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EqualLogic tiers SAS for faster iSCSI

iSCSI's still banging on the door, but it's banging faster...

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EqualLogic has brought out its first iSCSI array to use SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) drives and support tiered storage.

Called the PS3000, the array - effectively an IP SAN in a box - features new software able to support multiple tiers of storage, said Paul Klinkby-Silver, EqualLogic's European VP. For highest performance, the PS3000XV includes 2.4TB of 150GB SAS drives spinning at 15,000 RPM, while the PS3000X has 4.8TB of 300GB SAS drives at 10,000 RPM. Both models list for £40,950.

Each array module has dual redundant controllers and space for 16 drives. Data is striped across all the available spindles in a disk pool for greater access speed, and Klinkby-Silver said the arrays can also house pools of 750GB SATA drives for cheaper bulk storage - and for applications that can't justify the near-50% price-premium of SAS over SATA.

He added that the company's older iSCSI arrays all use SATA drives and that its peering and storage virtualisation software allows arrays to cooperate or even merge, but said: "People have a perception that SATA may not be reliable, whereas SAS is the same drives as Fibre Channel."

EqualLogic is not the first iSCSI supplier to use SAS or offer tiered and virtualised storage, but there's few others that do both. Its challenge is to persuade users that iSCSI is now ready to take on heavyweight and high-performance applications.

Each PS3000 has three 1Gbit/s Ethernet connections, and Klinkby-Silver claimed that, with the extra speed of SAS and the disk striping, "This will blow away the story that iSCSI is slower than Fibre Channel."®

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