Enhance Technology UltraStor RS16 IP-4 review

Enhance Technology's latest IP SAN appliance has value, expansion potential and performance high on its agenda. In this exclusive review Dave Mitchell finds out whether these make up for its basic hardware redundancy.

Snapshots can be presented to selected hosts for data restoration and will appear as read-only optical drives.

Snapshots can be presented to selected hosts for data restoration and will appear as read-only optical drives.

You can migrate VGs to different RAID array types and expand their capacity into extra physical drives. UDVs can also be expanded into spare space within their parent VG simply by clicking on a button in their size column and entering a new capacity.

For performance testing, we created four UDVs and used a wildcard entry to allow access for all hosts. We used four test servers running Windows Server 2008 R2 and equipped with either dual Xeon 5500 or Opteron 4100 processors.

Each server was logged into a different portal IP address on the appliance giving each one a dedicated Gigabit connection. The Iometer utility was used to test raw read and write performance and each server was run on a different UDV to avoid any contention.

With one server we saw Iometer report read and write speeds of 112MB/s and 110MB/s. Adding a second server to the mix saw overall throughput increase to 223MB/s and 220MB/s.

With a third server running Iometer we saw throughout rise to 336MB/s and 331MB/s. Finally, with all four servers in the mix we recorded cumulative raw read and write throughputs of 446MB/s and 421MB/s showing no contention for resources on the controller was occurring.

The RS16 IP-4 delivers impressive performance under load and costs a lot less than products such as HP's StorageWorks P2000 G3. If you don't need or want dual redundant RAID controllers then this IP SAN appliance is worth considering.

So what's our verdict?


The UltraStor RS16 IP-4 provides a reasonable set of IP SAN storage features and we found it very easy to deploy. At this low price you won’t get dual controllers and redundant paths to expansion shelves, but it's still worth considering if you're looking for an IP SAN solution at a low price and willing to sacrifice features and redundancy to get it.

Chassis: 3U rack Storage: 16 x 3Gbit/s SAS/SATA hot-swap bays Hard disks: 16 x 1TB SATA2 disks Power: 2 x 460W hot-swap power supplies Cooling: 2 x hot-swap fan modules RAID controller with the following: CPU: 1.2GHz Intel IOP 81342 Memory: 2GB DDR2 cache Array support: RAID0, 1, 3, 5, 6, 10, 30, 50, 60, JBOD Network: 4 x Gigabit Ethernet data ports, 10/100 management port Expansion: SFF8470 Mini-SAS port Management: Web browser, CLI

Dave Mitchell

Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.

Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.