Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/07/xyratex_adds_8gigfc_raid6/

Xyratex speeds up arrays and doubles protection

End-to-end 8gig SANS coming?

By Chris Mellor

Posted in Storage, 7th October 2008 10:01 GMT

Disk array sub-system supplier Xyratex has introduced its fastest-ever array by adding an 8Gbit/s Fibre Channel (FC) product along with new RAID 6 capabilities.

Xyratex supplies hard disk drives in drive array enclosures to storage array product suppliers such as Compellent, Data Domain, Dell (EqualLogic) and IBM (XIV). Its OneStor product line includes the SP1224s, a 2U rackmount product with 24 SAS drives meant for IOPS-intensive applications, and the SP1424s, a 4U product with up to 24 SAS or SATA drives. The latter focuses more on capacity - 24TB with 1TB SATA drives. The OneStor architecture can support up to 96 drives in total.

The 8Gbit/s FC technology doubles the current 4Gbit/s FC speed while being backwards-compatible. It has been introduced in storage area network (SAN) switch, director and host bus adapter (HBA) products but not at the array level, so far.

The new SP1212s is a 2U product with 12 SAS or SATA drives and an 8Gbit/s Fibre Channel controller, the first 8gig drive array in the industry. Think of it as a half-height SP1424s with added 8gig, which will also be made available for the 1224s and 1424s.

Xyratex' announcement means that full, end-to-end 8gig SANs can now be built, removing a drive array interface bottleneck and enabling more servers - physical or virtual - to access the SAN storage arrays.

The company's new F6500E RAID controller supports RAID 6 which includes protection against a double drive failure, up to 512 snapshots, redundant hot-swappable components and dual-ported SAS and SATA drives for continuous data access.

Xyratex' OEMs could introduce 8Gbit/s FC and RAID 6 storage products quite swiftly. But who's going to be first off the block? Compellent? Dell? IBM? ®