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November 11, 2002—In this issue:
- Iomega Announces New Windows-Powered NAS Solutions
2. NEWS AND VIEWS
- Brocade Communications Systems Buys Competitor
- SNIA Launches Another Storage Management Forum
- How Can You Reclaim 30% to 50% of Windows Server Space?
- Planning on Getting Certified? Make Sure to Pick Up Our New eBook!
- Storage Highlight: To Move Forward, Evaluate Your Backup
- Tip: Advantages of Offline Backups and Image Backups over Online Backups
- Featured Thread: Determining the RAID Configuration Without Restarting the Machine
- Submit Top Product Ideas
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Back Up Data to Any Type of Storage
- Storage OEMs: Write Your Own Application Code
6. CONTACT US
See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Mark Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Two weeks ago, I wrote about Windows-powered Network Attached Storage (NAS) and how you can save a bundle of money by using Windows-powered NAS to consolidate your file servers (see URL below). Microsoft created Windows-powered NAS as a platform on which the company's storage partners can build file servers that are easy to use, richly featured, cost-effective, and highly adaptable to any Windows environment.
To make sure Microsoft wasn't blowing smoke about the capabilities that Windows-powered NAS offers vendors, I talked with one of Microsoft's storage partners, Iomega. Iomega recently announced a 720GB version of its popular Windows-powered NAS product line. Iomega makes a range of Windows-powered NAS systems aimed at small to midsized businesses as well as departmental server markets. Iomega's storage systems range from 160GB to 720GB, feature hot-swappable ATA drives, and take full advantage of the Windows-powered NAS platform. "Our goal is to provide specific enterprise-class storage features to the \[small to medium business\] market," said Akshay Gupta, product general manager of Iomega's back-office products.
Iomega is very happy with its decision to bring out a line of NAS products built around the Windows-powered NAS platform. "Windows has a huge base of installed users and a large ecosystem of third-party solutions built around that platform. Virus scanners, backup solutions, support for Active Directory—it's all there. We don't have to burn a lot of development cycles building solutions for a proprietary platform. We're happy with the feature set and time-to-market that Windows-powered NAS provides," said Gupta.
For you who have Windows NT servers in your file-serving environment, Windows-powered NAS provides a quick way to replace those servers with newer technology while improving performance and manageability. Over the next month, I plan to talk with Windows-powered-NAS customers to find out what they like and dislike about their solutions. In addition, I expect to receive an update from Microsoft about what's coming in the next version of Windows-powered NAS—the version that's based on Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server) 2003 features. If you use NT or haven't completely migrated to an Active Directory (AD) environment, Windows-powered NAS might make the AD migration process easier. But to find out how, you'll have to wait for my next Storage UPDATE column. For more information about Iomega's family of NAS products, click the following link:
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2. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Keith Furman, email@example.com
Brocade Communications Systems announced plans to acquire Rhapsody Networks, a privately held provider of intelligent switching platforms. Brocade, which provides infrastructure solutions for Storage Area Networks (SANs), will leverage the acquisition to deliver an open, intelligent platform for fabric applications. The new products will be fully interoperable with the Brocade SilkWorm family of Fibre Channel fabric switches. The company plans to work with OEMs to make the first product that incorporates Rhapsody's equipment available by the end of 2003. Brocade competes with Cisco Systems in storage networking. Cisco recently purchased Andiamo Systems to strengthen its offerings in a deal that could be worth as much as $2.5 billion.
Brocade's acquisition is estimated to be worth $175 million. The deal, which is expected to close in January, calls for Brocade to purchase Rhapsody for 23.4 million shares of Brocade common stock, which is about 10 percent of Brocade's outstanding shares.
The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) has created a new Storage Management Initiative (SMI) forum to help speed up the adoption of storage management technology. SMI is the fifth forum that SNIA has formed with the goal of improving storage interoperability and adoption of new technology. The SMI Forum is also one of many initiatives taking place in the industry with the goal of furthering storage management technology standards. Although the buzz surrounding storage management initiatives has been enormous, SNIA's initiatives have generated a lot of press but few results.
