Overland's REO Takes On Tape-Based Storage Systems

Cost-effective automated data recovery can be crucial to a company's survival. The explosion of data in different formats, from e-mail to audio-visual files, needs to be stored and managed consistently. Storage vendors are looking to increase recovery performance and storage capacities while providing customers with cost-effective products. One solution is the REO 1000 from Overland Storage.

REO 1000 is a 1U, 1-Tbyte, iSCSI, disk-to-disk (D2D) box designed to accelerate backup and restore tasks. The system is designed for small to midsize businesses and is positioned as an alternative to tape autoloaders. REO uses hard-disk storage to deliver online access to data. The device can be sold to customers in place of tape-based systems and, once installed, customers will find similar basic backup capabilities at increased data-restore speeds.

At $4,949, REO is affordable enough for SMBs and powerful enough to provide enterprise-class backup and recovery and is covered by a one-year warranty. Companies can set up the box as either a JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Discs) arrangement or as a RAID array with disc virtualization. REO can emulate a Hewlett-Packard LTO2 drive and perform as a virtual tape drive. The virtual tape drive looks like an HP LTO2 drive to any platform-independent backup software, and can be sized to accommodate any environment. REO can mix and match storage capacity, with some space acting as virtual tape and some space acting as a disk.

REO has one Gigabit Ethernet port to connect to a switch or to a private network created between the device and a backup server. Those devices then can be provisioned out to any server in a network environment that has an iSCSI initiator and access to the Gigabit Ethernet port's IP address. It supports any iSCSI environment, including Solaris, NetWare and all major operating systems. It does not ship with proprietary backup software, and it runs on an embedded Linux platform.

Since REO can be used in almost any environment, solution providers have many more opportunities to offer the D2D solution as a backup accelerator in any business's network infrastructure. Cost per Mbyte, speed and overall storage capacity are still important factors for solution providers to consider when selling a backup solution. Solution providers should focus on operational concepts, ease of integration and freedom from an autoloader environment.

The device is IP-connected and plugs directly into an Ethernet connection on an existing network. Solution providers can also set up the device on its own dedicated network. REO is especially marketable for companies that have a backup system on-site and need a replicated system off-site. Most companies can put REO on-site to provide local backups.

The Overland Storage Advantage Partner Program is made up of three partner levels. The Storage Specialty VAR (SSV) is the top tier of the program. SSV partners must prove their commitment to Overland by leading each sales opportunity with Overland solutions and must demonstrate the technical expertise necessary to construct complete system solutions. In return, they are eligible to participate in Overland's training programs. SSVs purchase products directly from Overland.
Enterprise Storage Partners (ESPs) have a strong commitment to selling Overland products, but ESPs are typically in the early stages of their partnership. The Enterprise Storage Reseller (ESR) tier, meanwhile, includes any reseller that sells Overland products. These partners aren't required to enter a formal partnership with the company.

Overland provides a 24x7 technical support with a knowledge center, resources, technical documents, detailed product information, support requests, user forums, compatibility guides and installation programs. Overland's fully staffed support team is available by phone and e-mail Monday through Friday. The company also provides a team of application engineers to answer challenging questions. The company did not disclose average reseller margins, but stated that according to channel partners, Overland provides some of the storage industry's highest margin opportunities.

> Overland Storage REO 1000
COMPANY: Overland Storage, Inc.
San Diego, Calif.
DISTRIBUTORS: BellMicro, Condre, Ingram Micro, ProMark, TechData

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