Dot Hill Offers Virtual RAID Adapter Technology For AMD's New Server Chipset

Dot Hill software-based VRA Raidcore technology provides enterprise-class RAID for volume, entry-level servers

September 22, 2009

6 Min Read
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CARLSBAD, Calif., Sept. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Dot Hill Systems Corp. (NASDAQ:HILL) , a world-class provider of entry-level and midrange storage solutions for OEMs and resellers, today announced that its Virtual RAID Adapter (VRA) software is available for AMD's newest core logic chipset.

The new VRA-for-motherboard solution is based on AMD's SP5100 Southbridge chipset and Dot Hill's new VRA technology for enterprise servers, leveraging the Dot Hill RAIDCore product line. VRAs replace traditional RAID-on-motherboard (ROMB) solutions with a robust, server-class data protection solution for internal storage that rivals that of more expensive add-in-card-based RAID controllers. Eliminating the need for such controllers along with the associated power, cooling and support costs, VRAs allow businesses to lower server storage costs, while providing the requisite robustness and performance to power transaction-intensive applications.

Dot Hill will offer a basic RAIDCore driver and management solution for Windows and Linux as part of its server reference designs to OEMs, ODMs and motherboard manufacturers that use the SP5100 core logic chipset. This will enable support for high performance RAID protection for disk drives inside AMD chipset-based servers.

"As our server-class embedded platforms become available through numerous infrastructure partners, small businesses and enterprises can have a viable and savvy alternative to traditional hardware-based RAID solutions," said Buddy Broeker, director, Embedded Computing Solutions, AMD. "We believe Dot Hill is an outstanding go-to-market partner for motherboard-based RAID solutions due to their extensive expertise in designing RAID solutions for industry storage and server OEMs."

"By offering a basic VRA version supporting AMD's latest server platform, we are enabling their customers to bundle a new class of server RAID with unique after-market upgrade options," said Andy Mills, vice president of marketing and business development, Dot Hill. "VRAs provide a robust and scalable storage solution for today's entry to mid level servers, providing enterprise level features traditionally associated with higher cost systems."Better Alternative to Server Hardware- and Software-based RAID

In today's servers, several types of disk controllers and I/O ports may exist. These include the core logic or Southbridge disk controller which has 4-6 SATA I/O ports, a discrete non-intelligent 4- or 8-port SAS/SATA disk I/O controller either directly mounted onto the motherboard or as part of a low cost add-in card, or a complete RAID-on-chip solution (ROC) that is an intelligent CPU device typically implemented on an add-in card.

Dot Hill VRA technology enables server, storage and motherboard vendors to integrate RAID technology into their products by leveraging the power of today's multi-core server CPUs instead of a dedicated and power-hungry ROC-based RAID add-in board, helping to reduce hardware, power, cooling and support costs. The basic RAIDCore and enhanced RAIDCore VST products directly support the built-in core logic SATA and optional SAS/SATA I/O ports that come as part of server system, enabling vendors to easily add RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, 50, 1n and 10n capability to these otherwise unused built in or lower cost SAS/SATA controllers, without the need for a more expensive ROC based solution.

The VRA technology leverages a sophisticated RAID software stack, enabling today's servers to effectively process RAID tasks without compromising performance needed for other operations. Its innovative write-caching engine provides up to three times the performance of competing host software RAID stacks or ROC-based adapter cards. As VRAs are software-based, they can easily incorporate other data protection services, such as the n-way mirroring schemes offered as part of the new RAIDCore products, to support simple, transparent and cost-effective system backup and recovery.

  Overview of RAIDCore Key Features/Functionality
  Dot Hill RAIDCore technology key features/functionality include:
  --  Single, unified O/S driver and single-pane management suite capable of
      managing RAID sets on both core logic SATA and SAS/SATA I/O
  --  Native support for multiple motherboard chipset vendors, including AMD
      SB600, SB700 and SP5100 core logic SATA controllers
  --  Spanned virtual RAID arrays, allowing users to create virtual disks
      that span across discrete SAS/SATA I/O controllers and SATA-based core
      logic chipsets
  --  Broad Operating system support -- Windows XP, 2003, Vista, 2008,
      Windows 7 - 32 and 64 bit; Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5 - 32 and
      64 bit; SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 and SLES 10 - 32 and 64 bit
      and Generic Linux SDK for custom integration
  --  Support for basic RAID 0, 1, 10 features or higher featured RAID 0, 1,
      5, 10, 50 and n-way mirroring schemes 1n and 10n via software license
  --  Hidden arrays and split mirror
  --  Web-enabled software licensing framework that enables easy
      after-market upgrades and eliminating the need for a hardware-based
      license key
  --  Support for mixed capacity drives allowing 100 percent of usage of all
      disk capacity available

  About Dot HillDelivering innovative technology and global support, Dot Hill empowers OEMs and resellers to bring unique storage solutions to market, quickly, easily and cost-effectively. Offering high performance and industry-leading uptime, Dot Hill's RAID technology is the foundation for best-in-class storage solutions offering enterprise-class security, availability and data protection. The company's products are in use today by the world's leading service and equipment providers, common carriers, advanced technology and telecommunications companies as well as government agencies. Dot Hill solutions are certified to meet rigorous industry standards and military specifications, as well as RoHS and WEEE international environmental standards. Headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., Dot Hill has offices and/or representatives in China, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States.

  For more information, visit us at

Certain statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical fact are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by the statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding: the size and timing of orders for Dot Hill's Virtual RAID Adapter ("VRA") technology; any improvement in Dot Hill's financial results due to the availability of VRA for use in conjunction with AMD's chipset; the performance or benefits of VRA compared to traditional RAID solutions in any particular environment; the continued availability of Dot Hill's VRA technology; and customers' future and present interest in and adoption of the VRA technology. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. The risks that contribute to the uncertain nature of the forward-looking statements include: the fact that the VRA technology is new to the market and therefore Dot Hill has limited experience with respect to the technology as well as demand for the technology; that AMD is under no obligation to continue support of Dot Hill's VRA; changing customer preferences in the open systems computing market; and unforeseen supply, technological, intellectual property or engineering issues. However, there are many other risks not listed here that may affect the future business of Dot Hill, as well as the forward-looking statements contained herein. To learn about such risks and uncertainties, you should read the risk factors set forth in the company's public filings with the SEC, including the Forms 8-K, 10-K and 10-Q most recently filed by Dot Hill. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made. Dot Hill undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made.
RAIDCore is a registered trademark of Broadcom Corporation. All other trademarks or tradenames are the property of their respective owners.
Source: Dot Hill Systems Corp. 

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