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By | Bryan Betts 19th October 2006 13:53

No, not that Boston

Fat iSCSI, Flashy NAS, and it's British too. Kind of...

Storage Expo Sometimes at shows like this - especially with the US vendors mostly saving up for SNW in Orlando in a fortnight's time - it's the smaller British companies that have the interesting gear.

Take for example Boston, a disti and system builder - not from Lincolnshire or Massachussetts as one might expect, but from the wilds of Hertfordshire. It turned up with a rack containing several terabytes of NAS and iSCSI storage, showing just what's capable now with SATA and SAS (Serial Attached ATA and SCSI).

"We've been shipping SAS for over a year now," Boston marketeer Neil Kalsi said. "The drives cost the same as SCSI now - it's essentially what Ultra-640 SCSI should have been."

SAS is what enabled the company to launch a 5TB NAS server at the show, squeezing 16 Fujitsu 15,000 RPM enterprise-class disks into a 3U chassis, he said. The NAS-316N is based on one of the Supermicro motherboards that Boston distributes, plus LSI RAID controllers and software from Wasabi.

Alongside that was an iSCSI variant of the same box, called the 316i. It packs 12TB of SATA disk into a single IP SAN storage server (or iSCSI target) and is expandable by adding more disk racks.

Also on show was a 1U NAS server with four hot-swap SATA drives. Kalsi claimed that while most four-disk servers have limited RAID capability because they need one drive for the operating system, this one can use all four for RAID 5 data because the operating system is in Flash. ®

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