WESTMINSTER, Colo. A storage startup, Atrato Inc., is debuting a "Self-maintining Array of Independent Disks" (SAID) for the cable-TV operator and government security markets. Atrato debuted as Sherwood Information Systems, designing a new storage array that allows multiple video streams to be accessed from a 3U platform.
Atrato CEO Dan McCormick said the industry had speculated that Atrato would rely on flash drives or other caching technology. In general, he said, data is not predictive enough to improve real-time performance by improving caching on its own. Instead, software linked to new disk-array concepts improves performance across the entire data set.
Atrato's systems begin with entry-level 10-terabyte arrays, but its 50-Tbyte system is seen as a sweet spot for cable operators. Such systems will handle 3,600 video streams with a throughput of 11,000 IOPs in a 3U format.
"One key to saving power and cost is to recognize that speed and capacity can be gained through more disks, not necessarily more higher-capacity disks," McCormick said.
Atrato is promoting its systems for the greening of headends and aggregation points. Typical power reduction in storage applications is up to 80 percent, amounting to 17.3 IOPS per watt, from typical industry figures of 4 per watt.
Storage control and encryption is implemented in programmable FPGAs, allowing for custom or enforced encryption. The standard encryption package uses the 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard.
Atrato's software, controlled through a Web-based GUI, manages such functions as SAN load balancing, VLUN configuration, and health and status monitoring.
The company already has shipped systems to cable operators. This week, Atrato will announce the supply of SAID systems to SRC Computing, another company founded by Seymour Cray, which will provide secure, high-performance computing and storage subsystems to an unnamed government agency.