Netgear is set to move into the market with a raid configurable networkable system that sells for $229 RRP.

Due to go on sale in late July 2005 in Australia the system has two slots for IDE drives and is said to be ideal for both the home and the SMB market. Striping, mirroring and partitioning are all available options, and future updates will include more dedicated server-like features, such as the ability to stream content to your TV even when your PC is off.

In an interview at CeBit Australia, Netgear CTO Mark Merrill said that storage
had become a commodity sell and the new Netgear Storage Central

Netgear’s storage solution
system was
designed to allow resellers to either sell a stand alone system with two drives in the slot or allow consumers or small business to choose what size drives or how many system they want. “We have designed the system to allow users to configure them as raid drives as well as create multiple partitions. We will also include some software tools that allow users to manage the drives,” Merrill said. Netgear claim that the drives transfer at around 70Mb a second.

“For Netgear to configure drives in the slots is a risk as the price of storage is dropping by the day. What we’ve done is design a storage system that can be configured and managed in a variety of ways providing for mirroring, or the clustering of several Netgear Centrals into a network. In designing this we were able to get heat dispersement under control with power being supplied via a laptop type power supply unit,” he said. The system is connected to the network via an Ethernet cable. The early models will not have USB.

He added: “With the Netgear storage solution, we are confident that we can grab share in the bottom end of the SMB market and the home”
Ian McLean, managing director of Netgear Australia, said: “We are targeting the whitebox channel in Australia as they are in a position to immediately deliver for users the option of multiple drives and sizes. For the likes of Harvey Norman we will bundle a product with drives in a combination which could either be two 60GB drives or two 160GB drives”.


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