Feeds

Avoiding x86 cuts iSCSI cost and watts

iStor claims speed record for single-chip iSCSI controller

Remote control for virtualized desktops

An iSCSI developer said it has bucked the trend towards using standard servers to power storage appliances, instead using specialist chips that it designed itself.

The company, called iStor, claims that as a result, its latest iS512 subsystems not only out-perform rivals such as EMC, EqualLogic, Intransa and LeftHand, but they are cheaper and consume less power too.

"The benefits of our ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) approach are cost and power consumption," stated Tim Beck, iStor's Euro boss. "Our ASIC is 12W, the whole controller is 65W." By comparison, an x86 server would consume hundreds of watts, he said.

Alan Shepherd, who runs iStor's UK distributor AxStor, said the iS512 has dual active-active controllers, a duplex 10Gig Ethernet port and 12 drive bays. It can stream data out at over 1100MB/s (9Gbit/s), out-performing duplex 4Gbit/s Fibre Channel.

He said that with 10Gbit/s Ethernet adapters constrained by Windows to around 3.6Gbit/s, a single iS512 can saturate three servers.

A basic 2TB system costs less than £7000, while a version with 3TB of SAS or 12TB of SATA would be around £11,000, Shepherd said. "SAS is still about three times the cost per MB of SATA, although the gap gets lower as you go up in capacity," he noted.

He added that as the iS512 supports SAS expanders, it can scale to 128 disk drives.

However, a rival warned against proprietary controller chips, and argued that there's good reasons why other iSCSI developers have moved towards standard platforms.

"Standard servers make it easy to scale, and the x86 is a very stable architecture - if you have a failure, it's typically not the server," said Henrik Hansen, European marketeer for LeftHand Networks.

Developing both hardware and software means two major investments instead of one, he argued. He added that it's even more expensive if you don't discover your ASIC design errors until after they have been turned into silicon. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016
Flash WORM has a serious use for archived photos and videos
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.