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SGI raises Copan MAID from the dead

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Crashed Copan's MAID product has come back from the dead, branded as SGI's COPAN 400 platform, and pitched as a persistent data disk store.

The mixture is as before, a Massive Array of Idle Disks (MAID) to store persistent but little-used data on mostly spun-down disks. SGI bought Copan when that company fell on hard times due to over-expansion and insufficient sales.

SGI's iteration of the product features doubled density, capacity being up to almost 1.8PB in a cabinet, and quadrupled throughput to 23TB/hour at full bandwidth, increasing its attractiveness compared to tape archives. The company is putting out a value-for-money message, saying the COPAN 400 is "up to three times the density of competitive solutions, including EMC's Centera, IBM's Information Archive or Dell's PowerVault DL2100 which cost from 3.5 to 7 times more".

Copan MAID systems limited the number of spinning drives to 25 per cent of the total in the array. With SGI IT managers will have the ability to increase that number to 50 per cent. SGI claims this means they will be better able to finely tune the system to provide an optimal mix of performance and power savings to best suit the needs of specific environments.

There are two COPAN 400 products: the COPAN 400T/TX is a VTL (Virtual Tape Library) implementation, while the COPAN 400M features native MAID for direct access to active archives and disk-to-disk solutions. It supports IBM's Tivoli and Commvault's Simpana, and works with LiveArc, SGI's digital asset management platform.

SGI also announced its membership in the Active Archive Alliance, a non-profit storage industry association dedicated to supporting the use of active archives for simplified, online access to all unstructured file data. Tape library vendor SpectraLogic is a founding member of that alliance and may have different views about the relative validity of disk and tape archives for persistent data.

The 400T is available immediately with the 400M becoming available later this year. Pricing for the COPAN 400 is provided upon request to SGI. ®

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