Holographic disk six pack
After its January announcement that a standards body is looking at a holographic video disk (HVD), Optware has set up a six-company alliance, including Fuji Photo Film, to spread the world. It will be, the six hope, the follow-on to Blu-ray and offer a 200GB per CD-sized disk, with 1TB per disk in sight.

Hitachi Data Systems - HDS - is adding McData's i10K backbone director to its line. HDS sees it as a great fit with its TagmaStore which can be at the head-end of a string of heterogeneous drive arrays. If HDS does persuade customers to use TagmaStore in this way then huge Fibre Channel bandwidth will be needed and McData's 256-port super switch will fit the bill nicely. It will front end a tiered SAN switch structure much like TagmaStore front ends a tiered drive array structure. Symmetry rules okay!

Emulex has new software that can automatically update the firmware in its HBAs. It's called Enterprise AutoPilot Installer and works with Windows Server 2003 and 2000. HBAs can have firmware updated without requiring a server re-boot - most of the time. Computer Associates by the way, has certified that Emulex' LP1000 HBAs work fine with its BrightStor storage management product.

In the midst of the HP turmoil everyday storage life goes on. QLogic is to supply HBAs for HP StorageWorks' MSA1500 SAN Starter kits. These are entry-level SAN product sets and compete with equivalent Dell systems.

Hard drives
Some good news for stress-ridden Maxtor - its Atlas 15K II and 10K V enterprise hard drives and its MaXLine III drive were awarded best-in-class hard drives status on StorageReview.com's LeaderBoard, in their respective categories. This independent testing site awarded the Atlas 15K II drive top honours in the Server-Performance category and the Atlas 10K V drive the top position in the Server-Capacity category. As icing on the cake the Atlas 15K II drive was also named the World's Fastest Hard Drive by StorageReview.com.

Utility storage
A UK financial services utility computing services supplier called Paremus has chosen 3Par's InServ storage servers as the storage engine for its product set, called the Infiniflow Utility Datacenter Ecosystem. Paremus likes 3Par's virtualised storage with dynamic provisioning - meaning you only need buy enough disks for data writes rather than buying enough disk for all the allocated space you give applications.

Princeton Softech now has products to help customers indatabase archiving work with PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Oracle applications. Princeton has produced specific templates for each ERP app and some for products within these ERP suites. Old data that needs to be kept for future reference can now be sucked off into an auditable archive where it's still available but not taking up online disk space.

Flash Memory
Toshiba and SanDisk have devised a new type of NAND flash memory chip. It uses a 70nm process rather than the current 90nm one, and can hold 1GB on a single chip, twice as much as current 0.5GB (4 gigabit) chips. The two aim to develop 1GB and 2GB products, the latter a simple package of two 1GB chips, for 2006. Their technology uses a multi-level cell (MLC) design that allows two bits of data to be stored in one memory cell, doubling capacity. The 1GB chip size is less than five percent larger than the previous generation 4Gb chip with its 90nm process. Its write and read speeds are 40 percent faster. That should keep flash sales healthy.

More or less completing its main roll out LTO-3 format drives will now be made available by Quantum for its libraries and automation products. IBM and HP already have LTO-3 drives announced.