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VA Linux Systems Ventures into Storage

Sep 12, 2000, 18:07 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Thor Olavsrud)

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By Thor Olavsrud,

Linux hardware specialist VA Linux Systems Inc. made its first foray into storage solutions Tuesday with the introduction of the VA Linux 9205 NAS (network-attached storage) system, an ultradense 2U storage appliance.

The 3.5-inch high appliance, starting at less than $29,300 for 180GB of storage, is scalable to 2.1 terabytes in an ultradense 8U form factor or more than 10TB in a standard 42U rack. The 9205 NAS is a file sharing solution targeted at e-businesses in ISP data centers where space is at a premium. VA Linux Systems (NASDAQ:LNUX) said it offers seamless file sharing across multiple platforms -- including Linux, UNIX, Windows and Mac OS -- enabling transparent file access in heterogeneous network environments.

"VA Linux is bringing the power of Open Source software -- reliability, innovation and reduced costs -- to the NAS market," said Ali Jenab, senior vice president and general manager of VA Linux's Systems Division. "E-businesses today need to manage and store more data than ever before, and Open Source is the key to keeping up with this rapid pace. VA Linux is re-defining the storage market by bringing scalable Open Source NAS solutions to our customers, and backing them with an extensive, best-of-class service and support package."

The company said the 9205 NAS is designed to maximize uptime and reliability through the following features:

  • The system uses a serial console setup wizard to connect it to an existing Ethernet network in minutes, a Web-based GUI for administration, and is able to be upgraded with additional storage on the fly
  • It features Global Status Monitoring for remote management, including built-in "phone-home" capabilities that send e-mail to VA Linux tech support and to customer sites at the first sign of problems
  • It is shipped with RAID 5 (a number of disk drives used in combination to provide fault tolerance and increased performance, RAID 5 provides data striping at the byte level and stripe error correction) including a hot spare for redundancy with battery backup for cache protection; the 9205 NAS is also the first enterprise-level product to offer the ext3 journaling file system, which provides improved data integrity and recovery in the event of power interruptions
  • The system allows tape drives and libraries to be attached directly for high-performance, LAN-free data backup, and is qualified to work with Workstation Solutions' Quick Restore, an NDMP-based data backup and recovery solution that enables local backup as well as backup from the 9205 NAS to a UNIX/Linux backup server for centralized enterprise data protection
  • The company will provide access to the 9205 NAS software on the SourceForge Storage Foundry, a resource on storage-related software projects.