Promicro Readies Higher-End Storage

The system builder has designed BioBrew, as well as an advanced Linux computing cluster and a Serial ATA storage solution. The company demonstrated BioBrew and the Serial ATA solution last month at the ClusterWorld 2003 show.

Promicro's BioBrew cluster, which it developed with ISV Callident, extends the system builder's lineup of high-end storage utilities, and Promicro executives expect biotechnology companies to be among the first to adopt the offering.

Promicro's BioBrew cluster solution will be configured with bioinformatics software.

"Life sciences [people are] going to be very excited," said Joseph Keith, Promicro's director of business development. "These lab guys,they save everything."

Custom storage remains a potentially fertile area for system builders to grow their business. According to CRN research conducted earlier this year, only 9

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percent of polled system builders built custom storage solutions, only 8 percent were custom storage resellers and only 3 percent considered themselves custom storage wholesalers.

The BioBrew solution will be configured with bioinformatics software and will be available on 32- and 64-bit platforms when it ships in the third quarter, Promicro said. The company is also preparing to demonstrate the LinuxBios cluster solution.

The ProStore SATA, Promicro's Serial ATA product, is designed to include 36 Serial ATA drives in a 4U rack-mountable configuration. Each system comes with an Intel E7501 chipset, dual Xeon 3.06GHz processors and as many as four 3ware Escalade 8500 Serial ATA RAID controllers. The 3ware software allows each drive to have its own dedicated port, which enhances performance.

"What we've done is created an extremely dense solution," Keith said. "We're trying to provide an extremely cost-effective solution that doesn't compromise on performance. It's not a SCSI device, but it's not bad. It's pretty darn good."

A fully configured system with 26 250-Gbyte hard drives will cost less than $40,000, Keith said.

Promicro began operation in 2000 as a company that built custom servers. Since then, the system builder has branched out by designing and manufacturing custom storage solutions, Keith said, estimating that the storage business now represents about 5 percent of Promicro's revenue.