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EqualLogic Mixes SAS, iSCSI

EqualLogic is bringing out SAS arrays as the second step in its strategy to make its iSCSI SANs good for more than "junior league applications."

EqualLogic today unveiled the PS3000, which offers Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) arrays. EqualLogic's previous systems all used SATA drives. At 15,000 RPM, the SAS drives spin as fast as Fibre Channel. EqualLogic offers two versions of the PS3000 -- one with 15,000 RPM and 150Gbytes drives and the other with 10,000 RPM and 300 Gbytes. SATA disk spins at 7,200 RPM and goes as high as 750 Gbytes. SAS also has a higher mean time between failure (MTBF), which makes it more reliable.

In late July, EqualLogic added virtualization features such as the ability to use multiple storage pools in a SAN, set up consistency groups to automate multi-volume snapshots, and manage different RAID levels in a SAN as one group. (See EqualLogic Firms Up Virtualization.)

The virtualization features together with higher performing drives will let customers set up tiered storage with SAS for applications that require higher performance with SATA as a second tier for archived and less frequently accessed data. The SAS drives spin faster than SATA, which spins at 7,200 RPM and cost more than SATA but less than Fibre Channel.

EqualLogic is the actually the second IP vendor to offer SAS -- Nimbus Data shipped iSCSI SAS systems in March. (See 10-Gig IP SANs Hit Bleeding Edge.) StoneFly Networks says it will also include SAS drives later this month for in an IP SAN. (See A New Landscape for Disk.) But EqualLogic has the largest market share among dedicated iSCSI vendors, trailing only Network Appliance and EMC.

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