Affordable Storage doesn’t have to mean Commodity Storage

The cloud is disrupting the storage market and not just by offering ‘cold storage’ for tier-3 data. Cloud-scale, ‘commodity’ infrastructures have made companies reconsider how much they need to pay for their tier-1 storage as well. Other companies are building private clouds and tier-1 arrays are simply out of the question. When they need performance, reliability and the features they’re used to, more are looking at vendors like Dot Hill, the Colorado-based disk array supplier that’s actually the OEM for many well-known server and storage companies.

Now Dot Hill has just improved their best selling storage system, with the AssuredSAN 3004 array. This is an upgrade to the 3000 series array, which, since its 2010 release has become the most successful product in the company’s history. But the 3004 array offers 80% better performance and the lowest cost per TB in Dot Hill’s product line.

The AssuredSAN 3004 is a 2U chassis with 12 x 3.5” or 24 x 2.5” hot-swap hard disk drives (HDDs), a 12GB flash cache and 2 x 16Gb FC or 2 x 10Gb iSCSI connections per controller. Each system has dual, active/active hot swap controllers with automatic failover and multi-path support, plus redundant, hot swappable fans, power supplies and a global hot spare drive, all delivering “five 9s” (99.999%) of availability. Three expansion modules can be added for a maximum system capacity of 288 TB, using 6TB SAS drives.

The 3004 has a next generation RAID architecture (RAID 0,1, 3, 5, 6, 10 and 50) that leverages an upgraded ASIC design to provide 3300 MB/s streaming read performance and 2400 MB/s writes, with 40K read IOPS per dual-controller system. Dot Hill has designed the 3004 controllers to be a plug-replacement for those of the 3000 series, enabling users to do a data-in-place upgrade by swapping controllers and gain the 80% performance increase mentioned above.

Who is Dot Hill

Dot Hill has been building OEM disk arrays for many of the major system manufacturers for the past three decades, actually celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. Several years ago they rolled out their own line of mid-range disk arrays, called AssuredSAN, which brought performance, reliability and enterprise functionality to the mid-market. The Pro 5000 Series features innovative real-time SSD/HDD tiering, the 4000 Series delivers 100K IOPS and 5000+ MB/s performance from disk and the 3000 Series, now including the AssuredSAN 3004, provides a strong mix of performance, reliability and lower cost.

Dot Hill’s systems are designed to work well in the mid-tier company that needs a quality storage system to support business-critical applications like a SQL Server environment, Exchange or backup, but doesn’t need the price tag or support costs that come with a typical three-letter nameplate. Dot Hill’s products have no capacity licenses for software, they’re flexible, reliable and easy to set up.

StorageSwiss Take

This is probably the only storage company that hasn’t started calling their product “software-defined”. Seriously, Dot Hill knows that hardware still matters and they keep improving their technology. With an 80% increase in performance and a lower cost/TB, they could say the 3004 array is “better, faster, cheaper”. But this isn’t ‘cheap storage’. A better description would be what the company uses: “best in class value, reliability and availability”.

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Eric is an Analyst with Storage Switzerland and has over 25 years experience in high-technology industries. He’s held technical, management and marketing positions in the computer storage, instrumentation, digital imaging and test equipment fields. He has spent the past 15 years in the data storage field, with storage hardware manufacturers and as a national storage integrator, designing and implementing open systems storage solutions for companies in the Western United States.  Eric earned degrees in electrical/computer engineering from the University of Colorado and marketing from California State University, Humboldt.  He and his wife live in Colorado and have twins in college.

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Posted in Briefing Note
One comment on “Affordable Storage doesn’t have to mean Commodity Storage
  1. […] By Eric Slack, Senior Analyst, Storage Switzerland […]

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