DataCore Software has introduced a cut-down version of its Sanmelody iSCSI server software, priced at just $199 (£109) - $1,000 less than the full version. The Lite release supports up to four disc drives but only on single-processor PCs.
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Calvin Hsu, the company's product marketing director, said the aim is for Sanmelody Lite to reach smaller businesses and departments which would not otherwise take a San route.
"It opens up more places for us to sell and gives more people a taste of managing storage," he said. The Sanmelody Lite can deliver many of the benefits of storage consolidation, such as better disc use and shared network storage, while needing little extra hardware.
"All you really need is an existing PC, even an older machine, an existing network, a few high-capacity discs and Sanmelody Lite to build a working San," said one DataCore user.
Several open source projects are underway to create iSCSI targets (servers), but these can be a challenge to get working whereas Sanmelody is designed to be easy to set up and use.
There is also an alternative commercial product in FalconStor's iSCSI Storage Server. However, Danielle Gauthier, FalconStor Software's European marketing vice-president, claimed the market opportunity is so big that she rarely sees competition.
According to Gauthier, an iSCSI price war is unlikely just yet. FalconStor's software is about $2,000, and she said it has more features than Sanmelody. "We've been in IP storage since we opened, first with iSCSI for Linux and now seeing good potential for it under Windows," she said.
Bryan Betts writes for Techworld.com