Storage-area network maker Dot Hill Systems on Oct. 7 introduced its next-generation RAID storage architecture, which includes full solid-state disk support and a new, converged network interface.
With the emergence of software-defined storage networks the last couple of years, not a lot of news has been happening on the RAID front. However, a high number of data centers run RAID storage connectivity and won't be switching to anything else for a while. These changes are not necessarily the kind that happen quickly.
For the record: RAID technology combines multiple disk drives into a logical unit, or LUN, for the purposes of data redundancy and performance improvement. Data is distributed across the drives in one of several ways, referred to as RAID levels, depending on the specific level of redundancy and performance required.
Dot Hill's ninth-generation storage controller platform is being integrated throughout its entire entry level and midrange portfolio, with product-specific announcements to come in the months ahead.
New features in the controller include the following:
--converged network interface;
--16G-bit Fibre Channel, 10G-bit iSCSI, and 12G-bit SAS connectivity;
--ASIC-based RAID companion processor;
--forward and backward metadata compatibility;
--full-disk-encryption (FDE) support;
--flash solid-state drive (SSD) support; and
--a full complement of data management software.
A key component in this platform is Dot Hill's special-purpose RAID companion processor, implemented as a system-on-a-chip into this architecture. Previously, the RCP was implemented with field-programmable gate array IT; the new ASIC implementation provides Dot Hill with an advantage in manufacturing costs.
Dot Hill uses QLogic's FlexSuite dual-personality adapter, which supports midrange storage packages with the flexibility to run on 16G-bit Gen 5 Fibre Channel, 8G-bit Fibre Channel, 4G-bit Fibre Channel, 10G-bit iSCSI and 1G-bit iSCSI networks using the same hardware.
With a quick swap of a transceiver module, IT administrators can configure their storage in the field to 16G-bit Fibre Channel or 10G-bit iSCSI. The converged interface includes a four-port controller that can be configured with four 16G-bit Fibre Channel ports, four 10G-bit iSCSI ports, or a combination of both Fibre Channel and iSCSI ports.
Privately branded configurations of the systems for large OEMs are currently shipping worldwide. Dot Hill-branded products will be available through the IT distribution channel in the fourth quarter of 2013.