The new AssuredSAN 3004
By Mark Cox
Longmont Colorado-based Dot Hill Systems has introduced the successor to its best-selling AssuredSAN 3000 series with the next-generation AssuredSAN 3004, which features Gallium-based RAID architecture.
“The first announcement we made of this new technology was our AssuredSAN 4004, which launched last November,” said Joe Swanson, vice president of marketing and business development at Dot Hill. “This is the same technology, only with different performance capabilities and a lower price point.”
“The 3000 has been our best selling product, but it was launched in 2011, and is getting a little long in the tooth, so it’s time for a refresh,” said Bruce Watkins, the Product Marketing Manager for the 3004. “We will still have the 3000 around for a while, because six OEMs buy it today, of which the biggest is HP, and for them, transitioning takes a while.” Dot Hill is, however, encouraging customers to buy the new model because of its higher performance and better connectivity.
The AssuredSAN 3004 now becomes Dot Hill’s entry level array for the SMB market in what IDC defines as the Band 2 space, solutions that cost between $USD 5,000 and $USD 9,999. Dot Hill presently makes a lower end model, the AssuredSAN 2333, which Swanson termed a very niche product, which is being end of lifed as well. Watkins said the 3004 stands out by providing much more than is typically available in offerings for this point of the market, including Dot Hill’s standard guarantee of 5 9s availability.
“The performance is up to 80% better than the product it replaces,” Watkins said. “In this space, this is screaming fast, much better than the competition. There is an 80% increase on reads [3300 v 1800], and 50% on writes [2400 v 1600], and we have bumped up the cache from 6G to 12G.”
Customers also have a choice of 4, 8 or 16 GB Fibre Channel connectivity, as well as 1 or 10 GB iSCSI.
“It’s designed to be very easy,” Watkins said. ‘Having 16 GB available for the entry level space is very cool, but customers can add whatever SFP [Small Form-factor Pluggable] they like. They just drop in whichever connectivity option they want in the rack, and it’s up and running in 10 minutes.”
The array supports up to 288 TB of total capacity, available in a variety of 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch hard disk drives, and supports 6 TB drives, which provide 50% higher capacity storage in the same rack space. The 6 TB drives come from Hitachi, but other suppliers are expected soon, so Dot Hill can dual source these.
The 3004 is fully backward-compatible with the 3000, with data-in-place migration taking place simply by upgrading to a 3004 controller, so no fork lift upgrade is necessary.
The AssuredSAN 3004 is suitable for standard data center applications such as email, backup, replication and virtualized server environments. It is also appropriate as a general purpose small office appliance as a Web and file server or print server. Dot Hill is also emphasizing that it makes a good backup appliance for the AssuredSAN 4004.
Dot Hill is also offering its AssuredSnap, AssuredCopy and AssuredRemote data protection software free with the purchase of any AssuredSAN 3004 array, when purchased with 3 year software support.
“We offered this with our 3000 series and it was very popular,” Watkins said. “It’s also nice for the partner because there is a little service that needs to be provided with that.
Pricing for the AssuredSAN 3004 is essentially the same as its predecessor, unless the customer chooses the 16 GB Fibre Channel connectivity, which bumps up the price. The solution is available to partners in Canada through Synnex.