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Xiotech Touts Fresh Take on RAID

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Xiotech took the wraps off the first hardware based on its acquisition of Seagates Advanced Systems Architecture (ASA) group last year, a set of SAN and direct-attached storage systems, which it is touting as an alternative to traditional RAID.

”RAID controllers in this standards-based industry have not changed much for 20 years,” said Steve Sicola, the Xiotech CTO. “The problem is that cache, device, and RAID management are weighing them down -- the solution is to move the intelligence closer to the disks themselves.”

In an attempt to solve this problem, Xiotech and its ASA engineers have developed a technology called the Intelligent Storage Element (ISE), which forms the basis of the Emprise 7000 and 5000 arrays unveiled this morning.

The ISE technology places cache, RAID, and drive management inside sealed drive units, resulting, Xiotech claims, in faster performance than traditional RAID.

Xiotech is also playing up the "self-healing" capabilities of the ISE technology, but was vague on specific details. "It's about preventing failures," Sicola said, explaining that Xiotech has worked to cut down vibration and optimize cooling within the ISE architecture. He added that Xiotech can also control the "backend electronics" of the Emprise hardware remotely in the event of a problem.

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