By Dave Simpson
– Dot Hill Systems today announced two entry-level RAID arrays equipped with small form factor (2.5-inch) SAS drives. The model 2722 with a 4Gbps Fibre Channel host interface is available now and the model 2522, with a 3Gbps SAS host interface, is expected to ship in April. Both RAID arrays come in a 2U, 24-drive configuration.
"The systems also support SATA, but our focus for 2.5-inch drives is on SAS because of the higher performance and high spindle count you can get in a 2U form factor," says Scott McClure, a product manager at Dot Hill. "SATA is for cheap and deep storage, and the cost per GB is still better in 3.5-inch SATA drives."
On the 2722, Dot Hill claims performance of up to 230,000 I/Os per second (IOPS) in a dual-controller configuration, and throughput of 1,200MBps on reads and 800MBps on RAID-5 write operations. In terms of IOPS, the arrays are 130% faster than Dot Hill's previous generation arrays based on 3.5-inch drives, and they consume 34% less power than the company's 2U, 12-drive subsystems. The RAID arrays are based on 1.8GHz AMD Mobile processors and are compatible with the 120MHz PCI-X bus.
Dot Hill also announced support for 2.5-inch 64GB and 160GB solid-state disk (SSD) drives from Intel (although users and integrators can load the arrays with SSDs from other vendors).
Using the company's 2U, 24-bay model 2122 JBOD expansion enclosures, the systems can support up to 96 drives for a total capacity of 28.8TB with 300GB SAS drives. Drive options include 10,000rpm or 15,000rpm SAS drives (from Seagate, Fujitsu or Hitachi) or 5,400rpm SATA drives. Software options include Dot Hill's AssuredSnap snapshots and AssuredCopy volume copy software.
As are Dot Hill's existing RAID arrays, the 2722 and 2522 are ruggedized and meet military and telecommunications industry standards (including NEBS Level III and MIL-STD-810F), and are based on the company's R/Evolution architecture with dual RAID controllers. A "unified LUN" feature provides the ability to mask the two controllers so they appear as one controller to the user interface, which makes it easier to set up a dual-controller configuration, according to McClure.
List pricing for a fully-populated 2722 starts at less than $16,000.
Market research firm IDC expects shipments of "performance-optimized" 2.5-inch drives to surpass shipments of 3.5-inch drives by 2011.