Start-up RelData has added a SAS disk drive option to its mid-range unified disk arrays, and in combination with 10Gbps Ethernet support it says that the SAS drives make its boxes faster than Fibre Channel storage.
RelData’s file-level NAS and iSCSI block-level storage was previously only powered by SATA drives, and the option for higher throughput SAS drives comes only two weeks after the company launched a 10Gbit Ethernet option.
That is because SAS and 10GbE belong together like Batman and Robin, according to RelData. We launched the 10gbit Ethernet support because there was surprising level of demand for it. Without 10GbE, you can’t fully take advantage of the SAS drives, said Hubbard.
The combination allows RelData’s devices to perform as fast or faster than Fibre Channel SAN-attached storage, Hubbard said. RelData technical staff claimed that they have clocked 650MBytes to 700MBytes per second throughput from their company’s gear, outgunning what they said is 400MBytes per second maximum payload throughput across a 4Gbit per second Fibre Channel link.
RelData launched its clustered-controller storage in 2005. Like other start-ups selling clustered storage, it claims that it is hugely under-cutting the price of conventional mid-range devices from suppliers such as EMC and Network Appliance, and that in some cases its gear outperforms those suppliers’ flagship boxes.
But RelData claims only around fifty customers, which is a low count for a company selling gateway appliances that cost around $35,000 each, and disk arrays that carry list prices of around $60,000 for a 9TB all-SATA set-up.
A spokesman for the company said however that it has scored multiple sales into some customers, and Hubbard said its largest implementation spans hundreds of terabytes.
Despite claiming the its architecture can span a dozen or more controllers and that its cluster file system that can scale to exabytes capacity, RelData says that its biggest implementations cover only two controllers.
But analyst Marc Staimer at Dragon Slayer Consulting said that the company’s storage is truly a multi-controller system. They have a really pragmatic, down-to-earth unified storage story, Staimer said. As for the 10GbE links, Staimer said: They’re giving you full throughput, and at a really effective price.
RelData said that one of its systems loaded with 1.75 TB of SAS storage costs around $60,000.