ONStor Sets Cougars Free

NAS clustering vendor unleashes upgraded gateway devices

July 19, 2008

3 Min Read
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Clustering specialist ONStor took the wraps off its Cougar 6000 Series gateway device this week, in an attempt to beef up its NAS offerings.

This is intended to help us move upstream,” says Narayan Venkat, ONStor’s vice president of marketing, explaining that the Cougar hardware offers a significant performance hike compared to the vendor’s existing Bobcat products.

Whereas the one-rack-unit-high Bobcat had six processor cores, the two-rack unit high Cougar has sixteen, according to Venkat. The Cougar can also scale up to Pbytes in a 4-node cluster, although the exec told Byte & Switch that will soon be extended.

”Within the next two to three months, we will be scaling up to eight nodes and 8 petabyes,” he says, adding that Bobcat can scale up to 2 Pbytes in an 8-node cluster.

The Cougar hardware also offers faster data transfer rates than its Bobcat predecessor. Each node is capable of 840-Mbyte/s in sequential reads and 700-Mbytes/s in sequential writes, compared to the Bobcat’s 240 Mbytes/s and 180 Mbytes/s, respectively.Users looking for these faster speeds will nonetheless have to dig deeper into their corporate coffers. Pricing for the Cougar 6000 starts at $122,500, more than double the $52,500 list price for the vendor’s Bobcat 2280.

ONStor unveiled two versions of the Cougar hardware this week. The 6520 and the 6720 have, respectively, 12 Gbytes and 16 Gbytes of memory, and will both be available later this month. Pricing for the 6520 starts at $122,500 and the 6720’s list price is $150,000.

The Cougar 6000 devices, which are up against NetApp’s FAS 6000, and BlueArc’s Titan 2100 and 3100 offerings, are aimed at environments with a lot of unstructured data growth, according to Venkat.

”This includes Internet, genomics, and more traditional technical spaces like mechanical and electronic CAD,” he says, adding that ONSTor has between seven and 10 early adopters using the Cougar system.

Retail giant Shopzilla has been using 22 NAS gateways from OnStor for almost three years, and the organization is testing a Cougar 6720.“I am evaluating one now,” says Burzin Engineer, Shopzilla’s vice president of technology. “My initial impressions are fairly good - simply from a form factor and a design standpoint, it has more CPU packed in a self-contained unit.”

The exec also told Byte and Switch that he is experiencing 35 to 40 percent better performance from the 6000, compared to his existing Bobcat 2280s. “Clearly, there’s a consolidation play from a performance standpoint - this means that we could put more and more volumes on a cluster.”

Despite his initial positive impression, Engineer is keen to see ONStor boost the 6720’s networking capabilities at some point in the future.

“One thing that I wish they had is 10-Gbit Ethernet,” he says, explaining that the 6720 has eight ports of 1-Gbit/s Ethernet. “10-Gig would allow us a lot of simplification and consolidation.”

ONSTor’s Venkat says that the 10-Gbit/s Ethernet will be added to the Cougar family in the first quarter of next year.Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Byte and Switch's editors directly, send us a message.

  • BlueArc Corp.

  • NetApp Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP)

  • ONStor Inc.

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