Smaller Vendors Look to Ease Storage Woes

Rather than chasing visionary concepts, they aim to fly under the radar of the larger storage players by applying practical fixes to enterprise customers' problems.

NEW YORK—Smaller vendors of storage hardware and software are targeting areas such as improved device performance, portability and lowered cost to help put their stamp on customers network environments.

Nexsan Technologies Inc., AppIQ Inc., Storability Software Inc., Spectra Logic Corp. and Brocade Communications Systems Inc. all demonstrated new products at the Storage Decisions Conference here this week.

Their hope is to fly under the radar of the larger storage players dominating the arena by applying practical fixes to customers enterprise data woes—rather than chasing visionary concepts such as utility computing and tiered storage enablement, analysts said.

For instance, Nexsan unveiled ATAboy2x, the latest version of its ATA Raid storage array, featuring a new architecture designed to provide performance that is two-and-a-half times faster than the previous ATAboy model.

The product incorporates a higher cache capability with sustained RAID 5 reads of more than 600 Mbps. Those capabilities make ATAboy2x a prime candidate to support fixed-content, data-intensive applications such as HDTV, digital film and high-end video-streaming content, said officials at Woodland Hills, Calif.-based Nexsan.

Available in June, ATAboy2x ships with dual 2 G-bit Fiber Channel host ports, as well as 2 G-bit Ethernet management ports. It will be priced at about $4 per G bit.

Nexsan said it plans to introduce a high-density, 1U 8-drive serial ATA storage unit in July. Other development efforts will move 2x capabilities to Nexsans ATAbeast 42-drive disk vault product in the third quarter.

/zimages/1/28571.gifFor more coverage from the Storage Decisions Conference, on customers paying more attention to the iSCSI standard, click here.

The growing complexity of managing an SAN (storage area network) environment with moving parts from multiple vendors is also an area customers are scrutinizing at Storage Decisions this week.

"All these components will have to fit into a single entity. When that happens, customers will have to make difficult decisions," said analyst Jamie Gruener of Boston-based The Yankee Group. "Longer term, you will see how things fit in with ILM [information life-cycle management], backups, replications, and applying policies across the board."

Next Page: AppIQs StorageAuthority Suite R3.1 brings new "path provisioning" capabilities.