ONStor Releases Cougar NAS Gateway

The Cougar 6000 networked storage solution scales to up to 4 petabytes of capacity in a single cluster, said Tom Gallivan, senior vice president of the Campbell, Calif.-based storage vendor.

The Cougar includes two nodes in a 2U enclosure, and is actually a "cluster-in-a-box," Gallivan said. Each cluster can be configured with up to eight nodes and 32 virtual servers, and include eight Gigabit Ethernet ports and eight Fibre Channel ports per enclosure.

The Cougar line includes the company's own operating system running on industry-standard components. It uses a blade design, with all components field-replaceable unit to allow hot swapping and hot plugging of problem components, Gallivan said.

The Cougar is a clustered NAS gateway product, which means it takes advantage of the storage capacity of other arrays, including arrays customers already have in their data centers, Gallivan said. Its EverScale system architecture allows customers to instantly add storage capacity as needed without suffering from downtime, he said.

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"It's good for VARs who represent multiple storage vendors," he said. "It allows for a unified storage approach."

That's true, said Frank Fuda, owner of DASDI, a Houston-based solution provider specializing in the oil and gas industry.

Fuda said he has yet to get his hands on the new Cougar, but that ONStor's NAS gateway line has proven to be very good for his customers.

"We've been able to take our customers' legacy storage and attach it to the gateways, or add whatever storage the customers want," Fuda said. "ONStor is storage-agnostic, which is very important to us."

Currently, about 60 percent of ONStor's business worldwide comes through indirect sales channels, Gallivan said.

However, Gallivan said, the company is moving to adopt more of a channel model. It had been selling direct to solution providers except for CDW, which buys the products through a specific distributor, but the company is in talks with all the major distributors about picking up the line, he said.

ONStor is also considering the release of a channel-only product line, perhaps in the second half of 2008. It is already doing some experimentation in this direction, Gallivan said.

ONStor's channel program includes deal registration, lead generation, and trade-up and trade-in activities. It is a compensation-positive program so that its sales reps make more money selling through the channel than if they go direct, he said.

The Cougar 6000 is available with a list price starting at $122,500.