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Network Engines Introduces New NAS Device

While storage demands are rapidly increasing, some administrators are finding themselves buying storage systems that have too much functionality, paying a pretty penny for features they don’t need. In reaction, Network Engines Inc., a vendor of server and storage appliances, is rolling out midrange NAS appliances.

Network Engines today unveiled its StorageEngine Voyager NAS device designed for the Midrange computer market. The NAS device can hold up to 144GB of data in a slim 1U rackmount.

NAS devices can be ideal solutions for midrange enterprises running Windows NT and 2000, since they enable central storage for clustered systems and allow administrators to scale up network storage quickly. “We’re really designed to fit in with the concept of the clustered evironment,” says Rich Friedman, director of marketing at Network Engines.

Friedman says that midrange users who have n-node clustering for their Exchange servers might look to a NAS for shared storage between the two servers. He says that since NAS is easier and less expensive than SAN for users to deploy, it is a good solution for midrange environments.

The StorageEngine Voyager features a proprietary microkernel operating system, which serves data off the storage and enables users to store NT’s CIFS filesystem and NFS used by Unix and Linux customers. Friedman says that the flexibility of filesystems distinguishes the product from low-end NAS vendors who typically use a stripped down version of Linux and NFS for NAS. In addition, the microkernel operating systems has less overhead, improving performance.

Another feature that distinguishes the Voyager from other NAS appliances is its scalability. Network Engines offers a 1U expansion unit allowing administrators to add storage to the NAS. The StorageArray unit is hot-swappable and can contain 288GB of storage, making the capacity of the total NAS top out at 432GB.

Friedman says that many customers who need large amounts of storage were paying for features they did not need. “They’re buying NetApp because its overkill,” he says. Many of the customers did not need the performance enhancements and enhanced functionality Network Appliance offers, but bought the product because of the volume of storage. Network Engines provides a large amount of storage without the extra features. – Christopher McConnell

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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