Dot Hill Revolutionizes Storage With Application Workload-Aware Intelligence for Hybrid Flash Arrays

LONGMONT, Colo., Nov. 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dot Hill Systems Corp. (Nasdaq:HILL), a trusted supplier of innovative enterprise-class storage systems, today unveiled the latest version of its seriously smart storage management software, Dot Hill RealStor™ version 2.0, which delivers application workload-aware intelligence for today's next-generation hybrid flash storage arrays. Easy-to-use RealStor 2.0 accelerates storage management operations to deliver data where customers need it, when they need it in real-time.

This innovative Dot Hill technology delivers optimal data placement using autonomic real-time tiering, providing the highest performance to the most critical application data and aids the growth of virtual environments with a simplified user interface while improving data protection and system up-time. With patent-pending innovations that deliver better efficiency, higher reliability, enhanced cost-effectiveness, and fast access to "hot" data, RealStor 2.0 is now available across Dot Hill's entire line of storage systems equipped with the latest generation AssuredSAN® 4004 storage controllers.

From IT professionals to Big Data analytics providers who require efficient, virtualized, real-time storage management for today's dynamically changing environments, RealStor 2.0 delivers unprecedented access to data with greater predictability, reliability and affordability. Unlike other storage management solutions, RealStor 2.0 innovations offer three options to maximize flash utilization with autonomic real-time tiering, LUN-pinning and read-caching. RealStor also improves data reliability with advanced snapshots, thin provisioning and faster rebuilds, resulting in new and more efficient storage management capabilities for hybrid arrays.

"For years, the world's biggest names in the storage industry have leveraged Dot Hill's proven RAID hardware in combination with our innovative software for advanced data management," said Dana Kammersgard, president and CEO of Dot Hill Systems. "Our next-generation software storage management solution, RealStor 2.0, marks a major milestone in innovation for Dot Hill and provides new affordability and enterprise management capabilities for hybrid flash arrays."

RealStor 2.0 features and user benefits include:

  • RealTier autonomic real-time tiering. Storage tiering allows organizations to save up to 75 percent on storage expenses by more efficiently using lower-cost storage. By providing real-time, autonomic data tiering, the powerful RealTier feature allows hybrid storage arrays to deliver performance comparable to all-flash arrays at a fraction of the price. Data is autonomically placed and subsequently moved across as many as three tiers, including flash, high speed disk and near-line large capacity devices.
  • RealPool automatically virtualizes storage across device types and simplifies disk management in heterogeneous environments while enabling a wide array of advanced features, such as thin provisioning, rapid RAID rebuild, and tiering. While competitors' products create one pool per device type (performance, standard, archive), RealStor 2.0's virtualized pools combine any and all device types into a single, versatile pool. This enables users to leverage multiple device types for added flexibility and optimization, improving I/O operations by two and one-half times without impacting application performance.
  • RealThin thin provisioning optimizes capacity management and offers advanced capacity management, which reduces the cost of capacity investments by up to 50 percent. Instead of reserving and consuming storage when host volumes are created, thin provisioning only consumes capacity as needed by applications.
  • RealSnap virtual snapshots dramatically streamline the action of creating point-in-time images, providing capabilities to snap volumes multiple times with no performance impact for improved backup and recovery. Snaps can be nested hierarchically and are fully writable.
  • RealQuick rebuild improves system up-time and data protection by reducing the risk of data loss after a drive failure. Rebuilding only the data that is being used, not the full RAID set, translates into up to 10 times faster restore time for drives based upon utilization. With nothing to set or configure, this feature restores complete fault tolerance faster to the RAID set and reduces the duration of potential application performance degradation due to one or multiple device failures.
  • RealCache read caching provides on-demand performance for peak loads, far exceeding memory cache capabilities of the controller. RealCache allows solid-state drive (SSD) cache to become an extension of the controller cache, increasing effective cache capacity by up to 100 times compared to disk, increasing IOPS performance for read-centric workloads. In addition, one or more entire LUNs can be assigned (or excluded from) a flash or any other tier.

