FastStream RAID Storage Controllers FAQs


Q: What is the ATTO FastStream SC?
A: ATTO FastStream Storage Controllers are high-performance devices, independent of storage which add instant data protection while enabling you to pool your direct attached storage together and access it on your Storage Area Network (SAN). Connect individual disks, JBODs or RAID systems and instantly increase performance and reliability. In addition, you can expand RAID groups and add storage on-the-fly, growing as your needs grow. The ATTO FastStream is a unique solution that leverages ATTO's engineering expertise in data management. FastStream storage controllers offer high-performance features such as hardware-based RAID, multi-host connectivity, field serviceable design, all in a standard 1U – 19" external rack or desktop form factor.

Q: Why use a FastStream Storage Controller?
A: With skyrocketing storage demands coupled with shrinking budgets, companies continue to face increasing stress on their IT infrastructures. ATTO FastStream Storage Controllers directly resolves both of these issues. By offering companies the opportunity to network their existing Direct Attached Storage (DAS) creating a manageable pool of assets with the added benefit of RAID protected data. The FastStream has the performance to meet the most demanding needs including video and film editing, audio editing and playback, database and other high throughput applications.

Q: What separates the FastStream Storage Controller from off-the-shelf RAID solutions?
A: The FastStream Storage Controller utilizes ATTO patent-pending technologies, rather than off-the-shelf RAID solutions, to provide unsurpassed performance and category-leading flexibility. The FastStream is not an integrated solution; this allows organizations to continue to add lower cost JBOD storage as their need for capacity grows without the need to purchase more expensive RAID arrays every time you need additional storage capacity. Performance, protection, capacity expansion and added intelligence to storage are the main value points of the FastStream SC line.

Q: How many drives does the FastStream Storage Controller support?
A: The FastStream SC supports up to 128 target devices.

Q: What configurations are available?
A: ATTO FastStream Stroage Controllers are available in 1U rack and desktop configurations; additionally available as an embeddable MicroATX board. Interfaces include quad 4Gb Fibre Channel to dual (x4) SAS/SATA, dual 4Gb Fibre Channel to dual 4Gb Fibre Channel disk interfaces and quad 8Gb FC to (x4) SAS/SATA and quad 6Gb SAS to (x4) SAS/SATA.

Q: What is the maximum number of hosts that can be connected per FastStream Storage Controller?
A: Fibre Channel models of the FastStream Storage Controller support up to 96 host initiators.

Q: Does the FastStream support LUN Mapping?
A: Yes, the FastStream Storage Controller supports LUN Mapping. The ability to define which servers have access to which LUNs is handled through the LUN Mapping capabilities within the FastStream. Because the FastStream has independent Fibre Channel host interfaces the user will need to define which LUNs are accessible through which port. The default is that every LUN is accessible through each port.

Q: What are some of the management capabilities of the FastStream Storage Controller?
A:
  • SCSI Enclosure Services (SES)
  • System management designed into the firmware enables the status of the to be presented via RS-232, Ethernet or in-band via the Fibre Channel host connections
  • Environmental monitoring of temperature
  • Ability to configure and monitor subsystem using simple text commands
  • Alerts and warnings sent out via CLI as well as visual indicators via the ExpressNAV™ GUI
  • Alerts and warnings sent out via email to up to five specified email addresses
  • Component health monitoring of host interfaces, power supply, and drive interfaces
  • Event log and retrievable error log
  • Manual confirmation required for all activities that may result in destructive operations
  • System management console is password-protected
  • Automatically reports volume sizes and associated group members
  • Assigns Logical Unit Numbers (LUNs) to individual RAID volumes
  • Detailed help available on all configuration and management commands
  • System management can control host interface speed, duplexing, and or loop-type (Fibre Channel-AL, Fibre Channel-SW, (Point-to-point)

Q: What is the Ethernet port used for?
A: The Ethernet port is used for remote management. You can connect this to your network to monitor the FastStream. You can use Telnet to provide a CLI interface or use the user-friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI) via your web browser.

Q: Can the FastStream determine the performance and physical health of storage attached to it?
A: Thanks to our drive initialization and verification process utilized during setup, the FastStream Storage Controller can identify attached drives that have poor performance or may be exhibiting soft failures. This is helpful when diagnosing performance issues, drives with health or performance issues will be displayed on the GUI during setup. Drive performance can also be measured during normal FastStream operation as well as during the drive initialization process.

Q: How difficult is it to set up a FastStream?
A: Thanks to the one-click installation design of the FastStream Storage Controller, setup of RAID has never been easier. Our setup wizard is accessed via a browser-based GUI and provides a quick and complete setup of the FastStream in only a few clicks of your mouse.

Q: What Fibre Channel support does the FastStream Storage Controller provide?
A: The ATTO FastStream contains redundant Fibre Channel host ports operating at 4Gb/s or 8Gb/s. The host ports support FC-AL, and point-to-point operating modes.

Q: What types and speed drives are supported by the FastStream Storage Controller?
A: The ATTO FastStream works with 3Gb and 6Gb SAS or SATA disk drives.

Q: Can my existing storage be moved away from video editing workstations and servers?
A: The FastStream Storage Controller allows you to extend the distance your storage may be located from your workstations. By utilizing the Fibre Channel ports and forming a Storage Area Network (SAN) you can pool your storage together in one location almost anywhere at your location. This reduces noise, allows faster access to all data stored and clears workstations from the physical presence of Direct Attached Storage (DAS).

Q: What is the serial port used for?
A: The serial port is used for local management via a command line interface (CLI).

Q: What industry certifications are available?
A: The FastStream Storage Controller undergoes significant testing to meet key industry certifications. These certifications are conducted using industry-developed test programs.

