Overland Storage Intros iSCSI SAN Appliance


Overland Storage on Tuesday unveiled a new low-cost iSCSI storage appliance and a new partner program to go with it, both a part of the new face the company is putting on for the channel after a management shakeup.

Overland's new iSCSI-based SnapServer SAN S2000 scales to up to 120 TBs of capacity, and includes data snapshot and auto-provisioning features, said Jillian Mansolf, vice president of worldwide sales and marketing for the San Diego-based storage vendor.

Auto-provisioning allows customers to expand data volumes that reach predefined thresholds based on company policies by finding and allocating unused capacity.

Also included is RAID 6, which requires more than one hard drive to fail before the storage system crashes. The S2000 also integrated directly into VMware's management application to work natively with that company's ESX clustering environment and with VMware utilities, and is also certified to support Windows Hyper-V virtualization.

The S2000 lists starting at about $15,000, and can be beefed up with optional data replication and mirroring features, each of which list for $2,995, Mansolf said.

"This is not something you see at this level of product," she said. "These are features you usually see in the $30,000 to $40,000 starting price range."

Also new from Overland are changes to its FastTrack partner program, including a new partner portal that replaces multiple partner portals the company has used in the past.

Overland's solution provider partners like the new company direction they see in the S2000 even if the company was slow to get the word out to them.

John Zammett, president of HorizonTek, a Huntington, N.Y.-based solution provider and Overland partner, said his company is very anxious to get information about the new product.

"From what I've heard about it, it's what the market has been asking for in terms of price and performance," Zammett said.

The S2000 seems similar to Dell's EqualLogic product line, which offers large capacity points with key software features included in the price, said Rolf Strasheim, director of client solutions at Peak UpTime, a Tulsa, Okla.-based solution provider and Overland partner.

"It seems aggressively priced in the SMB market for the feature set it includes," Strasheim said.

One solution provider who had the opportunity to beta test the S2000 for about a month found it to be a solid product.

Jim Patterson, systems engineer at 1903 Solutions, Escondido, Calif., said he tested the S2000 in VMware ESX and Windows environments using Gbit Ethernet, and it did very well.

"I was looking at how it responded to failure, and at its performance," Patterson said. "I pulled disks, and did other nasty stuff. It handled it all well. I also had multiple streams going to it, and it worked really well. The iSCSI initiators worked as expected."

Patterson said he has yet to see how it will be priced. "But we've been given the nudge, nudge, wink, wink that it will be competitive," he said.

The SnapServer S2000 is Overland's first high-end iSCSI storage appliance, and one of the company's first new products since it acquired the Snap Server business from Adaptec nearly two years ago.

That acquisition also resulted in a management reorganization, with Eric Kelly being named CEO early last year.

Kelly, who founded Snap and later sold it to Adaptec, was on the Board of Directors of Overland when he brought Overland and Snap together.

Mansolf also came on board thanks to the acquisition of Snap, where she served as vice president of worldwide sales under Kelly.

Prior to the acquisition of Snap, Overland suffered through several quarters of financial difficulties resulting from a number of issues, including a fall in OEM sales and a mismanaged change in manufacturing.

Since the acquisition, the company has brought on a new channel manager, cut expenses, and moved to increase its services business. The company has also retired a number of older products as well as its Ultamus and ArcVault brand names, and consolidated its brands under SnapServer for NAS and iSCSI SAN, REO for virtual tape libraries and NEO for tape libraries.