Enterprise Storage<br>Maxtor Diversifies Family of NAS Devices

Maxtor Corp. (www.maxtor.com) enhanced and expanded its line of network attached storage (NAS) devices.

The company now has an enhanced desktop model of its original MaxAttach appliance. The new MaxAttach Desktop 2.0 is an entry-level network attached storage (NAS) appliance with network file sharing for office and workgroup environments. This version features enhancements that include increased disk capacities of 20, 40 and 80 GB, from 18, 36 and 72 GB, respectively.

The software enhancements to MaxAttach 2.0 include share management, which adds simplicity when creating, changing, and deleting shares. For added security, administrators can test the e-mail notification for all alert conditions during setup. To improve administrative capabilities, MaxAttach Desktop 2.0 is designed with a single mouse click operation to deploy JBOD -- just a bunch of disks -- mirroring, or spanning configurations.

Server management, configuration, and administration utilities are accessible via Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer Web browsers. The MaxNeighborhood wizard provides central management access to every MaxAttach on the network and simple tools for setting IP addresses and configuring security.

According to Don Woods, senior manager of marketing at Maxtor, critical data can be protected by autocreation of a mirrored backup copy, or multiple disk drives can be combined as one virtual drive. These tasks can be administered by any PC connected to the network or via the Web.

Also, Maxtor is offering its Reflect-It PC application software to enhance data protection through transparent scheduled backup and instantaneous data mirroring.

"Maxtor has a much greater strategy in mind for the NAS market than just the MaxAttach Desktop 2.0," Woods says. "We are planning to release products in other form factors, and with more specific capabilities."

During the first half of 2000, Maxtor plans to introduce an extended family of MaxAttach products, including rack mount storage units and Internet server appliances. These storage solutions will range up to 240 GB.

Future appliances will include systems specifically designed as e-mail and Web-based storage appliances. Woods says that application-specific software capability will be provided through internal development, the open source community, and partnerships with industry vendors.

"We’re talking with ISVs about different applications than can function when built into a NAS device," Woods says. "We’re waiting for the market to become comfortable enough with these types of appliances to drive demand for them."

International Data Corp. (IDC, www.idc.com) forecasts a greater than 50 percent growth rate through 2003 for worldwide disk-based NAS revenue. In 1999, NAS revenue rose 54 percent to $850 million, up from $540 million in 1998. IDC predicts NAS revenues will grow to $5.1 billion in 2003.