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More from the FOSE floor: Search and storage

Is there no end to human ingenuity? Certainly you could spend the entire day at FOSE visiting one booth after another, marveling at all the great (or at least interesting) new technologies.


Search seems to be hot this year. Sure, Google can serve up almost anything on the Net with a single query, though you may not get the same results with two identical searches. So vendors are offering products that, they claim, can return results in a more predictable fashion. 'You want precision. You want consistency,' asserted Jan Van Eman director of Data Harmony Inc. (Booth 530).


To help in this regard, Data Harmony is adding two tools to its


Another new Data Harmony tool, MAIQuery acts as a thesaurus, allowing the search engine not only to return hits for the specific term you sought, but also conceptually similar terms. A search on the term 'music' for instance could also return resources about 'Beethoven.'


Of course, both of these tools will require considerable set-up time for the administrator, as you must hunt down the relevant thesauri and taxonomies. But that is a small price to pay for precision, at least when such precision is required.


DocSoft Inc. (Booth 424) is also tackling the search specificity problem, with its Element, an enterprise XML search engine. Oh sure, most enterprise search products can index XML documents, as plain text files. But Element actually uses the organization's schemas to refine the results'-not even Google's own search appliance does


In the storage world, we're finally starting to see the


While disguising disks as tapes may seem nonsensical at first, VTL's can be handy for organizations that want to enjoy faster backup and restoration times but don't want to reengineer their complex tape-based archiving process (nor write off their considerable investments in tape backup software).


SATA allows Sepaton to get its VTL at least within the general price range of tape libraries, according to Jay Livens, director of marketing for Sepaton. GSA pricing for a S2100-ES2 starts at about $33,000. This new version of Sepaton's VTL can manage up to a petabyte of data, and can boast a throughput of up to 34.4 terabytes per hour.


Also, on the SATA bandwagon is IQstor Networks Inc. (Booth #746). This company has released a SATA-based Storage Area Network, the iQ2280. Richard Eng, director of business development said this SAN can cost, on average, about 30 percent less than an equivalently-sized Fibre Channel-based SAN. Each unit can support up to 7.5 Terabytes of raw storage.


Performance wise, Eng still suggests going with the IQStor's FC SAN for the heavily transactional or mission-critical work, and using the SATA SAN for archiving data that is less heavily consulted or rewritten. But performance-wise, we have to admit that the two approaches are becoming less and less distinguishable from one another. Thanks to its use of the second generation of SATA disks (SATA II), the iQ2280 has a throughput of 4Gbps--almost to the level of a FC SAN. The SATA disks won't last as long as those used in FC SANs, but that only means the administrator will be swapping out bad disks a little more often (even then, not that often: The mean-time-before-failure for SATA disks is still measured in the millions of hours). In any case, the IQ2280 comes with a full array of snapshot and remote replication software, so no data will be lost when the inevitable does happen.


If your backup needs are more modest, then visit Plextor Inc. (Booth 843). The company is demonstrating its new DVD burner, the
PX-760A. Rob Demarest proudly proclaimed this burner to be the world's 18x DVD burner. Competing models have only spin up as fast as 16x, so he tells us. PX-760A pretty much fits the industry standard ATAPI specification of drives. It records in DVD+/-R/RW, CD-R and even dual layer DVDs. The 18x capability shaves the time for DVD recording from over five-and-one-half minutes down to almost four. Now, all we need are some 18x disks!


Posted by Joab Jackson


Posted by Brad Grimes, Joab Jackson on Mar 07, 2006 at 9:39 AM


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