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Nexsan to uncage SATABeast 3

A 60-slotter

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Nexsan might be about to announce the third iteration of its SATABeast in the shape of a 60-slot box.

The current SATABeast is a quite densely-packed SATA drive array with 40 bays and Automatic Massive Array of Idle Disks (AutoMAID) energy-saving technology that transparently places disk drives into an idle state to reduce power and cooling costs.

SATABeast 3, as it might be called internally, would be a product with 60 hard-drive bays. The 1TB drives Nexsan currently uses would give it a 60TB capacity but, if it switched to 2TB drives, the capacity could be 120TB.

The drives could be Hitachi GST ones, as these have firmware that supports the AutoMAID technology. The alternative would be Seagate drives.

Beast 3 will support 8Gbit/s Fibre Channel connectivity and a PPC8572 controller. This is understood to be an early-2008 PowerPC processor from Freescale, formerly Motorola, said to do roughly twice the work of a similar x86 for half the clock speed. These chips are very popular in the embedded controller market and their high sales volume makes them cheap.

Nexsan CEO Philip Black said the company couldn't comment on any products it might or might not be producing. He did, however, point out that the Assureon archival product "has been doing really well and is the core of our future." Its sales focus has shifted from the VAR channel to selling through medical OEMS with significant ones signed up.

This was because, he said, the main competition was EMC's Centera and a medical OEM channel was the best way to sell against it. Also: "We're able to beat it left, right and centre."

Financially he is restricted in what he can say because of the company's IPO S1 filing, but he wanted to counter any questions about Nexsan's financial situation. The numbers in the S1 filing were refreshed at the end of 2008. He said: "We've been profitable in the quarters reported and have generated cash. We're happy with the results in Q1 and Q2 this year as well. We're not using cash up, we're adding to it." ®

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