Gateway spans into storage

Looking to score small and midsize business customers it believes are underserved by Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co., Gateway Inc. will enter the storage business on Tuesday.

The company will introduce the Gateway 850 SCSI JBOD and 820 LTO Autoloader, 2U-high storage products that the company created to meet demand for small form factors and low cost, said Scott Weinbrandt, general manager of the systems and networking products division at Gateway. The products come on the heels of two new rack-mount servers the company introduced in April that were co-designed with Intel to meet the same customer needs.

“(Small-to-midsize businesses) have been paying significantly high margins for storage,” said Weinbrandt. “Customers don’t want to be gouged anymore.”

The Gateway 850 is an array of generic disks that can carry as many as 12 hot-swappable Ultra 320 SCSI hard drives and can support as much as 1.7TB of data. It will support iSCSI disks as they come available.

The 820 has 100GB of capacity and can house eight tape cartridges. The base configuration costs US$5,799.

Customers “feel like they are being ignored by Dell and the service and support is just not there anymore,” Weinbrandt said.

Brad Nisbet, a storage analyst at IDC, said the move is good for Gateway because it hasn’t bitten off more than it can chew. He added that the decision to sell storage and servers together was a good one.