Maxtor announces NAS upgrades, future plans

By Zachary Shess

Four months after moving into the network-attached storage (NAS) market, Maxtor Corp. began shipping second-generation NAS appliances. Maxtor also announced plans to move into the land of Auspex Systems and Network Appliance later this year by delivering higher-end NAS.

Maxtor started shipping MaxAttach Desktop 2.0 late last month. By upping the per-platter capacity from 9GB to 10GB, Maxtor boosted overall capacities of the three new models to 20GB, 40GB, and 80GB, versus 18GB, 36GB, and 72GB. Pricing will remain about the same, and Reflect-It PC backup software is still available as an option. Maxtor's Reflect-It offers transparent scheduled backup and instantaneous data mirroring capability.

To attract less technical users, Maxtor also added software options for greater configuration flexibility. The 20GB model has a standard JBOD setup, while the 40GB and 80GB versions offer disk spanning and RAID-1 mirroring. The ability to set up a logical volume (disk spanning) or redundant drives (disk mirroring) in an entry-level server means mission-critical applications are no longer restricted to banking, airlines, and oil and gas operations, says Jay Kramer, senior director of marketing for Maxtor's network systems group.

"RAID is moving from the enterprise down through the midrange and into the entry level as drive capacities increase and prices become attractive enough that non-traditional companies can take advantage of mirroring," Kramer adds.

In this market segment especially, simplicity is key. Kramer says the company did not want to keep adding features and options to the MaxAttach Desktop without installation and configuration remaining simple and Web-based. The server is designed to be installed in four mouse clicks.

Without offering specific ship dates, Maxtor says it plans to expand the Max-Attach NAS server line beyond its current desktop devices over the next several months. The extended server line will include rack-mount versions and Web servers scaling to 240GB.

Estimated retail pricing is $995 for the 20GB MaxAttach Desktop 2.0. The 40GB and 80GB versions are $1,595 and $1,995, respectively. Available through resellers only, Maxtor has signed up VARs such as Tech Data and Bell Microproducts.

This article was originally published on February 02, 2000