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9/29/2004
04:23 PM
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Storage On A Chip

Silicon Image's new lower-cost storage appliance should be more palatable to small and midsize businesses.

Data protection no longer needs to be an option only for those companies with the budget and the bandwidth. Silicon Image Inc., a storage startup, plans to offer a lower-cost system on a new storage appliance.

Silicon Image unveiled this week its new SteelVine architecture that runs inside a storage appliance it says is easier to handle. The appliance contains high-end features such as RAID high availability and redundant components such as hot plug and hot spare. The SteelVine architecture is based on Intel's PCI Express chipset standard, which helps increase the bandwidth and lower the cost of the new SV2000 appliance.

The SV2000 is expected to ship in December and will cost $3,295 for a terabyte of capacity. Silicon Image is able to provide a connection to low-cost Serial ATA drives, along with the redundant components, on a single chip.

There are plenty of big companies that still don't do enough to ensure high availability of information, but it's rare for small and midsize businesses to do much more than add extra server or local area network capacity.

Rob Enderle, founder and analyst at the Enderle Group, says small and midsize companies have been prevented from accessing high-end storage features. Silicon Image's new product could help. "Silicon Image is reducing the price and increasing the performance of storage," Enderle says. Small and midsize "companies just don't pay $10,000 for a storage appliance."

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