Compaq bolsters storage line

Compaq Computer released a host of new networked storage products Tuesday, as the company completed another phase of its revamped storage strategy.

Compaq updated its storage line with everything from new storage cabinets to switches and software. The slew of products could bolster Compaq's position in the storage market as it attempts to capitalize on the trend toward SAN (storage area network) and NAS (network attached storage) architectures. Both SAN and NAS technology give companies more management options for shuffling data between servers, storage systems and users. Companies have typically made direct attachments between servers and storage systems but are beginning to rely on switching systems and IP (Internet Protocol) to funnel information between hardware.

The releases fill out another part of Compaq's Enterprise Network Storage Architecture (ENSA), which was first released in 1998 and extended to ENSA-2 in 2001. Compaq did not release pricing on the new products and was unavailable for comment.

The new products announced are as follows:

-- The StorageWorks SAN Switch 2/16 is designed to transfer data at up to 2G bits per second (bps) over Fibre Channel networks. The switch has better transfer speeds than its predecessor and can be installed in pairs to create a backbone for linking SAN systems.

-- A pair of Enterprise Virtual Array Expansion Cabinets have been added to allow customers to increase their disk capacity by cabling the "side-car" cabinets to existing arrays, according to a statement.

-- Compaq also updated its Array Controller Software by adding several patches to existing products. In addition, Compaq released version 1.02 of its SANworks Virtual Controller Software for managing the HSV110 Array Controller.

-- The company brought out the FC2257c Fibre Channel host bus adapter for Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Solaris operating system.

-- The MSL5052SL Tape Library is also available as a new tape storage product. The unit comes with hot plug drives, redundant power supplies and five cPCI I/O slots.

-- Compaq also launched the AIT 100G-byte Tape Drive for data archiving. The product can consistently transfer data at 12M bps, making it possible to back up large amounts of information, the company said in the statement.

-- A new SDLT 110/220GB Maintenance Kit comes with various tools for lowering system downtime and works with Compaq's existing tape products.

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