Netgear has boosted its low-end Storage Central two-bay drive enclosure to Gigabit speed and added other features, but the product will face stiffer competition this year from other network storage products.

The Netgear SC101 Turbo - launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas - supports Serial ATA drives, and has a fan to counter claims that last year's SC101 overheated. Despite poor reviews of the SC101, it may have sold as many as 100,000 units. "The SC101 is number two in units of attached storage shipped," said Ryan Malone, vice president of channel development at Zetera, which makes the unit's Z-San software.

With a low price compared to Buffalo, the actual market share is much lower, he conceded.

Netgear has not announced a price for the SC101T, and it has competition from other simple two-bay storage enclosures, such as D-Link's DNS-323.

"D-Link's product is just a NAS," said Malone. "Z-San gives all of the utilisation flexibility of a SAN, allowing users to allocate as many servers as they like, but with the usage model of NAS," he said.

Zetera, which refers to Z-San as NBOD (networked bunch of disks) has a reference design based on Marvell silicon which could be available to other partners, It starts at two-bay enclosures and be built up into bigger rack-mounted devices, said Malone.

Hammer Storage makes a four-bay enclosure using the software, but it is not available in the UK, thanks to a dispute over the business name, Malone said.