Taiwan Vendors Disclose Storage Plans At Computex

Gigabyte Technology plans to ship its first NAS and SAN storage products in the near future via Area Electronics Systems, a small distributor based in Placentia, Calif., in which the vendor has an equity stake.

The company plans to start shipping a 1U rack-mount NAS appliance with space for four IDE hard drives in October, followed early next year by a SATA-based appliance, a company spokesperson said.

Gigabyte also plans to ship a 3U rack-mount non-RAID Fibre Channel array with space for up to 15 hot-swap hard drives in November, the spokesperson said. A RAID version is expected in the near future.

Hao Zhang, director of new business development at Area Electronics, said his company also just signed a deal with Proware Technology, which supplies storage arrays using RAID-6 protection of data.

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RAID-6 is not common, but Zhang said it helps reduce the possibility of a disk failure causing an array to crash while it is rebuilding another array. As hard drives grow to 250 Gbytes or 300 Gbytes, the rebuild time of a drive in a RAID array that replaces a failed drive can take up to 12 hours, during which time the failure of a second drive could case the array to crash.

With RAID-6, on the other hand, up to two drives can fail at the same time without affecting storage operations, Zhang said. "It's even better than RAID 10," he said. "With RAID-10, up to half the drives could fail, as long as two of the failed drives are not from the same pair."

Area Electronics also just signed with Quanta, a major supplier of servers and mobile PCs, to resell NAS appliances. The NAS appliances are the same as Dell's 725N and Hewlett-Packard's NAS 1000 appliances, which are supplied by Proware, he said. "Resellers can configure the drives or we can do it for them," he said.

BenQ recently signed a joint venture deal with Philips, called Philips and BenQ Digital Storage, said William Wang, vice president and general manager for the company's Business Group Imaging Network business. The joint venture was set up to invest in high-capacity blue lasers, he said.