Storage Vendors Stepping Up Capacity

Storage companies, large and small, have new targets in their sights: small and midsize businesses.

Storage companies, large and small, have new targets in their sights: small and midsize businesses.

As evidence of that trend, about a half-dozen vendors, including Maxtor Corp. and SanDisk Corp., will be at PC Expo this week in New York to unveil a variety of storage hardware and software for such buyers.

Hard drive maker Maxtor, for example, will announce its external 60GB drive with an IEEE 1394 (FireWire) connection. The Milpitas, Calif., company will also display its recently announced 40GB and 100GB drives.

The 40GB drive will boast the largest capacity available on a single platter, according to company officials. Fewer platters means fewer mechanical components and lower manufacturing costs.

Maxtor plans to extend the limit to 80GB per platter in 10 to 12 months and to 160GB per platter in 20 months.

Also notable about the drives is that they break the 137GB barrier of 28-bit drive architectures, said Dave Riensel, an analyst with International Data Corp., in Hutchinson, Minn.

"The companies are always trying to be first to market at the next capacity point," Riensel said. "If were at 40GB per platter now, [even] if someone came up with a four-platter version of that, they would not be able to get past 137GB. Were quickly approaching a physical barrier where we wouldnt be able to write any more data to a hard drive in the 28-bit architecture."

Still, he said, "we believe it will slow down a little before they get to 160GB per platter."

Also at the show, DriveSavers Data Recovery Inc., of Novato, Calif., will announce its service for recovering data from NAS (network- attached storage) hardware.

The service can recover data from various manufacturers NAS boxes, including those of Maxtor, IBM, Dell Computer Corp., Compaq Computer Corp. and Snap Appliances Inc., officials said.

SanDisk, which makes flash memory products, will be visible at the show. The Sunnyvale, Calif., company will introduce its CompactFlash cards with capacities of 128MB for mobile professionals.

Data backup developer CommVault Systems Inc., a Lucent Technologies Inc. spinoff, will display Version 3.1 of Galaxy, its serverless backup product announced earlier this month. Galaxy accelerates NAS backups, and versions 3.7 and 4.1, due later this year and early next year, will have higher levels of data integrity checks, officials at the Oceanport, N.J., company said.