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Rainfinity Gets Reinforced

Second version of its NAS data migration box adds failover and CIFS support. Now is it worth $80K?

Network security startup Rainfinity is digging its talons deeper into the storage market with the launch of the second version of its NAS management appliance (see Rainfinity Upgrades NAS Migration Box).

The San Jose, Calif., company still claims to be the only game in town for providing continuous access to NAS systems even as filers are being backed up or migrated. Added to the mix in the new version of the companys RainStorage appliance is support for the Common Internet File System (CIFS) protocol, better interoperability with other management products, and the ability to cluster two appliances together for failover and better performance.

The failover capability was an important addition, according to Rainfinity customer Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM). Keith Jolley, Qualcomm’s staff engineer manager, says the company tested the first version of the appliance but didn’t want to put it into its Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) environment for fear it would lower performance and reliability.

“We’ve got our NetApp file servers clustered with failover,” he says. “We’re spending literally hundreds of thousands of dollars extra for that reliability. Why would we put something else in front of that that would lower the reliability?”

It wasn’t until Jolley saw the second RainStorage appliance a couple of months ago that he convinced Qualcomm's management to write a check for it. “We’re using it for migrating data,” he says, adding that the company typically migrates about 48 Mbytes of data at a time. “If we run out of space on a particular volume, we can move data around without impacting the customers as much.”

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