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SGI's InfiniteStorage 6120 Sets New Density Standard For Midrange Storage

SGI's new InfiniteStorage 6120 packs up to 60 drives into a single 4u chassis setting a new record for storage density. Like most other very high density arrays, which top out at 42 or 48 drives, the 6120 uses a top loading design.

The 6120 uses dual active/active dual active-active RAID controllers to deliver 30,000 4K IOPS to disk or 2GB/s throughput for large I/Os like backup or video streaming. Each system has a total of 12TB of mirrored cache and 4 8Gbps Fibre Channel interfaces with InfiniBand interfaces for high performance computing applications promised soon. If 60 drives don't provide enough capacity users can add a second 60 drive JBOD.

It also supports intermixing high performance 15K RPM SAS, high capacity SATA and solid state devices. While other vendors stick to a single drive technology per cabinet as using drives with different spindle speeds can create harmonic vibration problems SGI has engineered the 6120 to dampen rotational vibrations.

Using RAID-6 and SGI's SATAssure technology to verify data as it's read from each drive the 6120 can deliver reliable access to data on SATA drives where basic SATA RAID systems can fail on an array rebuild due to a bad sector on another drive.  It's also smarter than the average array which typically fails a SATA drive on error remapping partial drives as bad and attempting to rehabilitate drives after errors.

While SGI claims the 6120 can format and rebuild RAID sets in the background with no performance impact and has made controllers, fans and power supplies hot swapable as well as the drives it lacks snapshots and replication.

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