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Infortrend to launch enterprise Fibre Channel arrays

Virtualisation and replication ago-go

Taiwan-based SME storage supplier Infortrend wants to move up to the enterprise by adding a VSA (Virtual Scaleout Architecture) disk drive array product to its range.

This is a departure for Infortend, which sells a wide range of RAID storage arrays to small and medium enterprises. It has built a presence in the media processing area, with customers like FrameStore using its storage for digital media rendering work on The Tale of Despereaux.

The VSA line will feature dual, redundant controllers with high-availability features. Drive enclosures will be supplied fully-populated with drives having been burnt-in for 24 hours before being shipped.

Four products - F20, F40, F60 and F65 - will be available in Q3, each with an 8Gbit/s Fibre Channel interface. A 2-model iSCSI line, with E20 and E40 variants, will be added at the end of Q3 or in Q4, supporting either one or ten gigabit Ethernet.

The model numbers refer to the type of hard disk drives supported and can be decoded as follows:

- 20 = 7,200rpm 3.5-inch SATA
- 40 = 10,000rpm 2.5-inch SAS
- 60 = 15,000rpm 3.5-inch SAS
- 65 = 15,000rpm 3.5-inch Fibre Channel

The F60, the top model, will have the 8Gbit/s FC host interface, 8GB of cache and, on the drive side, two FC interfaces enabling the connection of up to 112 FC drives. Speeds and feeds details will be released at product launch time in Q3.

The disaster recovery suite provides drive mirroring, replication to another array, and snapshots. The virtualisation suite provides a single pool of logical storage and thin provisioning. This software runs in the controllers and operates independently of any host server. The version of SANWatch running in Infortrend's current EonStor arrays does not support these two suites.

As the VSA line is a more capable and feature-rich technology than the EonStor products, Infortrend is looking for more capable SIs and VARs to sell and support it. The company envisages offering a maintenance offering featuring 24-7 cover, four-hour response and next day spares delivery. Expect pricing to enable channel members to compete against offerings from EMC, HP, NetApp, etc.

The product road map probably includes solid state drive (SSD) support, as Infortrend has recently qualified Intel's X25 SSD and reckons it has a very good cost/performance ratio. Marketing director Alex Young said: "We are looking forward to using SSDs for applications needing up to 224 Fibre Channel drives and using only 12 SSDs." ®

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