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Nexsan Combines SAS, SATA in Value Play

Nexsan Technologies Inc. rolled out a storage system today that combines SAS and SATA drives to give customers more flexibility in determining whether to optimize for performance or for capacity. The SASBeast also uses a new "horizontal mid-plane" design that's meant to promote better airflow and cut cooling costs. It incorporates the company's AutoMAID to spin down idle disks for further energy savings.

The product offers 42 disks in a 4U space, Nexsan says. Prices start at $38,800 for a system with 14 300-GB SAS drives, or 4.2 TB of capacity. The company says a fully loaded system with 42 450-GB SAS drives, or 18.9 TB of capacity, will run customers around $4,200 per TB.

"The system can offer high performance, say, for Exchange, or it can offer high capacity for backup. As we see two colliding forces -- the economy is contracting while data continues to grow -- we are offering functional value as well as financial value," says Bob Woolery, senior VP of marketing for Nexsan.

Customers have the ability to mix and match SATA and SAS drives to find the ratio of performance, capacity, and energy savings that best fit their applications. The SASBeast also supports both Fibre Channel and iSCSI interfaces.

Woolery says the company is offering Tier 1 functionality at Tier 2 prices, which is what customers are looking for as they try to deal with tight IT budgets and a bad economy, said analyst Mark Peters of Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) in a statement. He said Nexsan has added "impressive capabilities across its new products, and it is now offering demanding users a family of systems that appear to have it all by combining flexibility, affordability, scalability and energy-efficiency."