Customers Speak Out About How RealStor Solves Their Real-World Problems

"We pride ourselves on partnering with leading innovators in storage hardware and software to help our resellers offer storage solutions with tremendous business value as opposed to tremendously large price tags," said Rick Crane, president and CEO of PAC Data, a nation-wide distributor focused on storage, backup, and disaster recovery solutions. "RealStor enables organizations to gain greater management efficiencies and more ROI from their storage assets—a solution that many customers find compelling in terms of price point and ease of use."

Smith Affiliated Capital implemented Dot Hill RealStor to address the company's new uber virtual engagement models, which are essential to attracting and retaining a new generation of clients. As a result, all of Smith Capital's data is now managed in real-time with greatly improved overall storage and network performance.

"This is absolutely the best product we've purchased in the last 25 years," said John K. Smith, chief operating officer, Smith Capital. "A solution that figures out how my organization works and uses that information to provide the quickest access to my data, how I need it and when I need it—now that's brilliant!"

Faced with the challenge of monitoring 2,000 video surveillance cameras capturing high quality video that had required constant increases to costly storage capacity, the Bakersfield City School District implemented Dot Hill RealStor. The district was able to utilize real-time video compression without impacting application performance, and reduce storage requirements by more than 30 percent.

"We needed to replace our aging storage system, which was ill-equipped to keep up with demands," said Jonathan Foth, network systems engineer for the Bakersfield School District. "The system needed to handle fast transaction workloads consistently and also provide cost-effective archival storage for video files. On this, Dot Hill RealStor has really delivered."

Dot Hill Continues to Drive Storage Management Innovation with RealTier 2.0

The RealTier management component of Dot Hill RealStor 2.0 optimizes next-generation hybrid storage systems by responding to dynamically changing data without human intervention or policy settings. Using sophisticated algorithms and small, efficient sub-LUN block sizes, RealTier 2.0 places the data autonomically with granular precision in each tier to optimize performance for hot data in real-time. The most frequently accessed blocks of hot data are stored in the highest tier of SSD storage, providing extremely fast read and write access. The storage system's lower tier(s) use less expensive 10K and/or near-line large capacity drives to provide high capacity and value for "cold" data that is accessed less frequently. This contrasts significantly with competitors' read-cache implementations that rely on simplistic algorithms to optimize read-performance and lack the intelligence necessary to migrate rarely accessed data to lower, high-capacity tiers. Unlike other solutions that batch migrate data once a day, Dot Hill's RealStor 2.0 can invisibly move data through up to three tiers in real-time, automatically placing the most frequently accessed data at any given point in time in the flash tier, while simultaneously moving seldom accessed data at any given point in time down to a slower speed device.

"When it launched, Dot Hill's RealStor dramatically extended the potential for storage tiering to deliver real value; whereas tiering has invariably been done infrequently and in large 'data clumps', Dot Hill's RealStor provided a far more effective real-time and granular approach," said Mark Peters, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "Now Dot Hill is taking things up another notch with its RealStor 2.0 while offering new features to further optimize storage management and performance and getting the functional clout that will allow it to serve a broader range of markets and applications, in addition to its traditional midrange focus."


Dot Hill RealStor 2.0 is now shipping with all AssuredSAN arrays with 4004 storage controllers. Customers who have previously purchased AssuredSAN systems equipped with 4004 controllers can acquire the RealStor 2.0 software suite from authorized Dot Hill partners. Dot Hill RealStor customers with SSD drives can unlock the RealTier premium component via a licensing key and upgrade charge. For details, go to

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 from those expressed or implied by the statements. For a discussion of risks and uncertainties that Dot Hill may face, please consult the Forms 10-K and 10-Q most recently filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by Dot Hill. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they were made and Dot Hill undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect changes in circumstances and Dot Hill is not responsible for statements made by third parties, such as PAC Data, Smith Affiliated Capital, the Bakersfield School District and Enterprise Strategy Group.

Steve Sturgeon
Lutz PR (for Dot Hill Systems)

Company Contact:
Ruth Macdonald
Dot Hill Systems

Source:Dot Hill Systems Corporation