Amax Enlists Open-E For Easy NAS Configuration

The product lines give Amax the ability to offer storage from the enterprise to the home office.

The distributor and custom-system builder has three product lines in the works, including NAS and iSCSI appliances based on technology from Open-E, a SOHO NAS appliance, and a higher-end series of servers and storage devices that support Serial-attached SCSI.

The new product lines give Amax the ability to offer storage from the enterprise to the home office, said James Huang, product marketing specialist at the Fremont, Calif.-based company.

“Our goal is to have a wide selection of servers and storage for our VARs and customers,” Huang said.

AMAX just started shipping a line based on technology from Open-E, Hamburg, Germany, that Huang said should make it easy for VARs to set up and configure NAS products quickly. Open-E developed several firmware modules that plug into an IDE slot on virtually any server motherboard and converts it into a storage device. VARs can build a NAS or iSCSI appliance, depending on which firmware module is used.

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Amax President Jean Shih said the company tested software from a variety of vendors before settling on Open-E. “It’s an enterprise-level product, easy to use and compatible with other vendors’ product.”

It is also less expensive than Microsoft’s Windows Storage Server operating system, which is used by many storage vendors and custom builders, including Amax, Shih said. “Open-E has a very good chance to gain market share against Microsoft,” she said.

Huang said Amax’s storage business grew 20 percent to 30 pecent last year and expects the new NAS products to help the company increase sales by another 10 percent to 20 percent this year.

Stephen Monteros, general manager at GST, a solution provider and system builder in Brea, Calif., said NAS and iSCSI appliances based on the Open-E technology is something that system builders could sell alongside storage devices from name-brand vendors such as Hewlett-Packard.

“Usually, our customer storage is a JBOD [just a bunch of disks],” Monteros said. “We buy the chassis and slap a bunch of drives in it. The Open-E solution offers more value to customers,” he added.