Startup gives sneak peek at highly scalable storage system

Paul Gillin

SANTA BARBARA, CA - A Silicon Valley startup made its debut at the Merrill-Lynch Storage Technology Conference here this week, promising to deliver a storage platform that will scale to hundreds of terabytes in size while offering the flexibility to handle diverse storage applications in one box.

Zambeel, Inc. of Fremont, CA is aiming the as-yet-unnamed product at large corporate data centers and storage service providers who are struggling to centralize vast pools of storage. In addition to supporting massive quantities of storage, Zambeel will allow users to ``dial in the level of availability and performance you want,'' said Waheed Qureshi, president and chief technology officer. ``It can be provisioned for different qualities of service. You can create a pool that offers high throughput and another other for low latency'' in the same box, he said.

Qureshi also promised the platform will have the lowest cost of ownership and highest reliability of any commercial storage system. He said the company's goal is to allow 100T-bytes of storage to be managed by a single person through the use of high-level policies that shield technical minutiae from the user. The company will release an application program interface that developers can use to specify services that their applications need from the storage subsystem.

Zambeel said the product would ship in the second half of the year but didn't specify pricing. The 120-person company, which started

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in late 1999, has raised $26.5 million in venture capital from blue chip investors, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers and Integral Capital. The company has also raised money from a vendor whom Zambeel CEO Sid Agrawal described as ``a strategic partner that intends to dominate the storage market.''

Zambeel, which takes its name from a Persian legend about a mythical purse with infinite capacity, is one of several storage vendors that are aiming to challenge EMC Corp. at the high end of the market. Compaq Computer Corp. plans to roll out a storage architecture this year that it says will allow up to four petabytes of storage to be aggregated in a single virtual pool. StorageNetworks, Inc. has floated the possibility of releasing a storage-specific operating system that would obviate the need for users to buy enterprise storage from a particular vendor.

Related Topics: Disk arrays, VIEW ALL TOPICS

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