Storage UPDATE--October 13, 2003
Ontrack Data Recovery
Windows & .NET Magazine Network
- The Future of Windows Storage Server, Part 2
2. News and Views
- EMC and IBM Extend Cooperation
- Emulex to Buy Vixel
- New--Test-Drive Our Performance Portal!
- Storage Expo 2003, October 15 - 16, 2003, National Hall, Olympia, London
- A Snail's-Pace Backup
- "Plan, Migrate, Manage: Shifting Seamlessly from NT4 to Windows 2003"
6. New and Improved
- New SATA RAID for Crucial Applications
- Backup Software Uses Snapshot Disk Imaging
- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!
7. Contact Us
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
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==== 1. Commentary ====
by Mark Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Future of Windows Storage Server, Part 2
This week, I continue my interview with Bob Muglia, senior vice president of Microsoft's Enterprise Storage division, who talked with me at the Windows Storage Server 2003 launch event on September 10. In this part of our discussion, we talked about future technologies that let you centrally administer storage devices, Windows Storage Server 2003's contribution to the Storage Area Network (SAN) market, and whether Microsoft will create a standard UI for configuring a SAN.
Smith: What role does Microsoft play in SANs?
Muglia: We believe those $15,000 SANs will include a Storage Server-based \[Network Attached Storage\] NAS gateway. So, \[Windows\] Storage Server has a play with the SAN market. In addition, Windows Server 2003 includes Virtual Disk Service. VDS will continue to develop in partnership with SAN vendors to make more SAN management functionality available to the Windows administrator through \[Windows\] Storage Server.
Smith: Will Microsoft create a standard UI for configuring a SAN in the same way that \[Windows\] Storage Server provides a standard, Web-based UI for configuring a \[Windows\] Storage Server-based NAS device? According to your early adopter customers, their most important reason for going with \[Windows\] Storage Server was that their existing staff had almost no learning curve with \[Windows\] Storage Server because it's Windows. Wouldn't a standard SAN UI provide that same learning curve advantage?
Muglia: We rely on our SAN partners to provide their own management UI, which is unique, because each vendor wants to highlight their unique features. However, now that you mention it, I think Microsoft could ship a standard Web-based UI for configuring a SAN. The key to this would be getting SAN vendors to help us fully develop our VDS technology to access key SAN management features from Windows. Then, we would be able to provide a basic set of SAN management and configuration features that would work with any SAN vendor that has supplied us with a VDS provider.
Smith: At the launch event, you mentioned that Microsoft's goal was to centrally administer all storage devices, which could include Pocket PC devices with a terabyte of storage. What key technologies are required to make that happen?
Muglia: The key technology we need for central management is replication. Microsoft already has many replication products. Products like ActiveSync to synchronize data between a PDA and your PC. Or Dfs, which allows synchronization between server directories. Also, inside of Outlook 2003, we've implemented Outlook cache, which allows for automatic synchronization of data between online and offline users. So, if you don't have a live connection to Exchange Server, you can still work offline. As soon as you connect, your offline and online Outlook data are synchronized. A fourth example of replication technology is \[Volume Shadow Copy Service\] VSS, which takes snapshots of data and aids in quick recovery of data.
Smith: Does Microsoft plan to develop its own replication technologies internally, partner with someone, or buy replication technology from a third party?
Muglia: In the future, you will see Microsoft implement a very robust backup and recovery scheme. For example, an enterprise would first replicate its data in real time to an offsite location. Then, a snapshot of that replicated data set would be taken. Recovery applications would access the snapshot of the data, which would allow recovery from any moment in time directly from the remote disk snapshot of the data. Our VSS snapshot technology is the first delivery on this future backup and recovery strategy. We have third-party partners today that can handle real-time replication of data to a remote location. Microsoft is actively researching ways of enhancing replication to enable point-in-time recovery of data.
Smith: What storage technologies will Microsoft include in the next version of Windows
Muglia: In the Longhorn timeframe (2005), we will include Windows Future Storage, which combines streaming data, relational data, and XML. Windows Future Storage will be implemented on top of the NTFS file system, so it will have complete backward compatibility. We will implement technologies inside future versions of \[Windows\] Storage Server, SQL Server, and Windows Server to take full advantage of the Windows Future Storage capabilities. We'll be disclosing a lot more information about Windows Future Storage at the next Microsoft \[Professional Developers Conference\] PDC on October 26 in Los Angeles.
To find out more about the PDC, click http://msdn.microsoft.com/events/pdc/default.aspx . To find out more about Windows Storage Server 2003, click http://www.microsoft.com/storage .
