BOSTON—Gateway Inc. announced details of its expected new storage and server products today.
The companys product diversification—which recently added consumer electronics on the heels of layoffs, negative earnings and store closings—now also includes JBOD (just a bunch of disks) enclosures, tape libraries, and soon, network-attached storage, said Scott Weinbrandt, general manager, systems and networking products group. The new servers refresh older 960-series models, he said.
The new Gateway 850 SCSI JBOD, built with an undisclosed partner company, is a 2U chassis holding up to 1.7TB in 12 hot-swappable Ultra 320 drives, Weinbrandt said. It has dual power supplies and uses controller and RAID cards from Milpitas, Calif.s LSI Logic Corp., he said.
Meanwhile, the Gateway 820 LTO Autoloader comes from Certance LLC, the Costa Mesa, Calif., former division of Seagate Technologies LLC. Also 2U, the autoloader uses the Linear Tape-Open 1 format, through one drive and an eight-cartridge carousel, Weinbrandt said. That can hold up to 1.6TB raw, compressed at 2:1, officials noted.
JBOD pricing starts at $2,999, and the autoloader is $5,799; both are available Aug. 26, officials of the Poway, Calif., company said. Gateway is also reselling the popular Backup Exec 9.0 software from Mountain View, Calif.s Veritas Software Corp., and Tapeware XE 7.0 from Fresno, Calif.s Yosemite Technologies Inc., officials said.
“The one thing I can say that theyre doing right, if theyre going to do it all, is they have put their storage products with their server products. At least theyre doing that correctly,” said industry analyst Brad Nisbet, of International Data Corp. “Theyre not biting off more than they can chew. Theres still a good business to be had in JBOD,” he said, in Framingham, Mass. Gateways future expansion into even lower-end products is smart, but any success they find in higher-end products is probably “not anytime soon,” he noted.
The storage moves are actually the second try for Gateway, which began reselling three versions of Maxtor Corp.s network-attached storage hardware in April 2001 but “never had any significant sales,” Nisbet said. Gateway discontinued that later in the year, and Maxtor itself, of Milpitas, exited the NAS business in August 2002.
Later this year, “were definitely moving upstream and downstream,” Weinbrandt added. That includes arrays with serial ATA drives, another try at NAS, and iSCSI links, he said.
In servers, Gateways refresh of its two-way 960 system is designed to bring redundancy features to small and mid-sized businesses and workgroups, according to Weinbrandt. The 960X includes dual Xeon chips from Intel Corp., plus four hot swappable drives, optional redundant power supplies and six PCI slots.
The 5U (8.75-inch) 960X, which starts at $1,399, also supports Microsoft Corp.s Windows 2000 Server, Server 2003 and Small Business Server 2000 operating systems, as well as Red Hat Inc.s Linux as a custom install option. The system can come in a rack-mounted or pedestal configuration.
Weinbrandt said that Gateway rounded out much of its product line with the launch earlier this month of its four-way 995 system, and boosted its support capabilities through a partnership with IBM Global Services. Still, he hinted at future server announcements later this year beyond refreshing the six systems already in the product line. He said the Poway, Calif., company is looking into blade technology and probably will come out with an Itanium-based system when demand and support for Intels 64-bit chip grow.
Right now, Gateway customers—most of whom run 32-bit applications on systems powered by Intels 32-bit Xeon chips—are not hurrying to 64-bit computing, Weinbrandt said. Most of the migration to Itanium is coming from enterprises running other 64-bit systems, such as SPARC/Solaris, he said. Later demand will come from those with 32-bit environments, although Intel will have to offer greater 32-bit capabilities in Itanium before there is mass adoption, he said. With the release of Itanium 2 6M in June, Intel is offering a 32-bit emulation layer, although the performance of 32-bit applications on Itanium is not as good as on Xeons.
Weinbrandt also reiterated that Gateway would not move into the eight-way space, a niche area that Dell Inc. recently abandoned. Demand for such systems is low, and with Intels Hyper-Threading technology on its Xeon MPs, “youre virtually looking at eight-way servers [with four-processor systems] anyway, to applications that can take advantage of that.”