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SoftNAS Offers Cloud Storage Management

Storage start-up SoftNAS has released a new beta version of its virtual appliance for managing an organization's storage capacity. The software, which is also named SoftNAS, runs within cloud environments such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) or on a customer's existing virtual servers, including VMware ESXi vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V, and converts storage space into a network attached storage- or NAS-like environment.

The company offers a free "Essentials" version that's limited to a maximum storage capacity of one terabyte. A paid edition is $995/terabyte per year or $100/terabyte per month.

SoftNAS aggregates disks to create a "chunk" of storage space, which function like volumes or file systems. The program offers deduplicating and other features intended to increase storage capacity and system speed. A snapshot capability takes copies of changed data blocks as new data is saved. It also captures snapshots of specified volumes and file systems at scheduled intervals. The software can recreate storage snapshots in about 20 minutes, the company said on a frequently-asked questions page.

In a statement Company Founder and CEO Bill Hood said that SoftNAS provides a simpler way for smaller organizations to have "world-class data storage and security" without dedicated IT or new hardware. "We are excited to introduce the concept of cloud-based virtual storage in a software download and encourage...anyone...who needs enterprise data storage to become beta users of SoftNAS."

The company expects SoftNAS to be officially released in February 2013.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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