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Atrato unveils super fast SAID storage unit

Cleans up after itself

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Storage start-up Atrato is stepping out of the shadows today with its first product; a disk array that does over 11,500 IOPs in random read/writes — and won't need maintenance for up to five years, the company claims.

Atrato calls its technology a Self-maintaining Array of Identical Disks (SAID). With write speeds nearing solid state performance, the newcomer is maneuvering the system for high performance computing and video streaming.

atrato logoThe Velocity 1000 (or V1000) is a 3U rack unit divided into two sealed subunits of disk drives — with four mini units inside. Each disk canister contains a cluster of 2.5-inch SATA drives. Individual disks come in 100GB to 320GB capacity for a total maximum raw capacity of 50TB. Usable storage ranges from 20TB to 40TB, based on the RAID level.

The theory is that Atrato's home brewed virtual RAID software can detect failed disk areas and work around them on the fly. Atrato claims the system self-heals itself well enough that the canisters won't need to be opened over the span of the system's 3-5 year lease.

Atrato isn't ready to divulge all of the V1000 inner workings. For instance, how I/O streams are handled and specifically what disk errors can be remedied by Atrato's hardware and software aren't forthcoming.

The startup is also being coy about price on specific configurations to the press, although the system is available now, so those brave early adopters should get the details.

All signs point to expensive given the system's target audience and advertised performance. Internetnews.com reports a starting price of $140,000 for a 20TB configuration, but it's the only publication to post a price. The company has yet to return our calls seeking comment.

Atrato is targeting both a price and product niche between traditional storage and expensive enterprise quality SSDs.

By the way, Atrato is named after the fast-running river in Colombia, apparently known for its copious sediment discharge. The company currently has about $18m in funding, and is led by former Xiotech exec, Dan McCormick.

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