From the RSNA exhibit floor: Storage assumes higher profile as means for handling data overload

December 20, 2004

A rising tide of data puts a premium on storage, and vendors offered low-cost methods to satisfy the IT needs of mid- and small-sized hospitals and clinics, while advancing high-end technology to manage the volumes of data being generated by large enterprises. Smarter and lower cost media paved the way for both.

A rising tide of data puts a premium on storage, and vendors offered low-cost methods to satisfy the IT needs of mid- and small-sized hospitals and clinics, while advancing high-end technology to manage the volumes of data being generated by large enterprises. Smarter and lower cost media paved the way for both.

EMC

Information lifecycle management solutions are integrated with PACS and EHR applications. DiskXtender software allows healthcare providers to migrate inactive digital images to more cost-effective storage, while maintaining transparent access. Documentum Enterprise Content Management software enables management of millions of documents and images residing across a healthcare organization.

  • Newly developed EMC Clariion AX100 networked storage system is designed for smaller healthcare organizations with limited IT.

IBM Life Sciences

Enhanced versions of Medical Assessment Workstation and Medical Archive Solution promise reduced costs and improved patient care.

  • The IBM Dual Monitor Display Medical Assessment Workstation II offers twice the viewing capacity of the earlier version, optimal software navigation, and a cinematic 16:10 aspect ratio and 204 pixels/inch.

  • The IBM Medical Archive Solution II runs on both Linux and AIX, using pSeries or xSeries, allowing healthcare providers to leverage existing IT investments, minimize resources, and manage storage networks and critical data. The prebuilt and tested solution includes onsite installation, administrator training, and postinstallation support. Storage devices may include versions of the DS4000 server, LTO Ultrium tape family, and Tivoli Storage Management software for making backup and archive copies in near-line and offline storage.

InSiteOne

An expanded disaster recovery offering provides data protection beyond DICOM images. The new service addresses all medical data, including the databases that drive PACS and HIS/RIS. InDex Recovery Plus backs up data on a client's storage area network or on individual servers. The new product can:

  • accommodate backup strategies ranging from delta-based replication to synchronous and asynchronous mirroring

  • work seamlessly on a wide range of platforms, as well as support scalable and customizable configurations

  • function independently as an offsite solution, or run a redundant copy onsite to allow more rapid recovery of the network.

Plasmon

Blue lasers create light with a shorter wavelength than the traditionally used red lasers, allowing more data to be stored in smaller spaces (see also Sony below).

  • The second generation of Plasmon's stand-alone UDO (Ultra Density Optical) drive, based on its blue laser technology, stores 30 gigabytes on a single-sided cartridge - three times the capacity of DVDs and magneto-optical media. Single-cartridge drives can be configured separately or as part of a jukebox. The drive is supported by more than 35 software vendors, including IBM, EMC, and Veritas.

  • Plasmon plans to double storage capacity at least every 18 months, reaching 120 GB within four years.

ProComm

NetForce 4000 series NAS filers now feature 300-GB disk drives, effectively doubling raw storage capacity. The installed base can field-upgrade their units with the new drives. The NetForce 4000 series combines optimized software, open architecture, and a modular design using hot-swappable components.

  • Addition of 300-GB drives improves storage density of the NetForce 4000 series to 1.46 TB from 711 GB per U (1.75 inches of rack space). The NF4200c and NF4100 occupy 46 and 23 Us, respectively, supporting up to 224 and 112 drives. The 300-GB disk drives are designed for full-duty-cycle applications.

Sony

The shorter wavelength of blue lasers, compared with conventional red lasers, allows more data to be stored in smaller spaces (see also Plasmon above).

  • Single-sided Sony cartridges pack 23 GB each. The goal is to exceed 100 GB per cartridge within three years.

  • Three designs have been developed: an internal SCSI, an external SCSI, and an external USB 2.0 version. Each reads data at 11 MB/sec and writes data at 9 MB/sec.

Storagetek

The company showcased two new technologies relevant to medical imaging. Both address enterprise information lifecycle management. FlexLine 600 is an extension of StorageTek's BladeStore product family. Virtual Storage Manager Open (VSMO) is a disk-based virtual tape library optimized for open systems backup and recovery.

  • FlexLine 600 quickly moves medical images from the primary spinning disk to a cheaper form of storage. FlexLine 600 uses cost-effective serial advanced technology attachment drives - standard interfaces for connecting storage devices - that scale in increments of 500 GB, with a low entry point capability of 3 TB. Benefits include a reduction in resources required for day-to-day storage management.

  • VSMO provides data backup, recovery, and protection. Available in a 4-TB minimum configuration that scales up to 44 TB, the product has a data throughput up to 600 MB per second. Key benefits include the ability to share backup and restore resources across many backup servers and applications, and an overall reduction in IT costs.