Time for SMBs to Jump to NAS?

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Now that the manufacturing community has realized that there is money to be made outside the Fortune 500, it shouldn't be any surprise that one of the chief growth areas is helping the SMB jump from direct storage to network-attached.


With HP offering DAS to NAS capability on its newest systems, such as the StorageWorks All-in-One 1200 that we wrote about on Wednesday, it's no wonder that a raft of smaller vendors are looking to get in on the action.


SMC, for example, just released the TigerStore server, offering up to 3 TB on four SATA drive slots. The system can also be configured with 1 TB right out of the box with four 250 GB drives. The system uses four GbE ports to deliver 400 Mbps throughput. No word yet on whether the company has any 10 GbE plans.


Iomega is also fresh out of the gate with the 2 TB StorCenter Pro NAS 450r, the newest, and most expensive, version of its Windows Storage Server line. The system supports Distributed File System, Integrated SRM and File Server Resource Management, Active Directory Service, and a host of other tools. It's powered by dual-core Xeons, as opposed to the Pentium Ds found in the HP DL320. Expect Iomega to follow HP into remote backup in the near future.


Also new on the market is the ZyXEL NSA-2400, a four-bay SATA device targeted at backup and recovery. The system is bundled with Microsoft's Small Office Server software, plus client-server backup tools from GenieSoft. Capacity tops out at 2 TB, with four tiers of data protection for SQL and Exchange servers, as well as RAID 0, 1, 5 and JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) support.


Finally, there's the Platinum NAS 4.0 from MicroNet, which sports four 1 TB drives in a very convenient form factor. While the company's market exposure is small, catering mainly to digital pre-press and graphics shops, it does boast the only NAS with full Mac support. The system is said to list for only $879, which should be welcome news to the SMB market.


Any way you cut it, moving from simple storage to a more complex environment like NAS is going to result in worry lines on the IT staff. But let's face it, there are worse problems than your company growing too fast.