Storage UPDATE, March 31, 2003

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Storage UPDATE--brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network http://www.storageadmin.com

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March 31, 2003--In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY - Using NAS Solutions to Consolidate

2. NEWS AND VIEWS - Two Vendors Join Forces for SAS Development - Adaptec About to Expand SAN Offers?

3. ANNOUNCEMENT - Get the eBook That Will Help You Get Certified!

4. RESOURCES - M1500 vs. M4 Emulation Mode

5. NEW AND IMPROVED - Identify and Back Up Crucial Files - New Dot Hill Product Line - Correction - Submit Top Product Ideas

6. CONTACT US - See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

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1.

COMMENTARY

(contributed by Mark Smith, mark@elucidator.net)

* USING NAS SOLUTIONS TO CONSOLIDATE One of Microsoft's top goals in 2003 is to help its customers use Windows Powered Network Attached Storage (WPNAS) solutions to migrate and consolidate from old Windows NT boxes to Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003. Many studies demonstrate that such a migration will yield a good Return on Investment (ROI). In fact, server consolidation using NAS and Storage Area Networks (SANs) has become one of the hot growth areas in the IT market. Customers are seeing increased performance, reliability, and functionality and easier storage management at a reduced cost. After spending several months working with WPNAS solutions, I've become a believer myself. WPNAS works. If I were still running an enterprise IT shop, I'd be actively working on getting my IT infrastructure in shape by consolidating to WPNAS and SAN.

During the "An Introduction to NAS" Webcast, we polled the audience in realtime and asked how many servers the audience members were responsible for. About one-third of the audience members oversee less than 10 servers, one-third oversee between 10 to 100 servers, and one-third oversee more than 100 servers in their enterprise. Industry statistics show that the typical IT shop has multiple servers with Direct Attached Storage (DAS) wasting as much as 70 percent of disk storage space.

Why? Here's a typical scenario: IT assigns 100GB of storage to the sales department, 100GB to Human Resources (HR), 100GB to finance, and so on. Within a few months, IT reassesses its actual storage requirements and finds that HR might be using only 20 percent of its total assigned storage space, whereas sales is using 90 percent and finance is using 50 percent. Because reassigning storage in a DAS environment is difficult, much storage space is wasted if the initial space assignment isn't accurate. In addition, users often keep MP3 files and other non-business-related files on the server, which Win2K's built-in Quota Manager can't prevent. The majority of our polled audience admitted to filling 30 percent to 40 percent of their current storage with junk--files that will be filtered out during a consolidation project.

According to a February 2003 ChangeWave Research report about second quarter 2003 IT spending, the two biggest product categories that will experience growth are server hardware (23 percent of those polled in ChangeWave's research said that they plan to upgrade or buy new server hardware) and NAS (10 percent said they plan to purchase NAS devices). My opinion is that most of this server and NAS growth is a direct result of server consolidation projects. In fact, over 60 percent of our Webcast audience is currently active in planning a major storage consolidation project. Only 10 percent of the Webcast audience said that they've completed their consolidation projects.

In a future commentary, I plan to tackle some of the interesting questions posed during future Webcasts. Until then, I encourage you to listen to the Webcast archive (http://www.winnetmag.com/seminars/nas ).

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2.

NEWS AND VIEWS

(contributed by Keith Furman, keith@winnetmag.com)

* TWO VENDORS JOIN FORCES FOR SAS DEVELOPMENT Newly formed Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and LSI Logic's Storage Standard Products division have announced plans to work together to speed the delivery of next-generation Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) technology. As part of their collaboration, the companies will share design implementations and performance testing results and debug information, and will participate in other joint activities. The SCSI Trade Association (STA) and the T10 Committee are currently developing the SAS standard, which is expected to be complete by the end of 2004. Both companies plan to continue to work with the standard organizations working on the SAS standard.

