BY LISA COLEMAN
GE Access, a $3.5 billion distributor, recently introduced the first in a series of storage systems that focuses on storage area networks (SANs) with components from some of its partner vendors.
The Boulder, CO-based company established a storage division in 1998 when it began selling components from ADIC, Legato, and StorageTek. GE Access eventually increased its vendor pool to include Brocade, Hitachi, JNI, and others. Concurrently, the company's Alliance Point group investigated SAN development.
In May, GE Access debuted its AlliancePoint Storage Solutions product series with a SAN-based e-business system that uses Sun Enterprise 450 servers; Oracle's 8I Enterprise Edition; Veritas' Volume Manager, File System, and Quick IO; Brocade's 2250 switch; JNI host bus adapters; and StorageTek's 9176 and L180 (or Sun's T3) arrays. Native capacity is 14.4TB. The system is sold through GE Access's value-added resellers (VARs).
In addition, GE Access trains its VARs to assess customers' storage needs. "We've built methodologies and processes to help our resellers go into a customer's site and assess where it's at and develop storage solutions," says Mike Koprowski, manager of GE Access's storage practice.
By the third quarter, GE Access plans to add a LAN-free backup system to the product line. The company is also investigating partnerships with iSCSI and IP storage vendors.
GE Access develops its storage systems at its Littleton, CO-based Advanced Solutions Development Center.