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July 22, 2002—In this issue:
- SDLT Strikes Back
2. NEWS AND VIEWS
- IBM Introduces Next-Generation Storage Server
- EMC Elects Independent Director to Board
- Submit Top Product Ideas
- Energize Your Enterprise at MEC 2002, October 8 through 11, Anaheim, CA
- Got Digital?
- Tip: Exchange Server Disk Space
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Access-Protect Data Volumes
- McDATA Fabric Switches Available Through Hitachi
6. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Elliot King, email@example.com)
Last year, the midrange tape-drive arena began to look like a classic IT shootout, in which an open standard might force a proprietary technology out of the market. However, although products based on the new open-standards technology got off to a strong start, new products based on proprietary technology have renewed the conflict and are ready to meet the challenge.
The midrange for tape backup comprises tape cartridges with capacities between 40GB and 110GB and hard-drive prices between $2000 and $6000. According to commonly accepted industry views, the midrange market is the most robust sector of the tape backup arena—10 times larger than the enterprise-level tape market.
For a long time, the reigning midrange hard drive has been a format called DLT. DLT, and a newer iteration, Super DLTtape (SDLT), is a proprietary standard that Quantum licenses and controls (see first URL below). DLT has been so pervasive for so long that many industry veterans see it as the de facto standard (see second URL below).
At the end of 2000, a new competitor, Linear Tape-Open (LTO) jumped into the fray. LTO is an open standard that a consortium of heavyweight technology companies pioneered. IBM leads the consortium, which includes such storage-system stalwarts as Seagate Technology and Hewlett-Packard (HP). The idea behind the push for LTO was simple: Proprietary standards limited the choices companies had in selecting tape-drive products. Moreover, companies increasingly found that their tape-backup infrastructures were riddled with incompatible tape formats. An open standard could help standardize the technology.
LTO made a strong debut. In July 2001, Progressive Strategies (see first URL below), a market research and consulting organization, published a white paper based on benchmark tests that National Data Conversion Institute (NDCI) conducted (see second URL below). The research showed that LTO outperformed the existing SDLT technology in the speed of read-and-write operations by 35 percent to nearly 60 percent in the Windows NT, Solaris, UNIX, and Linux environments.
LTO technology made an immediate splash in the marketplace. According to a study by Freeman Reports, a veteran storage industry market research company (see URL below), while unit growth for tape libraries generally grew only 3 percent in 2001 (revenue slumped 4 percent), sales of LTO drives jumped from 700 units in 2000 to 13,166 units in 2001. Robert Abraham, president of the Freeman Reports and author of the study, noted that LTO made gains in every market segment. He anticipated that LTO hard drive sales would climb 53 percent this year to 20,128 units. Abraham believes that by 2007, LTO will be neck and neck with SDLT, with sales of about 55,000 drives.
But Quantum isn't ready to concede industry leadership (or even half the market) to LTO quite yet. Last month, Quantum rolled out what the company describes as the second generation of SDLT technology, the SDLT 320 drive. In a press tour promoting the new release, Jim Jonez said, "This is the best product in all dimensions." Jonez is the director of drive product marketing, DLT product division at Quantum.
Jonez gave impressive statistics to support his claim. The SDLT can store up to 160GB per tape cartridge, 60 percent more than the largest LTO tapes. The drives perform 33 percent faster than LTO drives, according to company literature, and they offer the lowest cost per gigabyte, as much as 46 percent lower than LTO.
Moreover, Jonez said that the SDLT 320 demonstrates the benefits of a proprietary technology. The drive is backward-compatible with older SDLT drives. In fact, the SDLT 320 can use the same media as the SDLT 220 drive. In addition, Quantum has laid out a clear schedule for future products with increased capacity—a storage capacity of 1.2TB and throughput of 100 MBps.
