Dot Hill Introduces Intelligent, Autonomic, Real-Time Tiered Storage For Midrange Customers

LONGMONT, Colo., Aug. 22, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dot Hill Systems Corp. (Nasdaq:HILL), a leading provider of SAN storage solutions, today introduced its newest storage offering designed to provide intelligent, real-time tiered storage to address the information needs of business today – supporting rapid access to the data most in demand – even as that demand changes dynamically minute by minute.
AssuredSAN Pro 5000
The AssuredSAN Pro 5000 is designed to provide intelligent, real-time tiered storage to address the information needs of business today - supporting rapid access to the data most in demand - even as that demand changes dynamically minute by minute.
RealTier Graphic
The AssuredSAN Pro 5000 Series detects priorities for data access within an organization to optimize the delivery of high priority/high demand data accordingly. Faster I/O is achieved in part through real-time, autonomic data tiering, which prioritizes data files, volumes or blocks between storage tiers using built-in analysis and data scoring.
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The AssuredSAN TM Pro 5000 Series with RealStor TM software takes tiered storage to a new level – beyond competitors' automated batch migration, and into a new era of autonomic, real-time data tiering. With RealStor, businesses gain the advantage of very high performance SSDs, using them to their maximum benefit, while storing less frequently accessed data on slower, but much less expensive hard disk drives.

Designed for the midrange market, the AssuredSAN Pro 5000 Series is a high-performance, highly available, fully integrated storage solution that delivers consistently faster access to current data with built-in, real-time, autonomic tiered storage and virtualization. The Pro 5000 Series detects priorities for data access within an organization to optimize the delivery of high priority/high demand data accordingly. Faster I/O is achieved in part through real-time, autonomic data tiering, which prioritizes data files, volumes or blocks between storage tiers using built-in analysis and data scoring.

Automated data tiering has long been established as a winning tactic to make storage much more efficient, helping organizations manage multiple workloads and optimize them according to demand. However, while competitive offerings typically move data in a batch migration process once a day after analyzing data needs – akin to navigating the road ahead while looking solely at a rear view mirror – the AssuredSAN Pro 5000 Series supports up to three tiers and delivers faster and more responsive storage by applying a real-time, proactive approach to successfully manage dynamic workloads.

In addition, the AssuredSAN Pro 5000 Series reinvents the way that storage is managed – eliminating the complexity of managing RAID levels, provisioning LUNs and other mundane management tasks. Using the disruptively simple web-based management console, IT managers can manage their storage pools simply and in real time. The simple, intuitive, yet powerful user interface brings reports, provisioning, replication, and health monitoring to the Storage Management Console for easy access, quick response, and system performance.

For randomized workloads common to cloud storage and and virtual server environments, an AssuredSAN Pro 5000 system delivers an impressive 100,000 IOPS sustained from disk for real time access to business critical data, and up to 650,000 IOPS directly from cache. The 5000 Series also delivers up to 5200 MB/s of sustained sequential read throughput and 3000 MB/s of sustained sequential write performance.

"Today, we are staking our claim to the midrange markets with storage products that are not only rock solid, but also wicked fast, seriously smart, and disruptively simple," states Dana Kammersgard, president and CEO, Dot Hill Systems. "We simplify the user experience, remove complexity and deliver minute-by-minute, cost effective, storage tiering performance. Storage pools are autonomically configured, provisioned and managed in real time. The user interface is so intuitive, in fact, that you can be up and running IO within five minutes of hardware installation."

RealStor Software Features

Dot Hill's RealStor technology includes many other innovative patent pending storage capabilities that both improve the system performance and user experience, and translate directly to return on investment.
  • RealTierTM technology continuously improves storage responsiveness as hot data is moved to the SSD tier in real time.  
  • RealThinTM thin provisioning maximizes usage of existing capacity, allowing IT managers to buy fewer HDD's now and expand storage as capacity is used.  
  • RealPoolTM eliminates the need to specify RAID levels and other low level configuration details.  
  • RealQuickTM, the quick RAID rebuild, minimizes recovery time and risk factors with rapid data restoration.  
  • RealQuickTM minimizes recovery time and risk factors with rapid data restoration.  
  • RealSolidTM enables an individual LUN to be pinned to the SSD tier.  
  • RealSimpleTM refers to Dot Hill's disruptively simple user interface that simplifies storage tasks and delivers management time savings.  
  • AssuredRemoteTM remote replication, together with VMware's Site Recovery Manager provide a complete virtualization failover solution.

Reacting to Dynamic Workload Changes in Real Time

The AssuredSAN Pro 5000 Series continuously and dynamically identifies data "hot spots" and responds by moving information from nearline or enterprise SAS drive tiers to fast-read SSD tiers. A hot spot is a segment of data that can experience sudden increases or decreases in user access; data can be very hot one hour and cold the next hour, or even the next minute. Common examples of hot spot scenarios include email, web servers, event ticketing, customer databases, university class registration, tax preparation, and financial and accounting database transactions.

Unlike many competitive solutions, which only support nightly data movement on-demand or in a user-defined window requiring manual intervention, the AssuredSAN Pro 5000 Series takes a much simpler approach – by using intelligent algorithms and autonomic data movement, rather than manual policy settings, RealStor improves operational efficiency. Data is prioritized and moved 100 percent automatically in real-time, enabling administrators to focus on other important tasks.

"We developed the AssuredSAN Pro 5000 Series to address the top storage issue in most data centers which is managing storage growth. This product is seriously smart storage, using real-time analysis and data movement to completely automate storage management. It is no longer sufficient to deliver a certain level of performance overall – IT managers need solutions that react to dynamic workload changes with respect to time, and locality of reference," said Jim Jonez, senior director of marketing, Dot Hill.

