Active Storage ( has introduced Innerpool, a new class of RAID storage solution designed to store metadata volumes that are so critical to Media focused SANs (storage area networks).

Featuring a “zero U” design, Innerpool resides inside a SAN’s Metadata Controller, yet provides on-board RAID storage via 2.5-inch rotating media drives or performance-tuned Intel SSD drives. Innerpool is installed in pairs, one in each Xsan Metadata Controller and hosts the critical Metadata LUN, rather than tasking the storage systems that host data volumes, according to Active Storage CEO Alex Grossman.

Innerpool is a patent-pending design self-contained RAID system, based on a pair of PCI Express cards, each that hosts a RAID processor, two ports of 4 Gigabit Fibre Channel and two drives that can be either 7200 RPM 2.5-inch drives, or Intel SSD drives tuned to deliver up to 3.5X performance typically associated with SSD drives.

The cards connect one of their two Fibre Channel ports to the SAN, and to each other over the remaining ports to provide a fully redundant and mirrored copy of the Metadata volume on each Innerpool — allowing fully redundant and automatic failover/failback functionality. Innerpool will be available through Active Storage resellers in June starting at US$2,499.