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Hard disk drive shortage takes aim at enterprise SAS, SATA in 2012

Headlines: Analysts and vendors expect the hard disk drive shortage caused by Thailand floods to curtail availability of enterprise SAS and SATA drives until at least the second half of 2012.

Storage channel news roundup for Feb. 23 to Feb. 29, 2012

Hard disk drive shortage takes aim at enterprise SAS, SATA in 2012 

SAS and SATA drives frequently used for backups, archives and less performance-sensitive primary data could remain in short supply through the third quarter and possibly longer due to the hard drive shortage caused by last year’s floods in Thailand.

The floods have had a more negative impact on cheaper high-capacity drives than higher-cost performance drives, and analysts and vendors predict that trend will continue through much of 2012.

Shipments of nearline (NL) SAS and high-capacity SATA hard disk drives (HDDs) designed for storage systems and low-end and midrange servers plummeted by 18% in the fourth quarter, from 8.8 million in the third quarter to 7.2 million, according to John Monroe, a research vice president in the data center systems group at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc.

Framingham, Mass.-based IDC estimated the industry would wind up 2 million to 3 million units short of HDD demand for enterprise “capacity-optimized” SAS and SATA drives between the fourth quarter of last year and the second quarter of this year. 

Read the full story on the hard drive shortage’s impact on enterprise SAS and SATA.

Dell EqualLogic supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet copper for iSCSI SAN 

Dell Inc. this week introduced its next-generation Dell EqualLogic storage arrays, the PS6110 and PS4110 series, which support optical and copper 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) networking bandwidth for iSCSI storage-area networks (SANs).

The midrange PS6110 and entry-level PS4110 are designed with new controllers and utilize the same dense chassis as the PS6100 and PS4100 series that Dell rolled out last summer. The difference between the two product lines is a boost in IOPS performance and support for 10 GbE. The PS6100 and PS4100 support GbE.

The PS6110 series, however, will replace the company’s older PS6010 line, which does support 10 GbE but isn't fitted with the upgraded hardware with support for 10 GbE copper bandwidth offered in the PS6100 and PS4100 systems. The older PS6010 series offers only optical connectivity.

Check out this tutorial to find out more about iSCSI storage vs. Fibre Channel storage.

Dell expands its backup plan with AppAssure

Dell made its fifth storage acquisition in a little over four years last week when it acquired AppAssure and its backup and replication software for virtual and physical machines.

Dell did not disclose the price, which obviously wasn’t close to what the vendor paid for EqualLogic ($1.4 billion) in 2007 or Compellent ($820 million) last year. Dell also acquired the intellectual property of scalable NAS vendor Exanet and primary data reduction software specialist Ocarina in 2010.

In a blog explaining the deal, Dell storage General Manager Darren Thomas wrote that Dell acquired AppAssure to “help Dell customers modernize their data protection strategies …”

Find out about DR monitoring and backup reporting tools in this tip.

Symantec set to hop on Hadoop, tackle ‘big data’

Symantec will jump into the “big data” market this year with an application designed to make Hadoop MapReduce more enterprise-ready.

Don Angspatt, vice president of product management for Symantec’s storage and availability management group, said the vendor has a prototype of the application working and he expects the product to ship in 2012. He won’t provide many details yet but said the concept is similar to what EMC is doing with its integration of Isilon’s scale-out NAS and Greenplum’s analytics file system. The difference is that the Symantec app will work across heterogeneous storage.

Read more about the Symantec application that will make Hadoop more enterprise-ready.

Kaminario gives all-flash storage systems HA, data protection 

Kaminario this week added high availability and data protection features to its DRAM and all-flash storage arrays to try to win greater acceptance among enterprises.

Kaminario brought out its new capabilities as enhancements to its SPEAR (Scale-Out Performance Storage Architecture) operating system. The startup calls the series of features DataProtect, which are built into all the systems Kaminario ships. The company’s products include a K2-D all-DRAM SAN, a K2-F multi-level cell (MLC) flash SAN, and a K2-H hybrid that mixes DRAM and SSD.

“We believe fast storage is not enough,” Kaminario’s vice president of marketing, Gareth Taube, said. “You also need to keep data safe, available and backed up.”

Find out how MLC flash is used in enterprise arrays.

Backup vendors take cloud cover

Backup vendors are paying especially close attention to the cloud these days. Asigra, Imation and CA launched backup products and services last week with various degrees of cloud connectivity.

Asigra has sold backup software to service and cloud providers for years. With its Cloud Backup 11.2 software, it is adding the NetApp-Asigra Data Protection as a Service (DPaaS) bundle for providers.

The Asigra-NetApp deal is a meet-in-the-channel relationship that Asigra director of strategic alliances Doug Ko said can help service providers and telcos get cloud backup services up and running faster. Ko said engineers from the vendors have worked together to insure compatibility.

Read about how Asigra updated its cloud backup software with support for mobile backup.

Additional storage news

Check out last week’s storage channel news roundup.

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