Infortrend moves into enterprise storage

The company is hoping that its five new SAN systems for scale-out storage will pull in medium-sized business customers

Infortrend has released five new SAN systems that combine fault-tolerant Raid storage hardware with software to help customers manage storage-area networks.

The Enterprise Scalable Virtualised Architecture (EVSA) range of systems, announced on Tuesday, incorporates storage virtualisation, automatic load balancing, thin provisioning and replication. It is designed so companies can add more storage applications easily, which lets them scale out their storage, rather than replace systems with higher-capacity models and scaling up.

Infortrend hopes this will be enough to help the company break out of its traditional SME market, says Jon Ashley, the company's director of marketing. "The company wants to be in the mid-tier and enterprise space, and we think this provides a compelling alternative to the systems those companies are using," Ashley said.

The idea behind EVSA is to remove the need for third-party SAN storage management software for medium-sized organisations, Infortrend said.

While Infortrend might find competing against enterprise market leaders such as IBM and HP a tough challenge, the EVSA range sits well in the mid-market, believes Rene Millman, a senior research analyst with Gartner Group.

"I'm not sure whether this kind of integrated software could cope with the complexity of an enterprise storage architecture, but there are benefits in less-complex environments," Millman said. "If you're taking the software off the application server and running it on a storage system that reduces overheads, improving speed and throughput, [that] can have major benefits in storage, particularly archive storage."

Infortrend has announced three new fibre-channel EVSA systems: the F20, F40 and F60, which will be available from early July. Two new iSCSI models, the E20 and E60, will be launched mid-July, the company said.

Each system supports Raid 5 or 6, and incorporates hot-swappable components and energy-efficient features such as smart drive 'spin down' to reduce power consumption. Enterprise operating systems supported include Windows Server 2008, Linux and both Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware server virtualisation.