COMDEX : Gateway unveils SAN, NAS storage products

BOSTON – Gateway Inc. launched three new enterprise storage devices, including its first entry into the SAN (storage-area network) and NAS (network-attached storage) market, at Comdex on Tuesday in Las Vegas.

The Poway, California, company announced the devices during a conference call for analysts and the media last week, but released the products Tuesday. Gateway has embarked upon a strategy to increase revenue from sources other than PCs, and has aggressively delved into the consumer electronics market as well as the market for enterprise hardware.

Gateway has sold other types of storage hardware in the past, but Tuesday’s announcement marks the first SAN and NAS products sold by the company. Enterprises with large data storage needs typically set up SANs, which are sophisticated networks of storage devices like hard drives that are connected to large servers.

SANs can be comprised of NAS devices, which are storage devices that are offloaded from a central server to sit on the network with their own unique network address. By removing the storage component from a server, IT managers can increase the performance of the server by dedicating that server’s processor to file serving or transaction processing.

Gateway will resell Hitachi Data Systems Corp.’s 9500 series SAN devices, which cost around US$50,000, depending on the configuration, a Gateway spokeswoman said. The devices will carry Gateway’s brand when they begin shipping on Dec. 8.

The Gateway 860 NAS is a 1U (1.75 inches) device with four Serial ATA (advanced technology attachment) drives, two PCI-X (peripheral component interconnect – extended) expansion slots, and two Gigabit Ethernet connections. The drives are hot-swappable, and can hold up to 1.2T bytes of data using RAID (redundant array of independent disks) technology. Gateway will sell this device for US$3,299, and it will be available on Dec. 12, the company said.

The new Gateway 840 Serial ATA JBOD (just a bunch of disks) device brings Serial ATA technology to the product. JBOD devices are less expensive than other types of storage devices, but do not offer as much performance advantages as devices that use RAID technology. The Gateway 840 can hold up to 3.6T bytes of data, and will be available on Dec. 8. A 2T-byte version costs US$6,499.

Gateway also announced that SuSE Linux AG’s SuSE Linux Standard Server version 8 and Enterprise Server version 8 will be available with the purchase of any Gateway enterprise server, along with a new version of Gateway’s Server Manager systems management software. The Standard Server product costs US$359, while the Enterprise Server product costs.