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My briefing with Dot Hill, during the last Powering the cloud event, was with Warren Reid (EMEA Marketing Director).

Dot Hill is a OEM manufacture in software and hardware solutions for storing, sharing, protecting and managing data. The headquarter is in Longmont, Colorado, but they have an office also in UK and some people in other EMEA countries.

Has previously produced OEM disk array and controller products and software for Dell, Fujitsu, HP, NetApp, Sun and others and has supplied over 350k arrays in its 10 year history. Currently the P2000 product for HP is build by Dot Hill.

Their storage array products are really interesting both in the front-end options and in the software functions:

  • AssuredSAN™ 2000 series is the entry level array.
  • AssuredSAN™ 3000 series is designed for applications such as video post production, surveillance, and VMware environment. And the 3003 Series meets needs of demanding, sequential workloads in media streaming, post-production, HPC and business analytics.
  • AssuredSAN™ 4000 series (new) adds extra speed for video streaming, post-production, HPC, and broadcast. NEBS and MIL STD compliant.
  • AssuredSAN™ Pro 5000 series (new) improves business performance with advanced features such as Automated Tiered Storage software, Thin Provisioning, SSD read-cache and more.

The 5000 series has a real-time (other vendors use a scheduled function) multi-tiering feature (called RealTier™), that works on 2 or 3 tiers and is implemented by the controller itself. Similar to other solutions it works with pages and move them across the tiers. Engineers declare an impact less than 1% using this real-time feature.

As written, the front-end options are quite good and include: FC, SAS and iSCSI. But more important, al features are already included without any extra license cost!

Each storage is a 2U chassis and could scale, using a scale-in approach, up to 10 chassis. The target is the mid-range.

There are also replication (asynchronous) features that permit to replicate to different models! Both with FC or iSCSI transport. VMware API (like VAAI) and integration (like with SRM) are included.

Also note that the rebuild process is more efficient, and they decrease a speed 14,6X better on RAID6 (using a special technique that monitor the changed pages). About the SSD they use special algorithms to randomized the write on them and spread in a uniform way the write operations.

For the cache controller consistency, they use SyncCache and a PCI-e internal across the two controller to replicate the write cache. And a compact flash to save the cache content in case of power failure (and avoid the needs of battery).

Interesting also that there is Try & Buy program to test the products and than decide to buy or not.

There are also some videos on YouTube, like this one:

Benefits of Storage Tiering with the AssuredSAN Pro 5000 Series

For more information see also the recent press release:

See also: full report list of Powering The Cloud 2012 event.


Virtualization, Cloud and Storage Architect. Tech Field delegate. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert 2010-24. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014-15. Microsoft MVP 2014-16. Veeam Vanguard 2015-23. Nutanix NTC 2014-20. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.