TechEd News: sTec Intros All-SSD Storage Appliance With Windows Storage Server 2012

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SSD manufacturer sTec on Monday unveiled an all-SSD appliance based on industry-standard components and Microsoft's Windows Storage Server 2012 operating system.

The sTec s3000 storage appliance, unveiled at this week's Microsoft TechEd conference, is a storage appliance based on the needs of customers in such areas as oil and gas, Federal government, financial, telco, and Web 2.0 companies that depend on high-performance applications, said Ali Zadeh, chief marketing officer for Santa Ana, Calif.-based sTec, which this year has been shifting focus from OEM sales to the channel.

Among those applications are transitional databases, server virtualization, the cloud, virtual desktop infrastructure, business intelligence and high-performance computing, Zadeh said.


[Related: SSD Shipments To Double This Year, Hit 40 Percent Of Hard Drive Market By 2016]

Meeting these requirements is the goal of the sTec s3000 all-SSD appliance.

"It's a solid-state unified storage platform based on Windows Storage Server 2012," he said. "Our goal is to use commodity hardware with the Windows operating system and our own solid-state storage to create an award-winning solution."

Dennis Mueller, vice president of innovation and emerging technologies at CMT, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based solution provider, said it will be interesting to see where the sTec s3000 gains traction in the face of all the potential competition.

"I could see that fitting in smaller companies, or in pure Microsoft shops," Mueller said. "But it's hard to imagine someone choosing it over a lower-end NetApp box, or over more established SSD storage companies like Pure Storage."

The advantage of Windows Storage Server 2012 as an operating system for an all-SSD appliance comes into play in all-Microsoft shops, Mueller said. "It lets customers take advantage of their Microsoft tools," he said.

However, Mueller said, there could be issues if it is not properly managed.

"Every week, we install Windows patches," he said. "With NetApp, we patch maybe once a year. And, it's not even necessary to do that sometimes. And with clustering, NetApp solutions have no downtime. You can do failovers and upgrades in real time."

Zadeh said the Windows Storage Server 2012 operating system is ideal for businesses looking to deliver both block- and file-based storage services.

"Who has the best unified storage solution?" he said. "Microsoft. Microsoft created the file-based environment and has now added dedupe and other enterprise features."

NEXT: High Availability And Scalability With The sTec s3000

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