Harmonic introduced a new version of the Omneon MediaGrid active storage system that relies in part on integrated RAID to lower the cost-of-storage capacity.

The new system is the combination of new scale-out storage hardware, the ContentServer 3000, and the third major iteration of the Omneon MediaGrid file system software that features integrated software RAID for efficient and smart data protection.

These advances, combined with the online scaling capability and integration with leading media applications, will enable users to deploy central storage without trading performance, scalability or interoperability for lower storage costs, the company said.

"Omneon MediaGrid is being used as shared storage by content producers and broadcasters worldwide in file-based workflows for its high performance, continuous scalability and seamless integration with media applications," said Geoff Stedman, senior vice president for corporate marketing at Harmonic. "With this reduction in the cost of Omneon MediaGrid storage, we're now extending our value proposition and giving customers a high-end storage product for a wider range of media workflows."

The new ContentServer 3000 hardware has a 3RU form factor that houses 16 3.5-inch SATA2 hot-swappable hard disk drives (HDDs). It has dual active-active controllers for high availability.

Users can start with a few terabytes in capacity and, without taking the system offline, seamlessly grow to multiple petabytes, Harmonic said. The system linearly scales bandwidth as new capacity is added.

Version 3.0 of the Omneon MediaGrid file system software has built-in software RAID to deliver very high levels of storage efficiency while still ensuring fast application performance and high availability. It offers both RAID6 (dual-parity) and RAID4 (single-parity) options, enabling users to balance storage capacity with performance based on their workflow needs.

A key differentiation of the Omneon MediaGrid file system, the file system driver (FSD) client-side software will continue to provide applications with fast and parallel access to data distributed across multiple ContentServers, unlike the slow and serial access to content provided by generic NAS or clustered NAS systems, Harmonic explained.

With no special license cost associated to the file system driver, users can deploy these software agents on as many clients and servers as they would like without worrying about license costs.