As the price per megabyte for storage continues to make capacity more affordable the cost to manage that same storage is on the rise. The lack of qualified, skilled professionals that can juggle the bits and bytes is fleeting as well, driving the need for more automated storage devices. Grau Data Storage, Inc., Louisville, Colo., is trying to make the management headache disappear with a monster of a NAS system that scales from 5T Bytes to 35T Bytes using its Infinistore Virtual Disk technology and Sony�s new AIT-3 drives.
The new Infinistore systems are about the size of a home refrigerator almost double the capacity of existing Inifinistore offerings that were first introduced in June of 2000. The new Infinistore products with AIT support will hit the street in mid 2001.
"The Infinistore Virtual Disk (IVD) system is a NAS subsystem that is built around our storage management software to provide ease of use for administrators in dealing with very large quantities of data," said Mike Holland, president of Grau Data. "In the open systems client/server market space, or midrange, or NT/Win2000, or whatever the non-IBM mainframe market is called today, storage growth is skyrocketing, administration resources are scarce, and old archiving techniques are not consistent with today's access requirements to stored information."
Grau Data's IVD provides a plug-and-play attachment to any network topology, for cross-platform file sharing for UNIX and Windows NT/2000 data using NFS and CIFS protocols. The design allows users to scale capacity from 2.5T Bytes to 35T Bytes with AIT-3 drives packed into a footprint of less than one half meter of floor space. The system can be configured with Fibre Channel, ATM or Gigabit Ethernet connects for performance-intensive applications.
"Our target market is the NT/Windows 2000 market space that is getting overwhelmed by storage and has an absence of skilled professionals to bring mainframe-class services/systems into this market segment affordably," Holland continued. "There are several vertical niches that are of interest such as printing, document management and workflow, digital asset management, security system, and one very active horizontal market called MS Exchange archiving and data management. And the opportunities grow with better metrics such as price per M Byte."
Grau is just beginning to ship its products in the United States. The company has50-60 systems installed in Europe and will have 5 systems installed in the U.S. this month. The company said that its prospects look very bright for next year.Kevin Komiega, assistant news editor