Maxtor Picks W2K for High End NAS Appliance
- By Scott Bekker
Although NAS devices and other appliances are
intended to be “black boxes,” devices whose inner workings are less important
than their functionality, management of appliances is becoming a significant
selling point. In reaction, Maxtor Corp. decided to drop BSD Unix in favor of
Windows 2000 for its latest NAS Appliance.
says that administrators will find its MaxAttach NAS 4100 appliance easier to
configure and manage, especially in Windows environments. The company says
administrators can install and configure a unit in less than 10 minutes.
Administrators configure the devices the same way as a file-and-print server.
In addition, the NAS can take advantage of other Windows 2000 features,
including Active Directory.
The MaxAttach NAS 4100 is available in 160GB
and 320GB configurations. Maxtor has traditionally played in a lower end of the
NAS market, competing for workgroup and branch office implementations, but
features on it high-end NAS suggest it is focused on moving higher in the
enterprise. Both units feature a SCSI port for attaching to tape libraries for
backup and recovery duties. The 320GB implementation also offers Gigabit
Ethernet ports, enabling it to connect to high speed backbones or server farms.
Maxtor previously embedded the BSD (Berkeley
Standard Distribution) Unix operating system in its line of NAS devices. A
spokesman said that when the company began to design an appliance for
higher-end, enterprise implementations, it looked at a number of operating
systems, including Linux, but eventually settled on a Windows 2000 Appliance
Server Kit 1.0 implementation, since it offered the best integration for
its customers’ existing environments.
Corp. is aggressive in promoting Windows 2000 as an embedded operating
system, perhaps because of the Linux threat. Since Linux and BSD Unix are open
source and have a modular architecture, it is simple for developers to modify
the code to create stripped-down embedded operating systems. To allow OEMs the
same modularity, Redmond has distributed its Appliance Server Kit. It gives
OEMs the ability to select Windows 2000 a la carte. – Christopher McConnell
Windows 2000 Server Appliance Kit 2.0
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.