What the hell am I going to do with all this data? Well, why not stick it on a disk. And this week we'll tell you just what's going on in that area at the moment:

Disk storage


Backing up to external hard drives is becoming popular but how do you secure the data?

Amacom has launched a range of high security portable hard drives. The new Encryp2disk comes with a choice of up to 192-bit hardware encryption for stored data, plus two "Secure Keys", stopping the need to remember passwords. Customers can buy a 100GB 2.5 inch drive or a 3.5 inch drive offering up to 400GB.

Holography


This developing technology has had another brick added to its wall.

Hitachi Maxell intends to begin sampling a 200GB capacity holographic disk in the autumn of this year, and incorporate it next year in InPhase's drive system. Hitachi has an investment in Inphase. The 130mm disk is bigger than the standard CD (120mm). Other holographic developers, such as OptWare, are basing designs on the 120mm form factor. A second-generation Hitachi disk with a 400GB capacity is hoped to be ready by 2007. Holographic drives could fill the technology hole looming after Blu-ray and HD-DVD which offer tens of gigabytes capacity - much less than holography's hundreds of gigabytes.


Who is the world's biggest disk storage supplier?
It's HP and has been for two and a half years, according to IDC. Customers buy more disc storage systems from it than anyone else, meaning more SAN storage and as much direct-attached storage as they buy from IBM. They also buy more NAS from HP than anyone else. All in all, HP has about a quarter of the disk storage market. Its storage software share is 7.6 percent, reflecting the fragmented storage software market. Compared to its disk storage position HP is also weak in data protection sales, hardware and also software, although it has grown strongly in the last year.

HP has just done a deal with optical disk supplier Lite-On for it to make and distribute HP-branded DVD drives. It makes Lite-on the nimber one supplier within the Optical Disc Drive market. With HP getting out of DVD writer manufacture, its future intentions in the optical disk backup and archive market will be looked at with interest.


Who doesn't supply the world's smallest disks?
Western Digital is entering the one-inch disk drive market, promising up to 6GB on a single drive. This leaves Maxtor as the micro-drive holdout from amongst the big four HDD suppliers. Hitachi GST, Seagate, and now Western Digital have all announced on-inch drive initiatives. Toshiba and Cornice are also in this market.

For Mac users


As ever providing Mac storage products that also work with storage functions on Windows, Unix and Linux is a concern of suppliers.

Atempo has released Time Navigator Enterprise Edition for Mac OS X Server. It is said, in a fine example of smooth marketing-speak, to be "the only high-performance, highly-scalable enterprise data protection solution for Mac OS X that enables companies to seamlessly integrate Mac OS X into heterogeneous network storage environments to achieve unparalleled data-recovery performance." Phew! The product has information lifecycle management features and can backup data from multiple platforms to a central store.

JPY announced the release of PresStore 1.5, Archiware’s professional data management product for distribution, backup and archiving of mission-critical data. It supports Mac OS X, Sun and Linux and understands Mac file formats which makes it, in JPY's view, a "must have" for all professional Mac users.

Market research as sales bludgeon


Market research is often commissioned by vendors to make a case for buying their products. Here is a prime example from networking supplier Cienna, wanting IT directors to buy more of its boxes for networking storage data:

"– more than three-quarters (76 percent) of European IT directors believe that data storage is critical to enterprise business continuity. However, more than half (52 percent) of respondents surveyed don’t know or disagree that compliance is forcing the increased uptake of data storage networking. ... although there is a general belief that storage networking over the Metropolitan or Wide Area Network (MAN/WAN) is imperative regardless of regulations, the majority of IT directors in Europe lack insight into how legislation may affect them and their corporate network requirements."

The phrase "lack insight" is pretty good. It means that these luckless IT directors don't realise how much better their lives would be if they bought Cienna kit.

Short


Emulex has introduced a Fibre Channel HBA designed specifically for IBM eServer BladeCenter systems, the LP1005DC. HS20 and HS40 blades running Windows and Linux can use it and its compatible with other Emulex LightPulse HBAs. As customers move from rack or chassis servers to blade servers they can stay with Emulex.