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Dot Hill Targets SMBs With 10GbE iSCSI Storage

Dot Hill Systems, who sells storage hardware and software to OEMs and the reseller channel, is claiming an industry first with the launch of 10Gb/s Ethernet iSCSI versions of its AssuredSAN 3000 family of rack-mounted SAN arrays. Due to ship in October, the 3420 (2.5-inch drives) and 3430 (3.5-inch drives) storage arrays are targeted at a variety of  applications, including rich media post-production, video streaming, high performance computing and applications running on virtual servers.

The AssuredSAN3000 product family, launched in February, supports the 8Gb/s Fibre Channel speed variant as well as dual-interface models that add 1Gb/s iSCSI support, effectively bridging the two protocols without the need for a second network. The company has been shipping 10GbE infrastructure for the enterprise market for three years and is now going after the SMB market with the 3400 series (2 port). The latest products support software to protect against data loss, including AssuredSnap (snapshots), AssuredCopy (volume copy) and AssuredRemote (snapshot replication). The products also support mixed-drive configurations, including SAS, SATA and SSD.

There is a growing need for 10GbE performance, says Mark Peters, senior analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group. "It's always interesting how technologies mesh and interact - there was a time when 10Gb iSCSI looked to be an answer looking for a question. But with increasing server virtualization driving increased bandwidth demands, now 10 gig is coming into its own."

Peters notes this announcement is significant because the difference between enterprise and mid-range systems is more about scale than functionality. "Mid-range success was once all about price and simplicity, but these days it requires similar functional capabilities to the high end," says Peters. ESG recently published a lab evaluation of the AssuredSAN 3000 family.

According to Dot Hill, 10Gbit iSCSI is approaching the throughput capability of 8Gb FC and 6Gb SAS (Serial Attached SCSI). Whereas 1Gb always faced performance issues, the company says 10Gb now becomes a logical and reasonable interface to consider. The 3400 series lists for $18,970 for a 2U storage systems and dual controllers. The estimated street price is $11,000. Disk drives are priced separately.