October 8th, 2013 by Mark Kidd
Dot Hill Introduces Ninth-Generation RAID Storage Architecture
Dot Hill has announced details about its new RAID storage architecture and storage controller platform, known by the codename Gallium, which will be introduced across the company’s entry level and midrange offerings this quarter. The new architecture supports 12 Gb SAS connectivity as well as converged implementations that leverage 16 Gb Fibre Channel, 10 Gb iSCSI, or a combination of both. According to Dot Hill, implementations of the new architecture can achieve sustained throughput from 4 GB/s to 12 GB/s depending on configuration.
The Gallium platform is aimed at entry and midrange data centers, cloud service providers, and vertical markets such as media and entertainment, oil and gas, telecommunications, Big Data analytics, and digital image archiving. A new Dot Hill RAID Companion Processor (RCP) system-on-a-chip, developed in partnership with Fujitsu, lies at the center of the new architecture. While Dot Hill utilized field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology for the previous generation’s RAID Companion Processor, Gallium deploys an ASIC implementation which should keep manufacturing costs competitive as well as supporting improved performance.
Compatibility with existing iSCSI and Fibre Channel networks as well as backwards compatibility with metadata from previous Dot Hill storage architectures reflects the company’s longstanding strategy of supporting incremental upgrades. Gallium devices will be compatible with prior AssuredSAN products as well as Dot Hill’s RAIDar and RealStor data management and real-time tiering software. As with the eighth generation architecture, Gallium supports SSD drives throughout the Dot Hill lineup.
QLogic's FlexSuite adapter technology allows Gallium to offer connectivity via 16 Gb Fibre Channel, 8 Gb Fibre Channel, 4 Gb Fibre Channel, 10 Gb iSCSI, and 1 Gb iSCSI networks using the same adapter hardware. By swapping a transceiver module, technicians can reconfigure Gallium-based SAN interfaces between 16Gb Fibre Channel or 10Gb iSCSI. The interface incorporates a four-port controller that can be configured with four 16Gb Fibre Channel ports, four 10Gb iSCSI ports, or a combination of both Fibre Channel and iSCSI ports. The platform can also provide eight 12 Gb SAS ports for direct attached storage.
Gallium supports HGST and Seagate full disk encryption to protect storage drives when stolen, taken out of service, or repurposed. As with the previous generation of Dot Hill storage products, Gallium-based devices are engineered to comply with specifications such as NEBS and MIL-STD-810F required by telecommunications and government customers.
Privately-branded Gallium implementations for one large OEM are now shipping worldwide, and Dot Hill is sampling with other OEMs. Dot Hill-branded Gallium products will be available in the fourth quarter.