Linux Appliance Upgraded

Clustering Specialist RainFinity Inc. this week will launch RainStorage 2.0.

Clustering Specialist RainFinity Inc. this week will launch RainStorage 2.0, which adds support for Windows, said officials, in San Jose, Calif.

Prior versions of the Linux appliance, which is used to limit downtime for NAS (network-attached storage), worked only with Unix-based Network File System. The new version works with Common Internet File System.

So, unlike other clustering systems, RainStorage uses the network itself and a shared-nothing approach to data movement and load balancing, officials said. It uses both in-band and out-of-band methods, they said. Other new features in RainStorage 2.0 are a command-line interface and remote network administration, officials said.

"Thats an important thing to be able to do for NAS users," said analyst John Webster, of Data Mobility Group LLC, in Nashua, N.H. Even though it can help users by eliminating tedious data movement steps and application downtime, NAS companies wont offer the same technology, Webster said. "I think they should, [but] it exposes them to migration of data to their competitors device."

"We had a massive data migration. We were doing a big [Network Appliance Inc.] consolidation project. We went from 40 ... down to about 10" NAS devices, said Alan Cohen, design computing engineer at Agere Systems Inc., in Allentown, Pa. "We were using the RainStorage device to handle all our migration," which NetApp, of Sunnyvale, Calif., recommended, Cohen said. Now, "we have used it periodically whenever we do data migrations," he said. The product worked well but could use trunking features for its network connections and "some type of routing in there as a long-term enhancement so it would work across multiple subnets more easily," he said.

An unlimited license costs $80,000. The appliance uses Hewlett-Packard Co. hardware and has Apple Computer Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. as customers, officials said.