On April 27, 2001 Tricord Systems announced limited availability of their Lunar Flare NAS server appliance. The Lunar Flare is defined as the first "clustered" server appliance by Tricord. Tricord Systems is a public company that has previously delivered file server systems and recently has been developing NAS appliances and aggregation software for NAS.
The Tricord Systems Lunar Flare is a NAS server appliance that can be aggregated with other Lunar Flare NAS appliances to provide a single NAS imaged to network attached servers. The aggregation is accomplished by patented Tricord software called Illumina. The Illumina aggregation software allows multiple Lunar Flare NAS appliances to be used to create a cluster but yet still be managed as a single resource. As part of the aggregation, the customer can choose to operate the NAS appliances with the data in RAID mode across all the appliances in the cluster. This provides the data protection normally found in more expensive products for an inexpensive (for entry-level) NAS product that can scale.
The basic Lunar Flare unit is 1U high and has self-contained disks and 129 GB of capacity. For larger capacities, the units are aggregated. The Illumina aggregation software is an implementation of a distributed file system that allows additional units to be non-disruptively added and data to be distributed. Features such as automatic failover and recovery, hot-spare failover, and email alerts are included in the base product.
Currently, the Lunar Flare NAS server appliance supports CIFS (windows-based) remote file system access. NFS support is promised by year-end. The Lunar Flare product is based on an Intel motherboard with Linux OS and other standard hardware.
Evaluator Group comments
The Tricord Systems NAS server appliance represents a very unique entry into the crowded NAS market. The aggregation software called Illumina is a new concept, which has some significant potential benefits. This type of aggregation where a single management image is presented but additional NAS devices can be added seamlessly should have great appeal in many markets such Internet companies that experience unscheduled growth. We believe the capabilities of this product will garner significant attention by both potential customers and competitors. =================================================
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