Storage specialist Promise Technology launched two new network attached storage (NAS) devices last week that the company says are specially built for the small business market. Placed at the higher end of Promise's SmartStor family of storage appliances, the NS4700 comes with four bays while the NS6700 comes with six bays. Both NASes are part of the new NSx700 family and include dual Gigabit Ethernet ports.
As one might expect given Promise's heritage in enterprise-level storage subsystem products, both devices within the NSx700 series come with advanced capabilities such as RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10 (RAID 30, 50 for NS6700), bad sector error handling, Predictive Data Migration (PDM), redundancy check, online RAID migration and capacity expansion. With support for up to 64 simultaneous users, Promise Product Manager Billy Harrison says the storage appliances are good for a company sized at 50 to 200 employees, while a Web-based interface allows even non-IT staffers within SMBs to set up the new SmartStor devices.
Some other notable features:
Fueled perhaps by the increasing availability of cheap storage, competition is heating up quickly on the storage front judging by the storage appliances launched of late. As most enterprises have already deployed virtualization by now-most likely setting up brand-new SAN infrastructure along the way-focus is logically turning to the small- and mid-sized business market in the form of NAS hardware.
Of course, the needs of SMBs are unique and quite distinct from enterprise requirements, which often pack much more capabilities and are difficult to configure. Using consumer-centric hardware for data backup, on the other hand, can only be classified as folly. Promise showed recognition of this delicate balancing act when Alice Chang, CMO of Promise, spoke of the company's focus on ease of use:
... the NSx700 is providing an initiative management interface, that even if the IT staff in SMBs are not IT professionals, they can easily set up the SmartStor with the Web-based interface or GUI utilities on Windows or Mac OSX computers.
The NS4700 has an MSRP of $899 while the NS6700 is priced at $1,099. In the meantime, you might want to read my post where I wrote about recent developments in data backup and how they can potentially influence your deployment decisions.