delivery of backup and recovery as a service. The companies claim that their solution is designed to help service providers rapidly deploy and accelerate time to market. Its features include agentless mass deployment and operation, SLA monitoring and management, a multitiered cloud backup billing system, high-level security with FIPS 140-2 certification, and unrestricted protection of all physical and virtual computing systems. Public, private and hybrid cloud implementations are all service provider deployment options, Asigra said.

Additional storage news

Check out last week's storage channel news roundup.

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