New Products

Posted on March 01, 2004

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Serial ATA roundup

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IBM recently began shipping the TotalStorage FAStT EXP100 Storage Expansion Unit, which enables the attachment of Serial ATA (SATA) disk drives to the company's FAStT900 and FAStT600 Storage Servers. The rack-mountable enclosure supports up to 14 250GB SATA drives, or 3.5TB of capacity per enclosure. Coupled with the FAStT 250, total capacity is 56TB (28TB with the FAStT600). The external connection is 2Gbps Fibre Channel. IBM is targeting applications such as data archival, reference data storage, fixed-content data, and nearline storage. The expansion unit is priced at less than half the cost of the company's disk arrays with Fibre Channel drives. www.ibm.com/stor age/disk/fastt.

Adaptec is shipping the FS4500 RAID subsystem with SATA disk drives and dual Fibre Channel host interfaces. The FS4500 includes fully redundant components, enhanced thermal and rotation vibration features, support for all RAID levels, up to 1GB of cache per controller, and up to 12 250GB SATA drives (3TB total capacity) in a 2U form factor.

The company claims 48,000 I/Os per second and 385MBps throughput rates via dual controllers. Subsystems can be linked for up to 96 drives, or 24TB of total capacity. JBOD configurations are also available. A 3TB RAID configuration and a 3TB JBOD version are priced at $20,899 and $16,199, respectively.

iSCSI + SATA

Adaptec also introduced the iSA1500 RAID array, which is based on SATA drives and an iSCSI external interface, which enables end users to build low-cost IP SANs (see the Special Report on p. 20). Adaptec provides a number of storage services with the array, including automated storage provisioning, dynamic volume re-sizing, snapshots, mirroring, and remote replication. The company is targeting applications such as Exchange and SQL Server, DAS-to-SAN conversion, disk-to-disk backup, and remote replication. The iSA1500 includes two Gigabit Ethernet ports, four hot-swap SATA disk drives, and 1GB of system memory. MSRP is $10,000 for a 1TB configuration. www.adaptec.com.

This month, Promise Technology also began shipments of a Serial ATA (or Parallel ATA) RAID array with dual iSCSI host ports. The 3U VTrack 15200 includes up to 15 SATA drives and a TCP/IP offload engine (TOE) that the company claims enables wire-speed (Gigabit Ethernet) performance. Promise also claims throughput of up to 200MBps, or 15,000 I/Os per second. Pricing starts at $6,399.

Promise recently added the SATAII150 SX8 controller, or host bus adapter (HBA), to its line of Serial ATA products. The controller can connect up to eight SATA drives through a PCI-X bus, is compliant with the Serial ATA II specification, and includes features such as native command queuing and staggered drive spin-up. The unit is priced at $249. www.promise.com.

SATA + services

At the Network Storage conference earlier this month, iQstor Networks introduced the iQ1200 Serial ATA RAID array with four Fibre Channel host connections that is priced at 50% less than the company's pure Fibre Channel RAID arrays. A 3.75TB configuration with 15 drives in a 3U chassis is priced at $18,000.

However, the company plans to differentiate its SATA array with a variety of storage services that are embedded in controller firmware. Services include storage virtualization, managed snapshots, volume copy, remote replication, and intelligent capacity management. iQstor SAN Manager software is also avalable. The storage services are priced separately. An iQ1200 array with all of the services costs approximately $34,000.

iQstor is targeting the SATA array at applications such as fixed-content storage, digital imaging, online archives, and disk-to-disk backup. www.iqstor.com.

nStor's NexStor 4700 Serial ATA disk array is available with either four Ultra320 SCSI host connections or two 2Gbps Fibre Channel host connections. The array is based on the company's Wahoo RAID engine. Features include 512MB or 1GB of cache and scalability in 3TB increments up to 60TB. Pricing starts at $7,995. www.nstor.com.

Cepoint Networks' R-Stor Rx524 is a 24-bay, 6TB (scalable to 64TB) Serial ATA RAID 5 array that the company targets primarily at high-end video broadcast and video streaming applications. The array includes 24 250GB SATA drives, optional dual Fibre Channel host connections, and redundant components. A 6TB configuration is priced at $16,500. www.cepoint.com.

