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Storage Products On Parade In San Diego

Next week's Storage Networking World conference in San Diego will see a host of storage vendors introducing products that span the gammet of industry buzz words from CDP to ILM to data security.

And despite a $4,000 registration fee for channel partners that will keep most of them elsewhere for the week, solution providers can expect many of the products and programs introduced at the show directed at them.

Atlanta-based American Megatrends, for instance, is unveiling its return to the channel after focusing almost exclusively on the OEM business since it sold its MegaRAID division to LSI Logic in 2001, a company spokesperson told CRN.

The company has just revamped its channel program with opportunity registration, market development funds, and reseller training in time for the release of four new NAS and iSCSI appliances, the spokesperson said.

They include the StorTrends 1100n, a NAS appliance with up to four hot-swap SATA hard drives for a capacity of up to 2 Tbytes in a 1U enclosure, and the StorTrends 3100n, which puts up to 15 500-Gbyte SATA drives in a 3U space. The company is also showing the 1100i and 3100i which add iSCSI capability to the 1100n and 3100n.

The appliances are currently available. The 1100n starts at $3,000 and the 1100i at $4,499 with 1 Tbyte of capacity. A fully-loaded 3100i lists for $24,999.

American Megatrends is also showing its new storage software stack including integrated snapshot technology that creates and deletes snapshots in under a half-second, an auto-rebuild RAID function, integrated web-based management, and iSCSI tape support, the spokesperson said.

A number of vendors are using the conference to show new storage infrastructure offerings.

LSI Logic, Milpitas, Calif., is making the first public demo of serial-attached SCSI (SAS) switches, said Charlie Kraus, director of the company's host bus adapter business unit.

Solution providers who work with SAS today can add SAS controllers to their servers, as well as expanders in the storage arrays to allow a limited number of ports to access a large number of drives in the array, said Kraus. LSI's new SAS switch uses that expander technology to allow servers to connect to multiple SAS-based storage arrays to build low-cost storage networks, he said.

Kraus said SAS-based networks will be no challenge to Fibre Channel, as SAS is limited in distance to 8 meters between the server and switch and another 8 meters from the switch to the array. Also, SAS does not scale to the large number of hard drives that Fibre Channel can address.

The sweet spot for SAS switches is companies with 10 to 12 servers talking to two to four storage devices, said Kraus. "That's about the limit a single SAS switch can support," he said. "You can cascade switches, but you get partial blocking situations as multiple switches are connected together."

The SAS switches are expected to ship in mid-year to OEMs and distributors. Price has yet to be set.

San Francisco-based Nimbus Data Systems, on the other hand, is looking at high-end storage infrastructures with the company's new appliances that combine iSCSI and NAS capabilities with 10-Gbit Ethernet.

The appliances are aimed exclusively at the channel, said CEO Thomas Isakovich. Street prices for the appliances, with 3.5 Tbytes of capacity and a three-year, on-site support contract, are expected to run about $35,000.

Colorado Springs, Colo.-based STORServer is aiming at the small and midsize business channel with a new backup storage appliance based on IBM hardware and that is integrated with IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager software, said Ellen Rome, vice president of sales and marketing.

The EZ Backup appliance comes in two flavors. For small businesses, it comes with TSM Express Edition software, and comes with either 1 Tbyte or up to two Tbytes of capacity, with prices starting at $5,000. Midsize business customers get appliances based on TSM Enterprise Edition, with prices starting at $15,000.

The appliances are available exclusively through the channel, including both IBM and non-IBM solution providers, Rome said. IBM is offering marketing and lead-generation programs to its VARs, while STORServer offers its own channel tools, including dealer registration, she said.

Storage management software vendor BakBone is showing a new version of its NetVault Replicator data replication application at SNW. Its new version 4.2 now allows one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-one replication across Linux servers, said Ken Horner, senior vice president of corporate development for the San Diego company.

With the new NetVault Replicator, the replication function is also being integrated with BakBone's NetVault Backup application, making the company the only one to offer both data replication and data backups for Linux environments, Horner said.

Data security is also on tap at SNW next week.

Lexington, Mass.-based Revivio is introducing its new Application Integration Suite that allows application-specific implementation of the company's continuous data protection software.

With continuous data protection, or CDP, changes to data are backed up immediately or at certain predefined intervals to enable users to instantly recover a deleted, corrupted or modified file. While some applications allow data changes to be captured on-the-fly, most back up the changes at set intervals.

The Application Integration Suite includes modules for applications such as Oracle, Sybase and Sequel databases, Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes. It integrates with existing backup software to archive data recovery points, said Kirby Wadsworth, senior vice president of marketing and business development.

"This allows our VARs to quickly plug CDP into their customers' existing environment, and then feed the backup from their existing infrastructure to get a permanent archive of recovery points," Wadsworth said. "We're not trying to educate people about how CDP works. They get it. We're trying to make it work easier."

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