Gridstore Enhances Scale-Out NAS Lineup

Specializing in scale-out network attached storage (NAS), Gridstore is releasing the second generation of its NASg system, which is targeted at small businesses and service providers and providing some information for the next two releases scheduled for Q4 2011 and Q1 2012, respectively. Founded in 2007, the Mountain View, CA-based company unveiled the beta of its first product at the end of 2009, a scalable storage grid costing about a third of similar solutions and started volume shipments las

March 22, 2011

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Specializing in scale-out network-attached storage (NAS), Gridstore is releasing the second generation of its NASg system and providing some information about the next two releases (scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2012, respectively). Founded in 2007, the Mountain View, Calif-based company in 2009 unveiled the beta of its first product, a scalable storage grid costing about a third of similar solutions.

Also available in a software version, NASg 2.0 is positioned between the enterprise ($25,000 plus) and stand-alone ($1,000 to $6,000) storage segments, providing a scalable, fault-tolerant, simple and affordable scale-out NAS solution for small and midsize businesses, says the company. Built around Intel's Atom CPU, the Windows-based solution starts at about $425 for a 1TByte node and $525 for a 2TByte node. A 12TByte six-node rack measuring 10 by 10 inches will cost about $4,395.

New capabilities for version 2.0 include support for Active Directory, Microsoft Management Console alerting, remote management, and support for Microsoft XP, Windows 7, Windows 2003 and Window 2008. Version 2.5 will feature snapshots, off-site replication, virtualization node restore and multitenant grid capabilities, while the 2012 release, NASg 3.0, will include iSCSI/block storage, virtualization support and Unix/NFS support.

Analyst Jeff Boles of the Taneja Group said that Gridstore is bringing an interesting new set of pay-as-you-grow scalable storage capabilities to the SME, at a cost of entry that is unmatched in the market today. "Moreover, since NASg scales, the value proposition moves beyond cost of entry with Gridstore promising the NASg can scale to unlimited capacity and performance levels with a disruptive cost per capacity over the long term. That mashes up what looks like enterprise capabilities, at an SMB price, for SME and bigger businesses."

He says that Gridstore sets a new mark for cost, and what he's seen suggests there's a solid foundation that should provide yet one more choice for IT shops looking for more cost-effective, flexible, easy-to-use storage that also provides a long-term system that can grow with changing needs.For SMB/SME storage in 2011, half the battle will be cost, and the other will rest upon making the SME operationally lean, mean and easy while better matching data storage with the flexibility and easy growth unleashed by the SME's virtual infrastructure, adds Boles. "There are lots of innovators--big and small--focused on the SME market this year. Customer's will need to assess whether each new offering truly does measure up to the increasingly high bar competitors are setting in terms of features and capabilities, no matter who's name is behind it."

Network Computing contributor and analyst George Crump, Storage Switzerland, is intrigued by the implications for the mid-range data-center market and the managed services provider (MSP) angle. "What I like that's unique about Gridstore is that they're using off-the-shelf hardware, but not typical off-the-shelf--i.e., the Atom processor, that gives them some advantages over competitors. This is a solution that offers a lot of benefits for the mid-market data center."

The biggest challenge facing these customers is not the rampant growth in data to be stored, but in managing the additional storage, says Crump. "It's no longer about whether you can get the capacity. We can give you all the capacity you can possibly stomach. It's about whether you can manage that additional capacity. When you plug something else in, what does that do to you? That's part of the advantage Gridstore's scale-out solution provides ... the ability to add capacity almost infinitely without having to break the bank ... [and] without interrupting workflow."

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