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Coraid's EtherDrive EX: The On-Premises Cloud Startup Kit

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Coraid has released a new small form factor high density unified storage solution called EtherDrive EX. In the company's announcement on Tuesday, this latest storage product is positioned as an entry-level solution for businesses wanting to create their own internal cloud deployments.

Coraid's EtherDrive EX provides up to 240TB in a dense 4U form factor and allows a mix of commodity grade drives that can include near-line Serial-Attached SCSI (NL-SAS) hard disk drives, solid state drives, and DRAM. The file system has 128-bit addressability scalable into the petabyte range and beyond. File-level protocols are Network File Storage versions 3 and 4 and Common Internet File System Server Message Block (CIFS SMB) version 1.

The EtherDrive EX supports file (NAS) and block (SAN) storage and uses an integrated dual-controller and redundancy to ensure high-availability. The EtherDrive EX smaller and denser footprint will need less power both directly and from data center cooling.

The 240TB maximum capacity is achieved with 4TB HDDs in up to 60 hot swappable drive bays. Network interface ports include a 2x10GbE with expansion capability for a second 2x10GbE. The EtherDrive EX supports up to 64GB RAM. The unit includes 230 VAC, 50/60Hz redundant and hot-swappable power supply.

Coraid EtherDrive EX. Image courtesy of Coraid.Coraid EtherDrive EX. Image courtesy of Coraid.For handling data traffic between servers and storage, Coraid uses a connectionless storage networking protocol called ATA-over-Ethernet (AoE) that uses the maximum bandwidth over any available pathway.

Coraid uses software defined storage (SDS) to manage the system. As with any truly software sefined product storage, drives are commodity based, off the shelf appliances and networking uses standard Ethernet for the connection between the servers and storage devices. The cloud portion is managed through Coraids EtherCloud API that integrates with cloud operating systems. In order to manage, monitor, configure, and provision storage resources Coraids SDS uses automation within the storage layer to manage complexity and deliver storage on demand.

With thin provisioning and data compression, storage allocation can be managed more closely to avoid purchasing unused drives for reserve storage. For data protection, the SDS also provides read-only snapshots, writeable clones, and local and remote replication.

"We're dedicated to helping our customers achieve greater business efficiency with our storage solutions. With the release of the EtherDrive EX, we're building on our proven track record of innovation in operational efficiencies to further ensure that we are the clear storage vendor of choice for any organization looking to build a public or private cloud," said Gokul Sathiacama, vice president of product management at Coraid.

For additional information on Coraid's modular storage for the cloud see this PDF data sheet.