New Products

Adaptec adds SAS to NAS

Targeting small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), Adaptec recently expanded its SnapServer NAS appliance line with the 500 series. The company also added StorAssure Personal Edition, which is “continuous protection” software for client file data.

The current SnapServer product line ranges from the 80GB model 1100 to the 18000, which can scale up to 30TB. Adaptec replaced the 4500 with the 510 and 520 and also added the SnapServer 550-all of which are based on 64-bit AMD Opteron processors.

“SnapServer addresses NAS [file] and block-level services [via iSCSI] under the same platform, which is good for users that need that type of flexibility,” says Brad Nisbet, program manager of storage systems at International Data Corp. “The SANBloc expansion units allow users to scale and still maintain simplicity.”

The 510 and 520 models use Serial ATA (SATA) disk drives, while the 550 is based on Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) drives. But with the SANBloc expansion unit, users have the option of using both high-capacity SATA and high-performance SAS drives in the 520 and 550. Adaptec’s Guardian OS software enables capacity expansion with the SANBloc units.

Adaptec’s StorAssure “continuous protection” software allows as many versions saved as often as users require, but the more versions, the more capacity is required. According to Julie Herd Goodman, Adaptec’s network storage product manager, “The typical setting saves three versions with 12 hours between each version. Once you install the software, it runs in the background and always protects your data. As soon as you save and close a file, StorAssure automatically sends that file to your SnapServer for backup. It’s designed for desktops and laptops. If a laptop is not on the network, StorAssure automatically starts logging and backs up the system when the laptop is back online.”

StorAssure is priced at $35 per Windows client.

The SnapServer 500 line ranges in capacity from 640GB to 43.2TB. The 550 (1.2TB) is priced from $9,995. The 510 (640GB) and 520 (1TB, upgradable to 2TB) are priced from $3,595 and $4,595, respectively.

Isilon boosts performance, capacity

Isilon Systems recently launched two new products-the IQ Accelerator and EX6000-designed to enhance storage cluster performance and capacity, respectively. The company also released a version upgrade of its OneFS file-system software, which powers all of Isilon’s clustered storage products.

The Isilon IQ line includes the IQ1920/3000/4800/6000, with the numerical portion of the product name indicating the total amount of capacity in gigabytes. Each node has 12 disks, CPU, memory, front-end Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, and InfiniBand to connect the clusters. The IQ1920 and IQ3000 are performance-optimized, while the IQ4800 and IQ6000 are capacity-optimized.

The IQ Accelerator is designed for users that want to add performance when there’s no need for additional capacity. It includes the memory, CPU, and network interfaces that the other IQ nodes have, but it does not contain storage capacity. It accelerates cluster performance by the same factor as a normal node, at about one-third the cost.

The Isilon EX6000 is the opposite of the IQ Accelerator. It adds capacity and contains the same 12 disks that IQ nodes have, but has no memory, CPU, or network interfaces. It connects to the IQ6000 (via Serial Attached SCSI, or SAS), creating a 4U, 12TB virtual unit.

The OneFS distributed file system is a software layer that combines a file system with RAID and volume management functions. It creates a unified file system cluster in which every node in the cluster is a peer and can be written to or read from with full visibility of the file system.

New to OneFS is TrueScale technology, which enables linear and independent scaling of both performance and capacity. It supports more than 500TB of capacity and 7GBps of throughput from a single file system-twice that of the previous release. A single cluster can scale from 3 to 88 nodes.

Sujal Patel, Isilon founder and CTO, says customers can create a tiered storage structure by using faster products such as the IQ1920 for primary storage and then running Isilon’s SyncIQ replication software to move data to the EX6000 cluster for backup. “The EX 6000 cluster can also be used for nearline archiving, deep archiving, and disaster recovery,” says Patel.

Pricing ranges from $7,000 per terabyte for a full IQ6000 system to $12,000 per TB for the IQ1920 performance-oriented product. The EX6000 lists for $4,000 per TB.

Start-up takes on NetApp, EMC

Start-up agami Systems recently extended its line of integrated NAS products with the AIS6000 series, which doubles the capacity (up to 19.2TB with 48 drives) and performance (up to 1GBps read throughput) of the AIS3000 series released last October when the company launched its NAS servers.

John Wernke, agami’s vice president of marketing, says that the company plans to go head-to-head with market leaders Network Appliance and EMC. The start-up hopes to compete on price and performance, claiming to be 6x less expensive and nearly 3x as fast as some competing systems.

agami was founded in 2003 when Zambeel ceased operations. agami acquired Zambeel’s intellectual property, consisting of software for high-performance clusters and virtual file systems with universal namespace.

agami’s 64-bit, quad-CPU NAS systems are based on an SMP/ccNUMA architecture with high-speed (2.4GBps) HyperTransport I/O interfaces and 12GB of memory. HyperTransport links the disk controllers and 12 network ports. The network interface cards (NICs) are routed onto a HyperTransport bus.

