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Top 10 storage stories of 2005

Sun, IBM, HP and StorageTek all made headlines in 2005, as did Bank of America and Time Warner -- here's the good and bad news that rocked the storage industry this year.

No. 1: Banks mull data security in wake of missing tapes

Missing tapes and data security breaches stole the headlines in 2005. In March, Bank of America reported that it had lost tapes in transit containing the financial information of more than 60 U.S. senators. The news prompted institutions across the country to reflect on their data security policies.

Two months later, Time Warner Inc. reported that data on 600,000 current and former employees stored on 40 backup tapes was lost in transit by Iron Mountain Inc. California regulation SB 1386, which forces companies to disclose publicly any data security breaches, left many companies with egg on their face in 2005, as simple a procedure like securing data in transit was overlooked.

The Specter-Leahy bill, a national version of SB 1386, was passed by a senate panel in November and promises to cause a big stir in 2006.

Iron Mountain loses 40 Time Warner tapes
Tape caper: Users split on data security options
Credit union takes no chances with data security
Storage Clips: Senate panel passes data breach act
Privacy expert calls for action on Specter-Leahy bill
NetApp locks down Decru for $272M
Quantum jumps into security fray
EMC sketches out security strategy
NuView secures file access for administrators
FalconStor throws hat into encryption ring

No. 2: Sun acquires StorageTek for $4.1B

Sun Microsystems Inc. acquired Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) for a whopping $4.1 billion in June, silencing criticism that the server giant was a nonplayer in storage. But like all major acquisitions, integration is crucial and this deal is still in its early days.

StorageTek users weigh Sun roadmap
Sun's storage plans still fuzzy
Sun sheds light on StorageTek plans
Users give Sun-StorageTek deal the nod

No.3: HP makes a comeback

Hewlett Packard Co.'s (HP) storage group came back from the brink of death in 2005 with a string of exciting OEM deals followed by the acquisition of AppIQ Inc.

HP splashes out on software acquisitions
HP steps up its game in data protection
HP deflects criticism of OEM strategy
HP breathes life into storage line
HP's Livermore outlines storage strategy

No. 4: IBM DS8000 bug

IBM pulled out all the stops to silence this story, which is why you won't see it reported anywhere else. Users in Europe and North America told of a catastrophic bug in IBM's flagship DS8000 storage array that caused the system to spontaneously shut down after 40-plus days. Ouch!

IBM DS8000 bug shuts down users like clockwork
User seeks damages over IBM DS8000 crash

No. 5 CDP breaks free

If there was one technology that caused the biggest buzz in 2005, it was continuous data protection (CDP) -- most notably for Microsoft's entrance into the market with Data Protection Manager.

CDP to take center stage at Storage Decisions
Microsoft Data Protection Manager: Pros and cons
Storage Clips: HP, IBM offer CDP
CDP: An overview
CDP adds real-time backup protection for mission-critical data

No. 6 IBM strikes OEM deal with NetApp

Surprising the market in April, IBM announced that it would OEM the majority of Network Appliance Inc.'s (NetApp) NAS products, firing a direct hit at EMC Corp. So far however, the arrangement hasn't ruffled many feathers, but it could still upset the playing field in 2006.

IBM and NetApp battle EMC
IBM takes another shot at NAS

No. 7: SAS products arrive

SAS products sparked plenty of debate in 2005 over where the new interface will fit in the data center. Some industry experts say it will replace SATA, and others say it will threaten Fibre Channel.

First SAS products arrive
New SAS products spark debate
Future is fuzzy for Fibre drives
Crash Course: SAS

No. 8: 4 Gbps products hit shelves

In February, Engenio Technologies Inc. was the first company to launch an array that supports 4 Gbps speeds, which it sells through OEM partners -- IBM; Silicon Graphics Inc. and Sun. Switch and host bus adapter vendors joined the fray throughout the year. It's backwards compatible with 2 Gbps products and costs the same so users will end up buying it, but few are even close to saturating their 2 Gbps links and have little to say about 4 Gbit.

Storage Clips: IBM introduces 4 Gbps array
SNW news preview
Storage Clips: HDS resells Brocade 4 Gbps switches
Hitachi ships SAS and 4 Gbps FC drives

No. 9: McData acquires CNT

Beefing up its sales force and channel extension portfolio, McData Corp. announced the acquisition of Computer Network Technology Corp. (CNT) in January. The merger hit integration challenges, including product overlap and later, inventory issues, but appears to be back on track, almost a year later.

Product overlap clouds McData/CNT deal
McData strips out overlap with CNT
McData: Strategic Vendor Series

No. 10 Open source management initiative draws heat

IBM surprised everybody, even some of its partners, with plans to develop open source storage management software. The Aperi initiative received endorsements from some key players, but EMC, HP, Hitachi Data Systems Inc. and Symantec Corp. are missing, leaving many users disappointed. That said, if IBM can get this thing off the ground, it could level the playing field in storage hardware with huge consequences for the industry at large.

IBM open source gang missing key players

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