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Procom acquires software developer; debuts new NAS appliances

Procom Technology, Inc., wasted no time in making moves for 2001. The Irvine, Calif.-based network-attached storage (NAS) manufacturer has acquired Scofima Software, a company specializing in content delivery solutions, and has unveiled its newest product offering: Two NAS appliances designed to scale to more than 4T Bytes of storage capacity.

Last week Procom announced that it had completed its acquisition of privately held Scofima Software in an all-stock transaction. Scofima develops content delivery software that is expected to be used in a new line of appliances to be introduced by Procom later this year. The company stated that Scofima's technology will allow Procom to offer integrated solutions for content adaptation, management and distribution of streaming media, and optimization of Web site performance.

"The acquisition will provide us with software technology to enable us to tap into the content delivery, and content adaptation application. We expect to release products based on this technology during the 2nd half of 2001," said Page Tagizad, Procom's director of product management. "Procom's view of the content delivery and content adaptation products is that they will be complementary products to our NAS filers, which are well suited for the internet-based storage applications."

On the product front, Procom debuted its new NetForce 3100HA enterprise-class NAS appliance featuring Procom's first use of Fibre Channel technology in its line of NAS filers. Also hitting the streets is the NetForce 3200SFT, its highest capacity, highest performance NAS appliance to date.

The NetForce 3100HA is an entry-level enterprise filer featuring an architecture that includes dual-active Fibre RAID controllers and that incorporates Fibre Channel storage subsystems with dual redundant loops on the front end of each redundant Fibre controller, as well as on the back end. The 3200SFT is a fully fault-tolerant version of the NAS appliance designed to complement the 3100 high-end environments.

Tagizad said the new products are targeted for upscale departmental, e-business, and enterprise applications. "Both of the new units are scalable to 4.3T Bytes of storage capacity. The difference between the two is that the 3100 has one server head and the 3200 has two server heads with clustered failover." he said.

The 3200SFTis built on a symmetric, fault-tolerant architecture, and its dual-active server design delivers automatic fail-over for transparent data recovery in less than 5 seconds in the event of server failure.

The new NAS appliances are available now and offer cross-platform file sharing capabilities with support for both NFS under UNIX and CIFS under Windows, as well as standard support for the Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP).. The 3100HA has a starting price of $42,000. Pricing for the 3200SFT can range up to $370,000 for a 4.3T Byte system.

Tagizad pointed to performance, features, functionality, and most notably the price of the new NAS devices as tilting the scales in Procom's favor over its competition. "Both EMC and Network Appliance use a proprietary back end, whereas we open up our back end. Our devices are 50% the cost of Network Appliance and 25% that of EMC."

Let us know what you think about the story, e-mail Kevin Komiega, assistant news editor

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