Reldata adds SAS integrated storage system for iSCSI, NAS

With a unified SAS system supporting iSCSI and NAS, Reldata looks to compete in the midmarket with simple management and heterogeneous disk support.

Reldata Inc., this week launched a SAS storage system that supports iSCSI, NAS and virtualized storage pools and will bring the startup into greater competition with larger vendors looking to increase their presence in the iSCSI market.

The Reldata 9240 unified storage appliance is an updated version of Reldata's 9240 unified storage gateway with 12 TB to 120 TB SAS drives per RAID controller. The 2U appliance supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

The system's software includes an upgraded version of the Relvos virtualization operating system, adaptive storage wizards and Relbot task automation.

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Relvos virtualization OS 2.0 allows IT administrators to integrate an enterprise's storage disks from other vendors into the Reldata storage pool. "IT administrators can turn on the ability to virtualize non-Reldata disks and use the legacy disks they've already paid for and don't want to throw out," said Reldata CEO Dave Hubbard. "Everything we are doing is through virtualization."

The Reldata 9240's adaptive storage wizards use point-and-click menus for connecting and virtualizing disks, assigning iSCSI storage for applications, assigning NAS for users, and managing data protection features. "We try to take the complexity out of storage administration and reduce the chances that somebody will make an error and create a situation where data is no longer available," Hubbard says.

Reldata claims the 9240 operates at over 70,000 I/O operations per second (IOPS) and can move data at more than 800 Mbps.

Pricing starts at $38,650 for a Reldata 9240 appliance with 12 TB and $77,120 for a cluster of two Reldata 9240 systems. The Reldata 9240 supports iSCSI out of the box and requires software licenses to turn on NAS, data migration, heterogenous disk support and disaster recovery for Fibre Channel SANs. For instance, the NAS software license key costs $6,995, and the nondisruptive migration license fee is $8,495.

Reldata 9240 customers can upgrade from Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) to 10 GigE by purchasing a dual-port 10 GigE software license for $9,190.

Reldata's competitors for medium-sized enterprises include Dell and Hewlett-Packard, which this month said it would acquire iSCSI vendor LeftHand Networks and expects to close the deal by the end of the year. NetApp and EMC also sell integrated iSCSI and NAS systems.

IDC analyst Benjamin Woo said Reldata faces the same two challenges that a lot of smaller providers encounter in the midmarket: customer confidence in smaller infrastructure providers and acceptance of ISCSI as a major protocol. Reldata also went for performance over price by supporting only SAS and no SATA drives. However, Woo added that its unique features, such as the adaptive wizards and Relbot automation, could help it compete in the midmarket enterprise.

Reldata "has the right idea" by focusing on making storage administration as easy as possible, Woo said. Ease-of-use is important to small and medium-sized customers, and Reldata is taking the right approach.

"They're very passionate about storage, that's important. In this day and age, companies tend to spend money on R&D just for the sake of technology. They're on the right path," Woo said.

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