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Symantec folds S4 into FileStore; SNW Spring 2010 centers on SSDs, cloud storage

Headlines: Symantec confirms that it's folding its planned S4 object storage system into FileStore; discussion at SNW Spring 2010 focuses largely on SSDs and cloud storage.

Storage channel news roundup for April 7 to 14, 2010

Symantec folds S4 into FileStore

Symantec Corp. confirmed this week that it's folding its planned Symantec Secure Scalable Storage (S4) object storage system into the FileStore product that was launched in October.

This statement from Symantec came on the heels of reports last week that the S4 project is being scrapped.

"It's important to note that none of our products are being discontinued. The functionality of some of our solutions might be combined with others, but that's always the case as we constantly look for opportunities to integrate our offerings more and more," a Symantec spokesperson wrote in a statement emailed to

Read the full story on S4.

SNW Spring 2010 focuses on SSDs, cloud storage

Discussion at Storage Networking World Spring 2010 focused largely on SSDs and cloud storage as vendors and customers considered how to best to implement these emerging technologies.

SSD vendors discussed ways to bring the technology into storage, while the Storage Networking Industry Association formally approved a Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) standard.

Mike Chenery, co-founder and president at Pliant Technology Inc., said that last week his company began sampling low-cost enterprise MLC NAND flash SSDs to storage OEM vendors. He said Pliant has two unannounced OEM qualifications for its SLC SAS Lightning LB Enterprise Flash Drive but that the MLC drives should jumpstart the enterprise SSD market at one-third the price of SLC drives.

Read this tip on SSD vs. HDD when solving performance problems.

NetApp buys Bycast

NetApp acquired Canadian software vendor Bycast Inc., giving the company an object storage platform and a base for private and public cloud storage.

NetApp did not share price it agreed to for privately held Bycast. According to Jay Kidd, NetApp's senior vice president of product strategy and development, the sale is expected to close next month.

Bycast's StorageGrid object storage software is sold primarily as part of medical archiving systems though OEM partners IBM and HP and reseller partner Dell Inc. The most recent version of StorageGrid added functionality for clustered NAS, security partitions, chargeback and support for virtual servers to broaden the product's scope and make it more suitable for cloud storage. The platform will help NetApp compete with EMC Corp.'s Atmos object storage system designed for private and public storage clouds.

Read this story on the steps to building a cloud storage services business.

StorSimple integrates primary dedupe, automated storage tiering with cloud storage

StorSimple Inc. is emerging from stealth mode to show a public cloud storage appliance optimized for Microsoft applications that handles primary storage data deduplication and compression and automatically tiers data across solid-state and SATA drives.

The StorSimple Hybrid Storage Appliance is scheduled for release next quarter, the company said. The device's hardware includes a mix of tiered hardware, including a DRAM-based write cache, flash SSDs from Intel Corp. and SATA hard disk drives. It connects to hosts using Gigabit Ethernet iSCSI.

The software integrates with Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint APIs, pulling BLOBs out of SharePoint and Exchange databases for storage in the appliance.

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

EMC Data Domain demos Global Deduplication Array

EMC Data Domain said it will ship a Global Deduplication Array this quarter, which allows for dedupe across two DD880 array controllers.

The GDA is comprised of two DD880 arrays updated with additional disk shelves. Each array can now hold 142.5 usable terabytes, increased from 71 TB. The GDA will scale to 280 usable terabytes, up to 3.5 GBps throughput and support up to 270 concurrent write streams.

The GDA requires Symantec Corp.'s OpenStorage (OST) API and either Symantec NetBackup or Backup Exec to handle data placement across controllers.

"The OST plug-in scans data before it's sent to the back end to assess which controller will get the best data deduplication ratio," said Brian Biles, vice president of product management of EMC's Backup and Recovery Systems Division.

Support for global dedupe with EMC NetWorker is planned for later in the year, Biles said.

Data Domain is also rolling out a new operating system, DDOS 4.8, which will add encryption for data at rest.

Read this tip about effective remote backup with data deduplication.

IBM discloses Easy Tier automated tiering for the DS8700 array

IBM this week disclosed a new automated tiered storage feature called Easy Tier for its DS8700 disk array, aiming to help customers move data more efficiently between tiers of spinning disk and SSD.

IBM won't release a formal press announcement on Easy Tier until next week, according to an IBM spokesperson, but the company gave details about it and other storage product enhancements Tuesday in letters to customers, and on the company website and executive blogs.

Easy Tier is a free feature in the DS8700. According to the IBM website, DS8700 customers who don't have SSDs or Easy Tier enabled can use another piece of software called the IBM System Storage DS8000 Storage Tier Advisor to "identify where and how much data in the system can benefit from SSDs."

Read this blog post on enabling SSDs and intelligent archiving with automated tiered storage.

IT execs: Give us virtualized, commoditized storage

IT executives at SNW Spring 2010 called for more virtualization, commoditization and utility pricing, but not necessarily via cloud computing cloud model.

During a panel session Tuesday, AllState Insurance Company Vice President of Technology Solutions Anthony Abbattista, A&E Television Networks CIO Martin Gomberg and Kroll CIO Jeff Kubacki discussed ideas for what the storage networks of now and in the future.

"For me, the technology with most promise is the virtualization of storage," Gomberg said. "We store very big things. As a television company, our digital asset management storage is already in the 45 PB range. And these are video files, so deduplication doesn't help us. It's all about how we can reduce the cost and expand [capacity]."

Gomberg said he considers virtualization and data center consolidation "two parts of the same problem. The big problem in [the TV] industry is IP convergence. That which was stored on video tape is not digitally stored, and that which was delivered via broadcast is now delivered via Internet pipes, so we have all of this convergence going on, and IT and broadcast are becoming one technology."

Read this tip on maximizing storage virtualization technology.

CTERA Networks launches cloud service delivery platform for MSPs

CTERA Networks launched CTERA Portal, a platform that enables ISPs, MSPs and resellers to provide cloud storage. CTERA Portal includes tools for remote provisioning and centralized monitoring of storage appliances, managing and optimizing cloud storage, and running online backup services, and is available in SaaS and Datacenter editions. Service providers can use third-party cloud infrastructure as back-end cloud storage, as well as direct-attached and SAN storage. The launch of CTERA Portal coincides with the CloudPlug and C200, firmware upgrades to CTERA's cloud storage appliances, which combine local network storage with off-site cloud storage and backup. Additional features include support for Active Directory, NFS, iSCSI, Apple Filing Protocol and Apple Time Machine.

Additional storage news

Check out last week's storage channel news roundup.

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