XIOtech releases storage area network virtualization software

XIOtech releases storage area network virtualization software

REDI SAN Links Replicator helps administrators make better use of their storage capacity, exec says

By Patricia Daukantas

GCN Staff

Two new software products from XIOtech Corp. combine the company's Magnitude storage area networks into virtual storage pools of up to 500T.

Real-Time Data Intelligence (REDI) SAN Links and REDI SAN Links Replicator virtualize storage across multiple Magnitude storage units, said Richard Blaschke, the Eden Prairie, Minn., company's executive vice president for marketing.

Storage virtualization manages and uses all available space in centralized storage pools attached to heterogeneous server environments. It reduces so-called hot spots that degrade performance when a small amount of data is the target of most transactions.


REDI SAN Links Replicator software aggregates disk space in multiple XIOtech Magnitude disk farms into a single pool of virtual drives.



Need for space

User requirements for greater storage capacity and for faster access to ever-growing data are driving the need for storage virtualization, Blaschke said.

This year XIOtech, a vendor of SAN packages, is delivering more than 20 percent of its Magnitude storage units with a capacity of 1T or greater, Blaschke said. Last year, less than 5 percent of units sold had that much capacity.

A Magnitude SAN unit holds up to 64 disk drives for a maximum total capacity of 4.7T.

The XIOtech Magnitude SAN can communicate with servers running any operating system, using any type of networking, Blaschke said.

REDI SAN Links and REDI SAN Links Replicator work only with XIOtech's own Magnitude SANs, although Blaschke said they may become compatible with
other companies' storage networks in the future.

The two new products sit on top of the REDI Storage Manager system that powers XIOtech's storage networks.

REDI SAN Links software aggregates all the disk drives in multiple Magnitude units into one virtual storage pool that can be divided into as many as 256 logical drives of varying sizes and RAID levels, Blaschke said.

A big deal

Modern disk drives are bigger than ever, but they still have only a single actuator, Blaschke said. REDI SAN Links stripes the data across multiple drives, reducing individual drive delay.

The aggregation is transparent to the users, he said.

REDI SAN Links Replicator does continuous remote mirroring of virtual disks within the SAN. That permits disaster recovery or quick redirection of operations to a secondary site, Blaschke said.

Snapshot backup by REDI SAN Links Replicator does point-in-time copying of files without slowing performance.

The replicator software swaps data transparently between virtual disks on separate Magnitude units.

Administrators can balance workloads among storage units and move test environments into production with ease, Blaschke said.

The software lets users of XIOtech storage networks change RAID levels online and add new servers and disk farms on the fly, Blaschke said.

REDI SAN Links Replicator also permits backup to disk at a remote site up to 120 kilometers away, the current distance limit for Fibre Channel technology.

XIOtech prices REDI SAN Links and REDI SAN Links Replicator at $20,000 and $40,000, respectively. For a limited time, however, REDI Access software comes free with a purchase of REDI SAN Links Replicator.

Contact XIOtech at 612-828-5980.

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