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Gateway Inc. will enter the SAN business this week, as a reseller of Hitachi Data Systems’ Thunder 9500 product line.

The move is part of a trend in the mainstreaming of storage area networks, but comes nearly two years after Dell Inc. started reselling EMC Corp.’s midrange Clariion storage.

“We see an average unit price around $50,000,” said Scott Weinbrandt, general manager of Gateway’s systems and networking products group, in Poway, Calif.

Unlike Dell, which actually manufactures certain EMC products, Gateway will just resell Hitachi’s. “We’re not going to put our name on it. Hitachi is doing the installations and support for us,” Weinbrandt said.

HDS is the Santa Clara, Calif., division of Tokyo’s Hitachi Ltd. Recent models in the midrange Thunder series scale from under 400GB to more than 60TB, and include the stand-alone 9530V, -31, -32 and 33, and the rack-mounted 9570V and 9580V.

Gateway will only sell versions for Windows, Weinbrandt said. The company has already sold two Hitachi SANs, but declined to identify the customers. It will also soon sell SAN switches, such as those from Brocade Communications Systems Inc., Weinbrandt said.

At the Comdex trade show in Las Vegas next week, Gateway will announce a new serial ATA storage device, the Gateway 840, he said. Costing less than $6,000 for 2TB, it includes iSCSI software; it will ship Dec. 8. Another new product is the Gateway 860 NAS (network-attached storage), running Windows Storage Server 2003. The NAS device, starting at approximately $3,000, scales to 1.2TB and includes a front-panel LCF monitor, he said.