Buying Guide

Enterprise-class disk array specifications

Disk arrays don't just supply primary storage for enterprise users and applications; arrays are also increasingly popular backup targets, leveraging the performance and reliability of Fibre Channel or SAS disk to protect mission-critical data. Arrays are also important nearline

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storage systems using low-cost, high-capacity SATA disk for replication and backup tasks. Enterprise-class disk arrays are noted for their huge storage capacities which can range from tens of terabytes (TB) into the low petabytes (PB). Enterprise arrays also offer powerful connectivity to the enterprise SAN using dozens of Fibre Channel ports, resulting in data throughput rates exceeding 60 GB/s. Other features include high availability, high reliability, disk hot swapping, storage tiers within the array, and support for automation tools that streamline management tasks. The following specifications are current as of November 2007.

These specifications are periodically updated, and vendors are welcome to submit their updates and new product specifications to sbigelow@techtarget.com.

Go to the first product snapshot, or select the desired product below:

  • 3PARdata Inc.; InServ E200 Storage Server
  • 3PARdata Inc.; InServ S400 Storage Server
  • 3PARdata Inc.; InServ S800 Storage Server
  • EMC Corp; Symmetrix DMX-4
  • Hewlett-Packard; StorageWorks XP20000 Disk Array
  • Hewlett-Packard; StorageWorks XP24000 Disk Array
  • Hitachi Data Systems; TagmaStore AMS1000
  • Hitachi Data Systems; TagmaStore USP1100
  • IBM; System Storage DS8000 Series
  • Sun Microsystems; StorageTek 9985 System
  • Sun Microsystems; StorageTek 9990 System

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    Product Snapshot #1
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    Product: 3PAR InServ E200 Storage Server (1)

    Usable Capacity: 2.0 to 85.3 TB depending on configuration (2)
    Raw Capacity 2.3 to 96 TB depending on configuration (2)
    # of Drives: 16 ti 128 hard drives (2)
    Drive Types: FC and NL (Nearline)
    Drive Capacity: 147 GB FC, 300 GB FC, 750 GB NL
    Drive Hot Swap: Yes
    Transfer Rate: http://www.3pardata.com/products/performance.html
    Connectivity: 0, 4, 8 or 12 FC ports, 0 or 4 iSCSI ports
    Release date: Currently available
    Base price range: Starting at $70,000.00
    Software: InForm Operating System, Rapid Provisioning, Access Guard, Full Copy, Virtual Copy, Remote Copy, Dynamic Optimization, Thin Provisioning, System Tuner, System Reporter, Multipath I/O for Microsoft Windows, Multipath I/O for IBM AIX, Recovery Manager for Oracle, Recovery Manager for Microsoft Exchange
    Detailed Specs: http://www.3par.com/products/inservmodels.html
    Vendor URL: www.3par.com

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    Product Snapshot #2
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    Product: 3PAR InServ S400 Storage Server (1)

    Usable Capacity: 2.0 to 266.7 TB depending on configuration
    Raw Capacity 2.3 to 300 TB
    # of Drives: 16 - 640 hard drives (2)
    Drive Types: FC and NL (Nearline)
    Drive Capacity: 147 GB FC, 300 GB FC, 750 GB NL
    Drive Hot Swap: Yes
    Transfer Rate: http://www.3pardata.com/products/performance.html
    Connectivity: 0-64 2Gb FC ports and 0-8 iSCSI ports
    Release date: Currently available
    Base price range: Starting at $120,000.00
    Software: InForm Operating System, Rapid Provisioning, Access Guard, Full Copy, Virtual Copy, Remote Copy, Dynamic Optimization, Thin Provisioning, System Tuner, System Reporter, Multipath I/O for Microsoft Windows, Multipath I/O for IBM AIX, Recovery Manager for Oracle, Recovery Manager for Microsoft Exchange
    Detailed Specs: http://www.3par.com/products/inservmodels.html
    Vendor URL: www.3par.com

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    Product Snapshot #3
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    Product: 3PAR InServ S800 Storage Server (1)

    Usable Capacity: 2.0 to 533.3 TB depending on configuration
    Raw Capacity 2.3 to 600 TB
    # of Drives: 16 - 1,280 hard drives (2)
    Drive Types: FC and NL (Nearline)
    Drive Capacity: 147 GB FC, 300 GB FC, 750 GB NL
    Drive Hot Swap: Yes
    Transfer Rate: http://www.3pardata.com/products/performance.html
    Connectivity: 0-128 2Gb FC ports and 0-16 iSCSI ports
    Release date: Currently available
    Base price range: Starting at $150,000.00
    Software: InForm Operating System, Rapid Provisioning, Access Guard, Full Copy, Virtual Copy, Remote Copy, Dynamic Optimization, Thin Provisioning, System Tuner, System Reporter, Multipath I/O for Microsoft Windows, Multipath I/O for IBM AIX, Recovery Manager for Oracle, Recovery Manager for Microsoft Exchange
    Detailed Specs: http://www.3par.com/products/inservmodels.html
    Vendor URL: www.3par.com

