Fujitsu Joins the SMB Storage Parade

A new dual-controller-based, low-power SAN puts Fujitsu in the thick of the race with a dozen other vendors.

Fujitsu Computer Systems is the latest top-tier vendor to enter the low-end storage wars by introducing a new storage area network for that mass market.

The Sunnyvale, Calif., company's dual-controller-based Eternus 2000 SAN, launched Oct. 17 at Storage Networking World in Dallas, is targeted at small and midsize data centers that struggle with cost and power-consumption issues, storage marketing director Nori Kondo told eWEEK.

Fujitsu, known for supplying both branded and OEM high-end systems for several major vertical markets, is including the same high-availability and ease-of-management features in the Eternus 2000 that are found in most advanced Fujitsu storage systems, Kondo said.

The Eternus 2000 combines a new power design with a MAID (massive array of idle disks) setup for reduced power consumption and costs, as well as for extended system life, Kondo said.

MAID products are disk-based archives with unique capabilities that not only minimize power consumption but also prolong the lives of hard drives. The selling point of MAID is that it delivers performance in the hard drive array class when data is requested, yet reduces the amount of energy wasted when archive data is in idle mode.

The reduction in power consumption and heat that the MAID model provides puts disk storage almost in the same class as tape for energy efficiency.

Copan Systems and Fujitsu are two of the few storage companies selling MAID systems for production use. As utility costs and the demand for rapid data access continue to rise, MAID could become an even more compelling option for long-term archiving.

At any given time, only about 25 percent of the disks in a MAID archive are active, with the other 75 percent in an idle state. A MAID system will consume about one-fourth to one-fifth the amount of power of a standard hard drive-based archive, depending on how often data is accessed, officials said.


Click here to read more about MAID systems.

Using a fully redundant hardware design, the Eternus 2000 eliminates any single point of failure and enables high-speed back-up, even during business operations, Kondo said.

"You never have to shut down your operation if you have this system because of the dual controllers and the redundancy," Kondo said.

The market is receptive to eco-friendly IT solutions that drive down ownership costs through reduced power consumption, said Mark Peters, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group.

"Enterprise-class storage solutions that are both affordably priced and highly flexible satisfy the specific demands of the SME [small and mid-size enterprise] segment, which typically has the same storage requirements and challenges as a large enterprise but can't always afford a high-end solution," Peters said.

Fujitsu found that upfront costs, power consumption, high availability and flexibility are the most important IT concerns of SME's that are struggling with tight budgets, Dave Egan, Fujitsu's senior vice president of storage, told eWEEK.

The basic Eternus 2000 features 2TB of storage and offers a fully redundant design, three-tiered-MAID, SAS, or nearline Serial ATA-storage options, and a standards-based approach to hardware and software, Egan said.

The Eternus 2000 SAN also comes with a home-grown feature called One Point Copy, which provides both full volume copies and point-in-time images. The system supports only Microsoft Windows environments, including Windows Server 2003, with access to Windows Storage Server and Windows Unified Data Storage Server.

The Eternus 2000 SAN is available immediately starting at $11,100 when configured with dual controllers, dual power and four Fibre Channel server connections with 5 x 500GB 7.2Krpm drives, plus Eternus Storage Manager.


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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...