Dell brings out low end storage box

Dell Computer Corp. released a new low-end storage product on Monday that completes a revamp of its entire network attached storage (NAS) line.

The PowerVault 725N can store up to 480G bytes of data and is targeted at small businesses and workgroups within larger companies. The system is at the low end of the company’s new NAS line, which also includes the PowerVault 770N and 775N systems that started shipping earlier this year, said Marc Padovani, product manager for Dell’s enterprise systems group.

Dell competes against IBM Corp., Network Appliance Inc, and Hewlett-Packard Co. in the lucrative NAS market. These types of storage systems plug into Ethernet networks and offer customers more flexible ways of moving data around their companies than direct attached storage systems.

The PowerVault 725N runs on Pentium 4 processors from Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Advanced Server SAK (server appliance kit) operating system. The system starts at US$1,799, Padovani said.

The higher-end PowerVault 775N, available since August, and the 770N, available since October, use more powerful Xeon chips.

Looking ahead, Dell may offer NAS systems next year that support iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface), which is one of the storage industry’s most talked about technologies, Padovani said. The iSCSI protocol helps bridge a gap between Ethernet-based NAS networks and storage area networks (SANs) that use Fibre Channel connections.