Products of the Year 2009:

Disk and disk subsystems

Gold Award:

ONStor Pantera Series Clustered NAS

The Pantera clustered NAS system from ONStor Inc. has a trifecta of data protection benefits that's hard to beat: scalability, performance and interoperability. In sum, it's one of the most versatile enterprise NAS products we've seen.

Scalability is particularly crucial in storage, and the Pantera scales in two important dimensions. If it's capacity you need, Pantera supports up to 40PB using 146GB 15,000 rpm SAS hard drives for performance-sensitive applications or 500GB SATA drives for noncritical, cost-effective tasks. SAS and SATA drives are supported simultaneously, allowing for tiered storage in the same chassis. Each Pantera model also touts four Gigabit Ethernet ports and scales for performance through active-active n-way clustering; up to eight 300MB/sec filers can be combined to yield a total throughput of 2.4GB/sec (depending on selected models). As one judge puts it: "Nicely done scalability for a very reasonable pay-as-you grow approach."

The Pantera can configure storage as a single pool for optimum utilization, which means no more hunting for lost storage or migrating data to accommodate a storage upgrade. Advanced data protection features, such as the ability to perform up to 48 snapshots per file system, provide point-in-time copies. However, remote replication isn't standard and optional software will be needed to replicate data between remote Pantera systems.

Judges debated the Pantera's price—some call it reasonable, while others suggest the system was relatively expensive per gigabyte. Still, a solid suite of features and good execution makes ONStor's Pantera family a solid winner.

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