Novell launches network attached storage appliance

With promises of cost-effective storage provisioning and remote management capabilities, Novell, Inc., in July announced the Novell NetDevice NAS, the first network attached storage appliance in the Novell NetDevice family of specialized server appliances. These appliances are shipped as software only so customers can choose new or existing compatible hardware. They are designed to provide customers the power and functionality they need without paying for features they don’t need. As appliances, Novell’s NetDevice servers can be plugged into any network, regardless of platform.

With corporate data storage requirements estimated as doubling every nine to 12 months and the cost of managing new storage at three to five times the price of the storage itself, Ross Chevalier, director of technology, Novell Canada Ltd. sees the Novell NetDevice family as helping solve the storage challenge without breaking the bank.

“What we’ve done with the appliance server is we’ve taken away all the requirements for clients and sophisticated management skills,” Chevalier explains. “The device simply appears as another drive on your desktop, but you have capability you didn’t have for security and authentication. So this makes it really simple for people in places where they don’t have a large block of skill, or it just doesn’t make sense to have a large block of skill.

“What we see in retail environments, for example, and also you see in schedule B-style banking, they’ll have PCs at each teller or cash terminal application. And at the end of the day, someone’s going to have to go collect all that data, and pull it all together,” he adds. “One of the challenges of using a traditional server method in these environments is that these people are trained professionals to do whatever it is they do, they’re not trained IT people. So something as simple as ensuring that the backup gets run every day can fall off because these folks have other priorities. A storage appliance allows you to do this on a fairly generic hardware platform, in a very small form factor, so obviously in any type of retail application – be it just selling products or retail banking – floor space is typically a very high dollar cost. We make it very easy to set up central storage, and make it very simple to manage – it can all be handled through a browser-type interface. You don’t need a lot of skill. One of the challenges of deployment in any retail environment is not the technology; it’s never the software; it’s the time and the skill to maintain it in a remote environment.”

The Novell NetDevice NAS storage appliance available through Novell authorized resellers and solution providers starts at about $2,644. Details at