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SAS has breathed new life into the DAS market, with companies like Dell, IBM (NYSE: IBM) and HP (NYSE: HPQ) among the vendors offering SAS-based DAS solutions for applications like Microsoft Exchange, backup and protecting virtual servers without the need to invest in storage networks.
"Five years ago, people were proclaiming the death of DAS," said Howard Shoobe, senior manager of Dell Enterprise Storage. "DAS continues and has benefits in a number of environments."
Now Dell claims to be first to market with an end-to-end solution based on 6-gig SAS, boosting performance over 3-gig solutions.
The new data storage systems and controllers start at around $5,000, with three new PowerEdge RAID Controllers (PERC) and two new PowerVault enclosures.
The PowerVault MD1200 is aimed at high-capacity needs, supporting a dozen 3.5-inch drives, with expansion up to eight enclosures, or 96 drives. It also supports 2.5-inch drives and solid state drives (SSDs).
The PowerVault MD1220 is aimed at high-performance needs, supporting 24 2.5-inch drives and SSDs.
The PERC H800 is an external controller that supports a mix of drives and offers a redundant path with automatic I/O load balancing, while the PERC H700 and H200 are internal controllers offering PCIe 2.0 support. The H200 is the entry-level controller of the line. The 700 and 800 support self-encrypting drives, while the 200 supports internal tape drives.
Shoobe said SAS will be the "foundation for the next generation of storage," but he doesn't see it replacing Fibre Channel drives entirely.
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