The ARX500 mimics Acopias bigger switches, the ARX6000 and ARX100, which connect to NAS gateways and provide a global namespace that lets customers manage storage from multiple devices and locations as though it were in one place. But the newbie costs substantially less, comes in a 1U form factor -- and supports less throughput.
The move is a double-edged sword for Acopia. On one hand, it could pump up volume for the startup. On the other, it brings Acopia into even more competition with rising products and players.
Though its technology has won high praise, Acopia has attracted only around 20 paying customers over its first year of shipping products -- not bad, but not on a hoped-for scale (see Acopia Wins Leading Lights Award and Acopia Ships Its Switch).
At least one analyst thinks going smaller could spread the word. This brings them into remote offices, but there are also people in smaller companies who want to try the technology out to see if they want it, says analyst John Webster of Data Mobility Group.