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Storage Goes Home

The game of How low can you go?” in storage networking keeps reaching new depths. Entry-level SAN and NAS systems aimed at SMBs are no longer the low end. Now we’re seeing networked storage for home users.

New SAN software from DataCore Software Corp. and a partnership built around Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) Linksys routers and Maxtor Corp. (NYSE: MXO)
drives, both launched this week, take the concept of NAS and SAN for the masses down to new levels.

By plugging a USB drive into the Linksys wired or wireless routers, any user on a home network can access the drive. The router works with any hard drive, but Linksys ships with Maxtor file management software to facilitate the use of Maxtor drives. Linksys and Maxtor pitch the technology as a mini-NAS that provides 250 Gbytes of storage for $450 -- $99 for the router and $350 for the drive. Users can daisy chain drives for more storage.

“The SMB products you hear about are really for medium-sized businesses,” says Stephen DiFranco, Maxtor’s VP of marketing. “There’s nothing that really addresses the small business and home market. This requires no IT expertise.”

Datacore's SANmelody Lite, a scaled down version of SANmelody for SMBs, runs on PC servers and lets users grab additional capacity from any other hard drive on the network. DataCore CEO George Teixeira says the product turns a server with a couple of SATA drives and Ethernet connection into a mini-iSCSI SAN.

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