“Our NAS systems can read in parallel from all 48 disk drives, move data across a CPU bus, and serve it to all the network controllers in parallel without slowing down,” claims Paul Speciale, agami’s vice president of product management. “Conversely, read/write requests on the network controllers can move across HyperTransport and write to or read from the 48 drives in parallel.”

agami uses off-the-shelf hardware, including AMD Opteron CPUs and bridges for HyperTransport, 400GB Serial ATA (SATA) disk drives from Western Digital, and Marvel chips for SATA connections.

The agamiOS includes a virtual file system (agami FS) on top of Linux with no boundaries on file system size. In a future release, it will provide global namespace to scale across multiple boxes. System Management Service monitors all the hardware, lays out the file systems, and allows administrators access through a browser or a command-line interface through SNMP. An integrated file system replication feature (agami FSR) allows file systems to be mirrored over any IP network.

Future enhancements will include support for iSCSI, automated and multi-master replication, and compliance-related backup and search features.

The 5U AIS6000 series, which includes the AIS6112 (up to 12TB) and AIS6119 (up to 19.2TB), supports Windows, Unix, and Linux clients and the NFS and CIFS protocols, as well as backup and restore using NDMP. The AIS6000 series is priced from $62,995.

Sanbolic upgrades file system

Sanbolic has released Melio File System (FS) version 2.0 and LaScala volume manager version 2.0. Melio FS 2.0 is a symmetrical 64-bit clustered file system designed for high-availability and clustered computing environments. Enhancements include up to a 4x increase in file system performance and support for virtually unlimited file system size. Melio FS now uses Microsoft Windows technologies such as Distributed File System, Network Load Balancing, and Microsoft’s iSCSI initiator.

LaScala is a host-based volume manager incorporating technology used in Melio FS, including advanced transaction management, locking, and clustering technology, and is designed to simplify management and improve flexibility and reliability of shared storage environments.

Sanbolic’s Melio FS and LaScala volume manager allow active-active access to shared files on SAN storage, enabling multi-user access to data.

Unitrends offers granular recovery

Unitrends has added a Continuous Exchange Protection (CEP) feature to its Rapid Recovery System, enabling administrators to recover e-mail from the server level down to individual messages. CEP allows backup from an Exchange server to Unitrends’ Data Protection Unit (DPU) appliances to occur on a scheduled or continuous (instantaneous) mode, with each transaction simultaneously mirrored to the DPU.

Iomega adds autoloader

Iomega’s REV Loader 280 is an autoloader based on the company’s 35GB removable hard drives. The autoloader includes up to eight REV 35 drives for a total capacity of 280GB (560GB compressed) in a 7x5-inch form factor. The device connects to servers via a USB 2.0 interface and can be used as a backup-and-archive unit. CA’s BrightStor ARCserve Backup for Windows software is included with the autoloader.

Positioned against low-end tape technologies such as DDS-4 and DAT-72, the REV Loader 280 has a data-transfer rate of up to 25MBps.

Estimated price is $1,000, with REV 35 drives priced at about $50 per disk in quantities of four. Iomega claims to have shipped more than one million REV drives.

NEC array supports 4Gb FC

NEC Solutions’ entry-level S1500 and midrange S2500 disk arrays support 4Gbps Fibre Channel host connections and a mix of Fibre Channel and Serial ATA (SATA) disk drives for in-the-box tiered storage. RAID-6 is included for protecting SATA drives. The S1500 scales to 17.6TB and has up to 4GB of memory, and the S2500 scales to 32.7TB and 8GB of memory. The S1500 and S2500 are priced from $16,610 and $36,000, respectively.

Start-up targets OEMs, integrators

MPSTOR this month began shipping disk enclosures designed for OEMs and systems/storage integrators. The 4U iBOD tiered-storage series is available in SAS-SATA or FC-FATA versions. Both subsystems support up to 48 drives.

The SAS-SATA enclosure supports 3Gbps SAS or SATA-II drives and a 48Gbps host bandwidth (16 channels), while the FC-FATA version supports 2Gbps or 4Gbps Fibre Channel drives or 4Gbps FATA drives and a host bandwidth of 32Gbps (eight channels). MPSTOR was co-founded by William Oppermann and Bill Bedford, formerly with Raidtec Corp.

iStor unveils next-gen iSCSI controller

At the CeBIT show last month, iStor Networks unveiled the next generation of its GigaStorATX iSCSI storage controllers, which conform to the ATX form factor. Features include a storage virtualization firmware stack, SMI-S-compliant management suite, and 1,160MBps cache read performance, according to the company. The controller allows OEMs, VARs, and integrators to use off-the-shelf PC server and ATX enclosures to build iSCSI-based RAID arrays.

This article was originally published on April 01, 2006