Originally featured on
Jul 9

Written by:
7/9/2009 6:11 PM  RssIcon

IBC2009 Preview

Sonnet Technologies

Stand 7.G01

Company Background:

Sonnet Technologies Inc. of Irvine, Calif. is a leader in providing local storage systems for professional users of Macintosh®, Windows®, and UNIX® systems in the film, video, and broadcast industries. Since its founding in 1986, Sonnet has pioneered and brought to market innovative solutions that enhance the performance and connectivity of Macintosh and industry-standard computers. Today, the company is a world-leading computer hardware upgrade company with a product line featuring a range of high-performance, cost-effective, and reliable storage solutions, as well as a variety of performance-extending upgrade cards. More information is available at

New Sonnet Products on Display at IBC2009:

Qio™ Professional Universal Media Reader/Writer

Attendees at IBC2009 will be able to see Sonnet's Qio™ universal media reader/writer. Designed for in-studio or on-location applications, the Qio offers a convenient and cost-effective alternative to stand-alone card readers, controllers, and adapters. It features dual P2, SxS, and CompactFlash® slots and the ability to transfer data from two cards concurrently, allowing users to offload files more quickly and efficiently. For almost any other memory card type, including Memory Stick™, MMC, SD, and xD-Picture, the Sonnet 21-in-1 multimedia memory card reader and writer is included. For quick migration of data, the Qio integrates a complete SATA controller based on Sonnet's Tempo™ SATA E4P SATA card, which through four eSATA ports, enables users to connect two Sonnet Fusion™ F2 portable storage systems or four drive enclosures with port multipliers for access of up to 20 SATA drives.

The Qio connects to a computer through an included cable and either an ExpressCard®/34 (for notebooks) or a PCIe (for desktops) interface adapter. The included adapter extends the computer's PCIe bus outside the box, providing faster performance than USB and FireWire® interfaces. Since ExpressCard connectors also carry USB signals, Sonnet designed the Qio to extend the USB bus through the ExpressCard slots as well. The reader/writer's SxS slots also double as ExpressCard/34 slots, while the P2 slots are compatible with CardBus cards, including Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi, USB, FireWire, and more. For notebook users, this effectively quadruples the number of expansion card slots available, while enabling desktop users to swap adapter cards without the need for opening their computers' cases.

Fusion™ RX1600RAID Storage System

The Fusion™ RX1600RAID is a high-performance, high-capacity direct-attached 16-drive SATA storage system with an internal SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) expander that provides data throughput speeds suitable for work with uncompressed HD video up to 2K resolution. Available with 1TB Enterprise hard drive modules or 1.5TB Sonnet-certified desktop drive modules, this 3U rackmount system is designed for use in demanding editing and content creation environments, delivering high data throughput while providing file protection and redundancy with its RAID 5 and RAID 6 support. With 16 1TB drives formatted as a RAID 5 set, Fusion RX1600RAID delivers data transfer speeds up to 1,000 MB/sec read and 750 MB/sec write. Fusion RX1600RAID provides users the flexibility of choosing from multiple RAID schemes. RAID 5 and RAID 6 support offer balanced performance and protection, and enable safe recovery from single- and double-drive failures, respectively. The drive modules themselves are hot-swappable, as are the system's fans and dual redundant 350W power supplies, to enable quick component replacement with minimal down time. An integrated SAS expander enables fast, easy expansion of the Sonnet system, allowing the user to connect additional 16-drive enclosures without an additional RAID controller card.

The Sonnet Fusion RX1600RAID is compatible with Mac OS® X Version 10.4.8+; Windows® Vista, Server 2008, Server 2003, and XP Pro; and various Linux® operating systems and architectures with x8 PCI Express slots. The product is preformatted for use with Mac OS-based computers and can be set up within a short period of time, saving Mac® users several hours in bringing storage online. The system is also SES 2.0 compliant, providing operators with enhanced real-time monitoring and reporting of drive, power supply, temperature, and fan status. Operators can use S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) monitoring parameters in configuring the system to issue on-screen alerts, trigger fault LEDs, and provide audible warnings via the drive enclosure's built-in alarm and the computer's speaker. The system also can be set up to send e-mail alerts to designated addresses.

