Dot Hill has introduced what may be the shape of things to come, with a small form factor RAID array using 2.5-inch hard drives and solid state drives.
The 2722 Fibre Channel and 2252 SAS have 4Gbit/s and 3Gbit/s interfaces respectively and hold 24 drives in their 2U high rack shelf enclosures, which can be 10K or 15K SAS, 5400rpm SATA or SATA interfaces SSDs. The RAID controllers support up to three shelves, using 2122 expansion JBOD units, for a total of 96 SAS drives, providing 28.8TB with 300GB drives.
An alternative expansion option is to use a 12-bay expansion chassis with 3.5-inch drives, again SAS or SATA HDDS or SSDs, enabling a total of 79.2TB and tiers of storage performance from SSDs, then fast SAS drives and so down to high-capacity SATA drives.
Both 2U products deliver up to 230,000 IOPS using SAS drives. Dot Hill says this is 130 per cent more than 2U's worth of 3.5-inch drives and, furthermore, the new products can provide a 34 per cent power saving compared to a 12-bay, 2U 3.5-inch drive product.
Dot Hill is aiming to sell these two new products to storage array manufacturers and storage system integrators for use in entry-level and mid-range storage arrays. The SSD support means they can be used, Dot Hill reckons, in digital video-on-demand applications.
John Rydning, IDC's research director for hard disk drives, is quoted by Dot Hill: "Performance-optimized 2.5-inch form factor disk drives are already widely used within servers. As more 2.5-inch based external storage systems... come to market, we expect over 50 per cent of performance-optimised HDDs shipped for external storage arrays to be 2.5-inch versus 3.5-inch by 2011." It's true - bigger is no longer better. ®