Digi-Data enters tiered storage

Officials at Digi-Data Corp., known for Redundant Array of Independent Disks and enterprise-level storage products, have moved into the growing field of tiered storage with the company's new Storm Xtreme Array, a networked modular storage solution.

The product provides a multitenancy platform, said William Tomeo, Digi-Data's chief executive officer. Despite being distributed at various network points, users interact with the platform as a single logical storage system.

Storm Xtreme Array can support up to 250 terabytes of storage capacity, if Fibre Channel links are used to connect the modules, or more than 300 terabytes with Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA). The product bridges what Tomeo said he believes has been a gap in the deployment of modular storage.

"The whole reason for modular storage was to provide a pay-as-you-go option for people to get storage with a low-cost entry system and then build that up over time," he said. "But in many cases the solutions offered didn't have the flexibility to match changes in applications, so organizations were often left with a complicated mix of systems connected through a complex [storage-area network] fabric, all operating at a suboptimal level."

That's what really drove the need for a single logical storage system that could grow in a cost-effective way, Tomeo said.

Storm disk controller modules operate as members of a cluster of storage nodes. The nodes each manage an independent workload and can take on the load of another node in the event that one fails. Users can manage the whole array from any node.

The price for a two-node, Fibre Channel system with up to 1 terabyte of capacity is $36,000, and for up to 4 terabytes it's $51,000. A three-node system, capable of handling 10 terabytes, costs $96,000.

For a Serial ATA, three-node system the price is $67,000 for 12.8 terabytes of capacity, and just under $100,000 for a 25 terabyte system.

The Storm Xtreme Array can also handle any mix of Fibre Channel and Serial ATA drives, Tomeo said.

Brian Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached at hullite@mindspring.com.

About the Author

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

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