Quantum rolls out low end NAS appliance

Quantum rolled out a slim, new storage server Monday, furthering its push into the network attached storage (NAS) market just as one competitor has dropped out.

Quantum's new Guardian 4400 system, which will start shipping at the start of September, is a 1U (1.75 inches) high server that can store up to 640G bytes of data. The NAS product runs Quantum's Linux-based Guardian operating system and is designed to handle basic tasks such as storing e-mail and other network traffic, said Vicki Vollmar, director of product marketing for Quantum's storage solutions group.

This is the second system in the Guardian line Quantum has unveiled this year. The Guardian 4400's starting price of US$4,295 for 480G bytes of storage capacity makes the system better suited for remote offices, for example, than the bulkier and more expensive Guardian 14000, Vollmar said. Quantum also hopes the Guardian 4400's price will attract some former customers of Maxtor Corp., which pulled its MaxAttach NAS systems off the market this month.

One model of the Guardian 4400 will ship with a 1GHz Pentium III chip from Intel Corp., 256M bytes of memory and 480G bytes of storage capacity. A higher end model that stores up to 640G bytes of data will run on a 1.26GHz Pentium III chip and have 512M bytes of memory.

The Guardian 4400 also includes several software packages. Quantum, based in Milpitas, California, will include server-to-server synchronization software and Backup Express software at no cost. It will also make the DiskXtender Appliance Edition and EmailArchive products available for the Guardian 4400. The DiskXtender Appliance Edition, which lets users link multiple servers and manage their data, is priced at $1,500, and the EmailArchive is priced at $3,400 for Microsoft Corp.'s Exchange and $3,900 for IBM Corp.'s Lotus Domino.

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