Network Attached Storage

The Network Attached Storage space is heating up, with the self-contained storage units helping System Area Networks to eat up the revenues that the increasingly unpopular Direct Attached Storage systems are leaving on the table.

Not one to sit out a market opportunity for long, Microsoft rolled out its first full release of Windows Server dedicated solely to storage. It hopes its Windows Storage Server 2003 will be the right server at the right time to capitalize on IT's appetite for NAS-based file and print and the emerging NAS gateway segment -- NAS systems as the network face for a SAN. However, Microsoft is having some trouble positioning Windows Storage Server (see the first article).

EMC, meanwhile, is concentrating a lot of energy on the NAS gateway market, where the storage giant says it is seeing fast growth. The company has just revved a high-end NAS server for NAS gateway use (see second article).

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EMC partner Dell, in typical fashion, is concentrating on the other end of the market. While EMC commands $60,000 or more per NAS system, Dell just launched a rack-optimized, 1U NAS with external SCSI drives that retails for $1,800 (see third article). As usual, Dell is beginning to drive the profit margins out of a once-pricey market.

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