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Nimbus Storage Appliances Unify SAN/NAS, SAS/SATA

Nimbus Data Systems aims to unify SAN and NAS architectures in a new series of unified IP storage appliances, and the company is depending on channel partners to bring the products to market.

The San Francisco-based storage vendor on Tuesday unveiled two new appliances, each of which offers meets a range of storage requirements in one device, CEO Thomas Isakovich said. The appliances can be used as an iSCSI SAN array and as a NAS appliance using Gbit or 10-Gbit Ethernet, he said. They can be simultaneously configured with SAS drives for primary storage and with SATA drives for nearline storage for migration of data between the two.

"We are the first to support SAS and SATA in a single enclosure," Isakovich said. "And we are the first to do iSCSI with 10-Gbit Ethernet."

Several vendors have been working to join SAN and NAS architectures in one appliance. SAN vendors such as EMC and Hitachi Data Systems offer NAS gateways, which allow files to be served from a SAN array as if they were on a NAS appliance.

Other vendors are uniting iSCSI and NAS on a single appliance. That was Microsoft's goal with its acquisition of iSCSI technology from String Bean Software earlier this month. Open-E, a German software developer, is developing modules to turn industry-standard servers into iSCSI/NAS appliances. And Network Appliance's FAS storage family combines iSCSI, NAS and Fibre Channel connectivity.

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