A few weeks ago I wrote about some of the surprising effort and capabilities that Dot Hill puts into its hardware platforms. Today, it unveiled its most comprehensive and compelling software functionality yet: RealStor 2.0. In a nutshell, it offers every major storage capability that a mid-range user could want, plus a few that until now those users thought were the strict preserve of enterprise systems alone. I recently spoke with members of the Dot Hill product and maketing teams to produce a succinct video summary of the RealStor 2.0 highlights
Of course, Dot Hill is not the first networked storage vendor to offer a rich functional management layer...but, unlike many start ups, it has real pedigree and capability behind it: 30 years in the business, over 600,000 systems shipped, and a field-proven reliability that exceeds 5 9s.Sure, it needs more awareness and channel traction (its fame and reputation is in the OEM worlds), but at least that gives it focus, since its "stuff" works! To that end, its announcement webinars today were refreshingly aggressive...no more Colorado-nice, but rather a straightforward set of pointed prods at the glitterati of the storage ranks—from the establishment of EMC and NetApp to the ingenues of Pure and Nimble. And while RealStor 2.0 offers a great capacity/price/performance value proposition, it was not simply a list of equivalence at better prices; instead Dot Hill was stressing its optimized and improved approaches to things that are all-too-often seen as "check box" items, such as tiering, rebuild speed, and the use of flash. It's a real strong offering that should help Dot Hill ascend the hill of market relevance and shock a few established vendors and users along the way.
Mark: A few weeks ago, I was here at Dot Hill and you may have seen the video that I did at the time about some of the cool engineering factors, more of the hardware side of things. But now Dot Hill has released RealStor 2.0 which is its latest software version. And let's face it, hardware matters but of course so does software functionality. And this time with RealStor 2.0, we'll hear more about this in a second, Dot Hill is proving again that not only is it a very capable OEM provider, which is perhaps what it is best known for, but that it has feature and function that can play with the best of them in the storage world.
Jim: Well, we just recently released the Dot Hill RealStor 2.0 and this is our next generation version of our software that includes our real time autonomic tiering. Now this feature's really cool because our tiering runs in real time and it's a very granular, very precise data placement. We also have a very powerful user interface, a graphical user interface that gives users access to control, monitor, and manage the entire storage array. And we've introduced a new, very powerful, integrated set of copy services that combines the snap shots and replication capabilities that will enable use of that in some very new and powerful ways.
Rochelle: One of the features of RealStor 2.0 is rapid rebuilds. Why this is a great feature is because with the advent of the four and six and now being tested eight terabyte hard drives, when you're in a RAID setting and you have to do a rebuild because you lose one of your drives, most environments have to rebuild their entire disk. With rapid rebuild, because of our four meg pages where we work at the sub-LUN level, we know where all the pages are on the disk. As such, we only have to rebuild the amount of data that's on the disk. We don't have to rebuild a bunch of empty blocks. So if your six terabyte drive is only one tenth full, it's only going to take you one tenth the time to rebuild that disk drive.
Mark: Thanks Jim and Rochelle. One of the other things I wanted to talk out, you can see on the screen now, is the very intuitive and comprehensive GUI, which only makes running and operating all the features that Dot Hill now offers with RealStor 2.0 that much easier. Everything from solid state read cache through thin provisioning, the rapid rebuilds you just heard about, many different types of advanced copy services. All of these are crucial in today's world, but in certain areas, Dot Hill goes above and beyond what might be expected. Real tier is one example. Everyone has tiering. Dot Hill does it at an extremely granular level and in real time. Those two things are well worth remembering. In today's world, hybrid infrastructure of some form or fashion is absolutely the way to go. And with the combination of RealStor 2.0 and the hardware that Dot Hill is famed for, the company now has a very credible and comprehensive offering across the mid range of the storage market.