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Promise Technology's New VessRAID Aimed At Unstructured Data

Promise Technology is better known for its ATA controllers than its RAID systems, but they are hoping that a new storage series, aimed at the growth of unstructured data in small and medium-sized businesses, will help change the public perception. Introduced at VMWorld in San Francisco, the VessRAID series is designed to be green, easy to manage and low cost.

According to Ray Bahar, Promise Technology vice president for sales and marketing in the Americas, unstructured data is driving tremendous growth in the business storage market. "This is for backup, digital libraries, and other applications that are requiring multi-terabyte systems," Bahar says. He adds that the growth in storage requirements is coming at a time when IT budgets aren't growing to keep up, and that other considerations come into play, as well. "Customers need reliability, cost-effectiveness, good price performance, nice management, and power consumption that's lower than in earlier systems. All this needs to be in the entry-level space. They're going totally green, and understand that data is growing while budgets aren't," he explains.

The three basic configurations available in the VessRAID series are divided into an entry-level 8-bay non-expandable unit and expandable 12- and 16-bay systems that can take a customer up to 160 terabytes of storage when fully populated and linked. All of the systems use a 4th-generation common RAID core and unified management console. Bahar stresses the fact that the RAID software isn't new code - it's a long-standing code base that has been deployed over a period of years.

The emphasis on a proven code base speaks to the skittishness many customers have when looking at components that will be used in backup and business continuity applications. New features are nice, but software that's been thoroughly wrung-out in the market, with several update cycles in place to have updated and fixed issues, can easily trump "the latest and greatest" in the minds of system admins who have been burned by operating system and application vulnerabilities and bugs.

While many storage vendors say that green considerations are taking a back seat to basic price/performance issues in a tough economy, Bahar feels that customers are looking closely at energy savings as a key component of overall operating costs. He says that the VessRAID components have been designed to use less energy while remaining flexible. "The systems can spin the drives down completely to save up to 70 percent of the power. Users can also bring the system down or up remotely. That makes it great for backup and recovery. Management is out of band, and the ability is there to always spin the system up or down regardless of the scheduled time of operation. You can bring down drives only, the drives and the controller, the RAID brick by itself, or any JBOD devices attached," he says.

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