Hewlett-Packard targets midrange NAS Axis to deliver low-end server

Posted on October 01, 1999

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Hewlett-Packard targets midrange NAS Axis to deliver low-end server

Heidi Biggar

Zachary Shess

In further testament to the strength of the network-attached storage (NAS) market, Hewlett-Packard late last month added a family of midrange hard-disk servers to its NAS line-up of CD/DVD-ROM towers.

"HD Server 4000 fits the needs of the enterprise for a certain level of applications [e.g., e-mail or groupware] that`s not there," says David Hill, senior storage analyst at Aberdeen Group, a market research firm in Boston, MA.

HP is initially targeting NT-based departments and workgroups. "The 4000 has the robustness of high-end NAS products (e.g., Auspex and NetApp servers) and the simplicity of low-end products (e.g., Meridian`s SnapServer), which makes it optimal for web caching and file-sharing applications," claims Susan Gillespie, HP worldwide NAS product marketing manager.

The ability to provide dedicated file sharing without taxing application servers has analysts projecting significant NAS growth over the next few years. Revenues from disk-array sales are expected to reach $2 billion by year`s end and exceed $6 billion by 2002, according to Peripheral Concepts, a market research firm in Santa Barbara, CA.

The 4000 will be available in four models starting November 1, providing 18GB to 90GB of capacity with Ultra-Wide SCSI drives. All models incorporate HP thin-server technology and feature RAID-5, a slot for an optional DDS-4 DAT tape drive, dual power supplies, 10/100 LAN connectivity, and flash memory for upgrades. Prices range from $5,000 for a server equipped with three 9GB hard drives to $8,900 for a configuration with six 18GB hard drives and a DAT drive.

Meanwhile, Axis Commun-ications last month added to the increasingly crowded low-end NAS server market with its StorPoint NAS 100 device. The device is the latest in a series of introductions from vendors, including Intel, Meridian Data, and Netgear, that have released low-cost NAS servers that provide dedicated storage to alleviate network traffic.

StorPoint NAS 100 simultaneously supports multi-protocol environments such as SMB, NDS, NFS, and IP, as well as file sharing across all leading operating systems. The server uses an Ultra-Wide SCSI interface, while supporting mixed JBOD and RAID-1 levels. RAID-5 is also supported with pre-qualified SCSI RAID controllers for integrators that want to offer advanced data protection.

Powered by LSI Logic`s 32-bit, 100MHz ETRAX RISC chip, StorPoint NAS 100 supports up to 15 disk drives of varying form factors and has 4MB of flash memory, 32MB RAM, and up to 128MB cache expansion using one EDO DIMM module.

Axis expects the product to retail for around $3,000. Volume shipments are expected by the end of the year.


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