Dell, HDS and NetApp all upgrade midrange storage

Three of the industry's giants have today launched new mid-market storage machines.

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Dell, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) and NetApp have all today refreshed their product offering for midsize companies.

Dell's new machine is the MD3000i, an iSCSI-equipped upgrade to its MD3000 array. The machine can attach to 16 servers and Dell is pitching it as ideal for businesses looking to consolidate from multiple servers and their associated direct-attach storage resources.

Prices for the array, which carries SAS drives between 73GB and 400GB, start around $6000, a price Dell is claiming as a new low for this class of array.

Scalability comes from links to Dell's JBOD MD1000, a fifteen-drive unit that can be connected to the MD3000i singly or in pairs to bring the new machine's capacity to 45 drives and 18TB.

A SATA version of the machine is due early in 2008, which will provide an upgrade path to 750GN and 1TB drives.

HDS' new machine is the USP-VM and is positioned as a mini version of the USP-V array announced in May. The USP-VM is based on rack-mounted hardware and standard 220-volt power supplies, while its big brother requires a raised data center floor and multiphase power. USP-VM supports up to 72 TB of capacity internally and, HDS claims, up to 96 petabytes (PB) of external virtualized storage, compared to the USP-V's capacity limits of 337 TB internal and 247 PB external. Software options for snapshots, replication, tiered storage, thin provisioning and storage virtualization are the same as on the high-end model. HDS is also claiming that the new box's performance, 1.2 million IOPs is the same as the USP-V.

HDS Australia's Simon Elisha said the new machine, which will sell in Australia "at a starting point of just under $100,000" will be well suited to the "upper mid market," a category he said includes small insurers, health funds, superannuation funds and higher education institutions like TAFEs and universities.

"Organisations like these do not have a large number of employees but service a large customer base," he said, adding that he feels the new machine's inclusion of live upgrades, thin provisioning, virtualisation and other featrures represent a "no-compromise" approach to storage

NetApp's new product is the FAS2000, which comes in two models: the 2020 and the 2050. The 2020, a 2U enclosure priced at around $US12,000 with capacity up to 24 terabytes (TB), will only support SATA disks in its first release. The 2050, a 4U enclosure starting at around $25,000 with a maximum capacity of 69 TB, will support only SAS disks internally. The 2050 will also support Fibre Channel and SATA expansion shelves.

The mid-market will become even more crowded later in the week, when Adaptec announce new products.

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