High-capacity NAS device on tap from Procom

IRVINE, Calif. -- Procom Technology Inc. is expected to launch a new high-end, network-attached storage appliance this week that lets heterogeneous enterprise customers share, consolidate and manage their storage resources.

The NetForce 3100HA is a scalable, high-availability NAS device with an initial capacity of more than four terabytes that customers can grow as their storage requirement increases. This can be done by inserting 36G- or 73G-byte drives into the rack-mount enclosure without taking the system down. The system also has fault-tolerant features such as redundant fans and RAID controllers. To connect it to the network, the NAS appliance has a 10/100/1000M bit/sec. Ethernet adapter.

The NetForce is the entry-level model of Procom's storage family. In Windows NT networks it makes use of access control lists (ACL) and NT's multiple master domain architecture. ACLs are lists of users who are allowed to access the server and the access rights they have; the multiple master domain architecture is used in geographically separated midsized and large corporations to house the security and access rights for users.

The NetForce supports the Unix Network File System and Microsoft's NFS, as well as the Network Data Management Protocol, the newest standard for LAN-free backup. It is designed to scale to over 16 terabytes.

The NetForce will compete against file servers from Network Appliance Inc. and EMC Corp. The Network Appliance 840 scales to over 4.5 terabytes. EMC's ip4700 has an upper capacity of 3.6 terabytes.

But it was the new device's easy installation and cost that attracted Varco, an oil and gas company in Houston.

"We put our [enterprise resource planning] system on a Network Appliance server originally," says Cory Lucas, network administrator for Varco. "It took a long time to install and was complex. We looked at a couple of alternatives, but they didn't offer us the storage capacity we wanted. The 3100 was a 15-minute install into our Windows NT environment at one-third the price of the Network Appliance product." Lucas says.

The NetForce 3100HA NAS appliance is available starting at $42,000.

This story, "High-capacity NAS device on tap from Procom" was originally published by Network World.

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