Huge Systems Inc. is now shipping SanStream, a high-speed streaming SAN solution for Mac, PC and SGI systems. The family of shared fault-tolerant RAID disk arrays supports traditional networking protocols, including Appletalk, SMB and NFS, as well as the new iSCSI protocol.
Housed in a 2U 19-inch rack mountable form factor, SanStream includes a Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) switch, file sharing software and real-time fault-tolerant RAID storage. Initially, two versions of the product will be available, both of which use five hot-swappable disk drives. For small Storage Area Network (SAN) configurations, the SanStream 480-6 includes a six-port GigE switch and 480GB of RAID storage. The larger SanStream 720-12 includes a 12-port GigE switch and 720GB of RAID storage. Both copper and optical versions of the GigE switches are available. Pricing starts at under US$10,000.
Since lots of Macs and PCs ship with GigE networking capability, no additional hardware or software is required, said Mike Anderson, chief designer of the SanStream. For SANs with 12 clients or less, each workstation plugs into one of the GigE ports on SanStream, providing a high bandwidth connection directly to the content on the device and eliminating networking bottlenecks, he added. Larger systems can be configured by using external GigE switches.
If a disk drive ever hesitates, the unit automatically detects and corrects the problem, eliminating dropped frames, Anderson said. Should there be a drive failure, a replacement drive can be reconstructed at very high speed (over 10GB/minute), he added. Reconstruction can be started by pushing a single button on the front of the SanStream or through a Web-based management interface.
The folks at Huge Systems said that SanStream has been tested with Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere “to ensure that virtually any network environment will perform smoothly and effectively.” The system supports full user and file level password protection.