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  1. Technology
January 18, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

Data General Corp’s two-year-old storage subsystem division, which now styles itself the Clariion Business Unit, has expanded its Series 2000 line of RAID systems downwards to bring what it believes is the first open systems implementation of a traditional mainframe storage technique known as mirrored cacheing to some of the new offerings. As well as improving data write performance, with mirrored cacheing, the Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks subsystem copies not only stored data to a safe place to maintain integrity in the event of failure, but does the same for active data stored in the CPU motherboard’s cache memory. As well as on the Westborough, Massachusetts-based manufacturer’s own AViiON series servers, Clariion disk arrays are also available for IBM Corp RS/6000s, Sun Microsystems Inc Sparcservers and EISA bus Novell Inc NetWare-based systems. The Clariion RAID subsystem is already re-badged as a low-end offering by mainframe disk systems supplier Storage Technology Corp, following a $100m OEM deal signed last year, while Compagnie des Machines Bull SA supplies them for the RS/6000s it re-badges.

May spin out Clariion

The Series 1000 Model 1100 is available in 3Gb, 10Gb and 20Gb configurations and costs $19,100 ($6.36 per Mb), $30,000 ($3.00 per Mb) and $48,000 ($2.40 per Mb) respectively. It ships next month. With 8Mb mirrored cache, the 10Gb Model 1300 is $39,800 ($3.98 per Mb) – with 16Mb mirrored cache and 20Gb storage it is $57,250 ($2.86 per Mb). The Model 1300 is out in March. The Series 2000 includes the existing Model 2200 with 20Gb disk at $54,000 ($2.70 per Mb), or $91,500 ($2.29) with 40Gb. The new Model 2300s with mirrored cache, due in March, come with a number of options. The 20Gb, 32Mb cache model is $72,850 ($3.64 per Mb), and with 40Gb of disk and 64Mb mirrored cache, it is $117,500 ($2.94 per Mb). Model 2200 customers can upgrade. Data General claims the Model 2300 with 20Gb supports up to 3,200 input-output requests per second. All models support RAID levels 0, 1, 3, 5 and input-output concurrently and simultaneous RAID 3 read and write over two input-output processors. Director of Clariion marketing Joseph Uniejewski says users of other RAID systems, who have had to trade performance for RAID 5 functionality, can get their performance back with the new Clariions. With dual active control processors in hardware, Data General has added some 20,000 to 30,000 lines of code to Clariion’s existing 60,000 lines of software, and the firm will send off the new models with an ad campaign touting peace of mind. Data General claims 3,000 Clariion sites – around 700 on non-Data General systems. The Clariions are priced just above Digital Equipment Corp’s StorageWorks line and below NCR Corp’s RAID technology. After a tortuous turnaround to the new world of open systems, there is much speculation that Data General may spin out Clariion, its major success story of late. The unit is certainly forging an independent identity and acts like a start-up, claiming to have doubled revenue every quarter and to have already repaid its initial investment. Although most of his current business is dependent on AViiON shipments, Uniejewski expects the business to be driven by new OEM deals he hopes to cut this year. Existing distributors include the likes of Solid Computer Ltd in the UK, Nippon Steel Corp in Japan, Daewoo Electronics Co of Korea and Invincible Technology Inc, Boston. Clariion’s next major development is an integrated, automatic disk array and tape back-up system, which it claims will relieve users of many time-consuming archiving tasks. It is due late next year, and fibre optic technology-based systems should arrive around the same time, it promises.

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