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Dot Hill Adds Six New Patents to Technology Portfolio

Monday, April 05, 2010

Company Adds Third Super Capacitor Technology Patent for its Innovative EcoStor Battery-free Cache Solution

Longmont, CO -- Dot Hill Systems Corp. (Nasdaq: HILL), a provider of world-class storage solutions and software for OEMs, open storage partners and system integrators, today announced that it has been granted six new patents by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, bringing the company's portfolio to a total of 62 patents.

The new patents include the third super capacitor technology patent granted to Dot Hill for its pioneering use of super capacitors and flash memory as part of the company's patented EcoStor™ "green" battery-free alternative for cache memory for the company's high availability storage area network (SAN) and direct-attach 2000 and 3000 Series products. The EcoStor approach outlasts traditional batteries nearly fivefold, providing lower maintenance and disposal costs and reduced server and application down time due to scheduled battery replacement and maintenance. Dot Hill was an early pioneer in the technology, introducing battery-less cache protection as early as 2005 with its first 2000 Series products.

"Our engineering team continues to accelerate innovation at Dot Hill, as evidenced by this latest round of registered patents," said Jim Kuenzel, senior vice president of Engineering for Dot Hill. "We recognize that customers are always looking for better ways to implement and manage their storage, which is why we put such a focus on designing solutions that make a difference."

The latest Dot Hill patents achieved include:

U.S. Patent 7,661,002 "Storage controller super capacitor dynamic voltage throttling"

This technology provides a way to maintain super capacitor lifetime by adjusting its voltage in the presence of higher than expected operating temperatures. A temperature sensor recognizes that a capacitor pack has risen above a predetermined threshold while operating at a first voltage value and determines whether a projected lifetime of the capacitor pack is less than the lifetime warranted by the capacitor pack manufacturer. If the projected lifetime is less than the warranted lifetime, a microprocessor reduces the operating voltage of the capacitor pack to a second value, in order to increase the capacitor pack lifetime.

U.S. Patent 7,627,780 "Apparatus and method for deterministically performing active-active failover of redundant servers in a network storage appliance"

This innovation provides a method of guaranteeing reliable embedded server failover in the event of a server failure in a network storage appliance with multiple redundant servers. Unique hardware and software in each server is used to make sure that failover occurs reliably and a surviving server takes over for a failed server.

U.S. Patent 7,661,014 "Network storage appliance with integrated server and redundant storage controllers"

This invention provides a redundant blade-oriented architecture to transfer data between one or more application servers and two or more storage controllers within a network storage appliance. This innovation provides for continuous data transfers in the event of a module failure.

U.S. Patent 7,673,185 "Adaptive SAS PHY configuration"

This innovation improves reliability of serial attached SCSI (SAS) links by optimizing physical configuration settings when errors rise above a specified threshold. A table containing different sets of physical interface configuration settings is maintained by a SAS expander. When communication errors on the SAS link rise above the specified threshold, a microprocessor selects a different set of physical interface configuration parameters for use by the physical interface. In this way, a more optimal set of configuration parameters can be selected, if possible. If none of the sets of physical interface configuration parameters allow it to perform reliably, the physical interface is disabled. This invention allows automatic tuning of a SAS link to allow for various cable lengths, without requiring a user to make any measurements or input new operating parameters through a user interface for the SAS expander.

U.S. Patent 7,676,600 "Network, storage appliance, and method for externalizing an external I/O link between a server and a storage controller integrated within the storage appliance chassis"

This patent provides a novel way to interconnect a storage controller and a server in a storage appliance with external devices. The external devices may directly communicate with either the server, which runs various storage applications, or the storage controller. This allows the storage appliance to simultaneously support RAID applications, non-RAID applications, and embedded storage applications. Various and different hosts can then utilize the storage appliance according to how they need to operate.

U.S. Patent 7,681,089 "Redundant storage controller system with enhanced failure analysis capability"

This invention provides a reliable method for obtaining failure analysis information from a failing controller in a pair of redundant storage controllers. Information is automatically transferred from a failing controller to a surviving controller, and the surviving controller provides the failure analysis information to the system administrator. This is more reliable than the conventional method of having the failing controller provide the failure analysis information to the system administrator, and does not require a reboot of the failed controller to attempt to obtain the failure analysis information.

About Dot Hill

Delivering innovative technology and global support, Dot Hill empowers OEMs and resellers to bring unique storage solutions to market, quickly, easily and cost-effectively. Offering high performance and industry-leading uptime, Dot Hill's RAID technology is the foundation for best-in-class storage solutions offering enterprise-class security, availability and data protection. The company's products are in use today by the world's leading service and equipment providers, common carriers, advanced technology and telecommunications companies as well as government agencies. Dot Hill solutions are certified to meet rigorous industry standards and military specifications, as well as RoHS and WEEE international environmental standards. Headquartered in Longmont, Colo., Dot Hill has offices and/or representatives inChina, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States.

For more information, visit us at

Certain statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical fact are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Forward-looking statements include the availability and performance of current or future Dot Hill product features based on the patented technology described in this press release, any competitive advantage that the patents and technology provide to Dot Hill, any positive effect on Dot Hill's financial results due to the patents, and Dot Hill's ability to continue to receive patent protection on current or future technology. The risks that contribute to the uncertain nature of the forward-looking statements include: any unforeseen technological, intellectual property, supply or engineering issues, and changing customer preferences. However, there are many other risks not listed here that may affect the future business of Dot Hill, as well as the forward-looking statements contained herein. To learn about such risks and uncertainties, you should read the risk factors set forth in Dot Hill's public filings with the SEC, including the Forms 8-K, 10-K and 10-Q most recently filed by Dot Hill. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as the date on which they were made. Dot Hill undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect later events or circumstances.

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