Ario adds SATA, SAS disk arrays

By Ann Silverthorn

—This week, Ario Data Networks introduced the first two products in its Capacity Storage Array (CSA) series of Serial ATA (SATA) and Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS) storage subsystems. The Capacity RAID Array (CRA) and Capacity Expansion Array (CEA) feature a front-loaded blade design that allows disk maintenance without interrupting operations. The CSA family leverages existing Ario RAID controllers and JBOD SATA and SAS connectivity products.

Each 4U CSA array can accommodate up to 13 StorBlades that contain four SATA II or SAS drives each for a total capacity of up to 26TB. The StorBlades are accessed from the front of the array, and in case of a failed drive Ario's SafeBlade technology stores I/Os while the blade is removed. When the blade is replaced, the system rebuilds itself in the background.

With a 52-drive capacity, users have the ability to designate extra slots as dedicated RAID spares or global spares, so if a drive fails they can rebuild using the spare.

The CSAs feature a modular design that allows expansion by swapping out RAID controllers for JBOD controllers. Up to seven arrays can be aggregated behind the same controller. The CEA expansion units can be used for archived data in lieu of tape drives. Users can also add I/O connectivity modules for Fibre Channel, 1Gbps iSCSI, and 10Gbps iSCSI. The four fans and four power supplies are removable modules that operate in 3+1 mode, so if one module fails three will still be in operation.

Ario sells its arrays and controllers primarily to OEMs that develop their own systems based on Ario's RAID and JBOD technology. For example, according to Steve VonderHaar, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Ario, Network Appliance's NearStore R200 line of disk-based nearline storage systems uses Ario JBOD controllers and Xyratex enclosures.

Now that Ario has added arrays to its line, Xyratex will also be a competitor along with Dot Hill, another array manufacturer that sells to OEMs.

Ario expects to make several OEM announcements within the next few months, and those OEMs will ship products by mid summer.

This article was originally published on March 30, 2006