Behind the firewall 15

Low-cost drives not created equal ... Microsoft checks out PolyServe ... Regulation rouses interest in data encryption.

Veritas turning away business? The CIO of a Manhattan investment banking firm, who was recently evaluating remote replication software, contacted Veritas about its Cluster Server and Volume Replicator software. But the CIO was left scratching his head when Veritas refused to provide trial versions of the software for testing or a customer reference. Being the king of backup software, you'd think Veritas would be better at backing up their word.


Finally, regulation might be rousing some real interest in data encryption among storage managers, according to Karim Toubba, vice president of product management and marketing at Ingrian Networks. Toubba says interest in encryption is beginning to take off as companies come to grips with legal requirements to protect data. He says nearly two-thirds of the 36 companies where Ingrian has demonstrated its DataSecure Platform encryption appliance have specifically budgeted dollars to meet compliance security requirements.

Microsoft is rumored to be checking out cluster file system software maker PolyServe from Beaverton, OR, to compete with the growth of Linux clusters. The National Weather Service (NWS) just moved its entire forecasting system onto a Linux farm and government agencies are taking a serious look at open source to save costs. If Linux farms take off and become enterprise ready, the appeal of Windows servers is certain to wane. The Redmond software giant must also watch out for EMC, Network Appliance and other storage players working on global file system technology.

Thinking of outfitting your array with those new-fangled, low-cost Fibre Channel (FC) drives? They're not all created equal. According to a source, the FATA drives used by Hewlett-Packard are desktop-class drives with an FC attachment. Meanwhile, the "economy" FC drives used by Xiotech--a former Seagate subsidiary--are enterprise-grade, 10,000 rpm FC drives that have been clocked to spin at 7,200 rpm. A Seagate spokesperson will only say that when the two Seagate drives initially shipped there were differences, but "there aren't two different configurations at this time."

What's in a name? In the case of IBM's new DS6000 and DS8000 arrays, not a lot. While IBM's ESS arrays carried the catchy epithet of Shark, the DS6000 and DS8000 lack a similarly colorful nickname. In fact, some IBM spokespeople were at a loss when asked what "DS" stood for. It's apparently "Disk Systems"--hardly the kind of handle for a line that wants to be the big fish in the storage sea.

A New York-based financial analyst says EMC shouldn't worry about Hitachi's and IBM's recent rollouts of splashy new storage systems. He says the two announcements represent "brute force" products, and EMC doesn't necessarily have to respond in kind. "EMC seems to be locked in," he says, "and these guys seem to be following them." Still, he expects EMC to lob a volley or two back, including their imminent storage router product, but adds, "I hope that's not the complete response."

We hear Hewlett-Packard will announce a new option for its BladeSystem blade server family: an iSCSI card with TCP/IP Offload Engine (TOE) capabilities. So far, FC storage area network storage has proved relatively popular with HP's blade customers. According to HP's Mark Potter, responsible for the BladeSystem family, more than 50% of users attach to some sort of networked storage.

Got dirt? Go ahead and send it to us at We solemnly swear not to reveal your name, or who you work for.
This was last published in November 2004

Dig Deeper on Primary storage devices

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.