Overland Drives Disk Harder

New appliance signals tape library maker's faith in disk

April 9, 2004

2 Min Read
Network Computing logo

In a bid to stay ahead of customer trends, Overland Storage Inc. (Nasdaq: OVRL), which made its fortune in tape libraries, is rolling out a new series of disk-based backup-and-recovery appliances.

By April 20, Overland plans to ship the REO 4000, a secondary storage backup unit designed for midrange applications -- that is, those positioned between storage networks for small businesses and large-scale enterprises.

There's news here on several counts. First off, Overland's new kit is yet another sign of the sharper focus tape backup vendors have on disk. According to Peri Grover, director of product management at Overland, over 50 percent of IT-ers are using or looking to use more disk-based backup, because it offers fast access for recovery. But many still like tape's portability. So there's room for products that support both.

This isn't Overland's first delve into disk. The company launched the REO 2000 early in September 2003 (see Overland Ships iSCSI Backup Boxes), in line with rollouts from the likes of Advanced Digital Information Corp. (Nasdaq: ADIC) and Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) (NYSE: STK). (See ADIC Whips Out Big Disk, StorageTek: The Next Disk Titan?, and Quantum Digs Into Disk Backup.)

But Overland didn't go far enough with the REO 2000, which had only iSCSI connectivity and Windows support. "That's certainly not where the masses are today," Grover says.Overland is facing fierce competition. Besides ADIC and StorageTek, the vendor is up against a battalion of vendors looking to cash in on the new disk trend, including the likes of EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), and Quantum Corp. (NYSE: DSS), and a passel of startups such as Copan Systems Inc. and Sepaton Inc. (see Copan Takes Aim at Tape, Sepaton Swigs $23.5M, and EMC and HP Spin Disk).

Overland's priced the REO 4000 to fight. It will have an estimated starting price of about $13,500 for the iSCSI unit and $17,500 for one with both iSCSI and Fibre Channel.

The box features Fibre Channel and iSCSI connectivity; compatibility with Windows, Linux, and a range of Unix operating systems; RAID 5 support; LTO-2 tape emulation for use in "disk to tape" or in "disk to disk to tape" scenarios; and disk virtualization. The units can be stacked in 2-Tbyte increments, and Overland will sell readymade configuration of 2, 4, 6, and 8 Tbytes.

Grover says the company's OEMs, including HP and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), haven't yet tried the new box, and initially it will sell strictly through Overland's reseller channel, which she says typically helps foster demand.

Figure 1: REO 4000

Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights