Since I seem to have green storage on the brain, wanted to point out some technology I was briefed on last week before checking out for the holiday weekend. The outreach from this company was prompted by my post earlier this month about whether data centers are meant to be green or not.
The technology in question is a feature offered by DataDirect Networks, which makes enterprise storage products under the Silicon Storage Architecture (S2A) brand-name line. DataDirect Networks' latest new storage appliance, dubbed the S2A9900 StorageScaler, is loaded with features that give it a certain green status that other external storage devices haven't yet attained. What interested me the most is a software enhancement that DataDirect Networks Vice President of Marketing Josh Goldstein calls "sleep mode."
Here's how the feature works: when a drive is inactive (a condition that the user can define specifically according to a company's IT needs), the disk is spun down. The controller portion of the drive, however, remains in an active state so that the drive can be activated quickly if someone needs to access data that's stored there. Goldstein says DataDirect Networks plans to make this updated software backwards-available for its existing storage products in the field. (If you're looking for more information on their Web site, the feature is part of a software enhancement called SATAssure Plus.)
Aside from this pretty unique software, Goldstein says DataDirect Networks' latest product can deliver up to 6 gigabytes per second in bandwidth per appliance, and it is the first to support 8 gigabit per second (Gbps) Fibre Channel and 20Gbps Infiniband DDR connections. This means you need fewer network connections. It also supports RAID 6. DataDirect Networks is positioning the product, among other things, as a replacement for tape backup solutions.