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Overland Storage aims SnapSAN at high end

Overland Storage adds solid-state drive (SSD) option to its SnapSAN platform, as well as thin provisioning and automated tiering and caching.

Overland Storage today made a move for the high end of the midrange and the enterprise with its latest SnapSAN storage arrays, including solid-state drives (SSDs) and management features such as thin provisioning, automated tiering and caching, and volume cloning.

The SnapSAN 3000 and SnapSAN 5000 are targeted at customers with high I/O-intensive applications. The 2U dual-controller arrays support 8 GBps Fibre Channel and 10 Gigabit Ethernet for iSCSI.

Both systems scale to 288 TB, support volume cloning, thin provisioning, remote replication, snapshots and a disk spin-down capability. The SnapSAN 5000 includes more advanced features, such as AutoCache for SSDs, AutoTune for performance analysis and AutoTier for automated data movement to different drive classes. The SnapSAN 5000 also has WORM capabilities for compliance.

Both arrays also support SAS and Nearline SAS drives, as well as SSDs.

Although a relative newcomer in the storage area network (SAN) market, Overland is positioning the new systems as low-cost alternatives to midrange and enterprise storage systems from EMC, NetApp, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), Hewlett-Packard, Dell and IBM.

The SnapSAN 3000 is priced at $14,000 while the SnapSAN 5000 is priced at $17,000.

"What they are doing is bringing many high-end system features for midrange products at an all-inclusive price," said Randy Kerns, senior strategist at Boulder, Colo.-based Evaluator Group Inc. "They have added lots of capabilities only seen in high-end storage enterprises. You don't pay extra for those features. It's in an all-inclusive price."

According to San Diego-based Overland Storage, there are no immediate plans to discontinue the lower-end SnapSAN 2000 and the entry-level SnapSAN 1000. 

"They are completely different architectures," said Joe Disher, the company's solutions marketing manage. "The 5000 is for higher performance and much more complex data sets; anything that requires lots of I/O. The 3000 also is for high-performance applications, but not necessarily the highest performance applications."

Can Overland 'Snap' out of financial slump?

Overland is betting its business on its Snap disk storage products. Overland launched the SnapSAN platform in 2010, two years after it acquired the Snap Server NAS product line from Adaptec in an attempt to diversify from a tape-only vendor to a storage systems company. The transition has been rough, as Overland continues to lose money. The vendor lost $13 million in 2010 and $14.5 million in 2011, and losses have continued in recent quarters.

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