Storage Vendors Attack Enterprise NAS Market

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), one of the SAN market's leading vendors, is trying for the third time to establish itself as a NAS vendor,this time with the help of Network Appliance. Meanwhile, Iomega,known more for its removable storage products and entry-level NAS appliances,introduced two new enterprise-class NAS devices and promised more to come. And BlueArc, a high-end NAS specialist, is looking to engage the channel to sell its products.

HDS' new NAS gateways have no intrinsic storage capacity, but instead serve up data stored on HDS arrays to the network. Two models for HDS 9900V arrays are available immediately, said Kevin Sampson, director of marketing for the company's NAS products. Another is slated to be available for HDS' 9500V arrays in late June, and legacy array versions will come later, Sampson said.

One HDS solution provider, who asked to remain anonymous, worried about potential sales conflicts. "Say you're in a deal, and the [Network Appliance] guy is in that deal, too," the solution provider said. "Will the [Network Appliance] guy want to give up the disk part of the deal? Hitachi is not going to pay the [Network Appliance] guy."

Iomega's new enterprise NAS appliances feature dual Xeon processors, Microsoft Windows Powered OS 2.01 and up to eight hot-swappable IDE hard drives. Both the 960-Gbyte P800m and the 1.44-Tbyte P850m are expected to ship April 28. The appliances are part of the company's strategy to move into higher-end storage markets and are targeted at Iomega's new class of premier or authorized solution providers, said Wayne Arvidson, Iomega's director of network storage marketing. Iomega hopes to sign about 120 such partners in the United States, he said.

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And BlueArc, whose NAS architecture scales to 220 Tbytes without impacting performance, is working on expanding its channel, said Jeff Allen, senior vice president of marketing.

GTSI, which recently joined the channel program, brings government expertise to BlueArc, said Scott Friedlander, vice president of sales for GTSI's technology teams. "[BlueArc] needs partners focused on technology and storage," he said.