Network storage company Quantum has added virtualisation capabilities to the Snap Server network attached storage (Nas) range to simplify storage access.
Called Snap Server DiskXtender Application Edition (DXAE), the software, which has been added to its high-end models, creates a storage pool for up to five Snap Servers, either the 240/400Gb Snap Server 4100, the 960Gb Snap Server 12000 or a combination of both.
"DXAE builds on [Quantum's] ease of use," said Ivan Pim, the company's European systems engineering manager. "There is one general purpose server and DXAE uses algorithms to figure out which files are least used and moves them out."
With five 12000 models, users could theoretically address a single virtual disk with a capacity of 4.8Tb, but typically Raid 5 is used which limits it to about 4Tb.
Quantum is not the first Nas supplier to offer virtualisation of this type. However, the 12000 is currently the highest capacity drive with high availability designed for this marketplace.
The firm has shipped over 80,000 Snap Servers worldwide and Pim said that between 25,000 and 30,000 of these were the 4100 model.
The 12000 is a new product with high availability features including hot-swap drives and power supplies. Using this combination, it could save costs by reducing the number of servers and their licence fees.
IDC analyst Claus Egge said: "For existing users whose capacity is growing, pooling disks makes sense. Quantum's approach to the Nas market is to provide plug-and-play products with minimum maintenance by non-technicians.
"Pooling makes it easier to overcome the disk restriction of [Microsoft] Windows where each disk is designated a separate letter."
Many larger enterprises have begun using storage area networks with virtualisation to gain large data capacities and simplified access to different disk types.
But smaller companies and departments find that Nas provides raw capacity for much lower complexity and total cost of ownership.
Snap Server DXAE is available immediately through Quantum's resellers and distributors. Licences will cost around £875 for each Snap Server 4100 and £2135 for each Snap Server 12000 in the pool.
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