As I mentioned last week, I saw a demo of the two Hammer arrays, a desktop, and a rack-mountable unit on a floating lab that Zetera and Bell Microproducts had set up on a boat. The demo was convincing. The Hammer can mount 4 SATA drives, which gives you a nominal capacity as much as 2TB. Each unit offers concurrent file serving and block serving to Windows machines, with other OSes -- including Red Hat and Apple -- to follow later this year.
In addition to mounting the SATA drives instead of parallel ATA, the Hammer has 1GbE connectivity, which removes two severe bottlenecks present in previous consumer-edition models from Netgear that were also based on SoIP.
Zetera suggests a max throughput of 80MBps for a single enclosure, but striping across multiple enclosures, a standard feature of SoIP, can almost double that performance. Moreover, connecting multiple units to a GbE switch creates a storage system with great scalability and performance, limited only by the capability of the network.
I have seen many interesting solutions at this latest SNW Spring, but I’d say the AX150 and the Hammer arrays are the most representative of what the show is all about: comparing and contrasting new technologies with established technologies.
You can get a taste of old-school storage with the EMC Clariion AX150 and its well-established FC and iSCSI paradigm -- in essence a scaled-down version of midtier arrays. By contrast, the SoIP technology of the Bell Microproducts’ Hammer arrays brings unprecedented ease of deployment, performance, and capacity to storage newcomers.
Which approach would you choose?
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