iStor Gives iSCSI and Serial ATA a Boost

Friday May 9th 2003 by Paul Shread

iStor Networks unveils new IP storage technology that can aggregate the capacity of as many as eight independent IP storage systems into a single system by using inexpensive iSCSI links.

iStor Networks has unveiled new IP storage technology that aggregates the capacity of as many as eight independent IP storage systems into a single system by using inexpensive iSCSI links.

The technology expands the number of serial ATA (SATA) disk drives in the same storage domain from 16 to 128. The company claims this will allow IP storage systems to scale from entry- to enterprise-level -- with more than 30 terabytes of data storage -- while spreading out the cost of controllers for a better cost/capacity ratio and a much lower total cost of ownership.

"The new iStor technology delivers an essential expansion capability at an affordable price," says Michael Karp, senior storage analyst at Enterprise Management Associates. "It will help bring serial ATA into prime time -- and IP storage along with it."

iStor says its technology overcomes a SATA limitation that has been a roadblock to the scaling of IP storage. While there are still only 16 SATA drives per controller, iStor's technology, which aggregates multiple Gigabit Ethernet iSCSI ports, allows for relatively inexpensive "expansion" controllers to be connected to robust, fully redundant "command" controllers using standard Ethernet switches. The result is that all drives are logically connected and can be managed as a single entity.

OEMs of target IP storage networking products will be able to use iStor's technology to offer cost-effective, entry-level solutions by limiting the number of front-end iSCSI ports and back-end SATA connections, and will also be able to offer much higher-end solutions by utilizing all eight 1GbE iSCSI front ends.

"Our OEM customers will be able to provide a wider range of iSCSI solutions for primary storage, fixed content storage, content addressable storage, disk-to-disk backup, and other IP-based storage applications," says Peter Cmaylo, iStor's vice president of business development. "At the same time, they will greatly reduce the need for additional engineering development that would directly impact product cost."

iStor will soon deploy its new iSCSI Expansion Technology in scalable iSCSI command and expansion network storage server blades.

iStor was founded in early 2002 and is based in Irvine, Calif. The company employs 34 R&D engineers with backgrounds in the storage, networking, Fibre Channel, and server industries.

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