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Disk subsystems integrator Storage Dimensions Inc is hoping for a much needed boost in sales with the release of its new SuperFlex 3000 DGR Ultra, an external, server-independent UltraSCSI RAID storage system for Windows NT and NetWare. The Milpitas, California-based company warned of a 10% to 15% fall in revenues in June, a figure it blamed at least in part on the current weakness of the personal computer local area networking market (CI No 3,178). The company says its own benchmark tests showed the 3000 performed up to three times faster than Compaq Computer Corp’s Smart 2DH and Hewlett-Packard Co’s NetRAID external storage systems which it says do not support UltraSCSI technology. It’s quoting an I/O per second reading of between 422 and 1136 on cache of between 16Mb to 128Mb, compared to a figure of 361 for the Compaq on 16Mb cache and 377 for the HP product on 4Mb of cache. Usually the UltraSCSI specification limits cable length to 1.5 meters when attached to more than four disk drives due to signal degradation associated with longer cables, but Storage Dimensions claims to have overcome the problem by using new SCSI repeater technology that enhances the signal to noise ratio. The company is also promoting a Configuration On Disk feature, designed to minimise the impact of a server failure by storing controller configuration parameters on the system’s disk drives, enabling users to switch to a backup server which automatically recognizes the configuration on the drives. The system supports up to 655Gb per server and includes a three- channel UltraSCSI RAIDCard bus-based array controller, with each channel supporting up to seven drives. A SuperFlex 300 DGR Ultra with four 9.1GB UltraSCSI drives costs $16,460 with a complete seven-drive system priced at $24,535.

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