Cutting Edge Brings iSCSI, NAS Software To Custom Systems Channel


The ANStor64 division of El Cajon, Calif.-based Cutting Edge, named after the company's ANStor64 Area Network Storage appliance software, wants to sell that software as a disk-on-module format that plugs into an IDE port on any industry-standard server to automatically turn it into a NAS, iSCSI, or combination appliance, said Gary Goodman, vice president and general manager of the division.

Cutting Edge began developing the software several years ago for its own appliances, and about 18 months ago added native 64-bit capability, Goodman said. The software, based on Linux Kernel 2.6, also includes built-in remote replication, mirroring, IP failover, snapshots, iSCSI target and initiator, and Web-based management, as well as built-in security features.

Cutting Edge had explored the possibility of selling the software to custom server builders using a module that converts the server to a storage appliance without the need for manual configuration in much the same way that two other suppliers, Germany-based Open-E and Norfolk, Va.-based Wasabi Systems, do, Goodman said.

The expertise to do so came with the hiring of Goodman, who until recently handled U.S. sales for Open-E and who had also worked with Wasabi in the past. "Before I came, they didn't have the expertise to go to the channel and find customers, and not compete with itself," he said.

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Cutting Edge will continue to sell its own custom storage appliances mainly to the government sector while using its new ANStor64 division to work with custom system builders looking to easily build storage devices, Goodman said.

To build such an appliance, the custom system builder just plugs the dongle with the pre-configured software into an IDE port on any Intel Xeon-based or AMD Opteron-based motherboard and the powers the system up. The server then automatically boots up as a storage appliance, Goodman said.

The ANStor64 dongle with software was sent to a number of beta sites this week, and is expected to be available to the channel by the end of June, he said.

List price of the software for the AMD Opteron, Intel Xeon, or Intel 32-bit platforms is expected to be $1,200 for the NAS version and $750 for the iSCSI version. A third version, which allows the same server to act both as a NAS appliance and an iSCSI array is expected to list for $1,500.