SimpleTech Makes First Push Into SOHO NAS Market

The Santa Ana, Calif.-based vendor -- known more for its custom Flash memory, DRAM and hard-drive solutions -- will roll out an entry-level NAS appliance based on a customized Linux-based OS by year-end, said Patrick Wilkison, managing director of marketing for SimpleTech. The company also is courting VARs and digital integrators to help sell the new offering, he said.

SimpleTech has seen an increased use of LANs in homes and small offices, Wilkison said. This has led to interest in purchasing NAS appliances from SOHO customers who seek more storage capacity and the ability to share files across the LAN, he said.

While most NAS vendors that serve small businesses enter the market from the enterprise side, SimpleTech has experience serving smaller customers, giving them an edge over the competition, he said. "We know the SOHO market," Wilkison said.

In January, the company plans to start shipping a 160-Gbyte SimpleShare with a suggested price of $299, and a 250-Gbyte model priced at $399. The units include two USB 2.0 ports to which external hard drives or Flash memory drives can be connected to expand capacity, Wilkison said. The SimpleShares also include a built-in print server, he added.

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For home users, SimpleTech is targeting digital integrators who help such users with home networks. In the SOHO space, as well as for businesses with remote offices or separate workgroups, the company will be looking to work with more traditional solution providers, Wilkison said.