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    Product Snapshot #4
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    Product: EMC Symmetrix DMX-4 (1)

    Usable Capacity: 6 TB to 526 TB (RAID 5) depending on configuration
    Raw Capacity 7 TB to 1,103 TB
    # of Drives: 96 to 2,400 (2)
    Drive Types: Dual-ported Fibre Channel, SATA II
    Drive Capacity: Fibre Channel: 73 GB, 146 GB, 300 GB, 500 GB; SATA II: 500 GB, 1 TB (1 TB drives available for DMX-4 in Q1 08)
    Drive Hot Swap: Yes
    Transfer Rate: Not provided
    Connectivity: 4 Gb FC, iSCSI, 4 Gbps FICON, ESCON
    Release date: Currently available
    Base price range: Entry-level configuration starts at $250,000
    Software: http://www.emc.com/dsp/DisplayProducts
    Detailed Specs: http://www.emc.com/products/systems/symmetrix/DMX_series/pdf/c1166-dmx4- ss.pdf
    Vendor URL: www.emc.com

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    Product Snapshot #5
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    Product: HP StorageWorks XP20000 Disk Array (1)

    Usable Capacity: 59 TB
    Raw Capacity 69 TB
    # of Drives: Up to 236 hard drives (2)
    Drive Types: Fibre Channel
    Drive Capacity: 73 GB 15K RPM; 146 GB 15K RPM; 300 GB 10K RPM; 300 GB 15K RPM
    Drive Hot Swap: Yes
    Transfer Rate: Sequential reads: 1,207 MB/sec; Sequential writes: 646 MB/sec.
    Connectivity: 4 Gbps FC; 4 Gbps FICON; ESCON
    Release date: Currently available
    Base price range: Base price $189,000
    Software: HP StorageWorks XP Thin Provisioning Software; HP StorageWorks XP Array Manager Software; HP StorageWorks XP External Storage Software; HP StorageWorks XP Performance Advisor Software; HP StorageWorks XP Continuous Access Software; HP StorageWorks XP Business Copy Software; HP StorageWorks XP Command View Advanced Edition Software; HP StorageWorks XP Provisioning Manager Software; HP StorageWorks XP Replication Monitor Software; HP StorageWorks XP Tiered Storage Manager Software; HP StorageWorks XP Auto LUN Software
    Detailed Specs: http://h18006.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/12711_div/12711_div.html
    Vendor URL: www.hp.com

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    Product Snapshot #6
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    Product: HP StorageWorks XP24000 Disk Array (1)

    Usable Capacity: 290 TB
    Raw Capacity 332 TB
    # of Drives: Up to 1,148 hard drives (2)
    Drive Types: Fibre Channel
    Drive Capacity: 73 GB 15K RPM; 146 GB 15K RPM; 300 GB 10K RPM; 300 GB 15K RPM
    Drive Hot Swap: Yes
    Transfer Rate: Sequential reads: 11,000 MB/sec; Sequential writes: 5,400 MB/sec
    Connectivity: 4 Gbps FC; ESCON; 4 Gbps FICON
    Release date: Currently available
    Base price range: Base price $247,000
    Software: HP StorageWorks XP Thin Provisioning Software; HP StorageWorks XP Array Manager Software; HP StorageWorks XP External Storage Software; HP StorageWorks XP Performance Advisor Software; HP StorageWorks XP Continuous Access Software; HP StorageWorks XP Business Copy Software; HP StorageWorks XP Command View Advanced Edition Software; HP StorageWorks XP Provisioning Manager Software; HP StorageWorks XP Replication Monitor Software; HP StorageWorks XP Tiered Storage Manager Software; HP StorageWorks XP Auto LUN Software
    Detailed Specs: http://h18006.www1.hp.com/products/storageworks/xp24000/specs.html
    Vendor URL: www.hp.com

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    Product Snapshot #7
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    Product: HDS; TagmaStore AMS1000 (1)

    Usable Capacity: 173.8TB SATA Intermix; 129.4TB Fibre Channel
    Raw Capacity Over 200 TB
    # of Drives: 4–450 Fibre Channel; 0–420 SATA (2)
    Drive Types: SATA; Fibre Channel;
    Drive Capacity: 73GB (10K & 15K RPM); 146GB (10K & 15K RPM); 300GB (10K RPM); 250GB SATA (7200 RPM); 500GB SATA II (7200 RPM)
    Drive Hot Swap: Yes
    Transfer Rate: 13.7 Gbps cached bandwidth
    Connectivity: Fibre Channel: 8 @ 1, 2, or 4 Gbit/sec; OR 4 Fibre Channel ports AND iSCSI: 4 @ 1Gbit/sec; OR NAS: 8 @ 1Gbit/sec
    Release date: April 3, 2006
    Base price range: Under $80,000
    Software: IBM AIX; HP-UX; Sun Solaris; Microsoft Windows 2000, 2003; Windows Server 2003; Microsoft Simple SAN compliant; HP Tru64 UNIX; SGI IRIX; Novell NetWare; Linux; HP OpenVMS; VMWare; Apple MAC OS; IBM z/OS
    Detailed Specs: http://www.hds.com/products_services/midrange_specifications/
    Vendor URL: www.hds.com

