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StorCase Makes Case for SATA

Storage hardware maker StorCase Technology Inc. says it will start shipping its new Serial ATA RAID enclosures next week, laying another brick -- if just a small brick -- on the road to enterprise adoption of SATA technology.

While there has been plenty of hype about the potential for SATA to replace more expensive SCSI and Fibre Channel disk technologies, the lack of infrastructure surrounding the drives has put a damper on the enthusiasm. Since the SATA hard drives, which began shipping in the market in 2002, don't fit into available SCSI drive slots, theyve required specialty-built storage systems.

Now, however, StorCase says it has found the solution, claiming that the new addition to its SCSI backplane enclosures is specifically designed to support Serial ATA for RAID applications. The new InfoStation 12-bay drive enclosure includes a RAID controller, supplied by Accusys Inc., and provides features that allow it to support both parallel ATA and SATA drives. The enclosure supports SCSI Ultra 160 hosts, and the company claims that future models will also support Fibre Channel.

"This enclosure will handle parallel ATA, consumer SATA, or enterprise SATA," says Cameron Crandall, StorCase’s Technical services manager. "When you compare Serial ATA to SCSI, the performance is slightly less, but the price difference is considerable." He adds that Serial ATA costs less than half of a comparably configured SCSI solution.

StorCase, a division of memory maker Kingston Technology Co. Inc. that was spun off in 2000, builds enclosures for products ranging from desktops to RAID solutions. It entered the low-end Serial ATA market in March 2003 with the release of its SATA-interface removable hard drive enclosure for PCs, workstations, and servers.

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