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Xyratex Goes Green With 'Spin-Down' Disks

RAID vendor looks to tap into users' energy concerns with 'MAID-style' technology

RAID specialist Xyratex is the latest vendor to spin down its disk technology in an attempt to slash users' power costs.

Tomorrow, the vendor will announce a software overhaul designed to reduce energy consumption across its family of RAID products. Xyratex will also take the wraps off its 12 Tbyte F6412E device, claiming a performance hike on its previous high-end offering, the F5412E.

"The major power consumers within systems are the drives," says Mike Alvarado, Xyratex's senior product marketing manager, explaining that Xyratex has now built power management features into its RAID software. "It lets customers implement a policy for spinning down the drives. By stopping the drives from spinning, we can save up to 40 percent in power."

A number of vendors, including Copan, Fujitsu, NEC, and Nexsan, already tout a disk-based power-saving technology called MAID (massive array of idle disks). And HDS recently unveiled its own power-saving disk arrays.

Unlike offerings from the likes of Copan and Nexsan, which keep disks idle until they are needed, Xyratex keeps disks spinning until they are not needed, at which point they are 'spun down'.

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