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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States


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September 18, 2009 |

Dot Hill Introduces Virtual RAID Adapter Technology

Targeted at OEMs and motherboard vendors, software-based RAIDCore solution provides built-in RAID functionality without need for dedicated RAID-on-chip acceleration device.

Dot Hill Introduces Virtual RAID Adapter Technology

Targeted at OEMs and motherboard vendors, software-based RAIDCore solution provides built-in RAID functionality without need for dedicated RAID-on-chip acceleration device.

Dot Hill Systems Corp., provider of entry-level and midrange storage solutions for OEMs, systems integrators, and resellers, is introducing the newest member of its RAIDCore software family of Windows and Linux server-based data protection solutions.

Targeted at original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original design manufacturers (ODMs), this RAIDCore solution establishes a new category of RAID for storage inside of servers for Dot Hill. This virtual RAID adapter (VRA) technology provide enterprise-class data protection services and enable volume server OEMs or ODMs to offer built-in RAID functionality without the expense of a dedicated RAID-on-chip acceleration device.

The VRA version of RAIDCore is capable of supporting Intel-compatible servers’ SATA I/O ports, as well as I/O ports on SAS/SATA add-on controllers. Dot Hill says this “hardware-agnostic approach” uses a universal RAID driver and a single management interface to support multiple disk controllers, eliminating the need for separate interfaces as required by competitive offerings.

In a recent press release, the manufacturer says, “As low-cost SAS expander technology, larger numbers of small form factor 2.5-inch drives, and server-connected JBOD arrays proliferate in storage-server and clustered environments, VRAs will provide server vendors with a scalable solution that easily caters to future storage growth.”

Andy Mills, vice president of marketing and business development with Dot Hill, says tier-one OEMs are currently evaluating or qualifying Dot Hill’s RAIDCore VRA technology. Moreover, he says OEM-branded versions are expected to launch later this month on Intel’s ICH10R core logic entry-level server platforms, as well as SAS/SATA host bus adapters for SAS disk support.

“Having major server vendors adopt and validate our technology is an important step forward for Dot Hill,” Mills says, “as well as for VRA adoption in enterprise server environments.”

In September 2008, Dot Hill acquired certain assets from Ciprico, which included exclusive rights to license RAIDCore technology from Broadcom Corp. The acquisition was part of a strategic initiative to offer software-only products for the enterprise server data protection market as complementary offering to its existing external hardware RAID array business.

RAIDCore VRA technology is a software-only solution that utilizes multi-core CPUs and high-speed memory to provide a high-performance RAID engine that does not require any form of hardware acceleration. This approach enables RAID to be offered in volume, entry-level servers where hardware-accelerated RAID has traditionally been too expensive.

“Enterprise customers are looking for efficient systems such as the Intel Xeon 5500 processor-based server core logic platforms,” says Brad Karlberg, director of marketing for storage with Intel Server Platforms Group. “As we continue to incorporate increasing storage functionality into our baseline server platforms, we welcome storage vendors, such as Dot Hill, that provide enterprise-hardened software solutions that take advantage of these new capabilities.”

Dot Hill RAIDCore VRA technology is available on a license basis to leading motherboard vendors, server and workstation OEM/ODMs, and system builders.

Dot Hill RAIDCore technology’s key features include:

  • Single, unified O/S driver and single-pane management suite capable of managing RAID sets on different controller vendors.
  • Spanned virtual RAID arrays, allowing users to create a virtual disk that spans across SAS/SATA I/O controllers and SATA-based core logic chipsets.
  • Support for SAS, SATA, SSD 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch disk drives.
  • Native support for multiple motherboard chipset vendors, including Intel’s ICH7,8,9,10R and AMD SB600, SB700 and next-generation core logic chipsets.
  • Native support for LSI 1068E 3G SAS I/O controller chipsets.
  • Broad operating system support–Windows XP, 2003, Vista, 2008,Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit); Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5 (32and 64 bit); SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 and SLES 10 (32 and64 bit), and Generic Linux SDK for custom integration.
  • Support for basic RAID 0, 1, 10 features or higher featured RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, 50 and 1n, 10n via licensing.
  • N-way mirrored volume copy using RAID 1n, hidden arrays and split mirror.
  • Hard-coded licensing or Web-enabled software licensing framework that enables easy after-market upgrades and eliminating the need for a hardware-based license key.
  • Support for mixed capacity drives allowing 100 percent of usage of all disk capacity available.

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