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Copan outsources manufacturing to Hitachi OMD

In preparation for its product launch this summer, Copan has shifted its manufacturing over to Hitachi OMD, a company that users will be more familiar with.

In preparation for the launch its product within the next two months, Copan Systems Inc. will outsource the manufacturing of its Serial ATA-based RAID array to Hitachi OMD, the manufacturing arm of Hitachi Computer Products (America) Inc.

Hitachi OMD (the Oklahoma manufacturing division) manufactures products for Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), including its well-known Thunder and Lightning storage arrays.

"We did this for scale and efficiency … to enable us to focus our efforts on R&D," said a spokeswoman for Copan. She added that users looking at startups are often cautious of their ability to meet customer demand. Outsourcing the manufacturing to Hitachi OMD "gives us a quality company with a visible track record backing us up," she said.

Copan's Revolution 200T Serial ATA-based RAID array will hit the shelves sometime this summer --- the company declined to say when exactly -- and is purposely built for write once, read occasionally applications, delivering two to three times the density and 10 times faster the access speed of tape, the company claims.

A key feature that separates the Revolution 200T from other disk-based backup products is that it only spins disks when reading or writing data. According to the company, this is how it manages to pack a greater number of disks into a smaller footprint without overheating. Copan also said that 2.4 TB/hour throughput, way outpacing tape. At $3.50 per gigabyte, the system starts at 56 TB and scales up to 244 TB in a single footprint.

Unlike other disk-based backup systems from Advanced Digital Information Corp., Quantum Corp. and Sepaton Corp., the 200T is designed to replace tape altogether. "It's not a staging device for disk-to-disk-to-tape environments; we think this approach just adds further complexity to backup jobs," said Copan CEO Dave Davenport.

The obvious downside to this is the lack of removable media, which some users still insist on having for security purposes. "Nothing compares to sending a tape offsite to a vault for serious levels of security," said Arun Taneja, founder and analyst of Taneja Group.

Yahoo is testing the product along with several high-performance computing companies, government institutions, N.Y. banks and film and broadcasting organizations. "They are all looking at for backup and recovery and archiving," the Copan spokeswoman said.


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