Cisco Launches NSS 300 Series Smart Storage for SMBs, WordPress Included

Paul Mah

Cisco this week rolled out a new storage solution that provides SMBs with a single storage appliance and integrated business applications. Slated to replace the older NSS 2000 and 3000 series that were launched last year, the Cisco Small Business NSS 300 Series Smart Storage platform comes in modems with two-, four- and six-drive bays. Using 2TB SATA drives, this stacks up to a maximum capacity of 12TB on the six-drive bay model, which should be adequate for the general storage of most small and mid-sized businesses out there.


The traditionally network-centric Cisco has recently diversified into selling servers, and this attempt to target SMBs appears to be part of its strategy to expand out of network-land. On this front, David Tucker, Cisco vice president and general manager of the small business group, was reported on Search and SMB Storage as saying that Cisco is working to be disruptive in the SMB storage hardware market when it comes to prices.

The same report noted how a HP Storage All-In-One Storage System 1200r costs more than $13,000 for a 12TB configuration. In comparison, the list price for the NSS 300 ranges from $913 for the basic chassis to $5,625 for a fully-configured six-bay model with 12TB of storage.


Some key features of the Cisco NSS 300 Series Smart Storage are as follows:

  • Supports file sharing across all popular operating systems.
  • On-disk data encryption helps protect business data even if the hard-disk drives (HDDs) are stolen.
  • Can be configured as an iSCSI target for virtualized and clustered environments.
  • Businesses can schedule power on/off timings for power savings; HDDs spins down on inactivity.
  • Built-in applications include a user-configurable Web server with an integrated WordPress environment and built-in servers help simplify user authentication and management of the network.


I wrote about tapping into the use of WordPress to facilitate communication last year, and it is good to see Cisco add this feature into the NSS 300. It is not clear about the features available to users via the built-in Web server, though incorporating Web servers into storage devices is increasingly common. The ability for corporations to host websites on an appliance allows businesses that are still leery of cloud computing to potentially reduce their hardware for intranet sites.


The Cisco Small Business Pro Service will also be offered together with the Cisco NSS 300. SMBs that prefer a higher level of support will want to purchase this option, which gives SMBs three years of technical support including software updates, 24-hour online chat support, next-business-day hardware replacement, call support during local business hours and extended access to the Cisco Small Business Support Center. The Cisco Small Business Pro Service is US$149 for most NSS 300 Series configurations and is worthwhile, in my opinion, even on the basis of its next-business-day hardware replacement alone.


Despite being a relatively new player, it's clear that Cisco intends to stay and make an impact. In a prepared statement, Ian Pennell, co-chair of Cisco's Small Business Council, highlighted the company's storage directions:

To help small businesses effectively manage the explosion of electronic information, we've built an innovative new family of storage solutions. The addition of these new devices further emphasizes Cisco's commitment to providing small businesses with affordable, easy-to-use technology they require to optimize productivity and drive growth.

Cisco says that higher capacities can be achievable with the NSS 300 as larger disk drive capacities, which are already entering the market, are qualified. The NSS 300 Series Smart Storage is available worldwide.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jun 23, 2010 12:19 PM SolveDirect SolveDirect  says:

3TS Cisco Growth Fund as a growth engine for SolveDirect

After half a year of the Cisco Growth Fund acquiring a stake in Solvedirect, the U.S. orders for the companies service management products are beating new orders in Europe. SolveDirect has set up a subsidiary in Silicon Valley and runs an extra data center in California to comply with U.S. data security legislation.

Jul 20, 2010 7:43 PM Marlon Marlon  says:

This is a great addition to the list of available unified storage options in the market today. But have you heard of EMC's new 20% capacity advantage guarantee? Check out this paper-http://bit.ly/ao57rm. I'm sure this paper will help you see that they've got some really great options.

-- Marlon, EMC Social Outreach Team


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