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Disks and disk subsystems

Bronze Award:

Avere Systems Inc. FXT Series

Of all the solid-state drive products to hit the market in 2009, startup Avere Systems' FXT Series caught our judges' attention the most. Avere's appliances combine clustered NAS, file virtualization and automatic data placement with SSDs. "One of the best uses of solid state to date," one judge noted.

That means it's not just an SSD product, but rather it uses solid-state drives to solve customer pain points. FXT Series nodes are available in two models: the FXT 2300 and FXT 2500. Each FXT Series node contains 64 GB of read-only DRAM and 1 GB of battery-backed NVRAM. The FXT 2300 has a list price of $52,000, and includes 1.2 TB of 15,000 rpm SAS drives. The FXT 2500, at $72,000, comes with 3.5 TB of SAS disk. The nodes can scale out under a global namespace, and Avere said it has tested up to 25 nodes in a cluster.

The Avere OS also dynamically organizes data into storage tiers, automatically placing active data on FXT appliances.

"A very innovative application of file virtualization clustering, SSDs and automated tiering," another judge said. Pointing to its ability to attach to a third-party NFS NAS for data archival and backup storage, the judge added: "It has strong value with a high reuse of installed NAS systems."

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