IceWEB Intros Unified Storage Appliance For Enterprise Apps

The IceWEB 7000, like previous models of the company's storage appliances, includes the kind of software features that enterprise storage vendors typically offer for additional charges, said Steven Toole, CMO of the Sterling, Virg.-based vendor.

"There's no charge on a per-TB basis for the software," Toole said. "It all comes with the hardware. We're not holding back. Customers get replication, dedupe, and unlimited snapshots."

[Related: IceWeb Unveils 16-Core, High Availability Storage Cluster In Single 3U Box ]

The IceWEB 7000 is targeted at enterprise applications such as Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, Oracle databases, and unstructured data.

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It is based on the company's IceSTORM operating system, which is in turn based in part on the ZFS file system. IceSTORM, which was introduced in February, provides such features as thin provisioning, shared storage pools supporting multiple storage tiers, in-line compression and deduplication, instantaneous snapshot creation and rollbacks, replication, mirrored high availability, and virtual machine integration.

"Our difference is our scalability, performance, and feature set all in a single system," Toole said. "We offer more aggressive price points than EMC or NetApp. And we're a small company, so it's easy to get support from us."

The IceWEB 7000 features two quad-core processors and a 40-GB cache. It includes six Gbit Ethernet ports, and has options for 10-Gbit or 40-Gbit Ethernet, 4-Gb to 16-Gb Fibre Channel, and 56-Gbit InfiniBand. Capacity scales to a maximum of 1,800 TBs.

IceWEB's IceSTORM operating system is a big draw for Nick Ellermann, vice president of hosting services and a managing partner at BroadAspect, an Ashburn, Virg.-based cloud services provider which hosts customers' entire IT infrastructures in the cloud.

"IceSTORM is very quick, and has a very slick Web GUI," Ellermann said. "It's still fairly new, and hasn't yet reached the full breadth of features, but is working pretty well. One reason we went with IceWEB was its work with ZFS. We tried working with NAS before, but it's a nightmare because of problems with hardware compatibility, IceWEB specs and builds and tests their hardware very well."

BroadAspect has been working with IceWEB for about 18 months, and that vendor's launch of the model 7000 and other recent products shows a lot of potential for customers, Ellermann said. "We're slowly starting to add IceWEB for production for tier-one storage," he said. "We see a lot of opportunity for use with our explosive growth."

IceWEB, whose customer list includes such companies Google, Cisco, VMware, and the U.S. Army, handles its enterprise customers through channel partners. The company also works with Promark as its exclusive distributor in the U.S., Toole said.

IceWEB is currently looking to expand its channel partner base with solution providers who provide cloud storage, replication, and disaster recovery services, as well as server consolidation, virtualization, and virtual desktop infrastructure, Toole said.

The IceWEB 7000 is currently available, and is priced at about $40,000 for a typical configuration including redundant controllers and 16 600-GB SAS hard drives.