Startup Gridstore addresses 'NAS sprawl'

Posted on December 15, 2009

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By Dave Simpson

 -- Tackling the problems associated with NAS silos, which lead to storage sprawl, startup Gridstore is prepping software and storage node building blocks that can pool NAS devices in a grid configuration.

The NASg platform works with existing, standalone NAS devices and/or with storage nodes, or building blocks, that will be delivered by Gridstore's channel partners and OEMs. NASg is in beta with the startup's partners, with the official product launch expected around March.

"The NASg software virtualizes NAS devices into a single pool of storage," explains Gridstore CEO and co-founder Kelly Murphy. "The software resides on client systems, and aggregates the processing power of those machines," says Murphy. "All of the storage processing is done on the client side, and we stripe data across all of the storage nodes." He claims that, by striping data across the nodes, the grid architecture eliminates the single points of failure that exist with traditional approaches to NAS.

Because all of the storage processing is done on the client side, "the storage nodes are only doing very simple I/O processing. Everything happens in parallel, and the more storage nodes that are added, the less work each one actually does, increasing the parallel data path," says Murphy.

NASg supports CIFS, with support for iSCSI and NFS to follow.

For its resellers and OEMs, Gridstore supplies a reference model for its storage blocks, which are based on Windows XP, an Intel Atom core, 1GB of RAM, and 1TB to 2TB of SATA-based disk capacity. Murphy predicts that pricing for a NASg Storage Block will range from $300 to $400.

"You can have a 7TB NAS grid for about $2,900," says Murphy. That configuration would include the NASg software ($800) and seven 1TB nodes at about $300 per node.

In addition to SMBs, Gridstore plans to target managed services providers (MSPs).

Related articles:
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It's not your father's NAS anymore
Scale Computing upgrades scale-out architecture


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