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November 17, 1993

CONNER ANNOUNCEMENTS

By CBR Staff Writer

Low-end disk array kicks off Conner’s Comdex/Fall bumper bundle

Conner Peripherals Inc is revving up its marketing machine again at Comdex Fall with a string of new products. Following the launch of over 25 products as part of the Storage Solutions Initiative in September (CI No 2,253), the company hasn’t rested on its laurels. In the frame this time round are a RAID Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks product, along with back-up and storage management software, disk drives and tape storage products. The RAID product is an external system holding up to 6Gb called the CR6-RAID which supports RAID at level 0, 1 or 5. Available in January 1994, the system uses up to six 3.5 one inch-high SCSI drives, the 1Gb Filepro Performance 1060 hot pluggable models. These plug into the backplane of the system, and are controlled using the Conner Array Management software, which enables users to set up the system, monitor it and report on it. The software can be implemented in software or firmware depending on performance needs. Whatever option you take, the transfer rate remains the same at 10Mbps on FAST SCSI-2 with a 10mS seek time and a claimed Mean Time Between Data Loss of five million hours.

Conner Networker is into version 2.2

For NetWare users, Conner Storage Systems announced version 2.2 of its back-up and data management software, Conner NetWorker. The software supports MS-DOS, Windows and OS/2, while running on Sun 386i, Sparc, Sun-3, MS-DOS, Ultrix, R-series, Silicon Graphics Inc and Sony Corp Unix systems. Users can back up data at 48Mb per minute to a single drive when using Digital Linear Tape hardware from Conner. Speeds increase as more drives are added. The system, which works with SCSI drives storing over 1Gb, has been enhanced to provide simpler installation and diagnostics, and can support more clients than before – up to 250, and data can now be compressed by clients on back-up to improve performance. It also now works with BusLogic and Tricor SCSI host adaptors. Supporting NetWare 3.11, 3.12 and 4.0, NetWorker version 2.2 costs $750. If you buy it before March 1 next year with a Conner autoloader or tape drive you’ll get free 24-hour technical support, to a value of up to $3,000 – and if you buy it before December 31 this year, you’ll also get a $1,200 autoloader support module free.

Backup Exec for MS-DOS, Windows is out

For those users quite happy to back up from a stand alone unit to tape or floppy disk, Conner Software Group has announced Backup Exec for MS-DOS and Windows. The package uses a graphical user interface to provide users with a background back-up and restoration facility. The system, which works on MS-DOS 3.0 and above, can be made to compress data and encrypt it automatically, and can password-protect files. Other features include damaged data recovery, file-by-file restoration, a back-up scheduler, and five back-up type including full back-up, full copy, incremental back-up, incremental copy and differential back-up. The software goes for $100.

Internal autoloader for after lights-out

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Users need not fiddle with their cassettes half as much if they use Conner’s latest whizz-bang 4L-DATi internal DAT Autoloader. The system, which is designed for unattended lights-out back-up and recovery, is being marketed by the firm in the Performance Market Segment of its Storage Solutions Initiative. It provides up to 16Gb of storage using its automatic data compression in hardware, on four cassettes using a Conner 3.5 Turbo DAT drive and is operated by the company’s NetWorker and Hierarchical Storage Management software. Running over NetWare or Unix local nets, the autoloader can transfer data at 732Kb per second over a SCSI or SCSI-2 interface. Tapes, DDS-DC or DDS, can be loaded and unloaded in under eight seconds and the claimed Mean Time Between Failure is 80,000 hours.

Parallel port minicartridge drives

The lion’s share of the Conner announcements come from the Tape Products Group, which unveiled a series of parallel-port minicartridge, DC2000, tape drives. The new TapeStor 250 retail mo

dels and the equivalent OEM units can adjust their internal power supply to match differences in international power regulations. The drive has a 124Mb capacity but can double up to 250Mb with data compression technology. Compatible with QIC-80 and QIC-40 tape drives, the unit includes a pass-though parallel port and can store data at a speed of 9.5Mb per minute. Users can choose from one of two items of bundled software: Backup Exec, (see opposite) or the simplified Backup Basics. Both programs run under MS-DOS and Windows. Available by the end of the year, the Tapestor 250 retail drive with Backup Basics costs $360, or $20 more with Backup Exec. Conner is marketing this as a portable Windows-based back-up stystem, together with a parallel cable and an adaptor. Users with Backup Basics that want to upgrade to Backup Exec must pay $30.

Minicartridge tape drive stores 255Mb

Conner Tape Products has announced what it says is the first 255Mb native capacity mini-cartridge tape drive. The Conner Minicartridge Model 11255Q internal and 11255P parallel drives take a beefy 510Mb when using data compression with standard length tape, and they back up data at 9.5Mb per minute. The company says that users of the extended-length tape available in the first quarter of 1994 will increase drive capacity to 690Mb when using data compression. The drives, which are read-compatible with the Accutrak 40/80 tape format, are totally compatible with the QIC-3010 standard. They are the first of a family of drives which the company is planning to be compatible with both formats. The new drives feature Fastsense, which is firmware enabling the drives to select the fastest transfer rate automatically – this can be either 500Kbps or 1Mbps depending on the floppy disk controller in use. The internal model will be out from the first quarter next year, with a $400 retail bundle to follow which will include bundled software and accessories the drive is compatible with the Backup Basics and Backup Exec software. Users also get a two-year warranty.

Filepro Advantage 3.5 disk at 810Mb

On the disk drive front, Conner has launched the Filepro Advantage 810, a 3.5 hard drive aimed at the personal computer and low-end file server market. Storing 810Mb, the disk has an average latency of 6.7mS and a seek time of 12mS. Available in SCSI-2 or AT formats, the drive can transfer data at 17Mbps on SCSI or 10Mbps on AT. It measures one inch high and has a 256Kb buffer with write cacheing and look-ahead read. It joins the existing Filepro Advantage models, which comes in 340Mb, 540Mb and 1.08Gb versions. Evaluation units cost $690, and production units follow by next April.

Hierachical Storage Manager for servers

Get your servers in order with version 3.0 of Conner’s Hierarchical Storage Management System. The software, which the San Jose company claims can reduce the cost of network storage by 70%, manages data on NetWare 3.x and 4.x servers, by working out which of the storage devices can hold data most cheaply, based on the frequency of the data’s use. New features in version 3.0 include the capacity for multiple autoloaders and jukeboxes, the elimination of Terminate and Stay Resident programs that were previously needed for the clients, and simpler installation. The system, which can manage 70Mb of storage on a network, can access any data transparently, which the firm claims makes it more flexible than archiving systems. It can recall data for MS-DOS, Windows, OS/2, Unix and Macintosh clients. The thing carries a single-user price of $7,500.

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