Irish startup Gridstore has announced an upgrade to its NASg storage system that it hopes will help to sell the company’s radical but still relatively unknown storage design to the SMB masses.

NASg 2.0 should now be more attractive to this sector and MSP (managed service providers) thanks to support for Intel’s Atom chip, integrated Gigabit Ethernet, and ability to support all Windows Oses at the client end, the company said.

On a conventional desktop or departmental NAS, files are saved to a single storage unit, which might or might not feature redundancy. NASg utilises the very different RAIN (Redundant Array of Independent Nodes) concept to create a single virtual storage system using many special NAS drives working together (either as desktop or rack units), which removes any single point of failure.

If one fails, it can be removed without harming the data or storage availability. If storage requirements increase then more nodes can be added. However, the drives themselves do more work and the client PCs, which run special software, are needed to supply some of the processing grunt necessary to calculate all this date redundancy in real time.  The design is performance hungry.

"Many SMBs have become trapped in a vicious cycle of storage sprawl - adding NAS device after NAS device to accommodate storage growth," said Gridstore CEO, Kelly Murphy. “NASg 2.0 eliminates the heavy up front purchase of a consolidated enterprise platform while giving organizations, no matter how small or large, enterprise-class performance and reliability of a true scale-out NAS.”

Pricing for the NASg 2.0, which runs on Windows 7 embedded, starts at $499 for the 1TB model, or $599 for 2TB, and can be bought through channel partners. Availability is from 11 April. European pricing and availability has not been announced.