Gateway eyes enterprise storage

PC maker unwraps three storage products: a SAN and two backup systems

Gateway Inc. launched three enterprise storage products for medium-size businesses on Thursday, as the Irvine, California, company struggles to rebound from posting a net loss of US$5.2 million in the first quarter.

The new products include a storage area network (SAN) called E-842R and two automated tape backups, the E-824R and E-826R.

Gateway, the third-largest PC vendor in the U.S. behind Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co., blamed its professional channel for dragging down strong retail sales. So company chairman Rick Snyder pledged in April to find profit in professional sales within three or four quarters.

Now Gateway has designed its new storage products to be both affordable and scalable, hoping to appeal to entry-level users in small-to-medium size businesses, mid-enterprise companies, educational institutions and government agencies, said Tim Diefenthaler, senior director of professional product marketing at Gateway.

The E-842R serves as an entry point into storage area networking, flexible enough to use either high-performance serial attached SCSI (SAS) or low-cost, high-capacity serial attached ATA (SATA II) hard drives.

The system can support up to 12 one-inch hot swap hard drives for a capacity of up to 1.75T bytes with SAS and 6T bytes using SATA II. Users can store five times that amount by daisy-chaining units together.

The two tape backup products are both in Gateway's SuperLoader 3 family, designed to avoid human error by automating all backup tasks except for physically inserting or removing tapes from the autoloader.

The E-824R uses DLT-V4 tape technology to store up to 2.56T bytes (native) or 5.12T bytes (compressed) data. The E-826R uses LTO-3 tapes to store either 6.4T bytes (native) or 12.8T bytes (compressed) data. It transfers data at 80M bytes per second (native) or 160M bytes per second (compressed).

The tape backup systems became available Thursday for US$2,499, while the E-842R SAN will be available July 13 for $6,599.