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Violin aims for FC SAN price parity with SSD appliance; Amazon offers lower-redundancy option for S3

Headlines: Violin launches a solid-state storage appliance that it claims could hit a cost-per-gigabyte price similar to high-end FC SAN technology; Amazon S3 cloud customers laud the low-cost RRS option, but it's not clear if RRS will draw a wider audience to public cloud storage.

Violin 3000 series SSD capacity pricing to be driven toward Fibre Channel SAN

Violin Memory Inc. recently deployed a solid-state storage tool that it says will later scale to 100 TB and could reach a cost-per-gigabyte price point comparable to that of high-end Fibre Channel SAN (FC SAN) technology.

Violin Memory's appliances contain solid-state modules known as Violin Intelligent Memory Modules (VIMMs). Violin 3200, the first model in the new Violin 3000 series, , will contain 84 128 GB single-level cell (SLC) VIMMs for 10 TB of total capacity, or 84 256 GB multi-level cell (MLC) VIMMs for 20 TB. Additionally, the 3U appliance can include up to 500 GB of RAM cache, which is determined by the model.

The Violin 3200 also includes support SATA, SAS, PCIe and Fibre Channel interfaces. Although users may put SLC Flash, MLC Flash or DRAM VIMMs in the system, there is no different kinds of VIMMs can't be combinedin the same appliance.

The starting price is $30,000 for slightly over 700 GB, but the 700 GB model is only used for caching applications.


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


Amazon S3 offers lower-redundancy option for S3 

Amazon Web Services Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) public cloud data storage customers say the inexpensive Reduced Redundancy Storage (RRS) option deployed last week is promising, but it remains to be seen if RRS will attract a larger audience of hesitant enterprise storage customers to public cloud storage.

RRS would allow Amazon users to opt for less "hops" of object replication amid Amazon's facilities for a reduced price per gigabyte. With RRS, objects would outlive a total data center failure, but wouldn't be replicated an adequate number of times to survive two simultaneous data center failures. RRS costs start at 10 cents per GB per month for the initial 50 TB of storage, and can fall to under 4 cents per GB (exactly $0.037) for greater than 5 PBs. Standard Amazon S3 costs start at 15 cents per GB for up to 50 TB.

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


HDS fine-tunes IT Operations Analyzer resource monitoring app

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) last week released Version 2.0 of its Hitachi IT Operations Analyzer resource monitoring software, updating it with a scalability boost and greater integration with third-party products, as the storage vendor widens its focus to include more parts of the data center.

Hitachi IT Operations Analyzer was initially launched in April 2009, created for organizations that are short of committed storage administrators and frequently depend on a single team for network, server, and data storage management. It oversees servers and devices on Ethernet networks and on Fibre Channel storage-area networks (FC SANs). This is an agentless application and is managed through a Web GUI.

Read this FAQ on which tools can determine a customer's data growth rate.


Brocade Fibre Channel SANs decline in revenues; execs refute losing market share to Cisco

Brocade Communications Systems Inc. announced a small decline in total revenues, and additionally in its Fibre Channel (FC) SANs revenue last quarter, a week after competitor Cisco Systems Inc. announced growth of its storage networking revenues, but Brocade heads, on a recent earnings call, were adamant that they hadn't fallen back to Cisco in the Fibre Channel SAN market.

Brocade announced a profit of $22.4 million on revenue of $501 million in the fiscal second-quarter, down 7.1% sequentially, down 1.1% yearly, and under Wall Street expectations of approximately $503 million. The company detailed a rebound in its Ethernet sales, which had been down 26% -- revenues of $97.1 million-- during the first quarter.


Read the full story on the decline in Brocade's Fibre Channel SAN revenues.


Law firm turns to Digital Reef's data classification SaaS for e-discovery

A law firm is using data classification Software as a Service (SaaS) to reduce the quantity of data sent to attorneys for legal review and expedite the e-discovery procedure for clients.

Litigation support manager Nick Eglevsky, of New York City's Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, said that his firm has been employing Digital Reef Inc.'s Virtual Governance Warehouse data classification software, delivered as a service, for about a year to rapidly classify and analyze data.

Digital Reef says its data classification and search algorithms are superior to past releases of data classification products. The product consists of a "similarity engine" that can recognize files' complete contextual similarity in a repository, instead of only matching keywords. Digital Reef came out of stealth this past May with aims of promoting its product for unstructured data management. The vendor later included e-discovery and litigation support features, following the footsteps of antecedents such as Kazeon Systems.


Read this tip on early case assessment tools for e-discovery.


Construction equipment company's private cloud sustained by Pillar Axiom disk arrays 

A construction equipment company with a private cloud computing environment, with offices extending from California to Dubai, elected Pillar Axiom disk arrays instead of EMC Corp.'s storage systems, due to Axiom's adaptable provisioning and quality of service (QoS) features.

Global IT operations manager Eugene Alfaro said Simpson Strong-Tie Company Inc. has been constructing a private cloud even before the phrase gained popularity during the past two years. Alfaro said that four years back, the company started building what is now called a cloud with the use of Citrix's virtual application product (now called XenApp).

Alfaro said, "To me, cloud computing simply means putting computing power somewhere else."

In Simpson Strong-Tie's instance, its overall compute power can be found in two groups of redundant data centers in Pleasanton, Calif., and McKinney, Calif., and in Denmark and Germany.


Read the full story on Pillar Axiom disk arrays' support of a construction company's private cloud.

ConnectWise launches Phase 3 of ConnectWise 2010 

ConnectWise recently released Phase 3 of ConnectWise 2010, a business operating system designed for IT service providers. New features include enhanced reporting and tracking for marketing campaigns to track SEO responses; a new marketing API interface for complete integration of a website with the ConnectWise Marketing Manager; new customer web portal features that work with Microsoft SQL; scheduling and service improvements; an updated QuoteWerks API Interface with additional mapping features; photos and images; and more.

Additional storage news

Check out last week's storage channel news roundup.

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