Saturday, April 5, 2008
New Storage System Delivers Speed-Atrato's V1000 storage
The world of data storage has been enriched with Atrato's Velocity1000, a high-performance storage system. The V1000 is able to provide up to 50 terabytes of storage and it can handle up to 11,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS). The performance of the system might be even more impressive than that as, according to Henry Baltazar, a storage analyst with The 451 Group, V1000 handles the I/Os from its disks.
Velocity1000 is based on a SAID system (Self-maintaining Array of Identical Disks). There are 100 to 200 2.5" hard drives stuck together into the chassis. The difference between this storage system and the conventional arrays is that V1000 handles the data directly from its disks at impressive speeds, while other systems feature high speeds only for data stored in cache. This way, the Self-maintaining Array of Identical Disks allows the storage system to give more performance than conventional ones. Also, the chassis may be adjusted for more speed or to fit more storage.
Atrato's V1000 storage system aims to provide high-volume, on-demand storage to thousands of simultaneous users. The storage system is based on a Self-maintaining Array of Identical Disks (SAID) that crams 100 to 200 2.5-inch hard drives into a small chassis, offering as much as 50 terabytes of storage at high-performance rates.
Companies that seek to thrive in the world of Web 2.0 and entertainment-on-demand need to be able to provide high-volume, on-demand storage to thousands of simultaneous users. The first product offering from Atrato Inc. promises to provide the necessary performance.
Atrato has launched the Velocity1000 (V1000) storage system. The company is addressing a major challenge to high-performance IT environments -- not more storage, but rather the speed at which data can be accessed.
"It solves a fairly unique problem" for companies that have large stores of data, according to Henry Baltazar, a storage analyst with The 451 Group. "It's hard to give random access to that data when you have thousands of people trying to get at that stream" at the same time.
At the core of Atrato's offering is a Self-maintaining Array of Identical Disks (SAID) that can handle more than 11,000 IOPS (input/output operations per second, a performance measurement). Baltazar said this measurement might be more impressive than it sounds. Conventional arrays can deliver more I/Os than that -- but only for data stored in cache. Where the V1000 differs is that it can handle this many I/Os for data served from its disks.
"If you can cache the data set, hundreds of thousands of I/Os are not out of line," Baltazar told us. "But if 3,000 people want to watch Lost at the same time, that's a very different problem."
The SAID architecture crams 100 to 200 2.5-inch hard drives into a small chassis, offering as much as 50 terabytes of storage at high-performance rates. Baltazar said the chassis can be optimized for either higher spindle counts or for capacity.
Atrato says this architecture is the solution that IT managers are seeking in other, less effective, ways.
"IT managers assume that by adding rack units, they will get the increased IOPS needed," noted Dan McCormick, cofounder and CEO of the company. "The reality is that over-allocating not only fails to deliver the expected performance gains, but also adds costly power- and space-intensive overhead to the data center."
Need for Partnerships
Baltazar said that the company has some strong competition for its target market, including IBM, EMC, Network Appliance and Dell, and while the company has just attracted $18 million in venture capital, it will likely have to use much of that on marketing and sales efforts to prove to potential customers that the SAID model is a viable one. He added that the company would have a better chance of success if it partners with large resellers and creates an OEM agreement with a major storage vendor.
"I think that's why they're going after this vertical specifically," Baltazar said, rather than looking to position the V1000 for typical enterprise applications such as archiving e-mail or working with Oracle. He added that the product lacks key components for that space anyway, such as replication.
For now, the company has a lot of work to do. "They've got to go out there and get those partnership relationships forged," Baltazar said. Atrato announced Tuesday that SRC Computers, founded by Seymour Cray, is working together with Atrato on a solution-integration partnership for high-performance computing environments.
Pricing on the V1000 starts in the low six figures, depending on configuration.