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Mark Ward, CEO, Copan

As the ringleader in the move toward MAID (Massive Array of Idle Disks), Copan Systems has been hawking the advantages of the technology since 2003. Now, as storage managers become increasingly concerned about spiraling data center energy costs, MAID is coming into its own as a 'green' solution.

[To review, MAID systems typically use a small number of spinning disks that serve as a cache for a set of non-spinning, passive disks. If a data request is not found in the cache, the appropriate passive disks are powered up.]

Big storage vendors are on to the trend. HDS's recently announced take on MAID, and EMC's plan for spin-down capability across all of its arrays.

Copan's not standing still, either. Byte and Switch recently caught up with CEO Mark Ward to get the inside story on where MAID technology is today, and where it's going from Copan's perspective. Here's our record of the talk:

Byte & Switch: What advice would you give to a user looking to deploy MAID technology, and what are its shortcomings?

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