Dell debuts Windows-based NAS for SMBs

By Kevin Komiega

-- Dell added a new system to its family of networked storage systems for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) today with the debut of the PowerVault NX300, a Windows-based NAS appliance with data deduplication support and a capacity of up to 4TB.

The PowerVault NX300 is a four-drive, 1U rack-mounted NAS device with support for up to 4TB of native capacity using SATA drives. Dell is also offering 1TB of nearline SAS storage for performance hungry environments.

The NX300 is based on the Windows Storage Server 2008 operating system and supports CIFS and NFS connectivity for users that need to connect Linux clients to the device.

The system supports a few advanced software features, including Dell's Single Instant Storage (SIS) technology for data deduplication and Distributed File System (DFS) technology, which allows shares in different locations to be logically grouped under one folder or DFS root.

For management, the PowerVault NX300 supports Dell's OpenManage Systems Management capabilities, including remote management through iDRAC in addition to native Java Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

Larry Hart, Dell's worldwide senior manager of storage and networking, says file-based data growth and use of the Windows operating system are facts of life for the majority of SMB customers.

"Unstructured data growth is outpacing that of structured data. That [trend] applies to enterprise customers all the way down through the SMB market," says Hart. "The NAS market represents a significant opportunity for Dell and our goal [with the NX300] is to help our customers manage their businesses more effectively."

List pricing for an entry-level configuration of the PowerVault NX300 with four 160GB SATA drives, Windows Storage Server 2008 Standard Edition and 3GB of DDR3 memory starts at $3,000. The NX300 is scheduled for availability from Dell and its global PartnerDirect channel partners beginning October 12, 2009.

Dell plans to support 2TB drives in the NX300 later this year, bringing total capacity to 8TB.

The PowerVault NX300 launch is part of an overarching SMB initiative from Dell. The company also announced new servers, software, power supplies and services aimed at the small business market in conjunction with the new NAS system.

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This article was originally published on September 09, 2009