Nexsan ships SAS array with MAID

By Dave Simpson

—This week, Nexsan Technologies introduced the SASBoy RAID array, which features the company's AutoMAID (massive array of idle disks) technology. The introduction marks Nexsan's first foray into the SAS market.

AutoMAID is an energy-saving technology that enables users to select among three settings, or levels, to conserve drive-related energy by powering down drives. According to Bob Woolery, Nexsan's senior vice president of marketing, AutoMAID does not affect performance.

The 3U, 14-bay SASBoy can be configured with 15,000rpm, 300GB SAS drives for a total capacity of up to 4.2TB. (The controllers also support SATA drives, although Nexsan is not currently shipping mixed-drive configurations.) Systems with 450GB SAS drives are expected within the next couple of months.

The SASBoy subsystems come with two 4Gbps Fibre Channel ports and two iSCSI/Ethernet ports per controller, and users/integrators can configure the systems with one or two (active-active) RAID controllers in RAID 0, 1, 1+0, 4, 5, and 6 configurations.

Nexsan claims a sustained data-transfer rate of up to 875MBps, and 2,500 I/Os per second (IOPS) in a RAID-5 configuration with 4KB data transfers. (The IOPS rating is at the system level, e.g., not from cache.)

The SASBoy array supports as many as 255 LUNs. The controllers come with up to 2GB of cache, and the systems include the company's NexScan monitoring and management software.

Pricing starts at $6,800 per terabyte.

Nexsan hopes to capitalize on the rapid adoption of SAS drives. For example, market research firm IDC expects SAS to account for almost half (48%) of all enterprise drive shipments this year, up from 35% last year. And IDC expects SAS drives to garner a commanding 70% market share by 2011.

In a recent InfoStor QuickVote reader poll, 43% said that SATA drives will account for the majority of their disk drive purchases over the next six months, while 28% cited Fibre Channel, and 25% cited SAS.

For more information on technologies that can help you improve storage efficiency and reduce power consumption, see "How green is your storage?"

This article was originally published on June 03, 2008