New product highlights from NAB

Posted on April 16, 2010

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By the InfoStor staff

– A variety of vendors used this week's NAB show in Las Vegas to introduce new storage products geared toward the entertainment and media markets, and applications such as pre/post production, high-speed video editing, broadcast, video archiving and other rich media applications. Here's a quick roundup of products introduced at the show, as well as partnership announcements from vendors such as EMC and Front Porch Digital, FalconStor and Rorke Data, and more.

FalconStor launched a new file system, dubbed HyperFS, designed specifically for the high-speed, low-latency, high-capacity requirements of entertainment and media professionals.

The HyperFS file system can support up to 144PB of capacity under a single global name space for simplified file management. The software runs on any hardware, and supports Mac OS X, Windows and Linux clients. A metadata server supports up to 16 concurrent file systems to streamline workflow and storage consolidation. The file system can be integrated with FalconStor's Network Storage Server (NSS), which includes snapshots, WAN-optimized replication, data migration and thin provisioning.

FalconStor partner Rorke Data introduced its HyperDrive RAID array at NAB, which bundles FalconStor's HyperFS file system with Rorke's Galaxy Aurora RAID array. Pricing starts at $1/GB. (Rorke Data, which is a subsidiary of Bell Microproducts, claims to have shipped more than 10,000 Galaxy arrays.)

Atto Technology's 8Gbps Fibre Channel HBAs and 6Gbps SAS HBAs showed up in dozens of booths at NAB. New at the show was a RAID version of Atto's 6Gbps ExpressSAS SAS/SATA RAID adapters. (Non-RAID versions of the 6Gbps SAS HBAs have been shipping since late 2008.) The ExpressSAS adapters now support a flash-based CacheAssure feature that safeguards against the loss of cached data during a power or system failure, as well as the existing DriveAssure feature, which minimizes latency. And Atto's Celerity Fibre Channel adapters now support Windows (as well as Linux and Mac OSes) and multi-pathing for workstations.

Atto also demonstrated its 8Gbps FibreConnect switches, which the company OEMs from Brocade.

Earlier this month, Atto announced that its Xtend SAN iSCSI Initiator for Apple Mac OS X has been qualified for use with EMC's Celerra and Clariion storage systems. The initiator provides iSCSI connectivity, error handling and security features for EMC arrays in Mac OS X environments.

LSI announced at NAB that its 6Gbps 3ware 9750 SAS/SATA RAID controller cards have been selected by SpectSoft for integration into the Linux-based Rave 4.0 line of disk-based video production appliances, enabling them to handle uncompressed 4K video, post-production and broadcast workflows. LSI also introduced new driver support for its 3ware 9750 controllers, including drivers for Mac OS X, VMware ESX, OpenSolaris and FreeBSD, as well as the 600 series of JBOD enclosures, which support 6Gbps SAS.

Promise Technology unveiled a 32TB version of its VTrak RAID arrays with 2TB SATA drives. At NAB, the company emphasized certification of the arrays in environments such as Mac OS X, Xsan and Final Cut Pro. (The disk arrays are available from Apple and its resellers.)

Promise also emphasized low cost: The 32TB VTrak combined with Promise's 32TB expansion chassis is priced at 56 cents/GB. A fully-configured bundle with 160TB of capacity is priced at 52 cents/GB. The VTrak E-Class 16x is priced at $18,999, and the VTrak 16x SATA expansion chassis is priced at $15,999.

The disk arrays have dual 4Gbps Fibre Channel host ports, and one external 3Gbps 4x SAS port for expansion, and 2GB of cache. The subsystems can support up to 256 LUNs.

AIC/Xtore introduced a number of new storage products at NAB, including the Avid-certified Xtore Studio array; a unified storage server based on Intel's Xeon C5500/C3500 "Jasper Forest" processor and a dual Orion controller in a 4U, 24-bay SBB 2.0 enclosure; a 2U, 24-bay Gemini FlashServer with solid-state disk (SSD) drives and, according to the company, performance of more than one million IOPS and 6,000MBps of throughput; the Xtore MobilRAID portable storage device; and the portable Xtore MiniBod with eight SAS-based SSDs.

Aberdeen LLC debuted the AberSAN unified storage system, which is based on Intel Xeon 5600 processors and supports file-level I/O and block-level Fibre Channel and iSCSI external connections. The array includes the ZFS file system (with in-line block-level deduplication), and supports up to 8Gbps Fibre Channel and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) connections. Pricing for an 8TB configuration starts at less than $9,000. Capacity can scale up to 96TB.

SAN Solutions introduced two disk systems for the media and entertainment industries at NAB. The ArtiSAN Storage Platform is a RAID array that can be configured with 450GB SAS, 600GB SAS and/or 2TB SATA drives in a 16-slot, 3U enclosure with four 8Gbps Fibre Channel host ports. And the ArtiSAN Application Platform is a 1U or 2U array customized for media applications such as transcoding and distribution, audio normalization processing, media logging and scripting, NAS, and media indexing.

Sonnet Technologies introduced three storage products at NAB: the Zio Professional Universal Media Reader/Writer, Fusion RX1600Fibre Shared Storage System, and Fusion DX800RAID SATA Storage System.

The Fusion RX1600Fibre is a 16-drive RAID array optimized for video editing. Available in 16TB or 32TB configurations, the subsystem provides shared storage for up to four users via four 8Gbps Fibre Channel host interfaces.

Sonnet's Fusion DX800RAID array is an eight-drive subsystem ranging from 4TB to 16TB. Eight 1.5TB SATA drives can be configured as a RAID-5 group. The DS800 also supports RAID-6 (dual parity). The company claims read and write file transfer speeds of up to 815MBps and 715MBps, respectively. Both of Sonnet's RAID arrays include SAS expander ports.

Atempo released the 3.1 version of its Atempo Digital Archive, which includes new features such as partial file restoration; archiving support for standard file formats such as MXF, DPF and MOV; and integration with Apple's Final Cut Pro editing software.

XenData launched the LTO-4 tape-based X800 digital video archive system, which includes the company's XenData6 software for archiving and restoring data. The X800 is priced at $4,950, including XenData6 software, an external LTO-4 tape drive with a SAS interface, PCIe SAS card and cable, and an 800GB (native) LTO-4 tape cartridge.

Front Porch Digital announced a software development agreement with EMC under which Front Porch (which specializes in content storage management, or CSM) will develop a migration gateway to enable users working in the EMC Avalon environment to transition to Front Porch's DIVArchive CSM platform. (Avalon is EMC's hierarchical storage management, or HSM, environment.) Front Porch also announced that its DIVArchive 6.3 platform is now integrated with tools such as Avid Interplay, Apple Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Server.

Spectra Logic announced at NAB that Entertainment Tonight will integrate a three-frame Spectra T950 tape library into its environment to manage 1.3PB of digital content consisting of ET's aired programming and off-air checks created since it converted from analog to digital HD. The T950 can scale up to 120 LTO tape drives and more than 10,000 media slots.


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