Dot Hill's Patented Storage Innovations Make Storage Smarter, Improve Ease-of-Use for System Administrators

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LONGMONT, Colo., May 19, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dot Hill Systems Corp. (Nasdaq:HILL), a trusted supplier of innovative enterprise-class storage systems, today announced four new additions to its extensive patent portfolio that describe innovations that make it easier for organizations to increase storage capacity, safeguard data assets and reduce power costs.

Writing distinct data to snapshot clones

Inventions described in Dot Hill's 93rd US patent, numbered 8,656,123, preserves snapshots during data cloning. Snapshots provide a versatile feature that is useful for backup and data recovery. However, traditional snapshots are read-only accessible and their contents cannot be modified, which limits their usability. A relatively recent advance in backup facilities is the ability to "clone" an existing snapshot, and perform a backup of the clone instead of the active file system. Clones, however, have the same read-only restrictions imposed on them as their parent snapshots and those that do not have read-only restrictions cannot be counted on to represent the actual point-in-time that the snapshot was taken. Dot Hill's innovation provides a clone snapshot with a unique, separate write area. This allows host computers and applications to write unique data to the clone snapshot, separate from any other snapshot or the storage volume. Additionally, multiple concurrent clone snapshots may be created and maintained by the storage controller. This allows independent testing and evaluation to be conducted without altering either the storage volume or the regular (non-clone) snapshots.

Adding storage capacity without powering down the system

Unlike previous methods that take storage devices offline while a RAID array is being expanded, Dot Hill's 94th US patent, numbered 8,656,131, describes technology that allows full read and write access to the array during the addition of a JBOD expansion chassis. Dot Hill's innovation also allows immediate access to the new capacity before the array data has been reordered. The invention can be used for multiple RAID arrays including both parity and non-parity arrays. The memory required for temporary data storage during the reconfiguration operation may be provided either in the storage controller itself or in free space in any connected storage device.

Protecting data at reduced cost during power outages

The inventions in Dot Hill's 95th US patent, numbered 8,694,812, allows lower-powered backups using small super-capacitors, in the event of a power outage. When main power is lost, Dot Hill controllers move data and metadata in the storage controller volatile memory to onboard non-volatile memory. Backup power must be provided to the volatile memory, the memory controller, and the non-volatile memory during the backup process. Once moved to the non-volatile memory, the backup power is shut down until main power is restored. The data and metadata are safe in non-volatile memory and can remain there indefinitely. Dot Hill's innovation saves power by moving the data and metadata in stages between volatile and non-volatile memory, and putting the volatile memory into a low-power self-refresh mode while the slower non-volatile memory is storing the data and metadata. This reduces the power required to move all of the data and metadata from the volatile memory, which means a smaller or less expensive backup power source may be used, compared to conventional approaches.

Simplifying the addition and removal of drives

In the past, storage device modules have required levers and other mechanical devices, which add complexity and cost to storage arrays. Dot Hill's world-class engineers have removed many of these unnecessary components with innovations described in the company's 96th US Patent #8,717,753, resulting in a simpler design with fewer parts that weighs less and saves space and costs. Now storage device modules can be inserted with a simple push of the hand. To remove the module from the chassis, a user simply slides a finger lever horizontally across the front. An ejection spring gently ejects the storage device, allowing a user to safely and easily remove modules from the storage chassis. This compact design eliminates bulky bezels and the need for additional space requirements.

"Our extensive patent portfolio and the real-world innovations that we implement to solve users' daily storage challenges are a result of Dot Hill's world-class engineering team," said Ken Day, chief technology officer, Dot Hill. "In addition to 99.999 percent data availability, we are perpetually devising ways to make AssuredSAN storage solutions easier and more practical than competitive offerings."

Dot Hill's patent portfolio builds on the extensive intellectual property behind Dot Hill AssuredSAN and AssuredSAN Pro solutions, which deliver rock-solid, wicked-fast solutions to customers and OEM partners. As well, continuous innovation benefits Dot Hill's key vertical market customers in the Media & Entertainment, Telecommunications, Oil & Gas, Big Data & Analytics and Digital Imaging sectors, that require high-performing storage to support demanding applications.

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.

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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. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties that Dot Hill may face, please consult the Company's most recent Forms 10-Q and 10-K filed 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 and Dot Hill undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that occur afterward.


CONTACT: Steve Sturgeon Lutz PR (for Dot Hill Systems) 858-472-5669 Company Contact: Ruth Macdonald Dot Hill Systems 303-845-3364

Source:Dot Hill Systems Corporation