The news puts Times N, founded in 1999, into the growing crowd of firms offering storage virtualization -- the pooling of storage across multiple servers and devices (see Virtualization Vendors Vie for OEMs).
Times N says it's unique in offering enterprise customers a way to virtualize not only the servers in their corporate networks, but the storage devices directly attached to those servers. The result, says the vendor, is a way to improve I/O in corporate networks two to four times, without buying Fibre Channel gear or new servers.
"We create a big virtual disk spanning multiple resources, then stripe data across the resources," says Margaret Lewis, program director of product marketing at Times N.
Times N's product, the TNS 1600, includes a specially designed PCI adapter that fits Intel servers. The adapters provide a high-speed, proprietary connection to Times N's hardware unit, called the TMN Shared Memory Node. Each node can handle the maximum equivalent of 16 servers, each equipped with 16-Gbytes of disk storage. Once the virtual disk is set up, Linux- or Windows2000-based software enables data to be controlled and manipulated.