Storage outsourcer scale Eight Inc. is getting ready to try its hand at NAS using skills and software developed internally over the past three years, according to officials.
The San Francisco company this month will announce N2200, a modular network-attached storage device that uses commodity Intel Corp. hardware. The highlight of the product is the built-in storage management knowledge gleaned from administering clients such as Microsoft Corp.s MSN Music and MSN Photos sites, according to Patrick Rogers, chief operating officer.
“We expect the new product to supersede the service business,” Rogers said.
N2200, using parallel ATA drives from Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Inc.—the San Jose, Calif., joint venture of Hitachi Ltd. and IBM—is intended to rival EMC Corp.s Centera, Network Appliance Inc.s R150 and Storage Technology (StorageTek) Corp.s BladeStore devices, Rogers said. It will use the new and more reliable serial ATA drive “as soon as its available in volume,” he said.
Shipping late this month, N2200 scales to more than 100 terabytes, with a starting price of $120,000 for 6 terabytes. Nodes of an extra 2 terabytes cost $30,000 each. Customers can use it as one pool or can make partitions of up to 32 terabytes, Rogers said.
Scale Eight doesnt have the application certifications or partnerships of an EMC or Network Appliance, Rogers said. “Were just starting. What were really offering is raw technology,” he said. A primary advantage is the commodity hardware. “As faster Intel processors roll out—were using a 2.4GHz processor now—they roll transparently into the architecture,” he said. Upgrades will come about every six months, he said.
Analyst Steve Kenniston, of Enterprise Storage Group Inc., said he likes what Scale Eight is offering to customers. “Companies need to sell the commodity hardware in order to get in the door and show the value-add,” said Kenniston, also in San Jose.