Storage products are a hit at Comdex

Storage products are a hit at Comdex

Industry works to keep up with demands of systems running round the clock

By Thomas R. Temin
GCN Staff

LAS VEGAS'At this year's Comdex, what's old is new, especially when it comes to disk storage.

Driven by hard-drive advances and capacity demands, storage vendors are racing to market with software, components and subsystems that couple high capacity with greater manageability and speed.

At the controller level, the hot trend is multichannel SCSI RAID host adapters capable of connecting multiple drives on each channel. Adaptec Inc. of Milpitas, Calif., announced a SCSI card in which dual channels each support a 160-megabyte/sec data transfer rate, known as Ultra160 SCSI. The Adaptec 39160 can connect 15 devices per channel. Adaptec demonstrated the device on a Compaq Computer Corp. server with a mixture of drives delivering 114 megabytes/sec of data continuously.

Adaptec plans to acquire Distributed Processing Technology of Maitland, Fla., which introduced at Comdex the sixth generation of its SmartRAID SCSI and Fibre Channel controllers. They range from a single-channel, 32-bit unit with 4M of RAM to a four-channel, 64-bit controller with 64M of RAM for enterprise servers.

Equally powerful is Mylex Corp.'s eXtremeRAID 2000 controller with four Ultra 160 SCSI channels that can support 60 drives in total.

A server running Microsoft NT Server theoretically could have up to 32 controllers. IBM Corp. acquired the Fremont, Calif., company in September.

For subsystems

At the subsystem level, XIOtech Corp. of Eden Prairie, Minn., showed what product manager Dan McCormick called a storage area network in a box. Dubbed REDI, for real-time data intelligence, the SAN has storage management software with REDI Storage Manager at its core.

XIOtech bundles its REDI software with the Magnitude RAID cabinet, which holds up to 64 drives with an expansion unit, creating a turnkey SAN. McCormick said the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Agriculture Department use XIOtech products.

NStor Technologies Inc. of Lake Mary, Fla., upgraded its AdminiStor storage management software with remote Java support for SANs. Jim Campbell, nStor's marketing communications manager, said the storage industry is working to keep up with the demands of systems running 24 hours per day, seven days a week.

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