Monday, May 18, 2015

What does EtherDrive 8 mean for Storage System Integrators?

When Brantley Coile acquired the CorOS copyrights for EtherDrive SRX and VSX products, he promised to continue the development of the AoE storage concept.  EtherDrive 8 is the new project that  is fulfilling that promise.  See (TBCC) for details about EtherDrive 8.

Coraid's business model was similar to most of the big name storage vendors; to manufacturer and sell storage hardware with software inside.  The only way that users or system integrators could get EtherDrive SRX or VSX storage was to buy a chassis with disks and software from Coraid.  The basic hardware platform for SRX and VSX is server chassis hardware from SuperMicro Inc..  SuperMicro continues to offer high quality, reliable, leading edge hardware designs, and has established a worldwide sales, service and support network.  SuperMicro hardware is available from local suppliers all over the world.  Over the years, Coraid received many requests from users and system integrators to just sell the CorOS Disk-on-Module (DOM).  This was especially interesting for users outside the USA.  Why pay for heavy hardware to be shipped from the USA, when the same chassis can be purchased locally.  We never sold just DOMs but, in the early days (in 2005-2009), Coraid sold assembled and tested chassis with the DOM but allowed users to install their own disks.  In 2009, following the Series A round of VC investment and installation of a new management team, this policy changed and mandated that users and resellers buy SRX with disks from Coraid.  Obviously this raised the price per SRX significantly.

TBCC operates as a software only business.  EtherDrive 8 is available as a software license.  System Integrators are able to download unlocked binary files onto a common USB dongle.  Plugging the USB dongle into a suitable multi-disk server chassis will allow the server to boot and become an EtherDrive 8 storage appliance.   The cost benefits to the user are huge.  No more price markup from Coraid for the SuperMicro chassis, CPU, DRAM or disk drives.

A list of recommended SuperMicro hardware, CPU, Memory, and Disks is located on the TBCC website.  Storage System Integrators can now easily build and support a simple storage appliance with a 10 year proven history of data storage reliability, superior performance, and unmatched value.

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