OnStor Challenges NetApp with New NAS Offering

The storage company's marketing strategy amounts to an old-fashioned price war as OnStor claims to undercut its competitor's pricing by 50 percent.

Data storage supplier OnStor introduced a new enterprise package Aug. 28 called the Pantera Clustered NAS system, which the company claims undercuts the price of similar midrange products from competitor Network Appliance by 50 percent.

Naming competitors names in specific product announcements may be a new marketing trend. The week of Aug. 21, IBM took a similarly aggressive approach against data storage market leader EMC, announcing a new series of "turbo-powered" storage servers.

In June, Sun Microsystems publicly targeted Hewlett-Packard and IBM with a new line of blade servers similarly designed to undercut those two companies pricing.

OnStors Pantera Clustered NAS system is an appliance designed for enterprise NAS (network-attached storage) applications that integrates advanced features such as server virtualization and n-way clustering, OnStor marketing director Jon Toor, in Campbell, Calif., told eWEEK.

"Pantera enables customers to start with a complete configuration priced below $40,000," Toor said, "and then independently grow both performance and capacity simply by adding either filer nodes or disk."

Both IBM and NetApp, which partner on various storage packages, offer clustered NAS products priced in the $80,000-and-higher range.

OnStors Pantera allows the user to consolidate data from thousands of servers to a single storage environment, Toor said.

"At MyPhotoAlbum.com, implementing operational efficiencies to manage our growth is a top priority. Today we securely store over 28 million images and videos for our members, almost double the storage requirements from six months ago. We needed a NAS solution that could accommodate our rapid expansion economically and reliably," said Chris Ferry, director of operations at MyPhotoAlbum.com, based in New York.

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"Pantera provides the right combination of cost and scalability for us. We looked at NetApp, but they did not scale; you spend $200,000, grow to a set capacity, and then you have to spend another $200,000 for a second system. With Pantera, we can add either performance or capacity as we need [it], which saves us cost and management resources."

Pantera Clustered NAS incorporates the OnStor EverOn software platform, which is already field-proven in OnStors Bobcat NAS Gateway. With over 9,000,000 hours of uptime accumulated in enterprise deployments worldwide, EverOn has demonstrated reliability in mission-critical deployments in technical, Internet, health care, education and other large-scale storage environments, Toor said.

"What makes the OnStor Pantera really compelling and valuable is that its a new product that has years of customer implementations," said Tony Asaro, a senior analyst for Enterprise Strategy Group, based in Milford, Mass.

"The Pantera uses the same best-in-class next-generation OnStor NAS controller that is being used by SMB [small and midsize business] customers and huge global companies alike. OnStor ... now offers a fully integrated NAS storage system, and customers can choose one or both approaches. This is a smart move because many customers want a turnkey solution, and OnStor has a great NAS product that is scalable, feature-rich and cost-effective," Asaro said.

In addition to enabling users to conduct server and storage consolidation, Pantera provides a tiered storage solution with a single management interface. Pantera is available with both high-performance 15K SAS and low-cost SATA (Serial ATA) drives, allowing users to select the appropriate class of disk to meet application requirements.

Pantera is available immediately through OnStor and its partners. Entry-level pricing starts under $40,000 for a complete appliance-based NAS solution that includes 6TB of storage. Clustered solutions with 12TB of storage and enhanced high-availability features are available for less than $100,000.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...