Quantum isn't above throwing a little fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) into the mix too. Jonez suggested that although LTO is an open standard, the interoperability of tapes written by drives that one manufacturer builds with drives that another manufacturer builds hasn't been rigorously tested.
In any case, the shootout between SDLT and LTO should be good for the storage industry by driving innovation and forcing prices down. And the final battle in this war is yet to be fought.
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2. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Keith Furman, firstname.lastname@example.org)
(contributed by Keith Furman, email@example.com
IBM introduced a next-generation enterprise storage server that includes self-managing and self-healing technology features from IBM's Project eLiza. The project's goal is to create intelligent IT systems capable of managing, protecting, and healing themselves automatically. IBM's TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server (ESS), code-named "Shark," has two new models: the ESS 800 and the ESS 800 Turbo. IBM's copper microchips and industry-first 2GBps Fibre and Fiber Connector (FICON) data-transfer rates power the servers.
According to IBM, the new ESS models offer customers strong data- transaction processing performance; "smart" software technology; excellent database performance for applications such as data warehousing and business intelligence; a 50 percent increase in data- backup capability over the previous model; and significantly improved remote copy performance for disaster recovery and unplanned business disruption. The ESS Model 800 will be available with a variety of disk- drive options, including standard 72.8GB 10,000rpm drives, and 18.2GB and 36.4GB 15,000rpm drives. The servers will be available next month.
EMC has announced Gail Deegan's election to its Board of Directors. Deegan, the former executive vice president and CFO of Houghton Mifflin, fills a position on EMC's board that has been vacant since last fall. EMC's board now consists of eight members; one vacancy remains.
At its annual shareholders' meeting last May, shareholders approved a shareholder-submitted proposal requesting that the company increase on its board of directors the number of members without direct ties to the company. Shareholders who backed the resolution considered only three of EMC's seven board members to be independent. Adding Deegan to the board should help quell shareholders' concerns. Shareholders rejected a proposal that called for an increase in board diversity.
Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Do you know of a terrific product that others should know about? Tell us! We want to write about the product in a future What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
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(contributed by Paul Robichaux, email@example.com)
Q. How much disk space do I need on my Microsoft Exchange Server system?
A. This question is a hard one to answer—sort of like "How long is a piece of string?" The amount of disk space you need on a particular Exchange 2000 Server or Exchange Server 5.5 system depends on several factors:
What the server will be doing. For example, connector servers typically don't need much disk space, whereas public folder and mailbox servers need space proportionate to the number of messages they have to hold. How many users the server will host. As a general rule, the more users you have, the more disk space you need. Single-instance storage will help you somewhat by improving the efficiency of message storage. How much disk space you want your users to have. Some organizations impose mailbox storage limits; others don't, can't, or won't.
If you know how many users you want the server to host and how much disk space you'll permit for each mailbox, you can calculate the amount of storage you need as follows. For example, let's say you're building a server for 250 users, each with a maximum mailbox size of 50MB—250 x 50 = 12,500, so you need roughly 12.5GB just for the private Information Store (IS). You must also factor in room for expansion (I always recommend adding at least 33 percent more disk for expansion), and you have to keep in mind that the Isinteg and Eseutil repair utilities might require up to twice the store size to do their magic. Given those requirements, 250 users at 50MB each might lead you to build a 36GB store, which I think would be reasonable.
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Carolyn Mascarenas, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Imperial Technology released SANaccess, software for LUNs security in the Storage Area Network (SAN). You can use the software to create access protection for data volumes that reside on an Imperial File Cache Accelerator when used in a SAN. SANaccess with LUN security lets systems simultaneously share access to MegaRam File Cache accelerators in both small and large SAN environments. For pricing, contact Imperial Technology at 800-451-0666.
McDATA announced that its Intrepid 6000 Series Director and Sphereon 3000 Series Fabric Switches are now available through Hitachi Data Systems (HDS). The switches support enterprise storage application demands. For pricing, contact Hitachi Data Systems at 800-448-2244.
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