LeftHand adds iSCSI modules

By Dave Simpson

—Although Dell stole the iSCSI limelight last week with its $1.4 billion EqualLogic acquisition announcement (see "Dell to acquire EqualLogic for $1.4 billion," and an analysis of the acquisition), a number of vendors also made iSCSI product announcements recently, including LeftHand Networks, StoneFly, Reldata, iStor Networks, Sans Digital, and Hifn.

LeftHand added two network storage modules—the NSM 2060 and 4150—to its lineup, claiming Fibre Channel level performance and capacity on the 4150 and a low entry price for the 2060. Both storage units come with the company's SAN/iQ clustered storage software, which provides a number of software applications at no additional cost, including thin provisioning, snapshots, distributed clustering, synchronous and asynchronous replication, "network RAID," and volume migration and cloning. SAN/iQ runs on standard x86 platforms and virtual servers.

Company officials emphasized the role of LeftHand's iSCSI clusters in virtual server environments, which are sometimes plagued by performance bottlenecks and the need for high availability in shared storage configurations. According to John Fanelli, LeftHand's vice president of marketing, about 40% of the company's customers (and about 30% of its installed base) purchase their iSCSI products specifically for virtual server environments.

"Server virtualization is driving iSCSI SAN adoption," says Fanelli. "Virtualization is the 'killer app' for iSCSI."

The 2U NSM 2060 is available in three six-drive configurations: a 1.8TB version with 15,000rpm SAS drives ($19,000), and 3TB ($15,000) and 4.5TB ($18,000) configurations with high-capacity SATA drives.

The 4U NSM 4150 is available in three 15-drive configurations: a 4.5TB version with 15,000rpm SAS drives ($40,000), and 7.5TB ($32,000) and 11.25TB ($38,000) versions with SATA drives.

LeftHand claims to have installed more than 7,000 systems and currently has about 250 VARs in North America and Europe.

For more information on LeftHand's iSCSI solutions, see the openBench Lab Review, "SANitize DAS to enhance virtual infrastructure," which focuses on the recently introduced Virtual SAN Appliance (VSA).

In other iSCSI product-related news . . .

StoneFly, a subsidiary of Dynamic Network Factory (DNF), recently began shipping two new IP SAN devices—the ISC-801 and HSC-1601. The ISC-801 (Integrated Storage Controller) supports eight drives for up to 4TB of capacity, while the HSC-1601 (High-Availability Storage Concentrator) supports 10Gbps Ethernet, clustering, hardware-level mirroring, and 16 drives for a total capacity of up to 16TB with 1TB SATA drives.

Both systems are based on StoneFly's StoneFusion operating system, which provides centralized storage management, control, and monitoring. The software supports VMware and Xen virtual environments, and applications such as mirroring, snapshots, and asynchronous replication.

Pricing for the ISC-801 starts at $13,000 for a 4TB configuration, while a 2.4TB version of the HSC-1601 is priced from $20,000.

Reldata recently introduced a version of its multi-protocol gateways that supports 10Gbps Ethernet. The model 9240 10GbE Unified Storage Gateway supports SAN, NAS, and WAN replication. The gateways are based on the RELvos Virtualization Operating System, which includes replication, snapshots, and data migration functionality. Pricing for the 10GbE 9240 starts at $42,500, including all software. (A 1Gbps Ethernet version is priced from $34,500.)

At the Microsoft ASP.NET Connection 2007 conference in Las Vegas earlier this month, iStor Networks showcased its recently introduced integraStor line of iSCSI subsystems, which includes software functionality such as snapshots, continuous data protection (CDP), and high-availability features. The iS325 supports up to 15 SATA drives and can be configured with four or eight 1Gbps Ethernet ports or one 10Gbps Ethernet port. Next month, iStor is expected to introduce the 8-port iS512, which will support 4GB of cache per controller and up to 36 SATA or SAS drives.

Sans Digital has introduced two new iSCSI subsystems—the rack-mount EliteRAID ER104I and MobileRAID MR4I, which comes in a tower format and is designed for portability. Both are four-drive (1TB SATA) units that can be expanded to eight drives with JBOD expansion units. The arrays support RAID 0, 1, 5, and RAID 6 for protection against dual drive failures, as well as dual Gigabit Ethernet interfaces.

Hoping to snag a few new VARs in the wake of the Dell-EqualLogic announcement, Hifn this week announced a new channel partner initiative—dubbed Fast Start Advantage—based on its Swarm family of iSCSI appliances, which include features such as remote replication, centralized management, integrated backup, high availability, and built-in encryption for security. Hifn is offering incentives for resellers that sign on by year-end.

This article was originally published on November 13, 2007