Maxtor Corp.`s August acquisition of Santa Clara, CA-based Creative Design Solutions (CDS) marks the second disk drive vendor to buy its entry into the network-attached storage (NAS) market this year. In May, Quantum acquired Scotts Valley, CA-based Meridian Data.

In a stock swap worth approximately $57 million, Maxtor obtains a NAS server engine vendor, and gains entry into a market that analysts believe is primed to accelerate. For example, the entry-level and workgroup NAS appliance market is forecasted to grow from $963 million last year to $3.9 billion in 2002.

These optimistic forecasts, coupled with synergistic business models, are why hard drive vendors have moved into the NAS market this year, says Jon Toor, Maxtor`s director of product marketing. “This acquisition enables us to specifically tailor and optimize hard drives for NAS applications,” Toor says.

In addition to its NAS engines, CDS also offers the Plug & Stor NAS server line and SimplePi and Pi storage management software suites. At press time, Maxtor had not finalized product plans.

The acquisition opens up the possibility of Maxtor competing with CDS` OEM partners, which include rival Quantum, Auspex Systems, and nStor. Until the acquisition is finalized, Maxtor officials would not comment on the future of those relationships.