Pings & Packets from eWEEK Labs - 34

Maxtor's OneTouch II eases backup ... Fluke's NetTool monitors VOIP ... Addonics adds low-cost capacity.

Maxtors OneTouch II Eases Backup

With the availability of high-capacity hard drives with a lower cost per gigabyte, small companies should consider using external storage devices such as Maxtors OneTouch II Small Business Edition as a way to simplify backup tasks.

The OneTouch II SBE, which shipped last month, is priced at $600 and offers 200GB of storage capacity (300GB with compression) in a small form factor.

In tests, the OneTouch II SBE was simple to set up. After I connected the device to my server via USB (OneTouch II SBE supports USB 1.1 and 2.0 but not FireWire), I ran the wizard interface that enabled me to easily configure backup schedules, set file security and manage restored data.

Like Maxtors other OneTouch models, the OneTouch II SBE comes with EMCs Dantz Retrospect Express hard drive backup software preinstalled. The Retrospect software made it simple to schedule unattended backups, and file restore was as easy as a mouse click—I could select any file, folder or the entire system to be restored. Open file backup is also supported, which allows the OneTouch II to back up data on business applications that run 24-by-7.

The OneTouch II supports only Windows systems, including Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Advanced Server and Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition. Windows Small Business Server 2000 and 2003 systems are also supported.

For more information on OneTouch II SBE, check out www.maxtor.com.

--Francis Chu

Flukes NetTool Monitors VOIP

Fluke Networks NetTool Inline Network Tester includes new VOIP monitoring capabilities. Although NetTool wont replace networkwide VOIP measurement and assessment tools, it allows front-line installers and administrators to quickly assess and troubleshoot network drops for voice readiness as IP phones get deployed.

The NetTool tester installs in-line, bridging network traffic and POE between the switch and an IP phone or another device. From this location, NetTool quickly pulls down CDP-based information about upstream routers and switches, and it let me verify correct POE polarity and wire pairs.

The new VOIP Log details SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) events, such as call setup and tear-down, and it measures dropped packets, jitter and sequence errors detected on the line.

At $2,495, the NetTool VOIP bundle also includes a copy of Key Device Watch. Based on Ipswitchs WhatsUp Gold, Key Device Watch can discover and monitor as many as 10 network devices. NetTool VOIP is available now. For more information, check out www.flukenetworks.com.

--Andrew Garcia

Addonics Adds Low-Cost Capacity

Addonics Technologies Addonics 4-port External SATA II PCI-X Controller provides an inexpensive way for IT managers to add external storage to low-end servers and workstations.

The controller began shipping in April and is priced at $105. A $219 bundle includes the controller and the Addonics Disk Array 4SA, which can hold up to four SATA drives (drives are not included). Loaded with 400GB SATA drives, this solution can provide 1.6TB of raw storage.

SATA can provide as much as 3G-bps performance, making it a higher-powered external drive technology than USB 2.0, which clocks about 480M-bps throughput.

In my tests, the controller and Disk Array 4SA were easy to configure; I could set up each drive as a separate unit or set up the drives as a RAID (0, 1, 1+0) array.

The controllers hot-swap capabilities let me add or remove drives without shutting down or rebooting the system—a nice feature for an entry-level product.

The biggest drawback I saw was the cable spaghetti: Four individual SATA cables and two power connectors are needed for connectivity and power.

The controller and Disk Array 4SA have drivers for Windows and Linux (Red Hats Fedora Core 2).

More information can be found at www.addonics.com.

--Henry Baltazar