DiskSites manages distributed storage

Storage vendor DiskSites Inc. is consolidating storage from remote branch offices to corporate data centers with technology it announced Monday.

W-NAS software lets remote office users communicate directly with the file server in a data center, eliminating the need for distributed network-attached storage (NAS) or direct-attached storage devices that are difficult to manage and back up because of the scarcity and high cost of experienced IT administrators.

In the W-NAS system, a W-NAS FileCache appliance is placed in a branch office and communicates with a FilePort appliance, which sits at the corporate location between an Internet firewall and network file servers. The FileCache appliance and FilePort use compression and encryption to reduce the latency normally associated with remote file access. Users in headquarters work directly with the file server; remote users work with the file server across the Internet via the FileCache appliance. Each appliance consists of W-NAS software installed on an Intel server.

The technology also lets users in remote branch offices share files with users in other offices through the FilePort appliance located in the headquarters location. It supports Microsoft’s Common Information File System (CIFS) and the Unix Network File System (NFS).

Analysts compare DiskSites’ product to that of Web Office, a company that also provides a combined storage and VPN appliance for small businesses and remote offices within larger companies.

DiskSites is funded by Network Appliance, Tamir Fishman Ventures and ProSeed Venture Capital.

The company was founded in 1999 by Divon Lan and Yuval Hager, two officers in the Israeli military.

W-NAS starts at US$2,500 for a small branch office with up to 10 users and is available now.