StoneFly Sets Course for Affordable SANs


StoneFly Networks on Monday announced a distribution agreement with Tech Data to sell an affordable IP SAN appliance for the low-end market.

Just last week, the San Diego, Calif.-based storage startup released its end-to-end IP SAN appliances--Storage Concentrators i1000 and i1500, which will be available through TechData's networking solutions specialized business unit.

The company had initial designs to build a 256-port switch for the storage market, says Jeffrey Schnabel, vice president of marketing and business development. But that plan was nixed when it found resistance in the venture capital community in raising the $75 million needed for the initial development phase.

Schnabel says the company's new strategy is to deliver an affordable SAN solution to the low-end space in networked storage. StoneFly is starting with the i1000 and i1500 that contain StoneFly's StoneFusion application, an intelligent iSCSI storage packet routing technology that delivers storage over an IP network. The application has an in-band provisioning capability. In addition, the device can be managed through an HTML-based GUI console that administrators can access through a browser at any time and any location.

To kick off StoneFly's entry into the market, the initial products will support parallel SCSI. The first devices are 1.75 inches high, with standard Intel architecture and two Gigabit ports as well as two 10/100 Ethernet management ports. The i1000 product comes with three parallel SCSI ports, while the i1500 supports three parallel SCSI ports, dual power sources and a hot-pluggable mirrored operating system drive. The devices start at less than $10,000.

The products will also support Fibre Channel-based storage starting July 10. Executives say the products will support iSCSI when there is an installed base of users for the new protocol.