iStor Networks Announces Two New integraStor(TM) Dual-Controller Patents

IRVINE, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- Apr 01, 2008 -- iStor Networks, Inc.® (, a leader in high performance iSCSI solutions, today announced that it has recently been awarded a second patent (U.S. Patent 7,353,306) for a technology that enables iStor to implement high availability solutions while preserving the inherent high performance characteristics of its integraStor™ products.

All integraStor designs are based on iStor's iSCSI RAID Storage Processor (iRSP), which incorporates a patented mechanism to handle data mirroring called a Redundant Memory Channel, or RMC. This important technology guarantees that data is faithfully written from internal controller cache to the disk drive even in the event of a controller failure. To increase write data performance, today's RAID controllers acknowledge data as written to disk as soon as all data is received in the cache but not necessarily written to disk, referred to as "write-back" caching. If the storage controller performing the write fails, then the RMC guarantees that the other controller can complete the write with data integrity.

The problem with today's controllers is that performing this write data synchronization between dual controllers requires significant system resources which degrades write performance, as well as overall system performance due to the load on processors, buses, etc. RMC allows data to be mirrored between redundant iRSP-based controllers without CPU management or intervention, and without utilizing the primary data movement paths within the controller. Within integraStor storage systems, data mirroring is accomplished over a dedicated full-duplex 10G data channel emanating from each ASIC, allowing controllers to mirror data without impacting the controllers' ability to support full 10Gbps I/O rates.

The dedicated nature of RMC dramatically minimizes the overhead of managing data mirroring on processing resources, allowing internal storage processors to focus on performing their primary task of data flow and storage processing functions. Data is automatically mirrored to the peer controller without disruption to the buses and resources used for normal data movement. This is one of the key reasons that dual-redundant integraStor solutions can achieve full 10Gbps performance in each redundant controller -- unparalleled in the industry. iStor has already demonstrated the performance advantages, achieving 1,700MB/s with two 8x 1GbE controllers October 2007.

"iStor's technology leadership and the ability of the integraStor family to leverage iStor's unique intellectual property have been critical to the success of the iS512, and positions iS512 to address a more sophisticated set of applications." said Kevin Daly, CEO of iStor Networks. "The integraStor family of products can now extend from Small and Medium Business (SMB) environments to distributed data centers, remote office/branch office and other highly resilient enterprise-class environments."

"iStor has developed its business by providing flexible, cost-effective iSCSI storage; it's an attractive proposition to many users, but mainly adopted in the small and medium business market. Of course, these new technologies enable iStor to extend its focus on affordable, high performance solutions into HA configurations. And also, what's notable with its new HA capability is that it enables two distinct things," said Mark Peters, an Analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group."First, small and medium sized businesses increasingly face many of the same stringent operational, regulatory and compliance challenges that enterprises do -- so this only strengthens iStor's offering in that market. Second, it begins to open up more of the 'higher' end market to them, since complex data integrity and management requirements have made HA a defacto prerequisite for consideration in much of that enterprise world."

iStor has answered this SMB IT challenge from the ground up with unique IP within its iRSP ASIC, its storage controllers, its robust storage virtualization firmware and its management software. This integrated design was possible because iStor has assembled a seasoned team of hardware & software designers with many generations of HA storage experience.

With the technology in these patents, iStor is now able to add High Availability to the high performance, low power, and cost effective features of its iSCSI solutions. The technology covered by these two patents clearly illustrates the value of iStor's high availability technology leadership as iStor enters the high availability market. Customers implementing iSCSI-based storage area networks continue to find that integraStor delivers a compelling return on their storage investment.

Jennifer Sparks Bocchino
Sparks & Associates

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