Xiotech pushes tiered storage

Choosing what kind of storage to use often comes as a less-than-satisfactory best fit decision after applications and other things have been chosen, a situation that Xiotech Corp. officials hope to change with their new tiered storage offering.

The product allows users to mix and match the types of storage that best fit required applications, storage budgets and the value of the data in question, Xiotech officials said.

That way, said Rob Peglar, Xiotech's vice president of technology solutions, storage can now be considered a fundamental part of infrastructure design, rather than just an add-on.

"With tiered storage, people will not be limited to using a particular kind of data storage," he said. "It gives them a wide choice of storage that they can use in particular situations and they don't have to worry after the fact [about] what kind of storage fits their needs."

The volume of such things as e-mail have exploded in the past few years and that requires large amounts of added storage, but people often don't need the most expensive kinds of storage just to read messages, Peglar said. As that kind of data becomes less valuable to organizations over time, it can be moved from one tier to a less expensive form of storage while remaining available as part of the active enterprise outside of archive storage.

It saves more money than just settling for one type of storage, Peglar said.

The tiered-storage solution includes Fibre Channel and Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) drives, as well as a class of drives that Xiotech officials are calling Economy Enterprise Fibre Channel drives, which are less costly than the full Fibre Channel storage.

The Xiotech solution is controlled through what Peglar described as a virtual disk that is exposed to a server without the server needing to know what type of storage it is dealing with. Users can change the type of data they are using for any given situation on the fly without changing the physical environment, he said.

"There's no need for any special software to be installed to manage all of this," Peglar said. "All a user needs to do is install [Xiotech] controller nodes."

The full Fibre Channel and Economy Enterprise drive configuration is available now, and the one including the SATA drives will be available in September, he said.

Brian Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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