Raw Ethernet Comes to Storage

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There has always been a desire to simplify all the protocols that IT organizations are forced to throw at storage solutions in the data center. But if Coraid has its way, most of those protocols will soon be replaced by a native Ethernet solution that is five to eight times faster than existing Fibre Channel or iSCSI products.

According to Coraid CEO Kevin Brown, most IT organizations until now have not been able to reconcile the need for high performance with lower costs. To solve this probem, Coraid developed the EtherDrive, which is priced below $500 per terabyte but can deliver 500MB per second of throughput using an ATA-over-Ethernet protocol that the company developed.

Coraid announced today that the company has received an additional $10 million in funding, which may not seem like a whole lot given the size of the storage companies that Coraid is trying to usurp. But one thing that is for certain is that IT managers have let vendors sell them overly complex approaches to storage for years, resulting in massive costs.

To address this problem, many customers are now investigating storage virtualization. But rather than deploying a virtual overlay on top of existing storage architectures, Brown argues that the time has come to leverage the raw throughput of Ethernet to solve the problem.

Brown says that EtherDrive, which was developed by company CTO Brantley Coile, has already been deployed at over 1,000 customer sites. Coile, meanwhile, previously worked on the development of Cisco PIX firewall and Local Director technologies before founding Coraid.