The latest storage startup, Intransa Inc., will launch next week with a distributed approach to merging IP networking and scalability.
By separating array components across an Ethernet network, users can scale drives and controllers independently, bringing easier management and a good-enough performance class compared to traditional arrays in storage-area networks, officials of the San Jose, Calif., company say.
“A lot of this has to do with recognizing the commodity value in the hardware. We make each drive directly addressable on the network and use the network as the interconnect. Theres a trade-off in terms of what you optimize for,” said Peter Wang, CTO and founder.
Intransas product, IP 5000, will ship in June for $62,500. That includes a 24-port Gigabit Ethernet switch with enclosures holding 3.2TB each of parallel ATA drives. The block-based system connects to Linux and Windows servers and has basic mirroring and shapshot features.
Clustering, policies and remote mirroring will come in another release 6-12 months from now, Wang said. Intransa is also certifying the IP 5000 with backup vendors, he said.
Intransa also plans to adopt the Common Information Model and the Simple Network Management Protocol. “Right now its proprietary, but we have an API,” Wang said. As for the company itself, “We have funding essentially through the end of the year. We expect to do another round of fundraising in the fall,” he said.
Intransa has a handful of beta customers, and is certified and being used in-house for iSCSI testing at Microsoft Corp. “Its a pretty fascinating product,” industry analyst Eric Sheppard said, at Framingham, Mass.-based International Data Corp. As startups and traditional storage companies are aware, “Consolidation is driving a lot of sales right now, [but] what we need to see as soon as possible is a large number of reference sites.”
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