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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Storage Systems for Massive Image Files

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Product Update

Storage Systems for Massive Image Files

by Rich Handley

September 2001



The comedian George Carlin-not a name one might expect to see evoked within the pages of Advanced Imaging, to be sure-used to perform an hilarious sketch about the "stuff" people accumulate: how people buy more and more "stuff" until they fill up their home, then move to a bigger house in order to store that "stuff," then go out to get more "stuff" to fill the new house after they move, and so on and so forth.
For imaging professionals, there is much wisdom to Carlin's humor. Being able to create bigger and bigger image files, and more of them, is a valuable asset, certainly-but if there's nowhere to store them, then the point is moot. In this graphics- and video-intensive world, finding the best storage systems for massive image files is a paramount concern-one that will only continue to increase with time. Just like Carlin and his "stuff," those searching for better storage solutions for their image files are just as likely to run out of space again once they find them. In the meantime, the following companies' products can at least alleviate the problem...


The POPnetserver 2000, from FIA Storage Systems. The POPnetserver 2000, from FIA Storage Systems.

The FIA Storage Systems Group (San Clemente, CA) has designed the POPnetserver 2000, an entry-level network-attached storage (NAS) appliance for small businesses, departments and workgroups. Flexible as a standalone, stackable or rack-mount unit, the POPnetserver 2000 three-drive systems is available in 40GB, 80GB, or 120GB configurations and significantly reduces network management time by providing optimized file access to multiple heterogeneous clients. The POPnetserver 2000 supports all major network protocols in mixed NT, Apple, Netware and UNIX environments and can be configured for RAID 0 (one large virtual drive with data striped across all physical drives) or RAID 1 (in which the second set of drives duplicates the first set).

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Also from FIA Storage Systems, the POPnetserver 4000. Also from FIA Storage Systems, the POPnetserver 4000.

A higher-capacity NAS appliance from FIA Storage Systems is the POPnetserver4000, which features four hot-swappable drives that can provide up to 320GB of storage capacity in a 1U enclosure. Loaded with features to enhance reliability, the POPnetserver 4000 is pre-configured for RAID 5 plus hot-sparing, providing automatic fail-over protection. RAID 0, RAID 1 (mirroring), and RAID 5 (striping with parity) are also available. A built-in sequential multi-kernel boot technique allows for booting from any drive within the system, useful if any drive should fail under RAID1. Additionally, network administrators can add or change drives without taking the system off-line, thanks to the server's four hot-swappable drives.

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Minds@Work (Irvine, CA) has expanded its line of Digital Wallet portable storage devices, making it available with three capacities of storage: three, ten, and twenty gigabytes. This self-powered mass storage device works independently of a computer and can store more than 20,000 high-resolution photos or 366-plus hours of digital audio. Geared toward professional photographers and business travelers who require storage and transportability options for large textual and graphic-rich files, the Digital Wallet utilizes a Motorola ColdFire microprocessor, a 2.5" hard drive, and a rechargeable battery system. The Digital Wallet family, compatible with Windows 98/2000/ME, Mac, and Linux OS, supports a variety of FLASH cards and memory sticks.

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