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==== 2. News and Views ====
by Keith Furman, email@example.com
EMC and IBM Extend Cooperation
Industry giants EMC and IBM have announced that they've agreed to extend their interoperability and compatibility efforts for storage systems, servers, and software. Through cooperation, the companies aim to make installing both EMC and IBM products in heterogeneous storage environments easy for users.
The agreement includes a framework for the exchange of programming interfaces. The framework will work with the upcoming Storage Management Initiative Specification. (SMI-S, a standard that will ease interoperability among storage management software, is expected to be an official Storage Networking Industry Association--SNIA--architecture by year-end.) The companies will also work together to support servers, storage products, and software products in heterogeneous environments.
In addition, IBM has licensed interfaces for its TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server (ESS) to EMC. The interfaces will enable Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy (PPRC), Extended Remote Copy (XRC) functions, FlashCopy, Multiple Allegiance, and Parallel Access Volumes (PAVs).
Emulex to Buy Vixel
Aiming to expand its solutions, storage networking host bus adapter (HBA) supplier Emulex has announced plans to acquire Vixel. The acquisition continues a trend of storage industry consolidation. Vixel supplies embedded switch application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and subsystems for storage networking. Vixel provides its technology for OEM partners, including HP, Network Appliance (NetApp), and Sun Microsystems, for use in storage arrays, tape libraries, and Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliances.
"The acquisition of Vixel provides Emulex with their award-winning lineup of InSpeed embedded storage switching products and technologies, which clearly complement Emulex's existing OEM business model and HBA technology," said Paul F. Folino, chairman and CEO of Emulex. Emulex believes the acquisition makes sense because the two companies' technologies complement each other. Emulex will pay $10 cash per share for Vixel for a total cost of approximately $310 million. The acquisition is expected to be complete by the end of November.
==== 3. Announcements ====
(from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)
New--Test-Drive Our Performance Portal!
The Windows & .NET Magazine Performance Portal site is an online service that lets IT professionals test client/server scalability and application performance of client/server database, workflow, streaming media, and office productivity applications. Check out this innovative service at
Storage Expo 2003, October 15 - 16, 2003, National Hall, Olympia, London
UK's largest dedicated data storage event. Bringing together 3,000 end users and 90 exhibitors with the aim of educating on, and purchasing of, the latest storage solutions. The exhibition represents a key event for any organization challenged with the movement, management, storage, back-up, recovery and archiving of data.
==== 4. Resource ====
A Snail's-Pace Backup
John is running Computer Associates' (CA's) BrightStor ARCserve 2000 AE 7.0, build 1100, on Windows 2000 servers and uses the agent for Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Exchange Server. He runs a full backup each evening. A gradual initial slowdown of the backup became more dramatic with time--backups now take as many as 19 hours to finish. The Activity log shows a pattern of error messages related to Exchange. The vendor has been unable to determine why the backup is taking so long. For more details or to offer suggestions on how to resolve John's problem, go to
==== 5. Event ====
(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)
"Plan, Migrate, Manage: Shifting Seamlessly from NT4 to Windows 2003"
Your Active Directory environment can make or break your entire Windows NT 4.0 to Windows Server 2003 migration project. This free Web seminar features best practices for migration planning and administration, tips and tricks for ensuring Exchange Server and Active Directory health, and guidance for managing your directory for maximum availability and performance during migration and beyond. Register now!
==== 6. New and Improved ====
by Renee Munshi, firstname.lastname@example.org
New SATA RAID for Crucial Applications
Advanced Computer & Network Corporation (AC&NC) announced its next-generation JetStor III SATA RAID array, a Serial ATA (SATA) disk drive array for business-critical applications. The JetStor III SATA RAID array features a new 64-bit RISC processor for fast parity calculations and I/O operations, a cableless backplane design, and storage capacities exceeding 4TB in a small 3U (5.25")-high enclosure. For more information, contact AC&NC's marketing department at 800-213-2667, by email at email@example.com, or on the Web.
Backup Software Uses Snapshot Disk Imaging
UltraBac Software announced the release of UltraBac Disaster Recovery (UBDR) Pro, which uses snapshot disk imaging technology to back up servers and workstations. UBDR Pro's scheduler backs up snapshot images of selected partitions to tape, disk, or any UNC path. UBDR Pro compresses the backup image file on the client side before transferring it to a network storage location to reduce traffic and save storage space. You can invoke a built-in encryption feature to secure backup media. UBDR Pro can restore a protected workstation or server at a rate of up to 800MB per minute on high-speed gigabit networks. The standalone version of UBDR Pro costs $695 per server with volume discounts available. To learn more about UltraBac or to download a live trial of the software, call 425-644-6000 or visit UltraBac on the Web.
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Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Tell us about the product, and we'll send you a Windows & .NET Magazine T-shirt if we write about the product in a future Windows & .NET Magazine What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions with information about how the product has helped you to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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