October 7, 2013

Dot Hill Introduces Versatile and Powerful Next Generation Architecture for High-Bandwidth Cloud Services and Vertical Market Storage Environments

New Platform Provides Very High Performance 12Gb SAS Connectivity and First-to-Market 16Gb Fibre Channel/10Gb iSCSI Converged Network Interface with Full Suite of Data Management Services

LONGMONT, Colo., Oct. 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dot Hill Systems Corp. (Nasdaq:HILL), a leading provider of SAN storage solutions, today unveiled its next-generation RAID storage architecture. Dot Hill's ninth-generation storage controller platform will be introduced across its entire entry level and midrange portfolio, with product-specific announcements to come in the months ahead.

"Dot Hill is committed to meeting our customers' needs through continuous innovation and technology leadership in our target markets," said Andy Davis, senior vice president of engineering, Dot Hill. "The new high-bandwidth products based on this platform are designed to extend our offerings for entry and midrange data centers, cloud service providers, and targeted vertical markets including media & entertainment, oil & gas, telecommunications, Big Data analytics and digital image archiving. We believe these first-to-market solutions further Dot Hill's position as a key provider of high performance storage that delivers better utilization and better performance without extensive IT resources or training."

The technology includes numerous new features and first-to-market innovations:

  • Converged Network Interface
  • Leading edge 16Gb Fibre Channel, 10Gb iSCSI, and 12Gb SAS connectivity
  • ASIC based RAID Companion Processor
  • Forward and backward meta data compatibility
  • Full Disk Encryption (FDE) support
  • Flash SSD drive support
  • Full complement of Data Management Software

Ninth Generation Architecture

"We've responded aggressively to customer demand for higher bandwidth storage network solutions with greater flexibility," said Ken Day, chief technology officer, Dot Hill. "Through a major engineering initiative, we've designed our ninth-generation architecture, code named 'Gallium,' to provide the fastest Fibre Channel, iSCSI and SAS connectivity available in the industry with sustained throughput performance ranging from 4GB/sec to 12GB/sec depending on model and configuration. This architecture delivers unparalleled flexibility, allowing organizations to instantly convert their storage from 16Gb Fibre Channel to 10Gb iSCSI, vice versa, or to use a combination of both. This flexibility protects IT investments by providing backward-compatibility with existing 1Gb iSCSI, and 4Gb and 8Gb Fibre Channel devices, while ensuring organizations have a path to adapt their storage to meet changing business needs. And, like all of our prior generations, these products will be meta data compatible with our installed base. No forklift upgrade is required."

System-on-a-chip RAID Companion Processor

A significant aspect of the dramatic performance gains realized from this platform is the Dot Hill RAID Companion Processor (RCP), implemented as a system-on-a-chip, into this architecture. Previously, the RCP was implemented with field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology; the ASIC implementation provides Dot Hill with a distinct advantage in manufacturing costs and allows the company to deliver very high performance storage systems at competitive prices.

"Fujitsu has been a development partner with Dot Hill for the ASIC technology that is incorporated in this new platform," said Steve Della Rocchetta, vice president, Semiconductor Manufacturing Services at Fujitsu Semiconductor America. "Our ASIC technology was able to maximize the performance of the advanced storage architecture.  Dot Hill customers will benefit from industry leading storage systems to solve their business problems."

Configuration Flexibility

QLogic - Leveraging QLogic®'s FlexSuite™ dual-personality adapter technology, this is the industry's first storage array architecture to support midrange solutions with the flexibility to run on 16Gb Gen 5 Fibre Channel, 8Gb Fibre Channel, 4Gb Fibre Channel, 10Gb iSCSI and 1Gb iSCSI networks using the same hardware.

"QLogic's FlexSuite dual-personality technology provides leading storage array vendors such as Dot Hill with the ability to deliver the most flexible, high bandwidth storage solutions in the industry," said Amit Vashi, vice president of products, technology and planning, QLogic. "QLogic's FlexSuite technology reduces complexity and future-proofs SAN investments by eliminating the need to 'rip and replace' existing hardware when transitioning to a new infrastructure."

LSI - Incorporating SAS controller technology from LSI®, the new Dot Hill platform also serves as the foundation for very high performance direct attached solutions with eight ports of 12Gb SAS connectivity. Increasingly, applications including cloud storage services, big data, and HPC are utilizing high bandwidth SAS interfaces as an efficient solution for storage connectivity.

"LSI's 12Gb/s SAS solutions accelerate storage performance to meet the demands of next-generation enterprise datacenters running web and cloud services," said Kelly Bryant, vice president of marketing, Storage Components Division, LSI. "The combination of Dot Hill's new architecture and LSI's high-performance 12Gb/s SAS technology allows organizations to reach the true potential of their IT investment when running I/O-intensive applications in virtualized environments."

