DataCore will turn a Windows PC server into an Ethernet storage array with its new SANmelody product. With the software installed, the server's disks will act as SAN storage devices and the server functions as a storage array controller.

The Ethernet NIC is used for identification, and the computer's processor does the TCP/IP work - there is no offload processing. The server's internal and external disks are aggregated into one virtual storage pool serving block-level storage to connected client servers across the local network.

Chris Lentz, EMEA product manager for DataCore, said: "SANmelody divides the storage array into one or more virtual disks for applications."

The product is aimed at enterprise workgroups and smaller businesses that have to buy fresh servers as existing ones run out of of storage capacity. With Datacore's product, existing applications can be assigned additional storage capacity from the SANmelody disk server, rather than have to be moved onto a new server.

Lenzt said: "A clever IT guy could populate a spare PC server with disks and make their own iSCSI SAN storage array." He pitched it as an alternative to the Clariion CX200.

Management is via Microsoft's MMC snap-in and its user interface. Fibre Channel connectivity is supported but is not the main connectivity envisaged. Customers with SANsymphony, DataCore's enterprise product, can use it to manage SANmelody disk servers.

The SANmelody software will be downloadable from the Web in the next few weeks with payment by credit card. Prices start from $1200 (£666).