agami targets SMBs with iSCSI-NAS combo

By Kevin Komiega

agami Systems is taking its unified NAS and IP SAN technology downstream with a new storage system designed for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), claiming enterprise-class features and performance at an entry-level price.

The agami Information Server 1006 (AIS1006) features free replication, throughput levels up to 300MBps, and 6TB of capacity at a price of approximately $17,970. Other features include multi-protocol support for iSCSI, NFS, CIFS, NDMP, and SNMP; RAID 5 with parallel rebuild; environmental monitoring with call-home features; and snapshots. The iSCSI implementation of the AIS1006 is compatible with VMware, Microsoft Exchange, and SQL Server.

“Smaller companies are typically asked to give up some aspect of performance and functionality, but we’re embedding features such as replication for free and building on industry standard components to deliver a new level of price for a full-featured storage system,” claims Paul Speciale, agami’s vice president of product marketing.

All of the company’s arrays run on the agamiOS software, which supports a range of clients and features such as NDMP, iSCSI, snapshots, usage quotas, and an integrated file system replication technology called agamiFSR. agamiOS also supports a 64-bit virtual file system (agamiFS) that enables the creation, export, and deletion of file systems. The maximum file system size and number of files are limited only by the server’s total available capacity.

agamiFSR replicates file systems between a primary and secondary AIS server, either synchronously or asynchronously, over a LAN or WAN. It can be used to replicate data, consolidate data from several remote locations in real time, or to establish multiple remote locations for disaster recovery. Speciale says with replication being offered free of charge, SMBs can implement the same kinds of disaster-recovery and business continuity solutions deployed by large enterprises.

The agami hardware architecture is built on 64-bit symmetric multi-processor (SMP) technology, SATA disk drives, and HyperTransport I/O technology.

With its entry into the SMB market, agami is taking a new tack toward distribution.

“Historically, we’ve gone to market through our reseller partners and our own sales force, but the AIS1006 is currently only available through the agami Website,” says Speciale. “We’ve found that a lot of SMBs would rather buy online.”

Arun Taneja, founder and consulting analyst with the Taneja Group, believes the performance, software features, and pricing of the AIS1006 present a compelling argument in the SMB space, especially when compared to other systems on the market, but he does have reservations about selling solely via the Web.

“agami has better performance than most Windows or Linux-based offerings,” Taneja says. “But one part of their picture that is a concern is the e-commerce channel. If nobody goes to the Website, then nobody buys the product. This is new for agami, so it depends on what they do from a marketing perspective to attract people to their Website.”

This article was originally published on September 01, 2007