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By | Chris Mellor 16th April 2009 09:46

Rorke's drift towards RAID ASIC replacement

Rorke Data's Nehalem video post-production storage box

Rorke Data's new Galaxy Aurora LS video post-production storage box accelerates RAID performance by running software RAID on a Nehalem multi-core processor, instead of the classic, performance-boosting, RAID ASIC.

When RAID algorithms run in software on a host server, the RAID processing, particularly rebuilding after a drive failure, runs more slowly than if the attached storage array controller runs the RAID algorithms in an Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), which offloads the host server CPU.

Rorke Data has taken the host server RAID offload approach with its Aurora LS storage array, but has used a Nehalem processor, running multi-core-tuned software RAID algorithms, instead of a RAID ASIC. Rorke calls this its EOS engine, and says it's faster and cheaper than the ASIC route, with a RAID rebuild running six times faster than some RAID ASIC-based rebuilds, and Aurora LS storage having a starting MSRP of less than $0.70/GB.

The 12-bay product, with its embedded web-based management GUI, has from one to four 8Gbit/s Fibre Channel host server ports and 12-15TB of usable storage. It supports RAID 6 cover against two drive failures, and can be configured either as direct-attached storage (DAS) or as a SAN. Data can be streamed faster than 1GB/sec, with Rorke saying it's good for film and video post-product work.

The product can support up to four workstations in a SAN configuration without needing SAN switches, Rorke says. It is compatible with SAN software including; XSAN, CommandSoft, StorNext, and MetaSAN, and is application-tested with AJA, Blackmagic, Matrox, Bluefish, Final Cut Pro, AVID, Adobe, DaVinci, Autodesk, IRIDAS, Assimilate, and Digital Vision with more to follow.

Rorke Data Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bell Microproducts and the product is available now through either organisation. ®

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