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Nexsan Launches High-Density Storage Systems

In a series of announcements earlier this month, Nexsan released new storage systems intended to make the company's products more attractive to the mid-market by providing higher capacity in the same amount of space, as well as by reducing the amount of energy they use.

The announcements included support for 1TByte, 2TByte or 3TByte Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) drives with the company's E18 model of its E-Series storage systems (originally only available with solid-state and Serially Attached Small Computer Systems Interface drives); an expansion chassis that holds up to 60 additional drives; and a dual-port 10Gbit Internet SCSI input/output option.

What the E-Series offers is not so much different technical or functional attributes, but lower costs--both operational costs and capital costs, says Mark Peters, senior analyst for the Enterprise Strategy Group Inc., a Milford, Mass., consultancy. "Nexsan is careful to build in what the mid-market user needs in terms of 'enterprise capabilities' but not to 'over-egg the pudding' --which means it can maintain a surprisingly affordable price point, helped also by the fact that it has significant intellectual property of its own," he says.

With the announcements, Nexsan can fit up to 18 drives in a 2U space, says Gary Watson, chief technology officer and co-founder of the Thousand Oaks, Calif., company. In comparison, its competitors can at best fit 14 drives in a 3U slot, he claims, which makes Nexsan the "densest" vendor.

With the 3TByte drives, users can fit up to 180TBytes in 4U of rack space, and with the E60X expansion chassis, which can house up to 60 more 3TByte drives, users can fit up to 360TBytes in 8U of rack space, which the company claims was four to five times the storage density of competitors. The more dense the product, the fewer boxes that users need, as well as the fewer cables, power supplies and other equipment. In general, the fewer the boxes, the fewer things that can go wrong, he says.

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