Many midsize companies are evolving operations to ensure business agility while at the same time seeking to better manage their IT related costs. This is leading them to re-prioritize selection criteria to focus on storage systems that help achieve these goals. Responding to these demands, Nexsan this week announced its new E-Series line of storage systems that promise efficient, easy-to-use and enterprise-class solutions in order to deliver a different kind of storage experience for these size organizations.
Chief among IT concerns is leveraging storage to achieve higher levels of data center efficiency. However, it is unlikely they will first think of efficiency in the context of either “deduplication” or “thin provisioning.” It is more likely they will think in terms of their immediate practical concerns like limited data center space, managing their continuing data growth and reducing overall operational costs.
IT staff who view “storage efficiency” in this context are then probably going to love the new E-series line of storage systems from Nexsan as they reflect Nexsan’s heightened focus on delivering enterprise-class, easy-to-use and efficient storage solutions for the mid-market.
Mid-market enterprise IT staff tends to have very different responsibilities than IT staff in large organizations. In the mid-market their roles will span everything from server, network and storage to managing their IT budget, data center and staffing resources. As such they need technology solutions that improve their overall efficiency without requiring them to become either a subject matter expert or a system integrator.
Maximizing their organization’s storage efficiency can be a particularly difficult objective to achieve. Aside from the fact there are over 100 midrange storage array models on the market, identifying a storage provider that provides solutions that match that organization’s definition of “storage efficiency” can be akin to trying to find the proverbial needle in the haystack.
This is what should make the new E-Series storage systems from Nexsan particularly appealing to IT staff in the mid-market as it delivers “storage efficiency” in terms they understand.
- Efficiently uses storage space. The context in which Nexsan uses “storage efficiency” is how many disk drives can be fit in the smallest space possible. Mid-market data centers are often space constrained so the ability to put more disk drives in the same or less amount of space to keep up with their continuing data growth is a concept they understand. This is what the new Nexsan E18 and E60 accomplish. The E18 enables midsize enterprises to put up 18 drives in a 2U rack and can expand up to a maximum of 10.8 TBs per chassis while the E60 supports 60 drives in a 4U rack and will eventually expand out to 240 TBs.
- Eliminates the need for additional IT staff. The E-series accomplish this in two ways. First, E-series models can generally be installed and operational in under an hour with some midsize enterprises reporting install times of less than 15 minutes. However the second larger concern for most is the ongoing support associated with midrange arrays and specifically the replacement of their failed hard drives.
RAID has for the most part pretty much eliminated the possibility of data loss but a lot of time and effort is still spent on replacing failed hard disk drives (HDDs.) Further, putting so many HDDs in such a compact space can contribute to an increased occurrence of HDD failures due to vibration from other drives.
However Nexsan in part accounts for this with its anti-vibration technology. Its anti-vibration technique is remarkable if no other reason than its simplicity. HDDs are placed in pairs into the E-Series with one drive seated one way and the other drive seated the other. By placing them in this manner, the vibrations of the two drives have the effect of helping to cancel each other out and reducing the frequency of HDD failures.
Putting this many HDDs in a drawer could also lead to overheating. To counter this Nexsan uses its Cool Drive Technology™ that keeps a steady airflow over all of these drives. It accomplishes this with a fan at the front of the drawer that draws air in and two fans that exhaust air out the back.
Even on the occasion when an HDD or fan does fail, Nexsan’s Active Drawer Technology™ reduces the risk and effort associated with replacing them. Each chassis has three drawers which can each be independently removed by one person so either a fan or an HDD can be swapped out without downtime which becomes particularly important when you consider the amount of data a 60 drive chassis can hold.
- Reduces operational costs. Continuing data growth means more storage and HDDs and more HDDs generally translate into increased power costs driven by keeping the HDDs powered on and keeping them cool. Nexsan’s AutoMAID™ technology helps to minimize these concerns.
AutoMAID offers four user definable power saving settings so users can define how they want the E-Series set up so it is at the most power efficient setting for the data set residing on it. These setting are configurable by RAID set and includes options ranging from the lowest level of unloading the drive heads (25% power savings) to its newest and highest level, turning off the drive electronics (an 87% power savings.)
IT staff at mid-market enterprises recognize that for the most part they have neither the time nor the desire to become systems integrators or subject matter experts about their entire computing environment and least of all about their storage systems. They just need practical storage solutions that they understand, are cost-effective and make sense in their data centers. The new E-Series models from Nexsan with their enhanced storage and operational design deliver on those exact objectives.