Overland Storage Finally Goes Enterprise With New SnapSAN Arrays

Overland Storage is trying to break its image as a manufacturer of tape and entry-level storage appliances with its introduction of its first enterprise-class SAN appliance.

Overland Storage on Wednesday unveiled the SnapSAN 3000 and SnapSAN 5000 appliances, its first to combine spinning disk and SSD technology wrapped in a software stack targeting the requirements of enterprise users.

That storage software stack includes auto storage tiering and auto-tuning of applications for moving data between the SSD and hard drive tiers, as well as thin provisioning, replication, encryption and WORM (write once, read many) capabilities, all included at no extra charge.

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Overland Storage is for the first time targeting I/O-intensive and virtualization-intensive applications as well as companies looking at handling data for compliance purposes, said Jillian Mansolf, senior vice president for worldwide sales and marketing at the San Diego-based company.

"We really haven't had an offering that addresses these parts of the market," Mansolf said. "We have had appliances for small business SANs but not really for storage in the midrange and enterprise market."

The storage industry has thousands of RAID array makers, but it seems that Overland Storage is finally coming to market with all the bells and whistles enterprise customers are looking for, said Jeanne Wilson, president of Condor Storage, a Sedona, Ariz.-based solution provider and long-time Overland partner.

The big difference with Overland Storage is that it is not a startup but is instead an established storage vendor with one of the industry's best support programs, Wilson said.

"SAN customers want great support," she said. "Customers will be looking at who is the right company to partner with for storage. They need all the features Overland is offering. But, they also need the support. And, you can check that box off with Overland."

The move into the enterprise storage array market is overdue, Mansolf said.

"We lost a lot of opportunities in the midrange and enterprise customer market," she said. "This new offering will give our partners, especially our smaller partners, the ability to finally compete in these markets. This includes partners who used to sell EqualLogic and LeftHand and other products before they were acquired by larger vendors like Dell and Hewlett-Packard."

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Both the SnapSAN 3000 and SnapSAN 5000 scale to up to 288 TB of storage capacity with SSDs and 6-Gbps SAS hard drives. Both come with a software stack stemming from a partnership between Overland Storage and NEC, which includes thin provisioning, volume cloning, remote replication, snapshots, disk spin-down for energy saving, and encryption.

In addition, the SnapSAN 5000 offers auto-tiering of data across the SSDs and hard drives, auto-tuning of application performance and WORM capabilities for compliance purposes, Overland's Mansolf said.

Solution providers can get margins of up to 50 percent with sales of the SnapSAN 3000 and SnapSAN 5000, Mansolf said. That includes a deal registration bonus of 40 percent.

"We don't want partners to feel someone else is going to come in and take a deal away, or worry about losing a deal because someone else quotes a lower price," she said.

Overland Storage is not implementing new certifications for the arrays, but it does already have training programs for partners in place, Mansolf said.

"We've hired six or eight people in the last couple months to make sure partners get trained," she said. "We're still 100 percent channel. We're hiring channel and end user sales resources to target new opportunities for the channel."

Both the SnapSAN 3000 and SnapSAN 5000 are currently available. Pricing starts at $12,999.