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Compaq introduces entry-level to mid-range storage solution

Compaq introduces entry-level to mid-range storage solution

The Enterprise Storage Group of Compaq Computer announced the StorageWorks Modular SAN Array 1000. Compaq stated the Modular SAN Array 1000 is designed as an entry-level to mid-range storage solution for ProLiant severs. With the MSA1000, Compaq has introduced its DtS (Direct to SAN) architecture. The DtS feature provides a quick and easy method to migrate data stored on a Compaq Smart Array to a MSA1000 subsystem.

The Modular SAN Array is a fully redundant storage array offering active-passive controllers (active-active support in 2Q 2002) and N+1 power and cooling. The host interface is a single 2Gb Fibre Channel I/O Module per controller. An optional 6-port 2Gb Fibre Channel switch can be integrated into the controller module. The MSA 1000 supports FC-AL and full fabric attachment. There are two Ultra-3 SCSI interfaces per controller supporting up to 42 Compaq Universal 1-inch Ultra-2 and/or Ultra-3 disk drives. This initial release supports Intel-based servers running Windows NT/2000 operating systems with support for Novell, Linux, Tru64 UNIX, OpenVMS, HP-UX and Sun Solaris scheduled for 2002. The Modular SAN Array is generally available on this announcement date.

Modular SAN Array 1000 highlights

The StorageWorks Modular Array 1000 is Compaq's first generation 2Gb Fibre Channel subsystem designed specially for entry-level to mid-range storage area networks. Compaq is attempting to reduce the complexity and expense of SAN implementations for heterogeneous x86 server environments.

The MSA1000 base unit combines the array controller shelf and the disk drive shelf. The drive shelf contains up to (14) 1-inch universal disk drives in a single 4-U rack-mount cabinet. Additional storage capacity is available with the addition of up to two StorageWorks 4314 or 4354 enclosures. The maximum capacity, using 73GB disk drives, is 3TB. The MSA1000 can be managed locally or remotely via the Compaq Insight Manager-XE, Array Configuration Utility-XE and the StorageWorks Fabric Switch Management Utility.

DtS Architecture (Direct Attach to SAN) - The DtS architecture provides a quick and easy method for migrating data stored on a Compaq Smart Array to the MSA1000. Data stored on the 1-inch universal disk drives housed in either the Compaq Smart Array or a RA4100 can be migrated directly. The disk drives can be removed from the Smart Array and installed directly into the MSA1000. The existing data and configuration information remains intact. The RAID set information and configuration is used by the MSA1000 allowing the migration to be complete in minutes.

MSA1000 Controller - The MSA1000 controller is a Compaq developed integrated RAID controller featuring 128MB of read/write cache (expandable to 256MB) per controller with a battery backup. A single controller is standard for the MSA1000 with dual controllers as an option. The MSA1000 management features include Selective Storage Presentation (LUN Security), Online RAID Level Migration (post-configuration change to RAID Level), Online Capacity Expansion, Online Volume Expansion, and Global Online spares.

RAID level support includes Advanced Data Guarding (RAID ADG) that allocates 2 parity drives across the group, RAID-5, RAID-1 and RAID 1+0. A global spare drive can be configured per array or used across multiple arrays.

MSA1000 controller features:

  • Redundant controller support (active/active available in 2Q 2002)
  • Fabric, Private Loop, & Public loop support
  • Auto Negotiated F, FL & L Port Login
  • RAID 0, 1, 1+0, 5, and ADG
  • 2Gg and 1Gb Fibre Channel
  • Host-Based configuration via ACU
  • Remote configuration and monitoring via ACU XE and CIM XE

Optional software includes the Compaq SANworks Virtual Replicator and SANworks Secure path for Windows Workgroups.

Evaluator Group comments:

The MSA1000 is an excellent entry-level addition to the StorageWorks family of arrays. Compaq currently has over a million smart arrays installed on ProLiant servers offering a ready market. The DtS migration will be very attractive to these current users. The MSA1000 offers excellent performance, capacity, and full fabric SAN support.

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