Why you should care about Netgear acquiring Infrant

Netgear is set to acquire Infrant technologies, a manufacturer of consumer and small-business grade NAS appliances.  Why should you care?

Infrant has two very cool things that should make you pay attention to them:

  • Diskless versions of their NAS filers for as low as $610
  • X-RAID allows you to buy what you want when you want and have RAID follow you

These guys make a really nice two- or four-disk NAS box aimed at the consumer end of the market.  It's fast, easy to configure, and cheap!  The search that I just made on Froogle showed that you can currently get their four-disk-bay (no actual disks in it) unit for $610.  Then you can buy anything from a single 160-GB SATA drive for about $35 or four 1 TB Hitachi drives for $379 each.

X-RAID is what makes them really cool, though.  Here's a quip from their site:

X-RAID is Infrant Technologies patent-pending Expandable RAID technology, allows users to add drives at their leisure. Start with one disk or add a second disk to gain disk failure protection. Add a third to automatically double the capacity while maintaining protection. Finally, add a fourth disk to triple the protected capacity, all without reconfiguring the system and without having to shuffle data in and out of the device.

Not only that, as larger and larger disks become cheaper and cheaper, you can replace all four disks (one by one), and your capacity grows even greater — all the while letting X-RAID do all the RAID level and data migration in the background so you still see just one volume with all your data intact, just with more free space.

Very cool stuff.  My only worry about the NetGear acquisition is that prices will go up, or that they will drop the diskless version.

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