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Inline Busts Out of Line

After a quiet existence out of the spotlight, a Virginia company wants a piece of the action.

Seven-year-old Inline Corp. just announced a new series of network attached storage (NAS) gear (see Inline Launches NAS Devices ) and plans to release a high-end storage array with integral switching on Monday.

After several years of selling RAID arrays to corporate, university, and government customers, Inline's now aiming for direct competition with storage networking vendors across the board. An ambitious goal by any measure.

Let's take it from the top. Inline's new low-end to midrange NAS gear -- dubbed the NAS Appliance series -- is aimed squarely at competing with wares from NAS market leader Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP). Shipping now to undisclosed customers, Inline's NA series is scaleable to 17.2 terabytes in a single unit, the company says (Network Appliance supports up to 12 Tbits in one unit).

The new boxes support dual Gigabit Ethernet ports and an option for Fibre Channel. Pricing starts in the "mid-teens." Follow-on interfaces for 2-Gbit/s Fibre Channel are slated for release at an unspecified future date. The company plans partnerships with other firms in order to support iSCSI (SCSI over IP) and Infiniband -- although just how that will work out is still unclear.