American Megatrends Inc., best known for making computer BIOSes, plans to expand its role in enterprise storage technology.
AMI already sells NAS (network- attached storage) software with a FreeBSD operating system called StorTrends.
The company also sells storage server components for backplanes and for JBOD, or just a bunch of disks, formats. But the NAS software, upgraded from Version 1.0 to 1.1 last week, may soon be embedded in other companies hardware.
"Weve had some discussions with some other people we hope to partner with. ... These are big companies, industry leaders," said founder and President Subramonian Shankar.
For that and an iSCSI target-side device, "we expect to have a product that we are willing to start shipping [in the third or fourth quarter] of this year," Shankar said.
Until then, StorTrends 1.1 adds support for Apple Computer Inc.s AppleTalk and Novell Inc.s NetWare networking lines, HTTP and FTP file support, Secure Sockets Layer security, incremental backup features, and new management interfaces.
File system journaling and thresholding are also new, said officials with the Atlanta company.
The software is sold to OEMs, but none of the OEMs have been publicly announced by AMI.
In addition, AMI is working on a storage gateway product, Shankar said. That software is scalable through daisy chaining and provides load balancing, disaster recovery and storage virtualization features.
The product is being developed entirely in-house and will be available later this year or early next year, Shankar said.
Randy Kearns, an analyst with Evaluator Group Inc., in Greenwood Village, Colo., is skeptical of AMIs road map. "Theyre not a market force at all. [NAS] has a very low barrier to entry," Kearns said.
And regarding the upcoming mainstream partnerships promised by Shankar, "they play in the desktop space, so whats big to them could be insignificant in the scheme of things," Kearns said.