Geekspeak: May 20, 2002

Ateonix claims 512-petabyte capacity--who's to argue?

A new NAS appliance with interesting design options isnt particularly exciting. What is exciting is 512 petabytes—storage capacity so large you practically laugh saying it. Of course, no NAS appliance currently provides 512 petabytes, but Ateonix Networks (www.ateonix.com) says its NASAS-2040 appliance could support 512 petabytes right now—if only there were drives out there that could accommodate 100-plus petabytes.

The NASAS-2040 runs a customized version of Linux 2.4 that boots from a 16MB ROM chip. The Linux-based support for 48-bit IDE extensions gives the appliance its ability to handle very large drives. But it cant even reach a terabyte right now (its maximum is four 160GB drives, or 640GB total). Huge capacity aside, the NASAS-2040 is a capable NAS appliance, with a journaling file system and full support for standard file sharing protocols. Its priced at $2,000 without drives, although pricing will vary depending on distributor.

And dont hold your breath waiting for those 512 petabytes. Today, one petabyte in a NAS appliance sounds like a pipe dream.