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6 Gbps SAS drives point to end of Fibre Channel disk drives; HP takes on deduplication, EVA clusters

Headlines: Shift to 6 Gbps SAS drives shows the end of Fibre Channel disk drives as manufacturers plan no upgrades; data deduplication, storage virtualization and an iSCSI SAN for VDIs make up the news from the opening of HP's TechForum 2010.

Storage channel news roundup for June 17 to 23, 2010

6 Gbps SAS drives point to the conclusion of Fibre Channel disk drives

The end appears to be near for Fibre Channel disk drives as 6 Gbps SAS drives continue their rise in enterprise data storage systems. What's left to be answered about Fibre Channel drives is when they will completely cease to exist.

Fibre Channel has achieved its last iteration in the form of a hard disk drive (HDD) interface. Although the blueprint for Fibre Channel connectivity from servers to storage through switches and host bus adapters requires an expansion from the existing 8 Gbps to 16 Gbps next year and 32 Gbps shortly following that, disk manufacturers have not planned upgrades past the present 4 Gbps Fibre Channel. By contrast, SAS roadmaps already lay out plans to go from 6 Gbps to 12 Gbps.

"Fibre Channel is dead. It's just a matter of time," Gartner Inc storage group research vice president John Monroe said, ., referring to the native HDD interface, not the Fibre Channel storage networking technology, which he said will probably continue to exist for a long while.

Read this tip on enterprise hard drives and new drive technologies.

HP takes on deduplication, EVA clusters, virtual desktop storage

On Monday, Hewlett-Packard deployed data deduplication software that it plans to utilize for primary in addition to backup storage, a clustered EVA midrange Fibre Channel SAN and an iSCSI SAN with a basis on its BladeSystem platform for virtual desktops.

HP StoreOnce, EVA Cluster and P48000 BladeSystem belonged to a group of products HP deployed on the first day of the yearly HP TechForum. HP officials, for the most part, concentrated on the deduplication application. HP's EVP of Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking Dave Donatelli referred to StoreOnce as "the most significant storage announcement we've made in at least five years."

StoreOnce, an inline deduplication application, is now offered on the new HP D2D4312 backup appliance, and will take the place of the deduplication HP has offered on its more diminutive D2D disk backup appliances in the last two years.

Read the full story on HP's launch of its data deduplication software.

Law school council IT disaster recovery strategy passes assessments

While  numerous New Orleans institutions, because of Hurricane Katrina, were compelled to put IT disaster recovery plans into place after the fact, the destructive 2005 storm also motivated the Newtown, PA-based Law School Admission Council (LSAC) to prepare for disasters as a precautionary measure.

The Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and Tulane University Law School in New Orleans are LSAC member schools, and LSAC heads paid heed to the damages absorbed by those schools. Both had to call off fall classes in 2005 and move out their student bodies. This provoked the LSAC Board of Trustees to come to the conclusion that it should have a business-continuity plan with a 24-hour recovery time objective (RTO) and a four-hour recovery point objective (RPO) for its mission-critical ACES2 law school admissions processing application.

A nonprofit company, the LSAC offers ITS services to law schools and admission candidates; these services consist of a credential assembly service for law school applicants, admission office data management systems, and the distribution of the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

Read this story on disaster recovery testing in SMBs vs. in the enterprise.

Aptare updates SRM suite with SAN change management

Aptare Inc. recently launched StorageConsole 8, updating its suite of storage resource management (SRM) tools with a fabric management application.

Aptare StorageConsole Fabric Manager is intended to provide administrators with more visibility into their SAN, and to facilitate with the management of changes made to the infrastructure. It's the fifth application in the StorageConsole family, which also consists of Backup Manager, Capacity Manager, Virtualization Manager and Replication Manager. Each is offered independently or bundled as a suite.

Fabric Manager's SAN mapping capability provides administrators with a picture of the SAN topology, from server to fabric to storage systems. Its change management feature includes carrying out a dependency analysis founded on projected changes to a SAN. Fabric Manager also dispatches alerts whenever it perceives that changes have occured.

Read more on Aptare's update of its SRM suite with SAN change management.

HP StoreOnce's primary task is backup data deduplication

At HP TechForum 2010 this week, Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co. administrators unveiled an impressive plan to dominate the data storage domain with their recently-released StoreOnce data deduplication platform, but beforehand, StoreOnce must establish itself as a data backup application.

StoreOnce is readily accessible on HP's recent D2D4312 disk backup device, and HP intends to include it in its XP9000 scale-out network-attached storage (NAS) product and application servers over the next year. "It's going to reset what data deduplication is all about," Dave Roberson, senior vice president of HP StorageWorks, said at a press conference to deploy HP storage products.

That's a lofty standard in view ofthe initial data dedupe software conceived by HP Labs, which functions on less sizeable D2D appliances and has achieved only below double digits in market share. StoreOnce's first role carrying out inline deduplication to a disk target places it head-to-head with present data deduplication backup leader, EMC Corp.'s Data Domain.

Read this tip on the motivators and the market landscape for primary storage data deduplication and data reduction.

LSI launches family of configurable storage components for white-box channel providers

LSI Corp. recently introduced its CTS2600 family of configurable storage components, designed for small to midsize white-box channel providers in direct-attached and storage area network (SAN) environments. It includes controllers, storage enclosures and disk drives, and offers multiprotocol host connectivity with 6 Gbps SAS and 1 Gbps iSCSI or 6 Gbps SAS and 8Gbps Fibre Channel (FC) interface options. The multiprotocol host connectivity delivers support for rack-integrated solutions and single-room data centers using SAS, to SAN environments using iSCSI or FC.

LSI CTS2600 controller technology can deliver bandwidth of up to 4,000 Mbps on sustained reads from disk and about 40,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS) random disk reads. The CTS2600 suite supports performance-optimized SAS drives, capacity-optimized SAS drives and solid-state drives (SSDs), which customers can intermix in either 2.5-inch form factors or 3.5-inch form factors, using the 2U, 24-drive CTS2600-24 enclosure or the 2U, 12-drive CTS2600-12 enclosure. Other features include hot-swappable components, automated path failover and extensive online dynamic RAID administration capabilities. Partner-configured systems also provide storage management using LSI SANtricity ES management software, a graphical user interface.

Additional storage news

Check out last week's storage channel news roundup.

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