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Astute Networks intros storage virtualization software to be used with its Pericles processor
Announced Date: 4/8/2003 Published Date: 4/9/2003

Astute Networks of San Diego, a supplier of silicon-based storage technologies, which on October 21st 2002 introduced Pericles, a high performance scalable intelligent network storage processor, announced the introduction of storage virtualization software designed to significantly decrease time-to-market for storage OEMs developing intelligent SAN systems.

In combination with Pericles, Astute claims the new software enables advanced storage services such as next generation storage pooling, data migration, mirroring, high availability, snapshot and LUN masking to be implemented in scalable, high-port density storage systems without performance degradation.

The announcement commented that next generation software for advanced storage services supports an architecture in which the control path is separated from the data path, enabling high-performance intelligent SAN systems that scale to thousands of ports. With such a separation, a single control path can control multiple data paths, providing scalability and reducing operating costs.

Data path processing is performed by an intelligent storage processor, such as Astute's, to achieve port densities as high as 12 ports per chip.

Astute Networks has released two turnkey software APIs, corresponding to control path and data path processing:

  1. The Fast-Path Virtualization Module (FVM): designed to use the internal Pericles hardware storage protocol engines for data path processing, mapping virtual to physical storage volumes.

  2. The Host Virtualization Module: control path software designed to abstract the FVM, providing a single, easy to use interface with C-level primitives that OEMs can use to implement their advanced storage service applications.

Pericles has dual SPI-4.2 ports allowing traffic to flow through the network to a switching fabric - a key requirement for blades or platforms - and an aggregate, full duplex bandwidth greater than 10 Gbit/s. It is based on combining parallel processor architecture with embedded hardware acceleration engines for handling stateful protocols, which are not only designed to accelerate any storage protocol but also to speed up functions used to support virtualization - including synchronous and asynchronous mirroring, data migration, replication, backup, snapshot, failover, and real time traffic monitoring.

Pericles can also be used for other intelligent networking applications including intrusion detection systems, Layer 7 switches, server load balancing, blade server systems, stateful firewalls and SSL acceleration platforms.

On March 18th 2003, Astute announced the availability of its Pericles Hardware Development Kit - a modular system built around the Pericles intelligent storage processor, and including a selection of daughter cards connected via high-speed SPI-4.2 connectors.

Astute Networks aims to serve OEM customers including manufacturers of intelligent SAN switches, virtualization platforms, iSCSI gateways, FCIP gateways, SAN devices, multi-protocol SAN switches and storage disk arrays.

The company was formed in April 2000 and has raised more than $23 million in venture capital funding led by US Venture Partners and BA Venture Partners.