Storage Briefs

StoneFly breeds storage virtualization appliance

Start-up StoneFly Networks Inc. has combined data pooling and an emerging IP storage standard into storage appliances. The storage appliances are best used in mid-size businesses and workgroups, departments and branch offices of large enterprise businesses, where skilled IT talent is scarce and an inexpensive, easy-to-install and implement appliance is necessary, the company claims.

The StoneFly Concentrators use iSCSI to connect parallel SCSI storage devices or Fibre Channel arrays to multiple Windows NT/2000, Linux or Unix servers. They come in two models, the i1000SC and i1500FS. Both are built on Intel Pentium 4 processors. Each rack-mountable concentrator is 1U (1.75-inches) high. The i1000SC has three parallel SCSI ports and can connect to up to 45 SCSI storage devices; the i1500FS with one parallel SCSI and one Fibre Channel port can connect to 15 SCSI devices and multiple Fibre Channel devices. In addition, the i1500FS has dual hot-swappable power supplies and includes the ability to mirror the operating system and metadata for fault-tolerance.

Network Appliance eyes SAS-based analytics

NAS (network attached storage) giant Network Appliance Inc. (Netapp) recently announced that it has joined the SAS Partner Program in an effort to deliver BI (business intelligence) products to the Netapp platform.

As a member of the SAS program, Netapp will work with SAS to develop advanced BI technology for Netapp customers that includes data mining and ERP, according to Netapp representatives based in Sunnyvale, Calif. Participation in the program will also yield a customer outline of “best practices” for deploying and managing SAS BI tools on Netapp storage filers, according to Netapp. Decaying hardware margins are prompting storage vendors like Netapp to offer software and services, such as the SAS BI tools, to derive revenue and differentiate themselves from competitors such as EMC, said Steven Elliot, a research director at Hurwitz Group, in Framingham, Mass.

Tundra to help Intel prime XScale for storage

Intel Corp. has tapped Tundra Semiconductor Corp. of Ottawa to jointly work on system interconnects to give the XScale chip architecture a role in storage applications.

“We will be focusing on midrange to high-end storage systems, such as RAID (redundant array of independent disks) systems. The new products will have easier capabilities of managing storage with higher throughput. Users will be able to manage more data at lower costs,” said Richard O’Connor, Tundra’s chief technology officer. Tundra’s system interconnect chips are used for internal system communications, such as between processors and memory or peripheral controllers. Intel, in Santa Clara, Calif., has been developing the XScale architecture to produce XScale processors for networking and more recently for processors used in cellular and smart phones.

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