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DataCore shrinks iSCSI SAN bundles

DataCore is halving the capacity and price of its smallest configuration, targeting small shops looking to deploy server virtualization with shared storage.

DataCore Software Corp. is offering 500 GB and 1 TB versions of its HA SAN Starter bundles at a lower price point to try to appeal to small shops looking to support server virtualization projects with networked storage.

The new bundles include iSCSI targets, synchronous mirroring, thin provisioning, snapshot and asynchronous IP mirroring, and are priced starting at $4,000 for dual 500 GB server nodes. The previous entry-level HA SAN bundles started at $8,000 for 2 TB.

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According to DataCore vice president of product and channel marketing James Price, most potential customers looking to support server virtualization projects last year wanted smaller capacity and price points than the vendor was offering. "We weren't able to get a storage solution in that had the requisite features and didn't break the budget" for shops seeking less than 2 TB capacity, he said.

Barry Martin, partner with one DataCore VAR, The Mirazon Group in Lexington, Ky., said SAN demand among smaller companies is relatively new, but growing fast.

"A lot of these shops haven't even considered [server] virtualization because they didn't think they could afford a SAN," Martin said. "We also have customers who have been waiting on server virtualization projects because of budget, and we can go back and say, 'How about this?'"

The size and pricing decreases will let Mirazon offer high-availability configurations to customers with 1 TB capacity or less for around $10,000 including hardware, Martin said.

DataCore competes in the SMB iSCSI software space primarily with Double-Take Software Inc.'s sanFly, Hewlett-Packard Co.'s LeftHand Networks Virtual SAN Appliance (VSA), and Seanodes Inc.'s Exanodes. The new DataCore offering is cheaper than an HA version of LeftHand's VSA, which starts at $6,990, but more expensive than Exanodes, which starts at around $500 per TB but does not offer multi-site HA.

Enterprise Strategy Group founder and analyst Steve Duplessie says demand has increased over the last year for inexpensive shared storage to support server virtualization at the low end of the market. "Ethernet-based storage software ... may eventually be the beginning of the end for proprietary storage infrastructure," Duplessie told Storage magazine in December.

Price cuts among low-end iSCSI SAN vendors are also becoming a trend. Last month, iQStor and StoneFly also sweetened deals with lowered price tags and more bundled-in features.

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