ONStor ships open-source unified storage for SMBs

By Kevin Komiega

-- ONStor is breaking its own product mold by basing a new "unified storage" system for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) on open-source software and the Zettabyte File System (ZFS). The company this week announced an addition to its Pantera line of integrated storage systems, the Pantera LS 2100.

The LS 2100 series is a family of unified IP storage systems that provide both iSCSI and NAS support in a single box. Targeting SMBs – a first for ONStor – the Pantera LS 2100 family also includes a variety of built-in data and storage management tools based on the OpenSolaris operating system and ZFS.

The Pantera 2130 and 2150 models include support for RAID 5 and 6, snapshots and clones, differential replication for disaster recovery, and self-healing capabilities. In addition, the LS 2100 series features thin provisioning and data compression.

Both the 2130 and 2150 systems use the ZFS hybrid storage pool to support combined SAS or flash-based solid-state disk (SSD) drives, as well as SATA drives for high capacity deployments.

The Pantera LS 2130 and 2150 are available now through ONStor's distribution and reseller channel partners. The LS 2130 scales to 48 SAS or SATA drives, with a list price of $36,000 for a 15TB SATA configuration. The LS 2150 scales to 96 drives of SAS, SATA and SSDs, and carries a price tag of $39,500 with 15TB of SATA storage. 

ONStor's vice president of marketing, Narayan Venkat, says the Pantera LS 2100 series represents a "break in tradition" for ONStor.

"Our current product line consists of two families focused on large and midrange deployments. The Pantera integrated NAS family dipped into smaller customers, but really didn't fit," says Venkat. "The Pantera LS 2100 is a unified storage system – with NFS, CIFS and iSCSI in one box – specifically for SMBs."

He also says the decision to base the LS 2100 series on ZFS is new to ONStor.

"We [were trying to figure out] how to move to a much more commoditized x86 platform and we are now starting to see the emergence of very good software technologies in the open-source community. One could argue that ZFS is starting to accelerate the commoditization of file system technologies, and using it is the easiest way to build a unified storage system," he says.

Venkat believes that ZFS will eventually become an industry standard file system. "It is reliable and feature-rich. We are on the verge of seeing that market explode and we are getting into the game early," he says.

ONStor plans to expand its ZFS-based product line by using it as the foundation for its NAS gateway products, along with the EverON StorFS file system on the company's Cougar line of NAS gateways. ONStor also plans to integrate the capabilities of the StorFS file system with ZFS to expand the performance and scalability of its NAS gateways for medium and large enterprises.

Related articles:
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Sun ships open-source arrays
Sun adds tools, services for open-source storage

This article was originally published on April 23, 2009