By Richard R. Lee
ECCS Inc. recently announced its SANStar network storage engine, which is designed to unify disparate data sources, whether they are based on direct-attached storage (DAS), network-attached storage (NAS), or storage area network (SAN) architectures. In addition, SANStar provides centralized management and monitoring.
The technology promises to deliver continuous access to shared data files and applications, regardless of their location, all at Fibre Channel data rates. SANStar is an extension of ECCS's Synchronix DAS and Synchronection NAS product families, which are sold direct to end users and through OEMs such as Unisys.
ECCS, originally a reseller of NCR equipment and then a vendor of OEM RAID products, has now evolved once again to become a direct provider of DAS, NAS, and SAN solutions (including infrastructure, storage devices, and management software).
SANStar unifies disparate data sources, whether they are based on direct-attached storage (DAS), network-attached storage (NAS), or storage area network (SAN) architectures.
SANStar is ECCS's SAN-type operating system, based on technology developed by CrosStor Software, as well as internally developed technology. SANStar facilitates end users' ability to access and share data across disparate networks and protocols, such as SAN (Fibre Channel), NAS (IP), and DAS (SCSI), as well as among disparate operating systems such as Windows and Unix.
SANStar provides a centralized management and monitoring interface, creating a "one-to-many" environment where numerous devices and nodes can be controlled by one administrator. The technology provides a mechanism for users to enhance the performance and flexibility of their existing ECCS-based solutions, with a future focus on providing the same levels of functionality to third-party storage devices through deployment of the SANStar APIs.
Like many RAID vendors of the 1990s, ECCS must transform itself from a box provider to a company that provides solutions and overall systems management, especially in light of its installed base of customers, most of whom are now embracing network-oriented storage environments.
In regard to competition, ECCS is endeavoring to find competitive advantage in a field of vendors, all of whom have access to similar technology and infrastructure partners. A potential source of such competitive advantage may be realizable if they are able to open up their capabilities to support other vendors' DAS, RAID, and NAS devices.