Fusion™ D400QR5 and R400QR5 RAID 5 Storage Systems With Quad Interface

Sonnet's Fusion™ D400QR5 desktop and R400QR5 rackmount SATA storage systems deliver speed, reliability, and versatility in easy-to-deploy packages. Available in 2, 3, 4, or 6TB configurations, the four-drive 400QR5 systems offer data transfers up to 224 MB/sec and 177 MB/sec write when connected via eSATA and with their drives configured as a RAID 5 set.

Both systems feature an integrated RAID controller that supports RAID 5 internally, delivering data protection in the event of a drive failure, and eliminating the need for a specialized RAID controller card. The D400QR5 and R400QR5 offer a choice of four interfaces for extra flexibility: eSATA for maximum throughput, FireWire® 800 for medium speed, and FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 for convenience. These one-cable connections simplify setup and cut cable clutter without compromising performance. All four interface cables are included with the units.

The 400QR5 systems' informative displays provide operating status at a glance, while integrated controls enable users to select from multiple RAID modes and configure the SATA drives easily to meet their performance and data security needs for a variety of workflows. The D400QR5 and R400QR5 offer quiet operation with low-noise fans, and provide flexibility in mixed environments, supporting Mac OS®X, Windows Vista®, Windows® XP, and Linu® operating systems.

Fusion™ R400P Storage System

Ideal for users looking to make a controlled investment in basic RAID storage, the Fusion™ R400P 4-bay SATA storage system is available in configurations from 0TB to 6TB. The unit's fast eSATA interface offers a significant improvement in data transfer speeds when compared with single FireWire® 800, FireWire 400, or USB. When used along with a SATA controller card, such as Sonnet's Tempo™ SATA E4P, Tempo SATA X4P, or Tempo SATA Pro ExpressCard®/34, the Fusion R400P can support multiple streams of ProRes HD video. The system supports simple software-configured storage according to the user's needs: RAID 0 storage for speed, RAID 1 for redundancy, and JBOD (Just a Bunch of Drives) for archiving.

Transferring four drives' data through its integrated port multiplier, the Fusion R400P requires only a single eSATA cable connection to the host controller. The 1U Fusion drive enclosure installs quickly and cleanly in most racks and serves as an attractive low-profile unit when used on the desktop. Employing low noise fans, the Sonnet system operates quietly enough for use in noise-sensitive environments. The Fusion R400P features four hot-swappable, interchangeable drive trays that are compatible with many Fusion desktop and rackmount storage systems, giving owners of multiple Fusion systems the flexibility to move drives among their storage enclosures. Fusion R400P is platform-independent and thus compatible with Mac OS®, Windows®, and Linux® systems.

Fusion™ DX800RAID Storage System

The Sonnet Fusion™ DX800RAID is a high-performance eight-drive RAID SATA storage system with a built-in SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) expander that enables up to 16 eight-drive enclosures to be hosted through a single Sonnet RAID controller. While offering fast, easy, and cost-effective expansion of storage capacity without concern for the number of available PCI Express slots, a single Fusion DX800RAID also provides the speed required for working with uncompressed 10-bit 1080 HD video streams and the data security and monitoring critical in a large RAID system. With eight 1.5TB drives formatted as a RAID 5 group, a Fusion DX800RAID yields impressive read and write file transfer speeds of up to 815 MB/sec and 715 MB/sec, respectively.

Within its compact eight-drive enclosure, the Fusion DX800RAID — both the complete system

and the expansion chassis — features eight preinstalled, preformatted (Mac OS®) 3.5-inch RAID/Enterprise edition or Sonnet-certified desktop hard drive modules. Both models are available in configurations from 4TB to 12TB. Support for both RAID 5 and RAID 6 formatting provides protection in the event of single- or double-drive failure, respectively, thus maintaining the high level of data security suitable for large RAID volumes. The reliability of the Fusion DX800RAID is further supported by SES (SCSI Enclosure Services) 2.0 compliance, a feature more commonly found on large enterprise storage systems, and enhanced S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) data reporting for each hard drive installed in the system. Integrated into the Fusion DX800RAID, SES functionality provides enhanced real-time monitoring and reporting of drive, power supply, and temperature status, all conveyed to the user through utility application screens and the illumination of conveniently placed LEDs on the enclosure. S.M.A.R.T. data criteria can be used to notify the user of an impending drive failure, thus enabling the user to minimize downtime as a result.

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