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FineGround

Data center startup FineGround Inc., traditionally a vendor of application-delivery devices, is branching out into the storage marketplace with the launch of its Velocity-FS box today.

The new device is designed for wide-area file services (WAFS), an emerging technology which enables users in remote offices to access data from data center storage servers. The 1-rack-unit-high box sits behind a router in the data center and converts HTTP requests received over the wide-area network into the Common Internet File System (CIFS) protocol, which is used to access the files. The CIFS response is then converted back into HTTP and sent back over the WAN.

A number of vendors, including Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Tacit Networks Inc., already have offerings in this space, although there is a key difference in FineGrounds strategy. The Campbell, Calif.-based vendor uses a “single-box” approach to handling these files.

Vendors such as Cisco, for example, which built its WAFS strategy around technology acquired from Actona Technologies Inc., uses devices located both at the data center and the remote location to share data (see Cisco Acts on Actona). Likewise, Tacit Networks Inc.’s iShared technology uses two devices.

”The strength of the FineGround approach is the single box, which is located in the data center with your most skilled IT staff,” says William Hurley, analyst at The Enterprise Strategy Group Inc. “It simplifies management and deployment of the technology.”

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