ONStor takes a shot at NetApp

By Ann Silverthorn

—Known primarily as a vendor of NAS gateways, ONStor this week introduced its first complete NAS system, dubbed Pantera. Built on the company's Bobcat NAS gateway architecture, Pantera adds Dot Hill disks arrays with two classes of drives. Although Pantera uses the same back-end storage that Network Appliance uses on some of its systems, ONStor claims that its integrated NAS systems offer higher performance, better scalability than NetApp's midrange filers, and in some cases a 50% lower price tag.

As in the past, users can still purchase ONStor's gateways and attach them to third-party storage devices and SANs.

Because Pantera is modular, customers can buy a complete system for under $40,000 and then independently grow both performance and capacity by adding either filer nodes or disks. ONStor offers n-way clustering with up to eight nodes in a cluster. Users can start with two nodes and have the headroom to grow 4x beyond that without disrupting users.

"As soon as companies outgrow a typical NAS solution and add a second one, they more than double their management workload," says Jon Toor, vice president of marketing for ONStor. "They have to manage two devices and move users back and forth between the two devices, as well as balance workloads between them."

Although ONStor uses the same hardware as NetApp, Toor says it can offer a similar system at a lower price because ONStor includes CIFS and NFS protocols and virtual servers as a bundle in the base price rather than as add-ons.

An entry-level Pantera 2220 with 6TB of Serial ATA (SATA) disk is priced at $35,000. A high-availability model, the Pantera 2260HA, with dual nodes and 12TB of SATA disk is priced at $100,000. In addition to SATA disk drives, the system is available with 15,000rpm Serial Attached Storage (SAS) drives.

In addition to Network Appliance, ONStor's Pantera will have to compete with NAS products from EMC and other vendors.

This article was originally published on August 29, 2006