Both units mount SATA drives, up to the largest 1TB model. But their appeal is more than just the capacity they deliver, as the boxes also transfer data as fast as 500MBps, according to Coraid; a remarkable speed favored by the built-in 10GbE connection. Expect to pay for that speed, to the tune of $9,000 for the SR1661 and $11,000 for the 24-drive model, which should ship next month. Drives are not included in those figures.
The other announcement Coraid made at Linux world -- the EtherDrive VS21 VirtualStorage Appliance -- is among the more interesting appliances the company has unveiled in recent history, as it moves the virtualization of AoE storage to the network.
In fact, the VS21 includes its own Logical Volume Manager -- a departure from using the servers’ -- and can create as many as 255 logical volumes from Coraid storage arrays.
If other products such as the SVC (SAN Volume Controller) from IBM come to mind, you are on the right track, although the two solutions have great differences -- the transport protocol, for one.
Regardless, the VS21 brings to a Coraid SAN not only OS- and server-independent provisioning but also reliability features, including mirroring, snapshots, and serverless volume copy. You can add the VS21 to retrofit an existing Coraid installation, and adding two makes active/passive fail-over possible. Expect to pay $3,000 for each appliance, which makes the VS21 one of the more affordable steps toward virtualization.
Of course, the proof, as always, is in the pudding.
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