Promise Technology Delivers Enterprise-Class Storage For SMB, Midrange Customers

Promise this week unveiled its new VTrak Ex30 series storage arrays which feature 8-Gbps Fibre Channel, 6-Gbps SAT, and Gbit and 10-Gbps for iSCSI connectivity. The six models in the series include a 2U version with up to 12 hard dries, a 3U version with up to 16 drives, and a 4U version with up to 24 drives. All three sizes come in either a dual-controller and a single-controller version.

The VTrak Ex30 arrays with their Intel Xeon Nehalem processors scale to a maximum of 192 hard drives for a raw capacity of 384 TBs via expansion modules, said Ray Bahar, vice president of sales and marketing for the Milpitas, Calif.-based storage vendor.

Also included is zero-penalty cache mirroring, which keeps a second copy of data in cache to prevent data loss; self-healing technology; Promise's PerfectFlash technology, which allows for non-disruptive updating of the controller's firmware; and a backup battery that protects data for up to three days in case of a power loss, Bahar said.

In addition, service logs can be downloaded to a USB stick to send to service technicians if needed.

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To save power, the drives in the VTrak Ex30 arrays can operate at four different power levels, from full power all the way to full spin-down, depending on how often the data is accessed.

"This is truly an enterprise-class product matching the needs of SMB and midrange customers," Bahar said.

The VTrak Ex30 is Promise's first array to ship pre-configured with hard drives, Bahar said. Customers can chose to purchase a fully-configured system, or start with eight drives and then add them in single-drive or four-drive packs in the field, he said.

Those drives are only available through Promise, and are fully integrated with the company's drive carriers at only a small premium over non-qualified drives, Bahar said.

"We're not in the business of gouging customers," he said. "Our goal is, customers buy qualified drives from Promise, and they don't run into drive issues."

When fully configured with 384 TB of capacity, the VTrak Ex30 lists for about $163,000, or 42 cents per GB, Bahar said. A version specific for virtualized environments costs an additional $17,000 to $19,000, he said. It is shipping now in limited quantities.

About 70 percent of Promise sales go through OEM vendors, including Apple, which sells the company's arrays under the Promise name. The rest go through indirect sales channels, Bahar said.