Winchester Systems has announced a new network storage appliance called FlashDisk OpenNAS. Designed around Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Appliance software, the FlashDisk OpenNAS supports various clients running various operating systems, including Macs running AppleTalk and UNIX and Linux systems that support Network File System (NFS).
Winchester Systems describes FlashDisk OpenNAS as a “filer.” It’s comprised of a server and FlashDisk OpenRAID disk arrays, available in fibre channel and Ultra160 SCSI configurations. The FlashDisk OpenNAS connects to the network using Ethernet.
In addition to being able to dedicate logical volumes to individual operating system file structures, the FlashDisk OpenNAS can also be configured to serve files to multiple operating systems simultaneously, while storing data once in a standard format and serving up the data through “presentation layers.” This way, said Winchester Systems, users of various operating systems can work on the same data without duplicating it.
FlashDisk OpenNAS also supports snapshot backups; up to 250 “point-in-time” images of data can be stored per volume, for up to 255 volumes. The snapshots can be created on demand or scheduled. This way, data can be restored to a previous point in time if necessary.
Winchester Systems claims that each FlashDisk OpenRAID array can provide up to 13,000 sustained disk operations per second with up to 121MB per second sustained data throughput.
This sort of functionality doesn’t come cheap, but if your enterprise demands performance and flexibility it may be worth looking into. A complete Ultra160 SCSI-based FlashDisk OpenNAS system with about 880GB of storage capacity clocks in at US$47,312. The same system with fibre channel comes in at $51,994.