Product of the Day: Winchester FlashDisk OpenSAN

by Vendor Written

Product: FlashDisk OpenSAN

Manufacturer: Winchester Systems

Address: 149 Middlesex Turnpike

Burlington, MA 01803

Telephone: 781-265-0200


An Affordable Storage Solution for the Linux Enterprise

As Linux makes headway into mission critical systems on the enterprise it is natural that storage systems will follow suit. What is more mission critical than your business data? As with all organizations growth/change can happen at a moments notice and it is important that your IT infrastructure is scalable and flexible for your changing business needs. Storage Area networks (SAN) have emerged as a model to help companies manage the needs of today's IT infrastructures for scalability, flexibility and availability.

Companies are using SAN for in-house databases, back-up and restore and data warehousing applications - data intensive requirements. If you are not a Fortune 2000 company, what are your options? First you have limited resources, but you want a system that will grow with you to maximize your ROI. Winchester Systems, a company that specialized in storage systems for over 20 years has a storage array that can help.

Winchester's FlashDisk OpenSAN is a storage system that can scale up to 200 TB of data. This is a modular approach that will enable you to add additional storage to your network without any downtime. Like a "SAN-In-a-Box" capability with a pay as you go scalability. It can accommodate both Fibre Channel primary data storage and SATA secondary storage from the same RAID controller. You can also use this without an expensive fibre channel switch if you are starting small.

The entry level model the FX 400 can accommodate 4 hosts and have 16 TB Fibre channel capacity with internal redundancy. And as your business needs change, upgrading from the FX-400 to the 8-host FX-600 is affordable and easily upgraded in the field. The controllers are exchanged and two I/O modules are added. With the 12 port FX 700 model you can have 10 hosts with both Fibre Channel (116 TB) and SATA (200 TB) capacity.

The FX family of products offer centralized & remote management. The system can be managed out-of-band via Ethernet, Telnet, and their FlashConsole management appliance. There is automatic event and problem alert notification with a FlashAlert 24-hour "call-home" support service. And lastly , it can be centrally managed from any LAN workstation with a Java-based web browser

The FlashDisk OpenSAN offers extraordinary performance for any demanding application using the latest Fibre Channel and SATA technology. It helps accelerate server and storage consolidation using 2 Gb Fibre Channel and support for all standard Windows, UNIX, and Linux based platforms. It ensures high data availability with fully redundant and hotswappable components without disrupting users. And lastly you can easily scale storage capacity and server connectivity in the field at an affordable cost.

Winchester Systems expertise in storage solutions include high availability cluster configurations. Their RAID arrays have been optimized with the latest release of Red Hat's Enterprise Linux. They recently published a white paper with Red Hat, titled "Low Cost High Availability Clustering for the Enterprise". In the white paper they talk about how you can use their FlashDisk Fibre Channel RAID array and support a 4 host Red Hat cluster with full port redundancy for high availability without an expensive Fibre Channel switch. The paper also states that this solution can help save 30-70% on the costs of a cluster network. The white paper is available at

Organizations that have installed Winchester's Linux storage solutions include the Scientific Research, Healthcare, Education and ISP industries. Their expertise also includes Windows, Mac and Unix environments making them an ideal partner to help manage heterogeneous computing environments. Linux storage solutions is the natural maturation of a technology that is going mainstream. The holy grail of computing is to achieve a 24xForever availability at the lowest possible cost with Linux helping lead the charge.

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