Overland Completes Reorganization; Launch New iSCSI SAN Product
Overland Storage has come through a corporate
restructuring by today introducing its first iSCSI storage area network (SAN)
appliance designed to simplify storage deployment and management for midsized
companies. Overland, which has replaced its CEO and other top executives with
storage industry veterans over the last year, unveiled the
SnapServer SAN S2000,
a $15,000 (starting price) device that features automated provisioning,
compatibility with multiple operating systems and a simplified management
dashboard for companies lacking a deep IT bench.
The SnapServer introduction repositions the 29-year-old Overland to expand
beyond its tape storage legacy into SAN and to serve one of the fastest-growing
segments of the disk storage market, iSCSI SAN products selling in the $15,000
to $20,000 range. Snap also allows Overland to emerge as a seller of name brand
storage and less of an OEM supplier to other companies.
"We want to be able to deliver to the midsized market technology that a lot of
large organizations are able to deploy because they have the resources and the
budget to do that," said Jillian Mansolf, vice president of sales and marketing
at the San Diego-based firm. "The midsized market [is] facing all the same
SnapServer is based on Snap network-attached storage (NAS) products Overland
acquired from Adaptec in 2008. The basic system is a 2U 19-inch rack-mounted
appliance that stores up to 24 terabytes (TB) of data. Expansion units can be
purchased starting at $3,000 each that can extend system capacity to 120TB.
SAN S2000 supports Windows, Linux, Mac OS X or Novell NetWare operating systems
as well as VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization. It is also designed to
combine set-up, allocation, replication, data protection and other chores into
one dashboard, said Mansolf.
"We've got one application that has...one screen where you can manage your
entire infrastructure," she said. With plug-and-play architecture and a Windows
based, Wizard-like user interface, "we take 20 steps down to two or three mouse
SnapServer also automates storage expansion.
Typically, storage "volumes" are assigned to different departments in a company
but some departments use up their capacity more quickly than others. With
SnapServer, when one storage volume reaches, say, 80 percent of capacity, the
system is programmed to automatically add 20 percent more capacity to that
volume, then e-mail the system administrator about the change, said Mansolf.
Simplifying storage with the SnapServer should appeal to midsized companies
looking for a cost-effective solution, said Eric Kelly, CEO and president of
Overland. "If they spend a dollar procuring the hardware, they probably spend
four or five dollars actually managing it," said Kelly, who joined Overland's
board in 2007, became CEO in Jan. 2009 and added the duties of president last
Kelly is one of several new executives hired over the last year or so to refocus
Overland. Mansolf, for instance, was hired last July because of her expertise in
sales and marketing of name brand storage appliances, including work at Snap
Appliance when it was a separate company. Overland had been predominantly an
OEM supplier in the past - up to 70 percent of its business had been with HP -
and now the HP business is just 15 percent, said Kelly.
Overland hired Chris Gopal as vice president of operations because he knows
contract manufacturing. Overland is contracting with FoxConn to manufacture its
products at a facility in Houston, while converting its San Diego plant into a
repair facility. Why the hiring of storage veterans? "This is not the
environment for the company for people to be doing it for the first time," Kelly
By targeting the medium-sized iSCSI SAN market, Overland is fishing where the
fish are. The market for such systems priced up to $25,000 is forecast by IDC to
expand at a compound annual growth rate of 34.3 percent between now and 2013,
said IDC analyst Ben Woo. "Centralization and the networking of storage enables
better capacity utilization...in order to deal with explosive data growth," Woo
said. "Data actually generates more data."