SimpleTech will add two network attached storage (NAS) devices to its line early next year for the SO/HO and consumer markets.
The SimpleShare Office Storage Servers introduced today, but shipping on Jan. 15, in two capacities, 160GB and 250GB with suggested retail price of $299 and $399. Capacity can be expanded by adding additional storage capacity on through the unit's two USB ports. The company described the units as standard external hard drives, but with basic NAS features and print server functionality.
NAS has traditionally sold into the medium and enterprise business markets, but with the explosion of storage needs at the SO/HO and home levels, SimpleTech believes the market is ready to take off. SimpleTech cited data from IDC that the attached storage category will hit $10 billion by 2008.
“Storage is now the roaring category. The SimpleShare unit fills not just the need for storage, but for shared storage,” said Vahid Ordoubadian, GM, mass storage products.
The SimpleShare units will have two distinct target customers at retail, the average person with a home network and the SO/HO buyer.
NAS units are a different animal compared to common external hard drives. The host PC does not have to be on for other computers on the network to access the NAS unit, a plus for the SO/HO market, and it has built-in processing power. This enables it to work well on a CE network where it can provide additional storage for DVRs and distributed audio systems.
Since the average consumer could be scared off by the technically challenged term NAS, SimpleTech is downplaying the acronym and designed the device to be as customer friendly appearing as possible, said Charles Hayes, SimpleTech's product marketing manager, storage products.
There is no plan to add server features, such as built-in networking, at this point, but the company is exploring placing additional CE capabilities. Ordoubadian would not elaborate on these at this time.