Nexsan introduces mid-range disk arrays

Posted on March 01, 2011

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By Dave Simpson

Emphasizing density, power savings, and drive mixing, Nexsan today announced the E-Series of mid-range disk arrays, which are designed primarily for secondary storage applications such as disk-based backup and archiving. Three models comprise the new line: the E18, E60 and E60X expansion chassis.

The 2U E18 can be configured with up to 18 SAS drives and 10.8TB of capacity. Users can also mix SAS and solid-state disk (SSD) drives in the enclosure. The E18 comes with two 8Gbps Fibre Channel and two 1Gbps iSCSI interfaces per controller, and up to two controllers per array.

The 4U E60 has up to 60 SAS or SATA drives, for up to 120TB per enclosure and a density of 15 drives per 1U. Users can also configure the E60 with SSDs. Features include two 8Gbps Fibre Channel and two 1Gbps iSCSI ports per controller and up to two controllers per enclosure.

In comparison, an EMC VNX5100 array requires 12U for 60 drives, compared to Nexsan’s E60, which requires 4U for 60 drives.

Nexsan’s E60X is a 4U expansion chassis with the same drive/capacity specs as the E60, but the E60X comes with two 4x SAS connectors per controller and an Ethernet port for management.

The arrays do not come with software such as replication, snapshots and thin provisioning.

A dual-port 10GbE card is expected in the next quarter, according to Vicki Grey, Nexsan’s vice president of marketing.

A new feature in the E-Series family is dubbed Active Drawer Technology, which allows open drawers with the drives still being active.

Also with the introduction of the E-Series, Nexsan added an additional, fourth level to its AutoMAID power-saving technology. Level 4 draws the least power, and has the longest recovery time (the time for drives to fully ramp up), of the four levels. Nexsan officials claim that AutoMAID Level  4, which powers off drive electronics, has an 87% power savings and a 30- to 60-second recovery time.

In contrast, AutoMAID Level 1, which unloads heads, provides a 25% power savings and sub-second recovery times.

Pricing for the E18 with nine 450GB SAS drives and one controller starts at just under $45,000 MSRP. An E60 with 20 1TB SATA drives and a single controller starts at less than $52,000 MSRP.

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