Nexsan Opens SMB NAS Gateway

Vendor touts its green credentials with the launch of its Edge solution

August 19, 2008

2 Min Read
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Nexsan ramped up its green efforts today with the launch of its Edge solution, which is aimed at the SMB NAS market.

What we’re trying to do is extend enterprise products to NAS for the SMB space,” says Bob Woolery, Nexsan’s senior vice president of marketing. “SMB organizations have many of the same challenges as other organizations.”

Essentially a gateway device running Microsoft’s Windows Unified Data Storage Server (WUDSS) software, the Edge lets users connect their existing Nexsan SAS and SATA storage in the same rack.

The one-rack unit high Edge appliance attaches to either Nexsan’s SASBoy or SATABoy device, according to Woolery. “It supports iSCSI on block and CIFS and NFS on the file services [side].”

Like other Nexsan offerings, such as the recently launched DATABeast, the Edge solution also contains the vendor’s AutoMAID green storage feature.AutoMAID is Nexsan’s take on the MAID technology touted by the likes of Copan as a way for users to reduce the amount of energy used to power individual drives.

While Copan turns off the power to its drives, Nexsan instead keeps the drives running, but uses a number of methods to reduce drive power consumption. These include "parking" the drive head in one position and reducing the drive’s RPM.

Nexsan, which is one of a handful of storage vendors currently pushing for an IPO, is touting the Edge as an alternative to JBOD storage attached to traditional servers.

”You clearly use up CPU power on the server,” explains Woolery. “With [the Edge solution], you’re utilizing our Fibre Channel RAID and the appliance can focus on handling NAS functionality.”

The exec told Byte and Switch that a typical Edge configuration would include either 2.4 Tbytes of SAS or 8 Tbytes of SATA. Each solution would be priced from around $30,000.At the high end, the Edge offering can scale up to 84 Tbytes by linking two of Nexsan’s SATABeasts in a nine-rack unit high configuration.

The Edge offering, which competes with NetApp’s StorVault S550 and Dell’s PowerVault NX1950, is available now, priced from $1,300 to $1,500 per Tbyte for either 1 Tbyte of SAS or 3 Tbytes of SATA.

Despite all this marketing spiel, the vendor was less forthcoming on the subject of Edge customers.

“We do have customers using it [but] we don’t have their authorization to use their names,” says Woolery, but he refused to reveal how many early adopters are using the gateway offering.

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  • Copan Systems Inc.

  • Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL)

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

  • NetApp Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP)

  • Nexsan Technologies Inc.

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