Nirvanix has launched a beta version of its new CloudNAS online storage service, whichit says allows corporate users to drag and drop files from network PCs into a cloud storage repository.
The company says the beta testing is tentatively slated to continue until August 1, although officials acknowledge that it could last longer. The company hopes to recruit at least 24 corporate customers to test the software-as-a-service offering for applications ranging from long-term archiving, backup and automated transfer of files to mapped network drives, says Jonathan Buckley, chief marketing officer at Nirvanix.
Nirvanix, funded by Intel Capital, Intel's venture capital arm, and other investors, is pooling storage capacity on its delivery network that includes storage nodes located in separate facilities in North America, Europe and Asia. Buckley says customer data can be instantly shifted across the nodes where capacity is most.
During the testing process, users can store up to 25TB of data without charge. Individual files sizes can be no larger than 256GB and Nirvanix will assume all storage transfer fees, says Buckley.
Once the storage cloud service goes live later this year, Nirvanix will charge 25 cents per gigabyte of storage. Support will be offered for US$200 a month.
Buckley says CloudNAS can be a low-cost substitute for corporate file servers storing non-critical data. "The average IT guy in an average corporate setting doesn't need to spend money to save [inactive] files that reside on a filer. A lot of that stuff is rarely touched," he says.
CloudNAS can support both Microsoft and Linux storage environments. The CIFS version of the service must be installed on a Windows Server 2003 — or Windows XP-based computer. The Linux version of the service supports the RedHat 5 and Suse 10 implementations of Linux.