Jul 28, 2003 (12:07 PM EDT)
A New Appliance To Manage Storage Appliances

Read the Original Article at InformationWeek

Companies buy network-attached storage because its simple. A NAS box plugs into an IP-based network and runs like a server, with much less administration. But add a dozen appliances, with different file systems, and things are no longer simple.

It usually takes labor-intensive work to move data between different NAS boxes running different file systems. Rainfinity plans to overcome that problem Tuesday when it unveils the RainStorage NAS management appliance, which uses something called ActiveBand architecture to convert files from one file system to another. ActiveBand lets administrators move information among heterogeneous file systems by moving it from one system to another as needed, while users continue working.

This could eliminate the usual problems with NAS data migration, including integrity, disaster recovery, and throughput. With RainStorage, administrators can better manage consolidation, performance tuning, and life-cycle management. The management appliance will handle both NFS and CIFS-based files. RainStorage is generally available and costs around $80,000 to support an unlimited amount of files.

An industry analyst thinks the way RainStorage steps in and out of the data path nondisruptively makes it special. Mike Fisch at Clipper Group, says, "That's the key, and I don't know of anyone else who does exactly what they do."