Storage vendor BlueArc Corp. recently launched the next version of its high-end, network-attached storage array.

The Si8000 series NAS systems have expanded capability for accelerated remote copy between devices, snapshot backups, quota management and virus scanning, as well as support for virtual volumes, in which administrators can subdivide volumes into groups or partitions of storage that can be managed under a single interface. BlueArc uses Field-programmable Gate Arrays in its NAS designs to speed throughput and eliminate the bottleneck the NAS server normally puts on the transfer of data between the disk and the network clients. The company claims that its SiliconServers can reduce the size of that bottleneck from 200 to 400 Mbps to more than 2,000 Mbps, the speed of a bi-directional Gigabit Ethernet pipe. The new family of NAS devices increases the capacity of the SiliconServer from 8.7TB per standard rack to more than 26TB. The Si8000 family consists of three arrays of different sizes: the Si8300, which has a total capacity of 7TB; the Si8700 with 98TB of capacity and the Si8900 with 228TB of capacity. The largest device, the Si8900, also uses 2Gbps Fibre Channel drives.

Inxight spotlights Smart Discovery 3.0

Inxight Software Inc., which was spun off from Xerox PARC in 1997 to focus on content management and information retrieval, has introduced Smart Discovery 3.0, which combines technologies such as automatic categorization and the display of search results in a hierarchical view that previously had only been available separately.

The product is aimed at managing unstructured data such as Microsoft Corp. Office files, Web pages, e-mail messages, research reports and news feeds. Inxight also announced a US$22 million round of funding recently. Smart Discovery runs on Windows NT/2000 and Sun Microsystems Inc.’s Solaris. Pricing is determined on a per-server basis and starts at about US$250,000.

Mercury moves into IT service management

Mercury Interactive Corp. recently introduced software the company said gives network executives an easy way to view application performance data and relate it in real time to business services and end users.

Mercury launched the Optane suite and the first product in the suite, Topaz Business Availability software. The company said the software gives companies a way to track how well IT delivers services such as e-mail, CRM and enterprise resource planning applications. The software uses a Web interface to show network managers application performance and to correlate it with predefined service levels. Topaz Business Availability software collects performance information across network elements, such as operating systems and servers, and compares that data with preset service levels and rules. The software also can show which business services and end users that a poorly performing application will affect. Mercury says the software will let network managers spot – and fix – performance degradations before end users or customers are affected.

Netezza aims to speed apps processing

Startup Netezza Corp., which gets its name from an Urdu word meaning “results,” said its new multifunction appliance can get customers results 10 to 20 times faster than when they use a combination of separate server, storage and database systems.

The company’s first product, the Netezza Performance Server 8000 Series machine, is designed to speed the handling of queries to enterprise resource planning and other I/O-intensive applications that customers can run on it. “For business intelligence applications, such as data warehousing, companies normally run expensive Oracle databases on expensive Sun servers attached to expensive EMC gear,” said Steve Duplessie, senior analyst for Enterprise Storage Group Inc. “If you have a 25TB system, the average query can take hours to run – this mocks the whole business intelligence concept of current, readily accessible, highly usable data. Netezza can take 90 per cent of the query time out of the equation.” The system starts at US$622,000, whereas multiterabyte systems based on an EMC Symmetrix, Sun Fire 12K server and Oracle 9i database can cost more than $1 million.

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