Q: Can I add new features to the FastStream Storage Controller, even after it has been in use at my location?
A: ATTO develops features for our products even after they are released. With customer feedback and information from our marketing team, we add new features which are available to customers usually at no additional charge. For upgrade information, please contact your sales representative.

Q: What platforms are supported?
A: The FastStream Storage Controller is truly platform independent. The FastStream has been designed in accordance with the strict interoperability requirements of Fibre Channel, SAS and SATA specifications. ATTO Technology also has interoperability certifications with major players in the storage networking industry. ATTO's extensive partner network includes all the major vendors in the switch, host adapter, operating system, server and SAN software markets. By choosing the ATTO FastStream Storage Controller, customers are guaranteed greater interoperability across the SAN and can thereby reduce costs by developing truly best-of-breed solutions.

Q: What type of management information is available?
A: ATTO Technology makes it possible to maximize existing investment in SAN management software and has developed the FastStream Storage Controller in accordance with commonly accepted SNMP and SCSI Enclosure Services (SES) reporting capabilities. For customers without a centralized SAN management solution, the FastStream can deliver system administrators a quick and concise synopsis of the system's status via the Serial/Ethernet management ports or in-band via the Fibre Channel interface connections. Management is also provided via a browser-based GUI, you can access information on the FastStream from any computer connected to your network with a browser such as Internet Explorer, Safari or Firefox.

Q: What RAID levels are supported?
A: The FastStream Storage Controller line supports JBOD, DVRAID™ and RAID levels 0/1/4/5/6/10/50/60, all in one box with no additional hardware or software costs, allowing users to meet a variety of data management application needs. The ATTO RAID Stack has been in use in IT and DVA markets for over a decade and features industry leading performance, stability and features.

Q: What is DVRAID™?
A: DVRAID™ is ATTO's proprietary technology which is optimized for digital content creation environments which require protection in the event of a disk failure without the performance penalty traditionally seen with parity RAID. DVRAID supports the editing of 4k film, multiple 2k film streams, multiple uncompressed high definition (HD) video and multiple streams of real-time, uncompressed standard definition (SD) video.

Q: What support does the FastStream feature for audio?
A: The FastStream SC features a one-click setup for audio configurations. Tested with DigiDesign ProTools disk system test program to assist in the development of audio support, tracks were split, while crossovers and fades were edited every 300ms. The FastStream supports up to 192 tracks of 16 bit 44.1/48 MHz audio or 96 tracks of 24 bit 96 MHz audio per ProTools HD session with support for multiple remote sessions all while providing parity protection to your audio assets.

Q: What is the maximum number of storage devices that can be attached to the FastStream Storage Controller?
A: The FastStream SC can support 128 storage devices

Q: How much power does the FastStream use?
A: The FastStream Storage Controller draws only 50 watts.

Q: What can be hot swapped?
A: The FastStream Storage Controller ensures reliability and is considered a Field Replaceable Unit. All RAID configuration data is written to the storage attached to the FastStream, so in the event of a failure, the swap of the FastStream is all that is needed to be back up and running.

Q: How is the FastStream Storage Controller cooled?
A: The FastStream Storage Controller is cooled by convection and a dedicated fan.

Q: How is firmware upgraded?
A: Firmware is easily flashed from a host onto the FastStream Storage Controller through either the RS232 or Ethernet port that come standard on the FastStream. The process takes only minutes to complete. Easy field upgradeability ensures that customers can always be running with the latest capabilities and updates available.

Q: How does the FastStream achieve its fast performance in RAID configurations?
A: RAID applications are the most taxing on storage subsystems. These calculations (called XOR processes) ensure redundancy but are "compute intensive". The ATTO FastStream Storage Controller utilizes hardware to complete the XOR calculations. This removes the task from the processors running the storage and places the workload on components optimized for the job. ATTO uses patented technology coupled with custom software to accomplish this. ATTO has many years of RAID storage development experience that results in enhanced performance in the FastStream SC line.

Q: Is FastStream suitable for video applications?
A: The FastStream Storage Controller is optimized for video needs. The FastStream supports a wide selection of video solutions and configurations and has industry-proven results to support this. There are three key aspects to supporting a video application – 1) performance, 2) RAID protection, and 3) interoperability. The FastStream offers all three.

Q: What racks are compatible with FastStream?
A: Racks used should meet specifications of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) / Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) standard ANSI/EIA-310-D-92, International Electro-technical Commission (IEC) 297 and Deutsche Industrie Norm (DIN) 41494. View manuals which were provided with your rack to determine if it is compatible with these standards. (Desktop models are also available).

Q: What other equipment is FastStream Storage Controller interoperable with?
A: The ATTO FastStream Storage Controller is tested with an extensive list of third-party equipment such as HBAs, switches and ISV applications such as backup, disaster recovery and virtualization. For a complete listing, see the Compatibility Matrix on our website.

Q: What regulatory and safety certifcations has the FastStream SC been tested for?
A:

The FastStream Storage Controller is thoroughly tested for compliance with worldwide regulatory agency, safety and shipping certifications. Certifications include:

  • FCC 47 CFR, Part 15, Class A Title 47 of the CFR, Part 15, Subpart B for a Class A digital device
  • ICES-003, Class A
  • CE EN 55022 (CISPR 22) / EN 55024 (CISPR 24) / IEC EN 60950-1, LVD - 73/23/EEC, 89/336/EEC
  • UL 60950-1 / CSA C22.2 No. 60950-1, Listed with MET
  • RoHS

Q: What models are available?
A:View currently available ATTO FastStream Storage Controllers.



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