Behind the firewall 6

Veritas and Legato backup woes ... Cisco fails to foster storage knowledge ... Microsoft is playing musical chairs ... Startup Mendocino gobbles up Vyant's intellectual property.

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Dazzler, Brocade's up-and-coming low-port count switch, could be announced this quarter, some believe, and not in the April/May timeframe as others have suggested. It will probably feature eight or 12 ports. Look for the 128-port, single-domain SilkWorm 2400 in May, though.

@exb

We're still hearing grumblings from Cisco customers that the company doesn't really get storage yet. One early adopter of Cisco switches is now looking at other vendors for additional directors as it builds out its network in different locations. It's not so much that the adopter had major grief with the Cisco gear, but it's still having trouble getting Cisco to pay attention to the storage management team and the sort of issues that tend to nag any Fibre Channel equipment. All Cisco wants to do is talk to its buddies in the data network IP group. It's hard to teach old dogs new tricks, it would seem.
@exe

Beware, if you're planning to back up data over an iSCSI network using older versions of Veritas NetBackup or Legato NetWorker. In campus environments, iSCSI may add more latency than backup servers expect, causing jobs to fail. Veritas says it's unaware of any specific issues, but "recognizes that the drivers, environment and network speed will all play a role in the performance and success of backups. Any issues with those items can negatively impact backup performance, resulting in 'time outs' or failures having nothing to do with the software involved." Legato didn't respond to our request for comment.

IBM may be set to relaunch its TotalStorage 200i, a native iSCSI target device, with which it led the iSCSI charge way back in 2001. The company quietly dumped the 200i last year due to lack of interest.

Things are in flux at Microsoft. Last month, Bob Muglia was promoted to senior VP of the server and the storage group, leaving much confusion among partners over who's in charge of what. "They're swapping chairs over there," says one partner.

This spring, HP will announce a reference data storage appliance which will be built on a grid computing architecture--one that's radically different from EMC's Centera. We suspect that it will be cheaper as well. For any of you that bought software from Vyant Technologies--whose RealTime software does continuous backup and instant data recovery--you will soon have a new master. Apparently, stealth-mode startup Mendocino, with funding from Mayfield, is buying up all of Vyant's intellectual property--but not its people. Go figure.

Sun storage and server users, don't be surprised if the competition starts showering you with some very attractive offers this year. Salespeople representing at least one of Sun's major competitors will be receiving bonuses this year for blowing Sun gear off the floors of corporate data centers.

For any of you that bought software from Vyant Technologies--whose RealTime software does continuous backup and instant data recovery--you will soon have a new master. Apparently, stealth-mode startup Mendocino, with funding from Mayfield, is buying up all of Vyant's intellectual property--but not its people. Go figure.

DataCore is reducing man-hours to rein in costs. Despite 2003 revenue growth of 40%, the virtualization software specialist reportedly handed out more than 20 pink slips last November in what it called an internal "realignment." DataCore says most of the layoffs were channel account managers. Nonetheless, the firm received a new round of funding.

StorageTek is moving aggressively into storage area network (SAN) services and support, hiring approximately 40 new sales reps to sell services. The model for this is IBM's successful Global Services business, which supports, integrates and even recommends any vendor's hardware product, not just its own. Meanwhile, customers may find it hard to purchase DLT-based libraries or drives from the firm. Sources say friction between StorageTek and DLT maker Quantum has resulted in StorageTek dropping compensation to sales reps for DLT sales.

Behind the Firewall is written by a team of industry insiders who, for obvious reasons, prefer to remain anonymous. If you have tips, send them to btf@storagemagazine.com.
This was first published in February 2004

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