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Escalade: end of life, or back to life?

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What is 3ware doing with Escalade?

In September, the Californian storage hardware vendor issued an end of life notice for the ATA RAID line, announcing the 'strategic decision' to focus instead on its Palisade IP products.

But this month it said it would continue full "support, development and production for its popular Escalade products ... due to overwhelming customer feedback".

Apparently not all of 3ware's Escalade products are popular, as the same announcement, posted on its web site, confirms the canning of the 6000-series Escalade family (as soon as supply ends, or by new year, whichever comes first). Henceforth, the company will focus on the Escalade 7000-series line.

(Incidentally, it also discloses additional private investment funding and a new president and CEO.)

Last week, Reg reader Matt Elkington emailed 3ware to enquire about stock shortages of Escalade 7800 products at its UK distie, TMC. The reply, from Open-E (3Ware's European fulfilment house), states that it's no fault of TMC. Apparently, shipment delays on 7000-series Escalade products are due to "a technical issue with 7xxx [Escalades] ... engineers were not able to fix the problem fast ... we are now preparing goods for European distributors."

What's the deal? Is 3ware disguising a technical fault in the products as a 'customer-demanded' re-release?

According to James Smith, a TMC product manager, some faults were reported on the 7000-series, resulting in shipping delays, as the vendor corrected them.

The supply tap is now re-opened, although there may be delays while back-orders are fulfilled. According to Smith, the 3ware's initial Escalade withdrawal announcement was for the US region only - something the end of life document (and the 3ware spokesperson at the time) makes no mention of.

Smith also says that some products at the top end face a price increase, as yet unspecified.

The Escalade 7000 series has a fan club. This StorageReview benchmark of the newer 7450 Escalade product shows significantly improved RAID 5 performance over its 7410 sibling. ®

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