Nexsan Storage Buying Guide
Nexsan may not be one of the giants of the storage world. But it is good at offering disk -- lots of disk. It has a firm focus in the SAS and SATA disk array marketplace with an eye on the midmarket.
"Midmarket customers need storage solutions that offer enterprise features along with high density, expandability and high performance," said Gary Watson, CTO of Nexsan.
SATABoy offers a storage capacity of 28 TB via 14 x 2 TB SATA drive bays. That's a lot of disk to pack into a 3U footprint. The company includes hot-pluggable disk expansion, single or dual controllers, multiple high availability (HA) access modes, two RAID engines per controller, full redundancy, dual Fibre Channel (FC) and iSCSI support, 2 GB of battery backed cache, the ability to mix and match SAS with SATA disks if desired, AutoMAID power management, and support for multiple sets and Logical Unit Numbers (LUNs). Pricing begins at $9,000.
"SATABoy is targeted at primary and secondary storage applications, as well as long-term bulk and backup applications," said Randy Chalfant, vice president of strategy at Nexsan. "SATABoy is Nexsan's most compact storage system, where cost-effective high capacity is paramount."
While SATABoy's value proposition is plenty of storage at a low price point, SASBoy provides greater performance at a premium. Chalfant said SASBoy tends to be used for transactional applications that demand high I/O per second.
"With high-performance SAS drives, it's optimized for customers whose infrastructures support Microsoft Exchange, Oracle, SQL and other databases, as well as those that involve large file servers, virtual server environments or large amounts of small files," Chalfant said. "SASBoy includes FC and iSCSI connectivity and allows customers to combine SAS, SSD and SATA drives within the same system to address different application requirements."
For a starting price of $12,000, users receive up to 14 hard drives (either 300 GB, 451 GB or 600 GB SAS drives or a combo of these with larger SATA drives), and the same basic features as with SATABoy.
To live up to its name, SATABeast provides even more capacity than SATABoy. A storage density of 84 TB is supplied by 42 drive bays, each containing a 2 TB SATA disk. This is crammed into 4U of rack space that can be supplemented by the E60X 60-bay expansion chassis. The starting price of SATABeast is $24,000. In addition to SATABoy's feature set, its anti-vibration design is also noteworthy.
SASBeast ups the ante on SASBoy with a maximum of 25.2 TB offered in a 4U configuration. That means you can scale it to hundreds of terabytes of capacity in a single rack. With a starting price of $25,000, SASBeast provides up to 42 x 600 GB SAS disks and similar features to those found in SATABeast.
The Nexsan E60 accommodates up to 60 disks to provide a maximum of 180 TBs of capacity in a 4U box. For a starting price of $39,000, you can combine SAS, SATA and SSD drives in what is described as a virtual computing-ready environment. On top of the SATABoy/SASBeast type features, it offers enhanced power and cooling features to keep costs down, a 4 GB battery-backed cache per controller, hardware RAID, automatic RAID set maintenance and redundant power.
"Nexsan's AutoMAID level 4 technology reduces energy costs by up to 85 percent -- making it the most energy-efficient, enterprise-class storage system on the market," said Chalfant.
The Nexsan E18 is a high-performance, 18-drive 2U storage system that supports SATA, SAS and SSD drives. Its value proposition is described as enterprise-class performance at a midmarket price. (It starts at $15,000.) As the numbering suggests, the E60 has 60 disks and the E18 has 18. But they have more or less the same features, otherwise.
Assureon is intended as an archive storage system. Chalfant said it is suitable for storage optimization, compliance and long-term archive deployments.
"Assureon supports storage optimization, allowing the offload of primary storage to free up space for active data and reduce the size, time and costs of monthly full backups," he said. "It is ideal for regulatory and corporate compliance, helping organizations comply with governmental requirements, including HIPPA, SOX and SEC-17."
For a starting price of $54,000, users can obtain a system that offers fast restores, fingerprinting and encryption of archives, file integrity checks, Active/Active replication and ingestion, cloud-based archiving, Active Directory integration, search, audit trails, policy-based data retention, file versioning, power management and more.
Drew Robb is a freelance writer specializing in technology and engineering. Currently living in California, he is originally from Scotland, where he received a degree in geology and geography from the University of Strathclyde. He is the author of Server Disk Management in a Windows Environment (CRC Press).