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    Product Snapshot #8
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    Product: HDS; TagmaStore USP1100 (1)

    Usable Capacity: Up to 330 TB internal (up to 32 PB externally virtualized storage)
    Raw Capacity 280GB to 332TB internal
    # of Drives: 129-1152 drives (2)
    Drive Types: Fibre Channel
    Drive Capacity: Not available
    Drive Hot Swap: Yes
    Transfer Rate: 81 GB/sec (maximum aggregate bandwidth)
    Connectivity: Up to 192 Fibre Channel, 96 ESCON, or 96 FICON ports
    Release date: September 7, 2004
    Base price range: $600,000 USD
    Software: IBM AIX; HP-UX; Sun Solaris; Microsoft Windows 2000, 2003; Windows Server 2003; Microsoft Simple SAN compliant; HP Tru64 UNIX; SGI IRIX; Novell NetWare; Linux; HP OpenVMS; VMWare; Apple MAC OS; IBM z/OS
    Detailed Specs: http://www.hds.com/products_services/universal_storage_platform/specifications/
    Vendor URL: www.hds.com

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    Product Snapshot #9
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    Product: IBM System Storage DS8000 Series (1)

    Usable Capacity: 414GB to 425TB depending on configuration
    Raw Capacity 1.168 to 512TB
    # of Drives: Up to 1,024 hard drives (2)
    Drive Types: FATA; FC
    Drive Capacity: 500 GB FATA; 73, 146, 300 GB FC
    Drive Hot Swap: Yes
    Transfer Rate: up to 3GB/sec
    Connectivity: 2Gb and 4Gb FC/FICON; ESCON
    Release date: December 2004; New DS8000 Turbo: September 2006
    Base price range: $200,000 and up
    Software: i5/OS, OS/400, AIX, Solaris, HP-UX, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, Linux for System z, z/OS, z/VM, VSE/ESA, TPF, Linux for System i, Linux for System p, Linux for Intel systems, OpenVMS, TRU64, NetWare, VMWare, Apple Macintosh OS X, Fujitsu Primepower, SGI IRIX
    Detailed Specs: ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/common/ssi/rep_sp/n/TSD00374USEN/TSD00374USEN.PDF
    Vendor URL: www.ibm.com

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    Product Snapshot #10
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    Product: Sun StorageTek 9985 System (1)

    Usable Capacity: 56.5 TB, open systems, RAID 5
    Raw Capacity 69 TB
    # of Drives: 0-240 hard drives (2)
    Drive Types: FC active-active
    Drive Capacity: 73GB 10K prm, 73GB 15K rpm, 146GB 10K rpm, 146GB 15K rpm, 300GB 10K rpm
    Drive Hot Swap: Yes
    Transfer Rate: 12.1 GB/sec aggregate bandwidth
    Connectivity: FC, NAS, ESCON, FICON, iSCSI
    Release date: July 11, 2005
    Base price range: Varies according to configuration and local business practices
    Software: Not provided
    Detailed Specs: http://www.sun.com/storagetek/disk_systems/data_center/9985/
    Vendor URL: www.sun.com

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    Product Snapshot #11
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    Product: Sun StorageTek 9990 System (1)

    Usable Capacity: 287.8TB (with 300GB 10K rpm drives); open systems, RAID-5
    Raw Capacity 332 TB
    # of Drives: 5-1152 drives (2)
    Drive Types: FC active-active
    Drive Capacity: 73GB 10K rpm, 73GB 15K rpm, 146GB 10K rpm, 146GB 15K rpm, 300GB 10K rpm
    Drive Hot Swap: Yes
    Transfer Rate: 81GB/sec (aggregate bandwidth)
    Connectivity: FC, NAS, FICON, ESCON, iSCSI
    Release date: Sept. 7, 2004
    Base price range: Varies according to configuration and local business practices
    Software: not provided
    Detailed Specs: http://www.sun.com/storagetek/disk_systems/data_center/9990/index.xml
    Vendor URL: www.sun.com

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    NOTES:

    (1) There are various configurations of this product model. Exact specifications depend on the selected/expanded configuration.
    (2) The exact number of drives/slots depends on selected options or expansion chassis.

    ** All prices shown are in US dollars (USD)

    LEGEND:

    FC: Fibre Channel
    GB: Gigabyte
    Gb: Gigabit
    iSCSI: Internet SCSI
    NL: Nearline
    RAID: Redundant Array of Independent Disks
    RPM: Rotations Per Minute
    SATA: Serial ATA
    TB: Terabyte

    This was first published in November 2007

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