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Intransa's IP storage rivals Fibre Channel for speed

Intransa has updated its IP storage system, IP5500, doubling capacity and connectivity compared to its IP5000 predecessor.

Instead of four controllers it can have eight, so it can now scale from 2Tbytes up to about 50Tbytes.

The IP5000 had an average data rate of 106mbps so it could not compete with Fibre Channel for raw performance. The IP5500 is 80% faster, making a rate of 190mbps seem practical.

Paul Silver, Intransa’s European general manager, claimed: "We compared the IP5500 in-house to an $800,000 (£435,000) Fibre Channel-attached EMC CX700 and it was generally faster or slightly slower."

The IP5500 is fault-tolerant with active:active failover between the hot-swappable storage controllers as well as load-balancing between them. Power supplies and fans are duplicated. A 16-controller model is promised, taking it to a 100Tbyte capacity.

Silver said the company is waiting for version 2 of the SATA spec which will produce 300mbps bandwidth. However, ATA drives are less reliable than SCSI drives, so the IP San drives need to be in RAID arrays for safety.

New drives plugged into the IP5500 are automatically recognised and added to the storage pool. Snapshots can be taken with the management software and used for a tape back-up, tying up fewer system resources.

The IP5500 costs $70,000.

Chris Mellor writes for Techworld


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