Feeds

Locust Storage unveils Ethernet-powered disk array

Eco-friendly tech aims for global swarming

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Start-up Locust Storage is combining drive spin-down with Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) to provide what it reckons is the greenest storage array yet designed.

The technology combines standard hard disk drives, a solid state drive (SSD) front end, and a Lithium Ion battery reservoir, fed by PoE over a 10GigE wire, to provide storage claimed to be need 80 to 90 per cent less electricity than existing arrays.

The company was founded in April this year by Seth Georgion, its CEO, who has an oil and gas industry background. He was struck by how a seismic survey could involve 60PB of data all held on spinning disk so as to be ready when needed, yet the bulk of the data was accessed infrequently.

Locust Storage is running on angel funding with a first venture capital round under negotiation. Its technology was a joint winner at the GreenBeat 2009 event which focused on the Smart Grid idea of better controlling and delivering electricity in the USA.

The idea of spin down is virtually synonymous with MAID, Massive Array of Idle Disks technology, from troubled Copan Systems. Its most successful exponent is probably Nexan with its AutoMAID technology using several levels of graduated spin-down to shorten the time for full disk power-up.

The big response time problem is that a non-spinning disk needs time to spin up and that obviously slows data access. It would appear that Locust's Smart Power Down array is using SSD technology to reduce the impact of disk power-up time on data access. Software in the product is also said to write data sequentially for fast access. The company says it can deliver high data bandwidth levels as well as very low power consumption.

The PoE technology may well reduce product costs compared to a conventionally-powered array as there is less need for cooling fans and no need for AC/DC power conversion. Locust says that PoE can stream electricity into the battery when the device is quiet and then use the battery to augment PoE electricity when the array is being fully accessed, likening this dual-supply system to a Prius-like hybrid drive.

The product is said to have Internet scalability, and new data redundancy and protection mechanisms.

Georgion says Locusts' product, expected next year, will probably appeal to customers needing secondary storage in the digital media, data retention and tape replacement markets.

The company name suggests images of swarms of locusts which come and go as they gobble up all the vegetation in an area. The swarming probably says something about Internet scale. The mass consumption of vegetation by the swarm for food is most probably not meant to imply anything at all about the developing product's need for power, the opposite in fact, we suppose. Expect to hear more about Locust in the coming months. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Attack of the clones: Oracle's latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives
Oracle's Linux boss says Larry's Linux isn't just for Oracle apps anymore
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.