Mountain View, Calif. - The end of "Christmas tree light syndrome," in which any single drive failure can bring an entire storage system down, is the promise of the Escalade Storage Switch from 3ware Inc.
By providing a separate, dedicated switch port per drive, the switch isolates each drive on an array electrically and mechanically. Any drive failure will make only that drive unavailable, while the rest of the storage system remains undisturbed. The board also protects against data loss by ensuring that no command corruption has taken place over the drive interface.
The patented switched architecture exceeds SCSI and fiber loop storage controllers by replacing the shared bus found in those technologies with a star architecture and nonblocking switch fabric that speeds data into system memory without burdening the host CPU or forcing drives to wait for a bus. 3ware's TwinStorT technology claims to improve RAID 1 and 10 beyond simple mirroring for redundancy.
The adaptive algorithms and drive profiling speed data access, yielding what the company said is read performance that rivals RAID 0 striping for both large data files and smaller, randomly distributed transactions.
The bootable RAID appears to the operating system as a SCSI device, and the on-board microprocessor maintains minimal host CPU utilization. The board is hot-swap and hot-spare capable. The company's 3DMT, a Web-based storage-management utility, notifies the user of drive failures via e-mail and audible alerts.
Both of the available models-the four-port Escalade 7410, targeted for work-group file servers, and the eight-port Escalade 7810, designed for enterprise-level database or high-performance compute servers-are built in a 1-inch form factor, for easy embedding into rack-mount servers. The architecture is implemented with an 800-Mbyte/second switch fabric that allows parallel accesses to all drives simultaneously, yielding lower latency and increased data transfer rates, 3ware said.
Supporting the open-source and Linux communities in addition to the Window 98, ME, NT and 2000 platforms, the long, eight-port Escalade 7800 is priced at $545 and is now available. The short, eight-port Escalade 7810 is priced at $545 and will be available June 30. The short, four-port Escalade 7410 is priced at $395.
Call (650) 327-8600
EETInfo No. 618