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XIOtech Fixes a Failing

XIOtech Corp., the feisty little SAN storage company that's trying to get back on its feet, says it has finally eliminated the single point of failure in its Magnitude system with a new clustering architecture.

It could be the X-factor the company has needed. XIOtech's new Magnitude 3D storage array, which it has already started shipping, is based on a distributed controller architecture the company calls Dimensional Storage Clusters, which provides failover capabilities if one controller becomes disabled. That addresses the key shortcoming of the system's previous architecture, and something that has been a sticking point with customers, says Ken Hendrickson, XIOtech's CEO.

"The single biggest knock against us was that we had a single point of failure," he says. "We now have the industry's first true clustering architecture."

The Magnitude 3D, which XIOtech will officially announce next week, will also be able to scale up capacity well beyond the 9.5-Tbyte maximum of XIOtech's current array. The new system provides up to 32 Tbytes in a two-node configuration. In the first quarter of 2004, the company claims, it will be able to handle up to 16 nodes per cluster, for 256 Tbytes total. Baseline pricing for a two-node Magnitude 3D configuration with 2 Tbytes and full software and virtualization licenses is $130,000.

Another benefit of the distributed-controller architecture, according to XIOtech, is that the controller nodes don't have to be in the same rack -- they can be distributed up to 300 meters apart over multimode fiber. Each 2U-high storage controller includes three Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) i960 processors and four Fibre Channel adapters, and provides port failover in the box.

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