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Posted on May 01, 2008

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BlueArc doubles NAS performance

BlueArc has doubled the size and speed of its high–end NAS systems with the launch of the Titan 3000 series—the newest addition to the company’s line of unified storage systems for file services consolidation.

The Titan 3000, which replaces the Titan 2000 at the high–end of the company’s product portfolio, features up to twice the performance of the 2000 with a maximum capacity of up to 4PB and a starting price of approximately $100,000, which is about the same price as a base model of the Titan 2200.

The 3000 series is available in two models. The 3100 features maximum performance of approximately 100,000 IOPS, throughput up to 10Gbps, and a capacity of 2PB. The larger Titan 3200 clocks in at 200,000 IOPS, 20Gbps throughput, and a capacity of 4PB.

The platform has a hardware–accelerated architecture and offers management tools such as data migration, replication, and anti–virus support. The object–based file system scales to 256TB and can support multiple file systems for a total capacity of 4PB.

The system has a Cluster Name Space (CNS) option that creates a unified directory structure that provides global accessibility to data resources. The CNS option supports both CIFS and NFS, and two to eight nodes per cluster.

The Titan also features a tiered storage option that lets users mix–and–match drive types based on access and application requirements. The systems support a mix of Fibre Channel, SATA, and WORM–protected storage.

SAS product update

Xyratex recently introduced the OneStor SP1224s, a new member of the company’s OneStor Extensible Storage Platform (ESP) family that connects to hosts via SAS and is based on Seagate’s latest 2.5–inch small–form–factor (SFF) SAS drives.

The SP1224s is the second member of the ESP family, joining the OneStor SP1424s. The SP1424s is a 24–drive array based on 3.5–inch drives, while the new model offers the same number of drives in a 2U form factor.

The OneStor ESP family has common field replaceable units (FRUs), the company’s Intelligent Platform Manager (IPM) software, and Storage Bridge Bay (SBB) 2.0 compatibility.

The SP1224s includes Seagate’s 2.5–inch, 10,000rpm and 15,000rpm Savvio SFF drives, and supports single or dual SAS host I/O modules and three 3Gbps mini–SAS connections per host I/O module.

Promise Technology has introduced two new SAS/SATA RAID controllers—the SuperTrak EX8658 and EX8654. The EX8658 has eight external SAS/SATA ports, while the EX8654 has four internal and four external SAS/SATA ports. Promise also sells the SuperTrak EX8650, with eight internal SAS/SATA ports, and the EX4650, which has four internal SAS/SATA ports.

The SuperTrak EX8658 and EX8654 controllers, which come in an MD2 form factor, support RAID 5 and 6 (dual parity RAID) and can be extended via Promise’s 12–bay or 16–bay E–Class JBOD expansion units.

Also on the SAS front, Arena Maxtronic has begun shipments of FC–SAS and SAS–SAS RAID systems. The 4U, 24–bay JanusRAID2 SS–8811R and rack–mount SS–8812R support 4Gbps Fibre Channel–to–SAS connectivity or 3Gbps SAS–to–SAS connectivity.

Features of the JanusRAID arrays include an IOP 348 dual–core processor, active–active controllers, a SAS expansion port for connecting up to 120 disk drives, support for virtually all RAID levels (and multiple RAID levels and stripe sizes per disk group), and support for Windows VDS and MPIO.

Start–up debuts SSDs

Another start–up has joined the emerging fray in the enterprise solid–state storage market. Fusion–io recently began shipments of the company’s first product, the ioDrive PCIe card. The ioDrive uses Fusion–io’s proprietary ioMemory architecture on a PCI–e card that operates as either local storage or storage cache. Capable of being installed transparently at multiple points in existing data centers or workstations, the ioDrive requires no changes to applications or management software.

The ioDrive is based on NAND flash memory technology and provides access rates comparable to DRAM, with storage capacity on par with low–end disks. The company claims 100,000 IOPS per card and sustained data rates of 800MBps for reads and 600MBps for writes.

The ioDrive is priced at approximately $2,400 for an 80GB model, $4,800 for 160GB, and $8,900 for a 320GB version.

Hifn: De–dupe cards

Hifn has added two new members to its Express DR family—the Express DR 250 and DR 255. In addition to encryption and compression, the cards include hardware–accelerated data de–duplication.

