EMC rolls out lower-end NAS

EMC Corp. unveiled a low-cost series of network attached storage (NAS) devices, as well as enhanced iSCSI support and beefed up storage management capabilities on Monday.

The NAS line, the Celerra NS500, starts at US$40,000 — a new low for EMC. The US$40,000-price tag includes 1TB of storage, a single data mover, Common Internet File System support and EMC’s SnapSure replication software.

The NS500 is also available with two data movers for US$81,000. Customers who purchase one data mover initially and later wish to upgrade, can add the second data mover with no disruptions, noted Tom Joyce, senior director of NAS marketing for EMC.

EMC also released a gateway version of the NS500 called the NS500G. The NS500 is targeted at small and medium businesses that can’t afford higher-end systems, Joyce said.

EMC also offered up a gateway version of its NS700 series, designed for larger customers. Called the NS704G, the system can have up to four data movers, with either three in active mode and one in failover mode, or two in active and two in failover.

The NS704G starts at US$165,000. “It really is for customers that have an awful lot of storage behind it and can keep those processers and that I/O busy,” Joyce said.

In addition to the new NAS models, EMC introduced a new version of its DART operating environment that includes iSCSI support. This allows EMC customers to deliver CIFS, NFS and iSCSI, for block storage transfers, within one integrated NAS system.

“Customers could use that feature for Exchange,” Joyce said. “They haven’t wanted to do Exchange over NAS in the past, because they wanted to do Exchange over block. Now they can do it all on a single platform.”

Finally EMC has released a basic version of its Celerra Manager. Celerra Manager Basic Edition gives customers quick views of statistics such as CPU usage, network device throughput and file system throughput.

Lorie Beam, director if information technology for Smith Anderson, a law firm in Raleigh, N.C., uses an EMC NAS gateway to connect to a SAN. “We chose the NAS gateway, because it wasn’t over the top for our needs, but it also wasn’t a bargain-basement product.” Beam, who currently uses a NS600 gateway, doesn’t plan to upgrade any time soon but said she is interested in looking at the GUI changes.

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