The forum will focus on the promotion of SNIA's SMI Specification for Storage Area Network (SAN)-based storage management, which is based on the Bluefin specification. The forum's goal is to have 60 percent of vendors' products compliant with the SMI Specification by 2004 and 100 percent compliance by 2005. Membership is open to all members of the association. Companies expected to join include Agile Storage, AppIQ, BMC Software, Brocade Communications Systems, CommVault Systems, Computer Associates (CA), Cranialogic, CreekPath Systems, EMC, Emulex, Fujitsu Softek, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), IBM, Inrange Technologies, Intel, InterSAN, LSI Logic Storage Systems, McDATA, Network Appliance (NetApp), Storability Software, StorageNetworks, Storage Technology (StorageTek), Sun Microsystems, VERITAS Software, and Vicom Systems.
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Each month, the Storage Admin channel highlights several articles about important storage topics such as backup and recovery, storage-related hardware and software, and application-specific storage. This week, in "To Move Forward, Evaluate Your Backup," Paul Robichaux discusses how a few simple changes can keep your backup process under control.
(contributed by John Savill, http://www.windows2000faq.com)
You can use any backup program to reliably back up files that aren't in use. However, backing up files that are in use, such as system files, when your OS is in an online state can be complicated. Consequently, online-backup software products, such as Computer Associates' (CA's) BrightStor ARCserve Backup and VERITAS Software's VERITAS Backup Exec, make it difficult or sometimes impossible to restore an entire server or workstation to the identical state it was in when you performed the backup. Add-on software agents are available to help back up open files, but they aren't always reliable. Offline backups provide the highest level of integrity because no files are held open and the system state is flat.
Offline backup software, sometimes called "true image" software, uses bootable media (e.g., 3.5" disk, CD-ROM) rather than the hard disk to back up servers and workstations while their OSs are inactive. Offline backup products, such as Symantec's Norton Ghost and PowerQuest's Drive Image, offer a simple way to back up hard disks, including virtual RAID 5 disks, for servers and workstations that use FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, and NTFS. Such software backs up all local hard disks and server or workstation partitions to one file (or to a series of truncated files, if you're backing up files larger than 2.1GB and the file system on the backup media doesn't recognize file sizes this large). Typically, offline backup software that copies a computer hard disk to another disk, either locally or over a network, will back up your system 5 to 10 times faster than will an online backup going to the fastest tape drive. The best features of offline backups are that they let you restore a system to the exact state it was in at the moment you performed the backup, and you can perform the restore far faster and easier than you can restore from tape.
An image backup is a replica of all the data on your hard disk, including exact file locations, rather than just copies of all your files. After you create an image backup file, you can use third-party tools, such as Drive Image, to restore any file or files from within the image backup file.
A reader needs to frequently dial in to his customers' database servers to perform database maintenance and tuning. One of the most important considerations when tuning a database is the underlying RAID configuration on the server. The reader wants to know whether there's a way to get this information without installing software or restarting the machine to check the BIOS. To read more about the problem or offer your expertise, use the following link:
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
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Carolyn Mader, email@example.com)
PANTERASoft released Careful Backup 1.51, a program that lets you back up crucial data to any type of storage. You can use the program to protect your data from accidental deletes, overwrites, and viruses. The scheduler feature lets you run backup tasks on an hourly, daily, and monthly basis. Careful Backup 1.51 runs on Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows Me, and Windows 9x systems and costs $34.95. Contact PANTERASoft at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Astute Networks is shipping Pericles, a software development kit (SDK) for storage OEM customers. The SDK lets Astute customers write their own application code in line with industry-standard storage protocols. The SDK enhances productivity in the software development cycle by encompassing design, development, debugging, and performance analysis. Astute's SDK is the only SDK in an emerging category of storage processors enabling storage OEMs to develop their own code. For pricing, contact Astute Networks at 858-673-7700.
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