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Storage Clips: Microsoft launches simple SAN club

Microsoft aims to make storage simple for SMBs; FineGround launches WAFS box; 3PAR upgrades remote copy.

Daily compilation of storage news

Microsoft adds vendors to SAN program
Microsoft announced that EqualLogic Inc. and LeftHand Networks Inc. intend to participate in its Windows Simple SAN Program. The Microsoft program is designed to bring consolidated storage to small and medium-sized businesses. The aim of the program is to help small companies find easy-to-deploy SANs for Windows environments by qualifying vendors' products against a set of designed criteria. Vendors that meet the requirements of the program will be designated as "Compatible with Window Simple SAN." EqualLogic will participate in the program by offering its PS Series storage arrays. LeftHand intends to submit its iSCSI software and participate in the program.

FineGround launches WAFS box
FineGround Inc., has unveiled Velocity-FS, a Wide Area File Services (WAFS) product that it claims is the first single-appliance WAFS solution that resides entirely in the data center to deliver file services over WANs.

FineGround's approach to WAFS, which is about consolidating branch office storage to a central location, installs in front of data center storage and file systems to optimize file service traffic for the WAN while preserving rights management and access control, locking, coherency, security and data integrity, the company said. It supports Common Internet File System (CIFS)-compliant storage and also implements support for the Microsoft Distributed File System, providing accelerated file access to users on the WAN.

"File access times across the backbone link connecting our offices in California and British Columbia decreased from 80 seconds with native CIFS to 15 seconds with the Velocity-FS appliance," said a spokesman for PMC-Sierra, an early adopter of the product.

FineGround's Enterprise Application Delivery System uses a combination of application-specific techniques for bandwidth reduction, latency management and server offloading. With the introduction of its new WAFS appliance, FineGround has applied the same principles to optimize file access protocols for accelerated, manageable remote file services.

Velocity-FS is compatible with all major storage and file systems. It supports Microsoft Active Directory and the NTLM rights management systems, Distributed File System capabilities and desktops, such as Windows XP. Velocity-FS is currently available for pilot implementations with general availability expected in June 2005. Pricing for the appliance begins at $20,000.

3PAR upgrades remote copy
3PARdata Inc. announced remote copy with many-to-one support as its newest product offering for centralized disaster recovery. 3PAR Remote Copy and the company's InServ Storage Servers allow remote data replication from several InServ Storage Servers to a single, centralized InServ Storage Server located hundreds or thousands of miles away. Many-to-One Remote Copy will be available in May 2005 with the release of 3PAR Remote Copy, Version 2.2.

Avamar announces Axion version 3.0
Avamar Technologies Inc. announced the general availability of Axion Version 3.0. The new version of Axion, the company's disk-based backup product, delivers enhanced commonality factoring, meaning that the amount of backup data transmitted over the network that must be managed by Axion is reduced by 40% to 45% compared to prior Axion releases, the company said. This reduces hardware costs and the network bandwidth needed to perform offsite replication of backup data. Axion V3.0 server software is built upon Enterprise Linux 3 to improve its compatibility across a wide range of hardware.

Asigra certifies Xyratex
After performance and capacity scalability testing at its interoperability lab in Toronto, Asigra Inc. announced that it has successfully passed the Xyratex enterprise-class storage enclosures test for use with its Televaulting software. The Asigra lab tests compatibility between third-party vendors' hardware and software storage platforms, and the company's distributed Televaulting backup software.

LeftHand enhances channel
Hoping to meet the increased market demand for iSCSI SANs, LeftHand has unveiled an enhanced channel program that introduces a tier-based model aimed at specific resellers that specialize in small and medium-sized enterprises. The program provides partners with marketing programs, training, sales tools and sales support. LeftHand claims to have partnership agreements with over 100 value-added resellers and system integrators throughout North America.

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