Pranah's new 2000 series storage appliance includes a purpose-built hardware box combined with a software stack that includes thin provisioning, snapshot, and both NAS and iSCSI SAN capabilities, said Dave Walstad, vice president of sales and marketing for the St. Paul-based vendor.
The appliance also includes a 10-Gbit Ethernet connectivity; support for SAS, SATA, and Fibre channel hard drives; dual controllers and power supplies; three fans; and an enclosure to make it easy for solution providers to configure the storage capacity.
The software is based on Linux and open source code, Walstad said. "There's no Microsoft code in there," he said.
Options include distributed file systems, tiered storage, and synchronous and asynchronous replication, Walstad said.
However, price is what makes Pranah shine. "We are both a hardware and a software company," he said. "The technologies are not disruptive. But the product is disruptive because of the price points."
Pricing for the Pranah 2000 series appliances starts at $2.15 per Gbyte for a 1U enclosure configured with a dual controller and 8 Tbytes of iSCSI storage, Walstad said. When configured with 80 Tbytes in a 4U form factor, the price drops to about 61 cents per Gbyte, he said.
That puts Pranah's entry-level systems squarely within the $12,000 to $25,000 price band, said Steve Carter, president of the vendor.
That pricing makes Pranah an easy company to work with, said Jim Wolford, owner and CEO of collocation infrastructure firm Atomic Data Center and its sister company and Apple reseller, The Foundation, both based in Minneapolis.
Wolford called that price band a space that other vendors have missed. "And Pranah plans to come out with stable pricing," Wolford said. "Depending on the time of the month, other companies may cut prices by 50 percent. Pranah is very easy to work with."
Since most of the customers which use collocation infrastructures or who deal with Apple for developing creative materials are smaller businesses, they are big storage and SAN users, Wolford said.
"I use a lot of SAN," he said. "But when a customer goes to a collocation facility, and is looking at a $100,000 SAN, it's hard to swallow. With Pranah, customers can put two devices in collocation and snapshot them to each other for low-cost disaster recovery."
About 80 percent of the Pranah 2000 appliances are expected to sell through traditional storage solution providers, and about 20 percent through managed hosting, collocation, and SaaS providers, Walstad said.
For partners, Pranah offers a 30-percent margin on the enclosures. More importantly, those enclosures are shipped without hard drives, allowing solution providers to configure them as needed for specific customer, Walstad said.
Pranah was founded in 2005 as a spinoff from Marner Storage Technologies, an early builder of rack mount servers based on Sun Microsystems technology.
Marner, which is in the process of shuttering its doors, developed its own technology for reducing vibration in rack mount devices and for pulling cool air through an enclosure from side to side instead of front to back, Walstad said. Those technologies are being applied to the Pranah 2000 appliances, he said.