UK system integrator Shoden Data Systems is reselling Avere's FTX filer accelerator.
This hot box is a four-tiered caching and virtualising appliance sitting in front of network-attached storage (NAS) arrays which stores data in DRAM, NV-RAM, flash or SAS disk to speed both file reads and writes according to I/O and data types.
The idea that has grabbed Shoden's attention is that customers with lots of NAS boxes can converge them onto fewer boxes with an FTX appliance sitting in-band in front of them. They then act as a single NAS pool, which is easier to manage than the multiple NAS products they replace. Also the FTX box provides any high performance needed, meaning you can store the bulk of your data on any cheap and cheerful NAS and not have to pay for faster ones.
The background is a general view that semi-structured and unstructured file data use is growing so rapidly it is set to outpace block data storage. This has led to IBM developing its SONAS scale-out NAS product, Dell buying Exanet and many other filer scale-up and -out initiatives. It's not all roses though, as StorSpeed, a startup in this space, appears to have collapsed, and Exanet more or less crashed before Dell bought it.
The prospect of sustained file data growth has Shoden's chief technology officer salivating. What Phil Jones actually said in a prepared statement was: "We are looking forward to targeting a rapidly growing sector and expanding our market share."
Shoden has previously focused on mainframe customers with virtual tape libraries and deduplication products. The FTX box gives Shoden the ability to compete with any high-end NAS supplier for file storage business, and potentially to out-perform them as well as enabling the customer to spend less money overall - a more for less pitch. ®