RealTime IT News

Magic Storage: Cheap and Simple

StorMagic is the latest storage vendor to jump into the SMB market offering up what it describes as enterprise-level SAN at an entry-level price.

The SMTB SAN features the vendor's SM Series software for easy setup, data movement and monitoring, and a 2U 12-drive rack, available in 3-terabyte (TB), 7TB and 11TB RAID configurations. Starting list price is $9,999.

"SMB needs are the same as the enterprise just on a smaller scale," Mike Stolz, vice president of marketing, told InternetNews.com. "They face exploding capacity requirements as everything is now done in 'e' such as e-mail, e-billing, e-payment."

He added that product set-up takes six clicks, compared to a typical 22-step process required for other products.

That ease of use and simplicity is on target with SMB storage needs, according to one analyst.

"This is all about smaller and cheaper," Mark Peters, Enterprise Strategy Group analyst, told InternetNews.com. "Lots of vendors are to make it easy but it is ludicrously difficult and typically requires specialization," he said, adding the product reflects the simplicity of desktop drag-and-drop storage methods.

The SMTB series offers dual hot-swap power supplies, dual-core Xeon processor and two 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports. According to Stolz, it's a better option than other potential options such as expanding with direct attached storage, which he described as "disruptive" since adding server-grade disks requires that a server be taken down.

While he acknowledged that OS virtualization is another technology choice, he said it could be too expensive and complex for SMBs.

"This [SMTB SAN] provides enterprise-level features using iSCSI technology at a lower cost and in an easy-to-use format that lets SMBs, without specialized staff, better manage data," he said.

StorMagic faces some formidable competitors already entrenched in the SMB storage market including Dell's EqualLogic products, and offerings from HP, NetApp, Falconstor and EMC.

The difference between those products and StorMagic's, Stolz said, is simplicity, ease of management and low price.

"Our product includes a complete SAN management framework for Microsoft servers that manages all aspects," he said.

The most compelling feature, he said, is volume migration from a present volume on the server to the StorMagic Enabled iSCSI appliance.

"We are able to do this non-disruptively and migrate the attributes including drive letter, sharing and permissions," Stolz said, noting that migration can be done during production as the functionality will note and update the migrated information before enabling the volume swap.

Right now the product does not feature replication but the vendor said that technology will come later in the year as the product is just the first of a series.