XRAID ES 4 and 16 TB Storage for Mac

Active Storage said that its new XRAID ES for the Mac OS X will come in both 4 TB and 16 TB versions. However, both solutions may require a monthly payment plan.

Why is that? The 4 TB version of Active Storage's XRAID ES will cost consumers a "ground breaking" $6,999, or as the company described it, .67 per GB. The 16 TB version actually breaks into the five digit price range (after taxes), costing the end-user a staggering $9,999 USD. That much cash could buy a car or serve as a down payment for a house; Active Storage even calls the XRAID ES pricetag "affordable." However, for corporations and educational institutions with Mac environments, "affordable" very well may be the case.

Based upon the original XRAID, the new ES version was designed to be easy to install, easy to use, and geared for "business critical applications" that require a high level of data integrity. According to Active Storage, the ES is ideal for non-Xsan based Mac OS X Server applications, and could even serve as the ultimate storage solution for file-sharing, database services, web hosting, iChat and more. The ES also offers a battery back up 72-hour support option as well to protect critical data during a power outage.

"Active Storage continues to innovate in the storage space with these two new products", says Bob Wilson, President of Solutioneering LLC. "We see the Active Storage XRAID™ ES 4TB model combined with Solutioneering's Data:enRoute ILM software as a real breakthrough for smaller businesses wanting to step up to professional grade data management - and a way to finally stop juggling sneaker-net external drives and slow, consumer-grade NAS devices."

As disclosed in the specs, the ES provides redundant power (a backup power source for switch operation), triple-redundant cooling, redundant Fibre Channel connections, and up to 744 MB/s in a RAID 5 configuration. Whether consumers use the 4 TB or 16 TB versions, the ES is easily upgradable in the field by adding a second RAID controller. Upgrading the base ES configuration will not only provide increased throughput, but true Active/Active redundant operation, and the ability to add expansion systems for increased capacity.

So what exactly does Active/Active mean? In many RAID scenarios, one drive stays active while the other remains on standby. The active drive takes on all or most of the functions while the standby drive waits for the active drive to fail; this method is called Active/Standby redundancy. However, an Active/Active scenario means that all RAID drives accept traffic, and when one drive fails, another drive will take over the failed unit's functions. With all drives staying active, traffic (throughput) speeds are faster; adding an additional RAID and set of drives simply increases the traffic speed overall.

Based on the specs, the 4 TB version more than likely contains four 1 TB drives, however Active Storage said that this setup can be expanded to 16 TB while remaining in the same enclosure. The 16 TB version, on the other hand, will need a secondary enclosure when expanding to 32 TB, with each enclosure consisting of 16 1 TB drives.

"For us, the Active Storage XRAID re-opens exciting possibilities with new potential customers as well as many prospects that liked the old Apple Xserve RAID but were waiting for a new and improved model” said Richard Bauer, President and CEO of Cloverleaf Communications. “Together we will provide virtualization across heterogeneous SAN & NAS; Enterprise level Data-Protection & Disaster Recovery; Non-disruptive any-to-any Data Migration; Virtually unlimited scalability supporting up to 12PB capacity with up to 255TB per volume, 192,000 snapshots, unlimited number of storage tiers all for a fraction of price of other similar solutions."

For more information on purchasing the XRAID ES, head here for phone and email information. Active Storage products are sold by selected Value Added Resellers Worldwide.

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