Adjile Systems is shipping Serial ATA RAID arrays in 2U eight- or 12-bay, and 3U 16-bay, configurations. The RAID EX series can be configured with single or dual controllers and supports up to 4TB per subsystem. The array includes dual 2Gbps Fibre Channel or Ultra160 SCSI host connections. www.adjile.com.

SATA controllers

LSI Logic's MegaRAID SATA 300-8X is an 8-port Serial ATA controller for PCI-X systems that is compliant with both the SATA I and SATA II specifications. Features include native command queuing, port multiplier, enclosure management support, 128MB of embedded DDR 333 memory, and an Intel IOP331 single-chip I/O processor. LSI claims data-transfer rates of up to 300MBps per port. As many as 32 SATA disk drives can be connected per adapter. www.lsilogic.com.

Adaptec recently released two Serial ATA controllers: the 8-port (single chip) 2810SA and 16-port (two chip) 21610SA. Both support RAID levels 0, 1, 5, and 10 (and JBOD configurations); 64MB of cache memory; data-transfer rates of up to 1.5Gbps; online capacity expansion, RAID level migration; and the PCI bus. www.adaptec.com.

3ware's Escalade 8506 Multi-lane Internal (MI) Serial ATA RAID controller supports up to 3TB. Multi-lane technology reduces the number of required connection cables. For example, the board's connector system combines four SATA ports into a single connection on the controller side and a single connector on a backplane. Using InfiniBand 4x cables with the 12-port Escalade 8506-12MI board reduces the number of cables typically required from 12 to three, or from eight to two on the 8-port Escalade 8506-8MI. The controllers are based on 3ware's StorSwitch architecture, which uses network packet switching technology. www.3ware.com.

ARIO Data Networks recently announced a family of external SATA controllers for OEMs. The controllers include Fibre Channel-to-SATA, Ultra 320 SCSI-to-SATA, and iSCSI-to-SATA versions. The controllers support 16 SATA disk channels and offer single- or dual-host connectivity for 2Gbps Fibre Channel, Ultra320 SCSI, or 1Gbps iSCSI. A dual-host version of ARIO's Fibre Channel-to-SATA controller currently supports subsystems up to 120TB; support for up to 240TB is expected later this year. The controllers are designed for easy migration to 3Gbps SATA II and Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS) disk interfaces, as well as integration into a variety of mid-plane and backplane subsystem configurations. www.ariodata.com.

On the disk drive front, Fujitsu Computer Products of America next month will begin sampling 2.5-inch Serial ATA drives in 40GB, 60GB, and 80GB capacities. The MHT-BH drives include SATA extensions (SATA II Phase 1) such as native command queuing. Other features include a 5,400rpm rotation speed, 1.5ms track-to-track seek time, and a host transfer rate of 150MBps. www.fcpa.com.

SOFTWARE

ADIC upgrades archiving software

ADIC last month began shipping a new version of its archive software: AMASS for UNIX 5.3.3. Features include support for 4TB of disk cache, enabling higher-performance read/write access rates. The software lets users create archives using removable media, such as tape or optical. When data is written to an archive or retrieved from it, AMASS provides disk-level performance by using cache to buffer any delays associated with retrieving and loading removable media. www.adic.com.

LXI enhances management software

LXI recently released the 3.5 version of its TMS/ix software, which provides backup, recovery, tape management, and vaulting for Sun Solaris, HP-UX, IBM pSeries AIX, and Linux on any hardware platform. The new release features improved device management (including support for 3494 and 3583 tape libraries and virtual tape), networking, and vault management capabilities. The software manages virtual and physical tape devices; enables tape interchange for tape processing; controls tape libraries; and tracks tape activity at a dataset file level, etc. TMS/ix support for Linux was added in January. www.lxicorp.com.

Recovery for Exchange

Sonasoft last month announced availability of a new Point-Click Recovery option, a data-protection management console for Microsoft Exchange Server. SonaSafe for Exchange is designed to simplify and automate backup and recovery for single or multiple Exchange servers. Features include the ability to recover data from the point of failure or to a specific point in time; compression; simplified mailbox backup/recovery; and Active Directory and IIS Metabase backup/recovery. www.sonasoft.com.

Originally published on .

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