One of the country’s biggest independent storage manufacturers has gone into the storage appliance business.

Ciara Technologies of Montreal has struck a deal with FalconStor Software Inc. to deliver turnkey solutions around that company’s IPStor applications, it announced Tuesday.

“”In

the past we sold software and let everybody build their own boxes,”” explained Mira Sharma, manager of FalconStor’s Canadian division. That was fine for large firms who want custom solutions on brand-name hardware, she said, “”but smaller companies are saying ‘make it simple for me.'””

Ciara will produce four models:

-the IPStor Enterprise appliance provides enterprise-class network storage services including active-active failover, synchronous mirroring, remote replication and zero-impact backup;

– the Virtual Tape Library (VTL) Appliance, which transfers data at fast speeds to hard disk virtual arrays to emulate slower tape libraries;

-the iSCSI Storage Server Appliance, which lets administrators leverage an existing IP network to create cost-effective SAN storage solutions;

–and the Network Sever Appliance, which provides a fast way of adding high performance, sharable file-based storage.

Prices weren’t available at press time, and a Ciara spokesman could not be reached for comment on company strategy. However, in a news release Ciara president Robert Ahdoot said the VTL and iSCSI appliances will be a “”great opportunity to offer data centre manages a cost-effective solution for business continuity.””

Reached Tuesday at an Ottawa storage trade show, Shama said customers have shown a lot of interest in the Ciara appliances shown there. “”It’s a great opportunity for a Canadian manufacturer to build something,”” she said.

The arrangement with Ciara is similar to one struck with three storage makers in the U.S., she said, and the first for a Canadian company. However, she believes other companies here could make similar appliances.

FalconStor, which came here three years ago, has some 22 resellers in this country.

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