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Product Round-Up: Storage Encompasses the Enterprise

Storage media has become so sophisticated in the last few years that there is now a practical solution available for every business problem you might encounter, from storage-area networks (SANs) and network-attached storage (NAS), to storage systems that are easily expandable and then those that smartly manage a multi-departmental enterprise. As university storage and archival requirements change, and as the demand for smarter and more secure storage escalate, administrators and information systems staff must consider some of the trade-offs that exist on every individual campus. Here is a sampling of the latest storage offerings as you consider your storage needs.

Dell networked storage systems and services allow higher education institutions to add affordable storage capacity to their networks for applications such as archived student records, digital content, teaching materials, and e-mail. These products feature the availability, data protection, performance, and scalability needed to help reduce unplanned downtime and improve application deployment, while allowing institutions to grow their storage systems on demand. The Dell/EMC CX200 storage-area network system with 2GB Fibre Channel technology, up to 200MB/s throughput, and capacity up to 4.4TB, is one option. Dell also offers a PowerVault 775N network-attached storage server with dual Intel Xeon processors, dual embedded Giga slots, and a Dual Channel RAID on the motherboard (ROMB), in a 2U rack dense form factor. Dell also offers professional service offerings to assist in planning, installation, and deployment. Contact: Dell Computer Corp., Round Rock, Texas; (800) 626-8286;

The HP StorageWorks NAS b3000 is targeted at organizations needing NAS server/storage consolidation with connectivity to an entry-level SAN. The NAS b3000 scales to 27TB with embedded switches, and it can scale to even higher capacity with external options. In the "fused" environment HP has created, the server delivers the block-level information of SAN to databases and applications and the file-level information of NAS to applications and users. This occurs in a single, managed storage infrastructure and achieves outstanding levels of availability by including RAID, Ad- vanced Data Guarding (ADG), and fully integrated software packages, as well as no-single-point-of-failure clustered configurations. The HP Storage Works NAS b3000 is designed to address difficult-to-manage "islands" of storage through highly reliable, high-capacity, high-performance file server consolidation. This particular configuration offers flexibility to customers and provides investment protection with a long-term strategy and components that grow with the organization. Contact: Hewlett-Packard Co., Palo Alto, Calif.; (650) 857-1501;

Plasmon's D-Series libraries use the latest DVD/CD Multi Drive technology. The D-Series allows mixing of media to suit most archiving applications and user storage requirements. Plasmon's D-Series and Enterprise D-Series libraries are available in multiple configurations, including the D-120, D-240, D-480, D-875, D-1525, and the D-2175. The product numbers reflect the number of slots in each. Each library is available with Plasmon's patented Rotation Station, a device that actually flips double-sided media. Storage capacities range from 758GB to more than 20TB. Each Plasmon D-Series library comes standard with Multi Drives that support reading and writing of DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD-R, and CD-RW media. DVD-R offers Write-Once-Read-Many (WORM) protection along with 9.4GB capacities and high throughput. DVD-RAM is re-writeable and supports double-sided 9.4GB media. Each model is equipped with a patented dual-picker for faster disc exchanges and an LVD interface for longer cable connections. DVD/CD media is placed on trays inside 10-disc magazines for maximum protection and extreme density. Each magazine is utilized inside the library as shelving for the tray-based media. Trays are captured by the dual-picker for movement inside the library so the picker never touches the media. A single media mail-slot is used for import/export of media from the library. Contact: Plasmon Plc, Englewood, Colo.; (800) 451-6845;

The 3PAR InServ Storage Server Family is the hardware foundation of the 3PAR Utility Storage offering. 3PAR InServ Storage Servers use a cluster-based architecture, known as the 3PAR InSpire Architecture, capable of delivering up to five times the performance of monolithic and modular storage architectures. The modularity of the architecture delivers a single storage platform that scales continuously from the very small to the very large. Users can also fine-tune the product to suit their needs, adding independent, granular, and common increments of capacity, connectivity, and performance on demand. Because the architecture is cluster-based, with each node running an independent copy of the software, 3PAR's storage servers offer complete fault tolerance of both hardware and software. Three models are available, which accommodate up to two, four, and eight 3PAR controller nodes. The high-performance data movement engines (or nodes) are designed to handle mixed workloads simultaneously. The drive chassis hold up to 40 disk drives, delivering close to 6TB in a single unit or nearly 48TB in a single 19-inch standard rack. Contact: 3PAR, Fremont, Calif.; (510) 413-5699;

Network Appliance
Network Appliance offers both storage appliances and related software. NetApp filers are designed for easy standards-based integration, guaranteeing rapid deployment, simplified ongoing management, and low cost of ownership. Various models are available, up to the FAS960, which is capable of managing 24TB of data in one system and 8TB in one file system. NetApp storage solutions are appropriate choices for storing, safeguarding, and serving Microsoft Exchange 2000 data. Numerous accounts for faculty and staff members and students can reside on the same NetApp filer as well as departmental shared directories. SnapManager and SnapRestore software are key enabling technologies for Exchange on NetApp filers. SnapManager gives an organization a comprehensive data management solution for hosting and automating backup and restore of the Exchange store. SnapManager and SnapRestore can reduce backup time from hours to seconds and simplify the entire backup-and-recovery process. Contact: Network Appliance Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif.; (408) 822-6000;

Nexsan Technologies' InfiniSAN line of disk-based storage solutions includes the ATAboy2, which provides next generation EnterpriseATA performance, reliability, and high data availability for the most demanding storage and data-delivery applications. Available with SCSI or Fibre connectivity, Nexsan's award-winning ATAboy2 disk-based systems scale from a correct cost, entry-level solution while providing unchallenged expandability and superior fault-tolerance supporting the storage industry's most demanding small to enterprise-class applications. ATAboy2 was the winner of Storage Magazine's Product of the Year in 2002. Contact: Nexsan Technologies, Woodland Hills, Calif.; (866) 4-NEXSAN;

IBM's TotalStorage technology, based on open standards and interoperability, addresses a wide array of storage needs, including disk, tape, middleware, database, ISV applications, services, and financing. Among the newest entries in the portfolio of products is the Enterprise Storage Server, Models 800 and 800 Turbo, the most significant upgrade since the product, better known as "Shark" was introduced in 1999. The new Model doubles performance and storage consolidation while cutting processing time in half. IBM TotalStorage products also include IBM's midrange FAStT storage servers, tape storage, and NAS offerings. Contact: IBM Corp., White Plains, N.Y.; (800) IBM-4-YOU;

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