Okapi Delivers iSCSI For IDE/ATA, Serial ATA and SCSI Disk Drives

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Okapi Software has announced ipXpress, an iSCSI appliance software kit that allows iSCSI storage using native IDE/ATA and Serial ATA drives with its new ipXpress(TM) aimed at VARs and OEMs.

The announcement comes a month after Okapi’s launch and the introduction of its iSC110/220 iSCSI disk appliances and proprietary ipKEY technology.

ipXpress is priced at $499 for systems using IDE/ATA and Serial ATA drives and, for the first time, allows users to implement iSCSI storage with low-price, high-capacity IDE/ATA and Serial ATA drives. Support is provided for both currently available IDE/ATA drives, as well as new Serial ATA drives expected to enter the market later this year. Pricing for ipXpress with SCSI drives is set at $999.

Okapi’s ipXpress includes the company’s ipKEY technology, an installation CD, support of up to three SCSI, IDE/ATA and Serial ATA drives, and, for a limited time, an Intel GbE Ethernet card. The iSCSI software resides on the ipKEY, which can be removed after installation for increased security.

To give VARs and OEMs the opportunity to try ipXpress, Okapi is offering a special ipKEY Developers’ Kit priced at $299 for systems with IDE/ATA and Serial ATA drives and $399 for systems with SCSI drives. The ipKEY/DK includes the same components as the ipXpress to enable OEMs’ and VARs’ “edge” devices to connect to iSCSI and prove the functionality of low-cost iSCSI storage. Okapi limits the ipKEY/DK to one per company.

“By enhancing its ipKEY with IDE/ATA and Serial ATA drive compatibility, Okapi is addressing the unmet needs of VARs/OEMs to offer easy and inexpensive implementation of iSCSI storage using either IDE/ATA, Serial ATA or SCSI drives,” said Bob Farkaly, Okapi’s chief marketing officer. “Many ipXpress VARs and OEMs will be building and marketing their first low-cost iSCSI disk appliance products equivalent to our iSC110/220 products.”

Okapi’s exclusive ipXpress is the core technology used in its boxed iSC 110GB and 220GB disk appliances. The ipKEY, less than an inch wide and three inches long, plugs into the USB port of a general purpose computer and downloads the Okapi iSCSI software in minutes. Okapi defines its unique ipKEY as the delivery vehicle for the IP SAN of the future.

“Because of its IDE/ATA and Serial ATA drive compatibility, the ipXpress allows VARs and OEMs to offer inexpensive IP SAN not available until now,” said John Matze, Okapi’s founder and CEO & president. “We are endowing virtually any system using SCSI, IDE/ATA or Serial ATA disk with iSCSI,” he said.

Okapi said it is currently looking at the iSCSI tape market and could have a low-cost tape-based iSC appliance available before the end of the year. The company also plans to offer application-specific IP storage solutions like backup and data replication — applications that will be uploaded onto the ipKEY from the Okapi Web site and then quickly downloaded into appliances on the network.

Okapi’s iSC110 and iSC220 disk appliances were introduced as part of the company’s July 30 launch and target small-to-medium-sized businesses wanting to add fully functional iSCSI storage to their networks. The iSC110 at $4,995 and iSC220 at $7,995 use 1U Gateway servers with an Intel IP Storage Adapter for TCP/IP offload and three Seagate Ultra 160 disk drives.

“Okapi is changing the mindset of the storage market,” said Okapi’s Matze. “Our long-term roadmap includes a comprehensive library of iSC appliance software that will disrupt the conventional thinking on how storage networks are built, what they cost and how they perform.”

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