Starboard Debuts Hybrid SSD-Hard Drive Storage For SMEs


Starboard Storage Systems expanded its line of hybrid SSD-hard drive storage systems with a new entry-level model that combines enterprise SSDs with low-cost spinning disks.

Starboard, which unveiled its first SSD-hard drive array in February, is looking to expand its reach into small and midsize enterprises, said Karl Chen, chief marketing officer for the Broomfield, Colo.-based company.

The new Starboard Storage AC45 hybrid storage system, which features NAS, iSCSI SAN, and Fibre Channel SAN capabilities, uses the same software and technology of the company's AC72, which was introduced earlier this year, Chen said.

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However, unlike the Starboard AC72, which expands to up to 474 TBs of capacity, the new AC45 tops out at 78 TBs, Chen said.

The Starboard AC45 has a base configuration including 12 TBs of 7,200-rpm nearline SAS hard drives and three enterprise-class SLC flash-based SSDs. "Customers can also order with non-enterprise MLC SSDs," he said. "We use two SSDs as a write-back cache and one SSD as a spillover read cache, although customers can purchase a second spillover read cache SSD if needed."

Starboard does not use a traditional RAID architecture in its hybrid storage systems, Chen said.

"We leverage dynamic pooling so customers can leverage different sizes of drives without reducing performance and capacity to the lowest common denominator," he said. "Dynamic pooling carves up the volumes to leverage different drive types to maximize performance."

Starboard's unified SAN-NAS storage capabilities is what got infoStructure to sign up with the company, said Greg Wilson, CEO of the Littleton, Colo.-based solution provider.

"We're seeing huge growth in unstructured data," Wilson said. "But the NAS offerings in this space are limited. I'd been looking for a unified storage alternative to NetApp."

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