Dot Hill releases new version of RealStor storage management software

Dot Hill is emphasizing enhancement to their autonomic tiering in this release, which they say gives them a boost over competitors, and allows them to offer the best price-performance balance for the mid-market.

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Jason Odorizzi, Strategic Product Marketing Director at Dot Hill

Longmont CO-based Dot Hill Systems has released Dot Hill RealStor version 2.0, its storage management software that delivers application workload-aware intelligence for its AssuredSAN 4004 hybrid flash storage arrays.

Dot Hill has been making OEM storage products for over two decades, with HP as their largest customer, and several years ago decided to supplement this by selling their own branded products with a 100 per cent channel go-to-market strategy. While they make products for the SMB space through to the lower part of the enterprise, the AssuredSAN 4004 is focused on the mid-market.

“We announced RealStor 1.0 in 2012, and this expands tiering and adds other features which deliver additional upside,” said Joe Swanson VP of Marketing and Business Development at Dot Hill. “Combining this software with the Assured SAN 4004 line positions us to challenge both leaders and startups in the hybrid storage arena.”

While the enhancements cover all six of Dot Hill’s branded core aspects of their software, they are emphasizing their RealTier autonomic tiering.

“Real time autonomic data placement for balancing performance and costs is becoming critical, notably being able to leverage SSDs well by tiering between them and HDD effectively,” said Jason Odorizzi, Strategic Product Marketing Director at Dot Hill. “So the key differentiator we are playing up is intelligent tiering, in real time.”

While many storage vendors now offer some form of this, Odorizzi said that Dot Hill is particularly effective at precise data placement, in sending data to the appropriate tier.

“Our special sauce, which no one else can match, is what we do in this scan scoring and movement technology to match data flow with the rates of performance that are needed,” he said. Data is autonomically placed and subsequently moved across as many as three tiers, including flash, high speed disk and near-line large capacity devices, allowing organizations to save up to 75 per cent on storage expenses by more efficiently using lower-cost storage.

RealPool automatically virtualizes storage across device types and simplifies disk management in heterogeneous environments into one single pool, while enabling a wide array of advanced features, such as thin provisioning, rapid RAID rebuild, and tiering. The single pool, rather than one pool per device type, lets users leverage multiple device types for added flexibility and optimization.

RealSnap virtual snapshots, which can snap volumes multiple times with no performance impact, have been significantly improved since the first version of the software.

“Real Snap 1.0 did impact performance with additional snaps, while in this version it doesn’t impact performance at all,” Swanson said. “That’s a significant improvement.”

Enhancements have also been made to RealCache read caching, RealThin thin provisioning, and to RealQuick rebuild, which rebuilds only the data that is being used, not the full RAID set, translates into up to 10 times faster restore time for drives based upon utilization.

“We believe the money is still with hybrid arrays compared to all-flash,” Odorizzi said. “All-flash has a slightly higher revenue per GB, but the overall revenue for hybrid is higher, and will continue to be in the near term future.”

Given that, Odorizzi expected the AssuredSAN 4004 with this new software provides very unique benefits which competitors cannot match.

“We have a unique, robust hybrid array for the midrange market at the best price-performance point,” he said. “We aren’t the highest performance or the lowest cost offering, but we are the best price-performance balance for this market.”

Dot Hill RealStor 2.0 is now shipping with all AssuredSAN arrays with 4004 storage controllers. Customers who have previously purchased AssuredSAN systems equipped with 4004 controllers can acquire the RealStor 2.0 software suite from authorized Dot Hill partners.