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Dot Hill Connected to SATA Technology

UPDATED: Dot Hill Systems has joined the ranks of vendors offering low-cost storage provisions with new hardware geared to pack more capacity into a data center without packing a punch to the customer's checkbook.

The Carlsbad, Calif.-based storage systems manufacturer has hinged its new SANnet II SATA systems on Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, a high-speed interface standard for hard drives based on serial signaling technology.

SATA is considered the next evolution in storage hard drive interfaces after its ATA cousin, which used parallel signaling. This parallel process entailed, thicker, clumsier cables and consumed more power.

Mike Karp, an analyst with Enterprise Management Associates, said SATA is attractive because it lets businesses retrieve data in a more timely manner, which is now required by law in the form of record-keeping regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley for financial services and HIPAA in the healthcare industry.

Most major vendors in storage, such as EMC , IBM and HP , support it for all of these reasons.

SANnet II SATA storage systems feature 12 drive bays with a capacity of up to 3 terabytes (TB) in 2U (3.5 inches high) of rack space. They can scale up to 16 TB of usable RAID 5 storage by adding drives and expansion systems. The new systems also support RAID 0, 1, 0+1 and 3. Customers have the option of single or dual RAID controllers and AC or DC power.

The SANnet II SATA systems will use the same SANscape storage management software and SANpath storage networking software that is used with the other SANnet II systems.

Dot Hill's CTO and Co-founder, Dana Kammersgard, said in a statement that SANnet II SATA will easily integrate into the tiered storage model -- or information lifecycle management (ILM) -- that businesses are adopting in order to more efficiently manage information based on its value.

"Compared to some of the recently introduced SATA products, the SANnet II SATA is significantly more scaleable in terms of capacity, host connections and performance," Kammersgard said. "It is also much more rugged as measured by independent NEBS Level 3 and MIL-STD-810F certifications."

Multiple Fibre Channel (FC) host ports in SANnet II SATA allow users to connect to 12 servers without external switches, saving the customer from buying extra networking gear. Dot Hill began offering switchless SANs in 1999 with its first family of SANnet products.

The approach helped it reel in major customers and partners as Sun Microsystems, Motorola, SunGard, Network Appliance, CDW and General Dynamics. The company calls it an easier and less expensive approach to installation, configuration and management of networked storage, which are important considerations for cost-constrained small- and medium-sized businesses.

Dot Hill, which acquired Chaparral Networks in February to bolster its midrange offerings, hopes to ship SANnet II SATA to customers in June, including a major OEM customer.

To accommodate the growing interest in servers with more compact form factors, the company also introduced a "blade" storage system based on Ultra320 SCSI technology Tuesday.

At 1U (1.75 inches) and with four drive bays of up to 584 gigabytes, the SANnet II Blade Ultra320 SCSI array is geared for data centers where space is at a premium, while providing higher performance and faster throughput than the previous SCSI interfaces. It easily integrates into a rack or a desktop, according to a company statement.

As with SANnet II SATA, Dot Hill will ship this blade server in June to all customers, including a major OEM.



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