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File system maker joins interoperability programs

SAN file system startup Agile Storage has renamed itself and joined interoperability programs for both HDS and LSI Logic disk systems.

Agile Storage Inc., a startup bent on bringing file-level storage to open storage area networks (SANs), has undergone...

a facelift, renamed itself, and teamed with some notable storage hardware vendors in an effort to create SAN file systems on their respective arrays.

The Los Gatos, Calif., company, now called ClariStor Inc., not only has a new moniker, but it announced alliances with Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) Corp. and LSI Logic Storage Systems, a subsidiary of LSI Logic Corp.

"We changed the name from Agile to ClariStor because we found … the Agile brand to be one that has been used before," said Peter Tarrant, who was formerly with Brocade Communications Systems Inc. and is now vice president of marketing at ClariStor.

Tarrant said that ClariStor's SAN file system is basically a filer that attaches to a SAN, but it is not a network-attached storage (NAS) gateway or an appliance that comes with its own disk.

The file system is designed to store data, metadata and journal information on the SAN. The product will also come with custom hardware that is expected to scale into the petabyte range. The combined software and hardware system also consolidates distributed islands of NAS storage.

"Our file system and applications are focused on multiple degrees of storage. We can support everything from a high-end HDS box to a low-cost ATA disk array," Tarrant said.

Tarrant said its partnerships with HDS and LSI are a necessity for ClariStor because its product needs to interoperate with disk arrays.

Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst with Enterprise Storage Group Inc., said that ClariStor's file system solves the real problems in NAS. "It creates a single unified system view, no matter how many nodes there are, and it lets you use NAS file services as an application plugged into the core SAN storage," he said.

ClariStor will now participate in HDS' TrueNorth Developers Program, which gives ClariStor access to HDS' HiCommand management application programming interfaces (APIs), integration tools and software libraries. This support will allow ClariStor products to automatically discover, store, consolidate, pool and provision files on Hitachi Freedom Storage products, including the Lightning 9900 V Series, Lightning 9900 Series and Thunder 9200 systems, the company said.

ClariStor has licensed access to the APIs and software developer's kit (SDK) for LSI Logic-based storage arrays. ClariStor will use the kit to develop a management interface that enables its SAN filer system to automatically configure and manage LSI Logic arrays based on application requirements.

Last March, ClariStor (then Agile) banked $26 million in series B funding, bringing its total equity investment to $40 million.

ClariStor will place its product in beta testing by next spring and will be shipping by summer 2003, the company said.

Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail Kevin Komiega, News Writer


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