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iQstor bulks up its rack-mounted SAN storage system

The iQ5200 high-density SAN storage system, which packs 52 TB into 4U arrays and can scale to 1.56 PB, was introduced at Supercomputing '08 this week. The rack-mounted SAN storage system is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses.

IQstor Networks Inc. introduced a high-density SAN storage system for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) at Supercomputing '08 this week in Austin, Texas.

The iQ5200 is a 4U rack-mount system with 13 Hitachi or Seagate drives and 52 TB of storage capacity per unit. Albert Saraie, iQstor's director of sales and marketing, said the iQ5200 includes dual active-active controllers with failover, four Fibre Channel ports and four iSCSI ports with TCP/IP offload engine (TOE), 8 GB cache, and built-in SAN and system monitoring and management software. The iQ5200 supports all RAID levels, including RAID 6.

Brendan Kinkade, an IT industry consultant providing marketing and communications services to iQstor, said the iQ5200 has a SAS expansion interface that allows the unit to scale up to 1.04 PB by connecting JBODs to the unit's SAS expansion interface.

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"With the iQ5200, you can expand with JBOD arrays behind a single head, a single 5200 array with dual controllers," Kinkade said. "You're just adding a chassis with disks. You're not adding the added cost and the burden of extra controllers."

Kinkade said the company plans to have 1.5 TB drives ready for production in the first quarter of 2009 that would increase each unit's total capacity to 78 TB and scalability to 1.56 PB.

Brian Babineau, an Enterprise Strategy Group senior analyst, said the iQ5200 is "the highest-density array out there" for rack-mount systems. However, he said the system lacks the sophisticated resource management required for primary storage. "It's probably better suited for more archival, disk-based backup and nonmission critical applications," Babineau said.

IQstor's Saraie estimates the street price for a single unit with 52 TB of capacity to be around $34,995.

Babineau said iQstor's challenge is getting resellers' to pick up the iQ5200 as a lower cost option to storage systems from larger vendors. In tough economic times, buyers tend to have a bias toward established companies, Babineau said. "The good news for emerging vendors is that customers are usually willing to try new things if they can change the economics and deliver on ROI fast," he added.

Other storage product news at Supercomputing '08

QLogic launched its 40 Gbps quad data rate (QDR) InfiniBand switches based on its new TrueScale ASIC. The QLogic 12000 switches scale from 18 ports to 864 ports and include wizard-based installation, self-monitoring and adaptive routing to change traffic flow quickly. At 864 ports, the QLogic 12000 is the largest InfiniBand switch on the market. Hewlett-Packard said it would use the QLogic InfiniBand switches in its systems.

Mellanox Technologies and Dell demonstrated 40 Gb Mellanox InfiniBand ConnectX adapters and InfiniBand IV switches running on a Dell PowerEdge M1000e Modular Blade Enclosure.

Alacritech said it would ship a 10 Gbps Ethernet TOE card in the first quarter of next year, with a copper interface version to follow in the second quarter. Alacritech calls the cards Scalable Network Adapters (SNA), and they combine TOE and NICs on the same device.

Spectra Logic said it will release an upgrade it its BlueScale management software for tape libraries and disk archive appliances in December. BlueScale 10.5 adds a monitoring capability with an internal Web camera that allows administrators to visually monitor internal library operations in real time from anywhere, and a hardware health monitor to track tape library component thresholds and notify administrators of potential failures.

Adaptec demonstrated its Intelligent Power Management that it claims can reduce storage power consumption by up to 70% on its Series 2 and Series 5 RAID controllers used with SATA and SAS drives.

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