Xyratex Nets iSCSI OEMs

Xyratex is mum, but HP, Intel, and LeftHand are apparently building on its new platform

October 25, 2005

3 Min Read
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ORLANDO, FLA. -- A new enclosure from Xyratex is reportedly the basis for a series of iSCSI product announcements in various stages of release.

At the Storage Networking World trade show here yesterday, Xyratex officials said several OEMs are loading iSCSI target and initiator software onto its new HS-1235, a storage appliance that packs integral servers and disks, including SAS and/or SATA, in enclosures ready for software configuration. Xyratex has also paired with Wasabi Systems to offer OEMs an iSCSI solution based on this platform and Wasabi's software. (See Xyratex Touts ATX-Based Enclosure.)

The news is part of a planned series of announcements over the next few weeks that Xyratex spokespeople say will come from partners using their platform. Meanwhile, Xyratex won't acknowledge who it's working with. Instead, spokespeople say the gist is that the iSCSI market is starting to interest OEMs and their end-user customers, and Xyratex is getting around.

But at least one financial analyst, Paul Mansky of Citigroup Investment Research, says Intel has picked Xyratex as an OEM for an iSCSI platform for SMBs that it will unveil this week. An Intel spokesman would neither confirm nor deny Citigroup's report.

Xyratex is also behind iSCSI enclosures from Hewlett-Packard and IP SAN vendor Lefthand Networks, according to other industry sources. (See LeftHand Intros New Gear .)Xyratex was one of two new low-end iSCSI partners announced by LeftHand, which sells its SAN/iQ management software on any industry-standard hardware. LeftHand launched two systems based on Xyratex hardware -- the four-drive Network Storage Module (NSM) 160 and 12-drive NSM 260. The NSM 160 comes in 250 Gbytes or 500 Gbytes of storage, and the NSM 260 ships with 1- or 2-TByte configurations.

Despite all the iSCSI activity, Xyratex insists HS-1235 OEMs are responding to users' calls for other specialties as well. "We see interest in security, data services, virtual tape and disk to disk, and compliance," says Lisa Hart, Xyratex VP of marketing.

While Xyratex no doubt wants to cast as wide a net as possible, it's clear that iSCSI is a big attraction. Hart acknowledges that growing interest in serial-attached SCSI (SAS) gear is an indicator of iSCSI catching on. iSCSI is increasingly paired with SATA or SAS drives as an alternative to Fibre Channel by small companies looking for "nearline" storage.

Xyratex also made announcements in this space, with its 4835 Mass Storage Solution, which offers 48 SATA drives in a 4U enclosure for up to 24 Tbytes of capacity. Up to now, Xyratex's top SATA box was the 3U 4200 that packed up to 8 Tbytes. Xyratex also announced the 5200, a 3U, 16-drive enclosure with native SAS connectivity -- a product enabled in part by Xyratex's purchase of nStor Technologies earlier this year. (See EMC to Resell Decru.)

Besides Xyratex, JMR, Promise Technology, and Infortrend were among suppliers who made SAS and/or SATA storage system announcements here today. (See Infortrend Extends RAID, JMR Launches Marlin , and Promise Launches SAS .) And LSI Logic unveiled a series of SAS adapters. (See LeftHand Intros New Gear .)Mary Jander, Site Editor, and Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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