Data Security Through Full Disk Encryption

The Dot Hill platform also includes support for HGST and Seagate® Full Disk Encryption (FDE). Self-encrypting drives encrypt every write operation and decrypt every read operation without user intervention. With drive-level protection of data, FDE drives remain fully protected even if they are stolen, taken out of service, or repurposed.

Seagate - "Dot Hill's ninth-generation storage architecture is built on years of solid engineering and provides an excellent platform to fully showcase Seagate HDD and SSD innovation," said Darwin Kauffman, Seagate's vice president of Solid State Drives. "With seamless integration of Seagate FDE and SSD drives, Dot Hill's new architecture provides organizations with improved levels of security, as well as the reliability and performance that Dot Hill customers expect."

HGST - "More than ever, organizations in every market sector crave more capacity, more bandwidth and greater flexibility,"said Brendan Collins, vice president of product marketing at HGST."Dot Hill's latest architecture delivers on all fronts, providing the foundation for a range of storage solutions that fully exploit the robust capabilities of our Ultrastar® 15K, 10K and 7,200RPM enterprise-class drive portfolio." 

Innovation that Enables Flexibility

"Dot Hill is making storage more versatile, flexible and responsive through ongoing innovation breakthroughs," said Brian Garrett, vice president, ESG Labs. "By building on that innovation with this new architecture, Dot Hill will spawn products for the highest-bandwidth SAS, iSCSI and Fibre Channel storage networks. With the ability to choose 16Gb Fibre Channel, 10Gb iSCSI or a combination of both, all from the same hardware, organizations will appreciate the unprecedented flexibility and versatility of Dot Hill converged interface storage systems."

This new platform will enable the next generation of storage systems to help customers in general purpose markets and specific vertical markets solve their storage problems and improve business competitiveness. The technology that Dot Hill has developed enables a range of storage products utilizing a common architecture that serve customers across price bands 2 through 6 with a seamlessly scalable family of systems. The first products will be announced this year for both OEM and Dot Hill branded channel customers. Privately branded configurations for one of our large OEM's are currently shipping worldwide. Compatible with existing AssuredSAN products, the new products enable easy update-in-place functionality, eliminating the need to replace an entire storage array. Existing products that utilize Dot Hill's Data Management Software, RAIDar, and RealStorTM will also be compatible to a simple and smooth upgrade experience.

With a quick swap of a transceiver module IT administrators can configure their storage in the field to 16Gb Fibre Channel or 10Gb iSCSI. The converged interface includes a four-port controller that can be configured with four 16Gb Fibre Channel ports, four 10Gb iSCSI ports, or a combination of both Fibre Channel and iSCSI ports.

Innovation that Aligns to Client Priorities

Like previous generation Dot Hill products, the next generation will deliver 99.999 percent data availability, assuring organizations of round-the-clock access to data. Designed with an even more powerful processor than its predecessor, the new platform provides accelerated performance from 4GB/sec to 12Gb/sec for sequential read workloads, making it the ideal architectures for Dot Hill's vertical markets such as oil & gas, telecommunications, media and entertainment, big data analytics and digital image archiving. Gallium-based products will meet the same rugged design specifications, such as NEBS and MIL-STD-810F compliance, which customers in telecommunications and government markets expect from Dot Hill.

The new technology platform will support all of Dot Hill's software technologies including RealStor™ real-time tiering software, and data management software comprised of AssuredSnap for point-in-time snapshots, AssuredCopy for creating volume copies and AssuredRemote for array-based remote replication. Consistent with the previous AssuredSAN architecture, flash based SSD drives will continue to be supported across the Dot Hill product line.

Availability

Privately branded configurations for one of our large OEM's are currently shipping worldwide, and are sampling at other OEM customers.  Dot Hill branded products will be available to through the IT distribution channel in the fourth quarter.

About Dot Hill

Leveraging its proprietary Assured family of storage solutions, Dot Hill solves many of today's most challenging storage problems — helping IT to improve performance, increase availability, simplify operations, and reduce costs. Dot Hill's solutions combine breakthrough software with the industry's most flexible and extensive hardware platform and automated management to deliver best-in-class solutions. Headquartered in Longmont, Colo., Dot Hill has offices and/or representatives in China, Germany, India, Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

For more information, visit us at www.dothill.com.

Statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The risks that contribute to the uncertain nature of the forward-looking statements include, among other things, those that are set forth in Dot Hill's most recent Form 10-Q and Form 10-K filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made. Dot Hill undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made. Dot Hill takes no responsibility with respect to statements made by third-party entities including ESG Labs, Fujitsu, HGST, LSI, Qlogic, and Seagate.

HILL-G

CONTACT: Steve Sturgeon Lutz PR (for Dot Hill Systems)

         858-472-5669

         steve@lutzpr.com



         Company Contact:

         Ruth Macdonald

         Dot Hill Systems

         303-845-3364

         ruth.macdonald@dothill.com

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Source: Dot Hill Systems Corporation

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