Nexsan enters iSCSI fray

By Dave Simpson

– Nexsan entered the iSCSI market this week with a series of SAN systems that also support Fibre Channel and NAS. The company's iSeries can be connected to any of Nexsan's disk subsystems, including the SATABoy, SATABeast, SASBoy and SASBeast.

Although the iSCSI array market is crowded – and is dominated by large vendors such as LeftHand/HP, EqualLogic/EMC and NetApp – Nexsan hopes to differentiate itself on a number of fronts.

For example, the iSeries comes with a variety of "enterprise-level" software functions such as virtualization, snapshots, replication, real-time mirroring, and data migration at no extra charge.

The company claims "Tier 1 functionality at Tier 2 prices," citing an entry-level price of $25,000 for a 4TB configuration with a SATABoy array on the back end. Users can scale the iSeries up to 1PB with SATA drives, and all of Nexsan's disk subsystems support SATA and/or SAS drives (up to 42 drives per 4U chassis).

Another potential differentiator for the iSeries, at least for "green-conscious" IT departments, is Nexsan's AutoMAID technology, which provides three levels of energy savings. According to Bob Woolery, Nexsan's senior vice president of marketing, Level 1 provides up to a 20% energy savings with sub-second response times; Level 2 provides up to 40% savings (SATA only) and a response time of less than 15 seconds; and Level 3 provides up to a 60% cost savings with a response time of less than 30 seconds.

Other features of the iSeries include VMware certification and up to four RAID engines per system (with up to 4GB of cache per dual-controller configuration).

Two models are available. The 200i has up to four iSCSI ports, 500TB of capacity, and two Fibre Channel storage ports. The 400i has up to six iSCSI ports, 1PB of capacity, and four Fibre Channel ports.

Related articles:
Nexsan combines SAS, AutoMAID
iSCSI plants roots in the Global 2000

This article was originally published on February 24, 2009