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NeoPath Enhances File Management

NeoPath Networks is set to unveil a new version of its file management appliance and a resale arrangement with storage integrator SANZ (OTC: SANZ).

The move is a swipe at growing competition in the small but robust niche NeoPath occupies. The first upgrade to the vendor's gear since the product's initial launch in December 2004, it is also the first reseller agreement NeoPath has struck (see NeoPath Unveils File Director).

NeoPath claims better performance and functionality for its new FD-220 File Director compared with its first release. But the value prop is still the same: NeoPath's gear manages files stored across different NAS systems as one big pool, using virtual namespace and load balancing. This allows customers to make the best use of NAS filers to consolidate storage.

NeoPath competes with the likes of Acopia Networks Inc., NuView Inc., and Rainfinity. But its FD-220 is differentiated from the competition, the vendor claims, by its price and performance.

It's tough to get exact reports here, a key indicator that a shakeout may be coming. "All four suppliers of network file management machines have done a really good job of helping customers manage their files," says Arun Taneja of the Taneja Group consultancy. He says NeoPath's closest competitor is Acopia, since the two are in-band appliances, whereas NuView offers software and Rainfinity's solution is a hybrid.

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