The cards include two functions for reducing the amount of redundant data: SHA–1 or MD5 hashing algorithms and single–pass LZS data compression, which provides a 2.5:1 compression ratio on average, claim Hifn officials. An optional encryption engine is also available.

The full–height DR 250 is for 64–bit PCI–X systems and the low–profile DR 255 is for PCI–Express (PCI–e) systems. Hifn claims a throughput rate of up to 250MBps, which meets the performance requirements of IP SAN and NAS appliances running data de–duplication.

The Express DR 250/255 cards also support a variety of hardware–based data security and authentication functions combined with AES256 encryption.

MSRP for the Express DR 250/255 accelerator cards is $1,195.

Reldata adds wizards

In an effort to reduce the complexity typically associated with implementing combinations of iSCSI SAN and CIFS/NFS NAS, Reldata introduced a set of NAS Adaptive Storage Wizards for its model 9240 iSCSI Unified Storage Systems and Gateways. In February, the company introduced a similar set of iSCSI wizards.

The Adaptive Storage Wizards guide storage administrators through complex, often time–consuming, tasks such as disk virtualization, provisioning iSCSI storage to applications, assigning NAS storage to users, and setting security and performance parameters. The iSCSI and NAS wizards link together, so that any single wizard can “adapt” by transparently linking to the other three wizards.

In addition to simplifying tasks and reducing the time required to accomplish them, the automated wizards are designed to reduce human error.

The Adaptive Storage Wizards can be automated with the company’s RELbot task automation technology, which are software plug–ins that automate a variety of storage administration tasks.

Reldata’s 9240 platforms, together with the RELvos Virtualization Operating System, support iSCSI and NAS, as well as optional WAN replication, and enable users to virtualize existing third–party disk arrays. The 9240 supports Gigabit Ethernet and 10Gbps Ethernet, in addition to 4Gbps and 8Gbps Fibre Channel SANs.

The Adaptive Storage Wizards are integrated in the RELvos software and are also available as separately licensed products.

DNF delivers NAS gateways

Dynamic Network Factory’s StoneFly subsidiary has released three versions of its StoneFlex line of Windows–based, diskless NAS gateways for use with its IP SAN systems. The NAS gateways provide file serving and can boot directly from the IP SAN. The gateways include StoneFly’s Volume Snapshot Service (VSS) agents, which integrate with Microsoft’s Volume Shadow Copy Service for data protection, and are compatible with Microsoft’s Multipath I/O (MPIO). In addition to Gigabit Ethernet, 10GbE connections are available as an option. ECC memory ranges from 2GB to 8GB. Pricing ranges from $5,000 to $11,000.

Nimbus debuts hybrid IP array

Nimbus Data Systems’ Breeze Hybrid series of IP storage subsystems and software can be considered hybrids for a number of reasons because they<

  • Combine block–level SAN (iSCSI) and file–level NAS (CIFS and NFS);
  • Combine 10Gbps Ethernet (10GbE) and Gigabit Ethernet connections; and
  • Enable storage tiering with SAS and/or SATA drives, as well as high–speed “Tier–0” solid–state disks (SSDs).

The Breeze Hybrid, or H–series, subsystems are available in two configurations. The VH630 is designed primarily for server virtualization environments, and the MH860 is designed primarily for large–scale rich content applications. Both are based on Nimbus’ HALO operating system.

The multi–protocol (iSCSI, CIFS, and NFS) combination of SAN and NAS in a single system eliminates the need for iSCSI users to purchases separate NAS systems or gateways to combine the two technologies.

The combination of 10GbE and Gigabit Ethernet ports enables an aggregate bandwidth of 74Gbps.

SSD drives, implemented in 32GB or 64GB SLC NAND flash memory, are included with each array, and users can mix–and–match 15,000rpm SAS, 10,000rpm SAS, and SATA drives in the same enclosure. Additional capacity can be added on an “as–you–grow” basis via SAS links.

The company also claims lower power consumption relative to separate SAN and NAS systems: 19 watts per managed terabyte.

HALO–based software includes virtualization and data–protection applications such as synchronous and asynchronous replication.

Pricing for a Breeze VH630 with all software, 22TB of capacity, and 32GB of mirrored SSD capacity starts at slightly less than $75,000. A Breeze MH860 with software, 34TB of disk capacity, and 64GB of mirrored SSD capacity is priced from less than $120,000.

Features that are common to both models include two 10GbE ports, four Gigabit Ethernet ports, four SAS ports, and eight processor cores.


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