"We've engineered our midrange solution to tackle the challenges of hot spot applications, most commonly found in virtual server and Microsoft Exchange environments. When a web server, for example, experiences large volumes of activity based on the latest social trends, the AssuredSAN Pro 5000 Series can ensure the hot data is handled by the fast SSD drive tier. As the trend fades, a SAS tier houses warm data and as activity continues to decrease, cold data is moved to an inexpensive archive layer consisting of nearline SAS. All of this is done in real time, automatically and seamlessly, without intervention from administrators. This results in the most cost effective approach to the storage administrator's need for high performance and highly responsive storage. The simplicity of the Pro 5000 Series contributes to its overall return on investment by reducing administration time and allowing business to manage storage growth more effectively," Jonez continued.

Midrange Solution Expands Total Addressable Market

With more than 500,000 units shipped since 1984, Dot Hill is enhancing its strong global footprint in the entry level storage space and expanding into the midrange market. The powerful AssuredSAN Pro 5000 Series software stack, known as RealStor, includes a variety of midrange features that allow Dot Hill to reach a much broader Total Addressable Market (TAM). According to IDC market sizing data, the AssuredSAN Pro 5000 Series is categorized in Midrange Storage Price Band 5, which increases Dot Hill's potential Total Addressable Market for 2013 from $4.0 billion to nearly $10.6 billion.

The Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) recently conducted a lab review and performance analysis of the AssuredSAN Pro 5000. Brian Garrett, vice president of ESG Lab, who oversaw the analysis stated, "Our testing showed significant response time improvements for business critical application workloads including email, database queries, and online ordering. When we stressed the AssuredSAN Pro 5000 during ESG lab testing, RealStor software quickly adapted to rapidly changing workloads. We believe customers will welcome the AssuredSAN Pro 5000's simply elegant approach to storage management – it saves time and money as it eliminates the hassle of dealing with RAID."

"Application vendors should know that their products are only as responsive and cost-effective as their customers' supporting infrastructures. Weak links in processing, networking or storage undermine application performance and investment value no matter how cutting edge an application architecture may be. To maximize application responsiveness and value, storage technologies such as Dot Hill's AssuredSAN Pro 5000 adapt to rapidly changing data access requirements in real time, ensuring that application performance and employee productivity are never undermined by delays in data delivery," said Joseph Martins, managing director, Data Mobility Group.

"Dot Hill has raised the bar for storage management. The Storage Management Console provides easy web-based access with any web browser. The interface is intuitive, simple, and provides in-depth information for all elements of the storage system," stated Russ Fellows, senior partner at Evaluator Group. "The storage market is very competitive. Dot Hill is introducing a new set of products today that we believe will compete effectively with the well-known brands."

Designed to integrate seamlessly with virtualization applications such as VMware® vSphere®, Citrix® XenServer™, Microsoft® Hyper-V® and Veeam® Backup, the AssuredSAN Pro 5000 Series changes the competitive landscape in the midrange market by providing OEMs, authorized channel partners and end-user customers with a highly compelling alternative that delivers truly automated storage in real-time and eliminates the need for manual intervention.

Pricing and Availability

The Dot Hill AssuredSAN Pro 5000 Series is available in a variety of tiered storage solution configurations including:
  • Base solution options and configurations:
  • 8 ports of 8Gb Fibre Channel or 1Gb/10Gb iSCSI per system
  • Various mixes of SSD and SAS drives
  • Expansion options and configurations:
  • 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drive options
  • Various mixes of SSD, SAS and nearline SAS drives

A base solution with 48 drives, including a mixture of 600GB HDD's and 200GB SSDs, starts at $63,200, including hardware and software support. The 5000 Series is expected to ship in October 2012.

About Dot Hill

Leveraging its proprietary Assured family of storage solutions, Dot Hill solves many of today's most challenging storage problems – helping IT to improve performance, increase availability, simplify operations, and reduce costs. Dot Hill's solutions combine breakthrough software with the industry's most flexible and extensive hardware platform and automated management to deliver best-in-class solutions. Headquartered in Longmont, Colo., Dot Hill has offices and/or representatives in China, Germany, India, Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Dot Hill, AssuredSAN, AssuredSAN Pro 5000, RealStor, RealThin, RealQuick, RealPool, RealTier, RealSolid, RealSimple, and AssuredRemote are the trademarks of Dot Hill Systems Corp. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

For more information, visit us at www.dothill.com.

Statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ from those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements. Such statements include those regarding: improvement of Dot Hill's financial results due to the launch of new products; the performance or benefits of products in any particular environment; the actual size of the market for products; and the actual date of a product's availability. The risks that contribute to the uncertain nature of the forward-looking statements include, among other things: the limited experience that Dot Hill has with new products; that Dot Hill contracts do not have mandatory minimum purchase requirements; changing customer preferences; unforeseen technological, intellectual property, personnel or engineering issues; and the additional risks set forth in the Forms 10-K and 10-Q most recently filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by Dot Hill. Forward-looking statements speak only of circumstances as of the date they were made and Dot Hill undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect circumstances that exist after that date. The Enterprise Strategy Group and the Date Mobility Group are independent of Dot Hill, and Dot Hill takes no responsibility with respect to the accuracy of statements made by either group.

The photos are also available via AP PhotoExpress.

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CONTACT: Steve Sturgeon         Lutz PR         858-472-5669         steve@lutzpr.com                  Company Contact:         Ruth Macdonald         Marketing Communications Manager         303-845-3364         ruth.macdonald@dothill.com

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