NEC unveils grid storage system

NEC recently began shipping the second generation of its HYDRAstor HS8 grid storage system with new storage and compute nodes that bring higher capacities and faster speeds at a lower cost than its first-generation products.

The HS8-2000 Accelerator Nodes (ANs) and Storage Nodes (SNs) can be added into existing HS8-1000 grids and offer a 400% capacity increase, 300% more performance, and 70% less power consumption than their predecessors.

The key to the HYDRAstor grid is its ability to scale performance and capacity independently while maintaining a single point of management. The HYDRAstor HS8-2000 ANs provide 300MBps of throughput, while the new SNs offer a raw capacity of 12TB and effective capacity of 157.5TB assuming a 20:1 de-duplication ratio. An entry-level configuration of one accelerator node and two storage nodes provides about 315TB of capacity with 300MBps throughput.

NEC also enhanced the replication capabilities in the HYDRAstor HS8-2000 with many-to-one replication functionality through the company’s RepliGrid technology. RepliGrid provides asynchronous grid-to-grid replication for disaster recovery with data de-duplication.

HYDRAstor comes with NEC’s DataRedux technology, which uses a distributed hash table to de-duplicate data within a single pool for both backups and archives. Additionally, Distributed Resilient Data (DRD) technology protects de-duplicated data based on user-configurable settings.

Five pre-configured models of the HS8-2000 are available, with prices starting at $180,000, or $0.57 per gigabyte, for a configuration with one AN and two SNs.

NEC has tested scalability to 165 nodes with a variety of configurations, including 16,500MBps throughput with 17.3PB of disk capacity and 9,900MBps with 20.8PB of capacity.

Isilon turbo-charges clusters

Isilon Systems recently began shipping a new version of its OneFS operating system and a new accelerator node that uses multi-core processors to boost performance of its X-series clustered storage systems. With the release of OneFS version 5.0, Isilon’s storage clusters are now capable of delivering up to 20GBps of performance and 2.3PB of capacity in a single file system and single volume.

The new Accelerator-x node is essentially a “turbocharger” for Isilon clusters and features 10GbE networking support and dual quad-core Intel processors with 32GB of cache memory. Isilon officials claim Accelerator-x delivers 400MBps of single stream performance and 700MBps of concurrent performance from a single node. Current customers can add the Accelerator-x to an Isilon cluster to boost total system performance up to 20GBps of aggregate throughput.

The Accelerator-x node requires OneFS 5.0 software and ranges in price from $30,000 to $50,000.

Xsigo beefs up virtual I/O director

Xsigo Systems’ VP780 x2 is a faster, lower-cost version of its predecessor I/O director with new management tools that map the links between virtual servers and physical switch ports.

I/O management capabilities include a single-screen view of virtual machines, virtual switches, and I/O topologies that bridge the visibility gaps between virtual and physical resources. In addition, the performance monitoring tools can now generate traffic statistics accessible through third-party tools.

Also new in the VP780 x2 are enhanced SAN and iSCSI boot capabilities that make it possible to boot any server from any Fibre Channel or iSCSI LUN for re-purposing of server resources.

The VP780 x2 has 20Gbps of bandwidth, double the 10Gbps performance of its predecessor.

Xsigo’s I/O director consolidates and replaces physical NICs and host bus adapters (HBAs) with virtual links that appear to applications and operating systems as physical components. The system uses high-speed InfiniBand HCAs to plug into servers and runs Ethernet and Fibre Channel traffic over the connections.

The VP780 x2 is available through Xsigo and its resellers for a starting price of about $30,000.

Olixir adds removable drives

Olixir Technologies’ FastRestor removable hard drive (RHD) includes Mobile DataVault ruggedized disk drives (up to 750GB), and a USB 2.0 external docking station or an internal 5.25-inch docking bay. Other interfaces supported include FireWire, eSATA, and SATA. The drives come with a five-client license of EMC’s Insignia software. Operating systems supported include Windows and Mac OS 8.6+. Pricing starts at $650 with one 160GB drive.

Atto rolls out 8Gbps HBAs

Claiming up to 6,400MBps in full-duplex mode, Atto Technology has begun shipments of 8Gbps quad-channel Fibre Channel HBAs with x8 PCI Express 2.0 bus interconnects. In addition to the quad-channel Celerity FC-84EN HBAs, Atto is shipping dual-channel (Celerity FC-82EN) and single-channel (FC-81EN) versions. Drivers are available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X platforms.

