Hammer Storage Pounds Out Disruptive 1TB Appliance

The new device resembles a microwave oven, offers remote access and provides the functionality of a network storage device at a price that may boggle some minds.

Consumer/small-office storage vendor Hammer Storage on March 22 introduced a new appliance resembling a microwave oven that provides 1TB of data storage—for a retail price of $499.

The appliance, called Myshare 1TB, is the first release in a new product line now being developed by Hammer, a division of Bell Microproducts. Myshare comes with two SATA II hard drives along with two USB ports to centralize printers and external hard drives, a company spokesperson said.

Myshare offers remote access via IP/TCP ports; all content stored on the unit can be made accessible from anywhere through a Web GUI. Selective access to sharing folders can be set up by the administrator.

When used as a network storage appliance, Myshare can be accessed whether or not the computers are on, the spokesperson said. It plugs into the network through a gigabit interface and can sit under any home router or switch, eliminating the need for externally attached storage, add-on internal disk drives, removable media, print servers and remote storage.

Myshare comes with RAID levels 0, 1 and JBOD software to provide protection choices, such as mirroring data. Content stored on Myshare is secured from online intruders with SSL certificates and can be configured with multiple user and group permissions.

For small businesses with a domain server, Myshare can tie into the domain, thus enabling the use of the same password and access that is already in place.

"Weve tested the Hammer products in our test labs, and theyre great quality—theyre bulletproof," said Jon Toigo, an independent storage analyst and consultant who blogs at the popular storage analysis site, DrunkenData.com.

"Bell Microproducts [the parent company of Hammer] distributes 70 percent of all the hard drives in the world outside of PCs," Toigo said. "They work with Seagate, HP, EMC, IBM—all the major companies. They can use their vast resources to build their own inexpensive storage unit like this.

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"The cabinets are really pretty ... they look pretty enough for the home consumer, but they have enough scalability and capacity to go into more fashionable business offices as well."

Wireless access to all content

When connected to a wireless router, Myshare allows laptop users to access content or print without plugging in. Users can also back up their files, photos and other data wirelessly to a Myshare unit.

Myshare enables users to share digital content within the home and among different computer platforms, including PC, Mac and Linux workstations. Content trapped in an individual computer becomes available to all those connected to the home network, the spokesperson said.

Once plugged into Myshare, USB printers and storage devices—including flash memory sticks—can also be shared over the home network, the spokesperson said.

Next Page: Why Myshare is a disruptive technology.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 10 years and more than 3,500 stories at eWEEK, he has distinguished...