From now till Jan. 31, Germany's Open-E is giving away its Data Storage Solution Lite as a free download. After you've downloaded it and installed it on a USB memory key you have a bootable drive that turns any PC or server you run from it into a NAS appliance with iSCSI and Fibre Channel target functionality. Not just any iSCSI target -- DSS-Lite even supports copy on write snapshots and replication.Distance is the key to any disaster recovery plan and replication is the key to restoring your distant systems to operation quickly. Without replication, bringing applications online means restoring from backup. Even if you have a CDP (Continuous Data Protection) backup it can take several hours to restore from backup and your users will be twiddling their thumbs the whole time.
Until Open-E started giving it away, replication was expensive. Disk arrays that support replication start at well over $20,000, and the most popular host replication software costs $2,500 to $5,000 for each server you want to protect. With DSS-Lite, a pair of $5,000 servers can provide 2 TB of file and block storage and replicate it to a remote site.
As Robert Heinlein said, "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch," and Open-E isn't giving away its software without expecting something in return. The Lite version of DSS can only support 2 TB of data and support is limited to Open-E's online forums. The company is hoping some downloaders decide to upgrade to the still-affordable full version once they get a taste with DSS-Lite.
Get yours before February raises it's chilly head at www.open-e.com/free.