Just before Christmas I was up at a storage seminar run by a company called Dot Hill. Until I was pointed to them when I spoke to our storage supplier about replacing an aging array I had never heard of them. However, it turns out that they make the hardware used by HP, NetApp and others – quite a pedigree then.
All their products are completely modular, based on the same chassis. If you have an iSCSI unit, then you can later change it into a FC one and you do not have to migrate anything as the array config is not stored on the controllers.
They have some very clever technologies as well. In most arrays, the cache on the controllers need to be kept in sync. This generally goes through the backplane. In the Dot Hill arrays, there is dedicated circuitry that goes directly between the controllers – much faster! I also like the fact that they no longer use batteries, but instead use supercapacitors which are much greener.