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Networked Storage

It turns out that NETGEAR was showing a prototype of its SC101 Storage Central NAS box that's based on Zetera's SAN-for-the-masses technology. The conversation I had with the Zetera rep. manning the display in NETGEAR's booth confirmed that the target application for the product is handling multiple multimedia streams (especially High Definition). But he also emphasized the data security features (mirroring) and ability to easily expand storage due to the IP-based nature of Zetera's approach.

NETGEAR SC101 Storage Center prototype

NETGEAR SC101 Storage Center prototype

I also found out that NETGEAR intends to ship the SC101 without drives, thus avoiding getting involved in messy hard drive inventory management and also giving the company an opportunity to partner with drive manufacturers to offer attractive drive-bundling deals. I was also told the box will be capable of 12MBytes/sec sustained read / write.

Availabiltity is supposed to be "early Q2" and although pricing is still being set, I got the sense that the entry price point with about 200 - 300GB of drives loaded is going to be somewhere in the $300 - $400 range.

Tritton Technologies didn't have a booth or suite, but its nomadic demo team showed me their current wireless TRI-WHD NAS offering which is getting a capacity bump and price adjustment. The entry-level model is getting a capacity bump from 120 to 160GB and staying at $349 list. But the 200GB version is getting repriced to $399 from its current $499 list.

Tritton Simple NASThey also put a sample of their Simple NAS (pictured left) that will be out next month. It's in a package that's similar in size and look to their direct-attached drives and will come in 160, 200 and 250GB sizes that will be aggressively priced at $199, $229 and $299 respectively. They'll also offer the box sans-drive for only $89 so that those of us with spare 3.5in IDE drives lying around can put them to use.

The Simple NAS name struck me as a bit odd, since its feature set will be very similar to that of its bigger TRI-WHD sibling - except without the wireless. Even though it's priced similarly to the ASUS WL-HDD 2.5, which is also a BYO drive box, the Simple NAS' use of 3.5 inch drives may outweigh its lack of the wireless capability that the ASUS product has.

By the way, I never made it to either the Iomega or Maxtor rooms to look at their NAS offerings since both were (slightly) old news, but I expect to have both the NAS 100d and Shared Storage in for review shortly.

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