Enhance ships 4-port IP array

Enhance Technology’s UltraStor RS8 IP-4 is a quad-port iSCSI array with Gigabit Ethernet connections. Users can scale the RAID array by connecting to four of Enhance’s RS16 JS JBOD arrays. Features of the 2U RS8 IP-4 include up to eight 15,000rpm SAS drives and/or 1TB SATA drives, RAID-6 support, snapshots, a 2GB cache, 64-bit RAID engine, and support for Microsoft’s Multi-Path I/O (MPIO).

Micronet unveils eSATA/USB array

Micronet’s RAIDBank4 disk array supports either eSATA or USB external connections, a 300MBps data-transfer rate, up to 4TB of capacity, a 64-bit RISC processor with 128MB of cache, a 2-port eSATA PCI-Express adapter card (or optional 4-port adapter), and NTI Shadow backup software. A 2TB configuration is priced at $999.

ProStor’s RDX gains momentum

When ProStor Systems and its partners began shipping RDX removable hard disk drive (RHDD) technology almost two years ago, there were questions regarding whether the technology could gain a foothold in a backup market dominated by tape and traditional disk-based backup systems. Based on a number of statistics, those questions have been answered. For example, according to ProStor officials,

  • More than 85,000 customers are using RDX technology; and
  • At an average of 3.5 disk cartridges per dock, which equates to more than 297,500 cartridges shipped, approximately 30 petabytes of RDX capacity have been shipped.

According to IDC, the total market for RHDD drives and media will surge from about $98 million this year to $178 million in 2009 and to $515 million in 2012. IDC pegs RDX’s RHDD market share at 90%.

In addition, ProStor has racked up an impressive roster of licensees and OEMs. Licensees include Imation (which also manufactures its own removable disk products) and Tandberg Data, both of which manufacture RDX drives and media. ProStor’s value-add lies primarily in its packaging and docking technology.

RDX OEMs include Dell, Fujitsu, Fujitsu Siemens, and NEC. Most recently, ProStor nailed an OEM deal with Hewlett-Packard, which offers HP-branded RDX drives and media on its ProLiant servers and xw workstations.

Earlier this year, ProStor introduced the InfiniVault line of RDX-based storage systems, which have up to 10 removable disks per enclosure (expandable to 100 cartridges) and a NAS head supporting the CIFS and NFS protocols. Online capacity ranges from 700GB to 9TB, and removable disk capacity ranges from 1.5TB to 50TB. The InfiniVault operating system provides functions such as data de-duplication, content indexing, automated retention and deletion, and compliance functionality.

RDX cartridges include standard 2.5-inch SATA drives (up to 500GB) from the major drive manufacturers. RDX devices have an external USB connection.

ProStor officials claim that RDX drives and media cost less than half the price of equivalent capacity DAT tape drives.

Caringo intros CAS router

In an effort to expand the capabilities of its CAStor content-addressable storage (CAS) clusters, Caringo has introduced software that turns x86 servers into content routers that can move data based on metadata values.

The CAStor Content Router, which is priced at less than $500, enables CAStor users to distribute content based on customizable business rules. The router allows administrators and application providers to set metadata values for mirroring content in clusters, replicate content for disaster-recovery purposes, and distribute pre-defined content types or individual content to remote clusters in branch offices.

The Content Router includes a rules engine that filters metadata and determines how to process and where to store the content. Users can set rules that automatically push content to specified remote CAStor clusters. The filtered objects can also be tagged for processing by third-party applications such as virus scanners, indexing, and compression and encryption tools. The Content Router is also able to roll up content from clusters located at remote offices to a central facility in one-to-one, one-to-many, or many-to-one scenarios.

R1Soft’s CDP does Windows

Previously available only for Linux platforms, R1Soft’s continuous data protection (CDP) software now supports Windows.

The Windows 2.0 CDP software provides functions such as bare-metal restore, open file backups, and CDP synchronization technology that the company claims can reduce backup times to minutes. The software can be configured for more than 100 recovery points per day.

DataCore updates SAN software

The latest release of DataCore’s SANsymphony software supports 8Gbps Fibre Channel HBAs from Emulex and QLogic and includes new features such as SAN-wide group volume configuration commands, oversubscription monitoring services, hot-swap technology to simplify the management of thin-provisioning storage pools, and live data migration, which enables administrators to move data to any other storage device in real time.

This article was originally published on October 01, 2008