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LSI delivers flash-based PCIe card with 6 Gbps SAS

Headlines: LSI PCIe card -- with Seagate solid-state modules -- will compete with Fusion-io cards in a solid-state storage market moving past its latest hype cycle; LSI also launches 6 Gbps SAS switch for direct attached storage; the startup is offering data migration services to EMC Centera customers.

Storage channel news roundup for March 11 to 17, 2010

LSI delivers flash-based PCIe card with 6 Gbps SAS interface

LSI Corp. launched a NAND flash PCI Express (PCIe) card with a 6 Gbps SAS interface as well as 6 Gbps SAS switches that connect servers to direct-attached storage (DAS). The solid-state flash card and switches are shipping to OEM partners, and LSI plans to sell the flash card direct later this year.

The LSI SSS6200, which plugs into the PCIe port on industry-standard servers, will compete with PCIe flash card maker Fusion-io Inc. Unlike Fusion-io's PCIe cards, LSI uses a SAS controller as an interface between the server and the card's flash modules. Seagate Technology supplies the SSD modules for the LSI PCIe card.

"The advantage of using a SAS interface is that it's a very robust standards-based interface, which covers virtually all operating systems and applications," most of which understand SCSI commands, said J.B. Baker, LSI's product manager.

Jeff Janukowicz, research manager, hard disk drive components and solid-state disk drives at Framingham, Mass.-based IDC, said some solid-state storage vendors have used field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) where LSI places its controller ASIC with the SSS6200.

Read Eric Slack's blog post on enabling SSD via automated tiered storage.

Interlock Technology looks to ease EMC Centera data migration through XAM

Interlock Technology, a Cambridge, Mass.-based firm founded in December 2008, is emerging from stealth with an offering of data migration services for customers of EMC Corp.'s Centera Content Addressable Storage (CAS) data archiving system. Interlock claims its services keep audit trails intact for regulatory compliance purposes.

Interlock offers its services through partnerships with consulting firm GlassHouse Technologies and storage vendors NetApp Inc. and IBM Corp.

Migrating data from Centera is trickier than with other data archiving systems because Centera is an object-based storage system that uses a proprietary API to allow applications to write data to and extract data from the content repository. Even if the correct APIs are accessed, particularly on legacy Centera systems, object-by-object extraction and migration can be slow and drag out the data migration process further, according to Interlock Technology CEO Gary Lieberman.

"Traditional file migration methods don't work on Centera," Lieberman said. Interlock Technology claims its process can migrate up to 6 TB per day.

Centera performs its own file-level data deduplication, and Lieberman said because it's proprietary and object based, it can stymie traditional storage resource management (SRM) tools attempting to monitor and report on its contents.

Listen to a Project FAQ podcast on data migration services with storage expert Brian Peterson.

Cloud data protection: Archiving to reduce backup data increasingly important

Cloud backup, Storage as a Service, electronic vaultingdata vaulting -- there is no shortage of terms in the market associated with online backup. And there's no shortage of confusion about what role these products should play in a company's data protection plan. Finally, these terms are not used uniformly from vendor to vendor, so Vendor A's "cloud backup" product is likely to be quite different than Vendor B's.

"Theoretically you'd think 'vaulting' might imply an archiving product. Something searchable, definitely persistent, ideally would have multiple copies -- possibly on disk or maybe even tape," said Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst with the StorageIO Group.

However, that's not necessarily the case. "Terms evolve over time," said Jonathan Meltzer, senior project manager for server protection products at Iron Mountain Inc. "If you look back maybe 10 or 15 years, vaulting meant you were shipping hardware offsite, either an appliance or disk or more likely tapes. The term electronic vaulting came along when they started sending data over the wire.

See the full version of this story on cloud data protection, and then read about how to develop online backup and online archiving services.

Infrastructure stack alliances bring benefits and drawbacks to enterprise data storage

Enterprise data storage and IT vendors have been creating alliances over the last six months with the goal of creating stacks of components that eliminate deployment and purchasing complexity for customers. These infrastructure stacks bring potential benefits and pitfalls that must be taken into consideration for many enterprises making storage purchases.

The most prominent storage partnership is the Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) alliance of Cisco Systems Inc., EMC Corp. and VMware Inc., and the Acadia joint venture between Cisco and EMC. Other recently launched IT alliances and stacks include a relationship between Dell Inc. and Brocade Communications Systems Inc. 

Read the full story on the benefits and drawbacks of infrastructure stack alliances.

Nirvanix CloudNAS helps National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum upload digital media

A memorial to the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., is scheduled to open in New York next year, and both on-premise SAN and cloud NAS storage are playing key roles in the management and sharing of the memorial's rapidly expanding library of digital files.

According to Sean Anderson, director of information technology at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, the memorial will be formally opened on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. A museum will follow in 2012. So far, Anderson's organization has collected multimedia catalogs of audio, video and photos totaling approximately 10 TB of digital storage.

Read about how to become a cloud storage services provider.

Overland Storage expands channel partner benefits

Overland Storage Inc. introduced an enhanced partner program, FastTrack, which the company says gives channel partners access to Overland sales and marketing support, personalized offline and online resources, and an integrated deal registration program that provides margin protection for specific end-user opportunities. The company sells SnapServer, NEO, and REO brand products and solutions. Overland claims that its Storage FastTrack Partner Program is designed to provide channel partners with a range of benefits, including sales incentives and sales support.

Additional storage news

Check out last week's storage channel news roundup.

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