Overland Storage has introduced its first line of protected primary storage drive arrays.

The Ultamus series runs the Protection operating system and an 8TB array of 500GB Hitachi serial ATA drives. It can have up to three expansion arrays for a total of 32TB of raw capacity (28TB of RAID 5 storage). The company claims customers can save money on disk purchases, and have their data protected and instantly available if it's lost.

Ultamus capacity can be virtualised into volumes called Smart Disks. These can be mounted as dedicated storage areas (LUNS) for servers attached via either iSCSI or Fibre Channel. Each server only gets the capacity it needs for immediately writing data rather than its eventual total allocation. This 'thin provisioning' means customers need only buy as much disk capacity as they really need at any one time.

Protection O/S, the fruit of Overland's Zetta purchase, can create snapshots every minute and so offer near-continuous data protection. Smart Disks can be replicated at block level either locally or to a remote array offering disaster recovery.

The drive enclosures have hot-pluggable and redundant components for protection against failure. A second storage processor can be added with an active:active failover arrangement to ensure there is no single point of failure.

Overland says Ultamus offers enterprise, meaning Symmetrix, TagmaStore and so on, features at a mid-range price suiting the pockets of medium-sized enterprises. It said these businesses want a one-stop storage vendor, offering primary, secondary or nearline and tape storage. Overland is the only such vendor with its Ultamus, REO disk backup products and Neo tape libraries.

No other tape automation vendor offers primary drive arrays. Most offer secondary disk-based backup products, similar to Overland's Reo products. Overland will likely offer replication to Reo arrays as part of a multi-tier backup scheme. It will also likely add SAS drives and offer an enterprise-class product.

Overland has been enduring troubled times and has had a takeover offer from ADIC. With Ultamus its management is betting it can survive on its own. Get an Ultamus brochure here [pdf]. You can buy an entry-level Ultamus 1 system from $50,000 (£33,000).

Meanwhile the silence from suitor ADIC is deafening.