SAS will be compatible with Serial ATA (SATA). This compatibility will allow users with SAS host adapters to choose between using either SAS or SATA hard disk drives in their systems. The new SAS standard will help enterprise customers leverage existing SCSI investments by including SCSI backward compatibility. SAS will also include serial point-to-point interconnections, dual porting, increased addressability, the ability to scale to small form factors, and data transfer rates to speeds as fast as 3Gbps. http://www.hgst.com http://lsilogic.com/storage http://www.scsita.org http://www.storageadmin.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=38234

* ADAPTEC ABOUT TO EXPAND SAN OFFERS? According to industry reports last week, Adaptec is on the verge of acquiring Eurologic Systems, a storage subsystem manufacturer. The acquisition is aimed at increasing Adaptec's Storage Area Network (SAN) offerings. Eurologic sells network storage hardware and software though OEMs and is based in Ireland. The deal is reportedly valued at $50 million.

Adaptec acquired Tricord's Network Attached Storage (NAS) assets late last year. Adaptec is one of the leading suppliers of SCSI adapters, and a deal with Eurologic could help the company tap into the growing IP SAN marketplace. IP SAN's growth is expected to increase since the recent approval of the iSCSI standard and Microsoft's recently announced support of iSCSI. http://www.adaptec.com http://www.eurologic.com http://www.storageadmin.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=38214

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ANNOUNCEMENT

(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

* GET THE EBOOK THAT WILL HELP YOU GET CERTIFIED! The "Insider's Guide to IT Certification," from the Windows & .NET Magazine Network, has one goal: to help you save time and money on your quest for certification. Find out how to choose the best study guides, save hundreds of dollars, and be successful as an IT professional. The amount of time you spend reading this book will be more than made up by the time you save preparing for your certification exams. Order your copy today! http://winnet.bookaisle.com/ebookcover.asp?ebookid=13475

4.

RESOURCES

* M1500 VS. M4 EMULATION MODE Forum member "Flam" has a Quantum ATL M1500 tape library that he can put into M4 or M1500 emulation mode. Flam wants to know what the difference is between the two modes and which mode is better. He is running VERITAS Software's Backup Exec 9.0 and Windows 2000. To lend a helping hand, go to the following URL: http://www.winnetmag.com/forums/rd.cfm?cid=46&tid=56418

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NEW AND IMPROVED

(contributed by Carolyn Mader, products@winnetmag.com)

* IDENTIFY AND BACK UP CRUCIAL FILES AlmerSoft released AlmerBackup 3.0, backup software that lets you create regular backups of your crucial data. You identify your most crucial files and specify in the built-in schedule how frequently those files need to be backed up. The software also performs simple file copies and moves, deletes out-of-date files from the destination directory, and removes copied files from the source directory. AlmerBackup can back up to any network resource. The software runs on Windows XP/2000/NT/Me/9x systems and costs $29. Contact AlmerSoft at idea@almersoft.com. http://www.almersoft.com

* NEW DOT HILL PRODUCT LINE Dot Hill Systems announced its SANnet II family of compact RAID and Just a Bunch of Disks (JBOD) storage solutions. The SANnet product family includes SANnet II SCSI, SANnet II FC, and SANnet II Blade. All SANnet II products feature hot-swappable, field-replaceable components, including drives, controllers, power supplies, fans, and event-monitoring units. For pricing, contact Dot Hill at 760-931-5500. http://www.dothill.com

* CORRECTION Last week's New and Improved section featured information about NovaStor Keyster. We published an incorrect contact number for the company. You can contact NovaStor with questions about its Keyster product at 805-579-6700. We apologize for any inconvenience this error might have caused.

* SUBMIT TOP PRODUCT IDEAS 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 whatshot@winnetmag.com.

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CONTACT US

Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

* ABOUT THE COMMENTARY – mark@elucidator.net

* ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL -- cmader@winnetmag.com (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)

* TECHNICAL QUESTIONS -- http://www.winnetmag.com/forums

* PRODUCT NEWS -- products@winnetmag.com

* ABOUT YOUR STORAGE UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION -- storageupdate@winnetmag.com

* WANT TO SPONSOR STORAGE UPDATE? emedia_opps@winnetmag.com

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