Promise ships Intel C5500/C3500-based RAID

By Dave Simpson

By Dave Simpson

November 8, 2010 – Promise Technology became the first RAID array vendor to ship systems based on Intel’s Xeon C5500/C3500 (“Jasper Forest”) processors, which are optimized for storage, with today’s introduction of the VTrak Ex30 series RAID arrays.

Storage-related features of Intel’s C5500/C3500 processors, which are in the Xeon family, include a built-in RAID accelerator, asynchronous DRAM self-refresh technology, PCIe non-transparent bridging, and increased bandwidth, according to David Tuhy, general manager in Intel’s Storage Group (see “What’s so cool about Intel’s Jasper Forest?” blog post).

In large part due to the use of Intel’s C5500/C3500, Promise is claiming a 4X increase in performance over previous generation RAID arrays, according to Ray Bahar, vice president of sales and marketing at Promise.

Specifically, Promise claims sequential read performance of 5,500MBps, RAID-5 write performance of 2,400MBps, and RAID-6 write performance of 2,200MBps based on testing with Intel’s iometer benchmark code. In terms of I/O performance, Promise claims 440,000 I/Os per second (IOPS) from disk, and 610,000 IOPS from cache.

In terms of latency, in Microsoft Jetstress testing with 5,000 mailboxes Promise recorded less than 4.5ms average latency on reads and 2.0ms average latency on writes. The Jetstress configuration included 48 15,000rpm SAS drives in a Microsoft Exchange environment.

Users and integrators can configure Promise’s VTrak Ex30 RAID array with up to four host connections per controller, or a total of eight connections in a dual-controller configuration. Model options will include 2U, 12-drive; 3U, 16-drive; and 4U, 24-drive versions with 3.5-inch 6Gbps SAS drives or 3Gbps SATA drives. Capacity currently ranges from 8TB to 384TB. In the next quarter, Promise plans to deliver a 2U, 24-drive configuration with 2.5-inch drives.

Host connectivity options include 8Gbps Fibre Channel, 6Gbps SAS, 1Gbps iSCSI/Ethernet and 10Gbps iSCSI/Ethernet, although an array can be configured with only one type of host connection at a time.

Users and integrators can bundle the Ex30 RAID arrays with Promise’s recently released VTrak S3000 virtualization appliance (see “Promise adds storage services appliance”).

In addition to the energy-saving features of the Intel C5500/C3500, the Ex30 arrays include MAID technology with four levels of drive spin-down.

The VTrak Ex30 is shipping in limited quantities today, with production shipments slated for the next quarter. A 384TB configuration carries an MSRP of $163,000, or $0.42 per GB, including all software (multi-tiering, thin provisioning and data protection). Bundled with Promise’s VTrak S3000, Ex30 pricing comes in at $0.47 per GB.

Related blog post: “What’s so cool about Intel’s Jasper Forest?”

Related articles:

“Promise adds storage services appliance” (Vtrak S3000)

Overland to ship multi-protocol SAN array

Mid-range RAID recap: Data Robotics, Dot Hill, Infortrend, MicroNet

This article was originally published on November 08, 2010