Batteries not included

This article can also be found in the Premium Editorial Download: Storage magazine: Learning data retention lessons from Warner Bros.:

Cut the juice to a storage array and it will try to minimize data loss largely by switching to battery power to...

keep what's in the system's cache intact until it can be written to disk.

But in a move that threatens to send the Energizer bunny to the unemployment line, Dot Hill Systems--a storage company whose products are often OEMed--has eliminated the need for batteries to protect a storage array's cache.

Dot Hill's 2730 Turbo storage controller uses super capacitors instead of batteries to power its cache backup. Capacitors, which are based on engineering theories that have been around for approximately 250 years, can store electricity until it's needed.

Super capacitors are pumped-up versions of the tiny electrical devices that can store enough energy to be viable as battery replacements. Dot Hill's design has been picked up and rebranded by several storage vendors, including Fujitsu and ONStor with its Pantera Clustered NAS.

--Rich Castagna

This was first published in August 2007

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