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Keep Data Flowing

Xiotech's Magnitude 3D clustered storage system includes failover capabilities

Storage technology has advanced in significant ways in the past few years, as networked storage and storage appliances became key parts of many businesses' infrastructure. Now another approach—clustered storage—is bidding for a place in the enterprise.

Xiotech Corp., which focuses on storage area networks, this week introduces Magnitude 3D, clustered storage that's designed to automatically react to outages and keep data flowing by shifting data to another device when a potential failure is detected. Initially, a cluster will include two nodes, each with a controller and eight host-bus adapters for connections to drives and switches. Each cluster can store up to 30 terabytes of data. Xiotech early next year plans to offer a 16-node cluster.

Andy Porter, a senior network engineer at St. Vincent's Hospital in Indianapolis, tested the system and plans to buy one for $200,000. Porter says 3D worked as promised, and it lets him easily add capacity. "Xiotech is the only vendor doing SANs right," he says. "They have high-end capabilities in the silicon so we don't have to administer [storage] virtualization."

Xiotech is the first SAN vendor to offer a cluster with failover capabilities, says Steve Kenniston, an analyst at Enterprise Storage Group. "When building the infrastructure, it's nice that storage is always on."

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