EMC releases new multi-protocol NAS array aimed at SMBs

The NX4 is based on the Clariion AX4 array.

EMC Tuesday announced a further move down market with the latest iteration of its Celerra network-attacked storage (NAS) server. The Celerra NX4 Unified Storage System, which is based on EMC's entry-level Clariion AX4 storage array, is aimed at the small and midsize business market, EMC said.

The new Celerra NX4, like EMC's previous low-end Celerra NS20 NAS array, includes ports for block-based iSCSI, file-serving NAS and Fibre Channel SAN storage. The array, which is 5U in height (1U = 1.75 inches), holds 4TB to 32TB of usable capacity.

Brad Bunce, EMC's director of product marketing for the Celerra family, said the NX4's key benefits are the consolidation of block- and file-based storage for the purpose of server consolidation based on IP protocols. "Administrators don't need to learn anything new," he said.

The array allows admins to move formerly direct-attached servers into a networked environment for higher availability, non-disruptive scalability, and simplification of management around backup and recovery, he said.

An entry-level system that comes with 4TB serial ATA disk storage capacity and licensing for NAS and iSCSI with snapshot backups costs $20,375, EMC said.

One differentiator from the NS20, which was based on the Clariion CX array, is that SAS and serial ATA disk drives can be mixed on the same shelf, according to Bunce.

"SMBs have the same needs as enterprises when it comes to features, functionalities and services. There is no distinction other than price and overall capacity," Bunce said. "As far as ease of use, another great story is that this can power up to production in 15 minutes or less."

Here's a look at the differences between the NX4 and the next box up, the NS20:

  • The NX4 is based on the AX4 array versus the Clariion CX array
  • NX4 is 5Us in height; the NS20 is 7Us high.
  • NX4 allows SAS and SATA drives to be mixed on the same shelf
  • NX4 has a minimum of four drives; the NS20 has a minimum of five drives
  • NX4 holds up to 60 drives and 60TB; the NS20 has up to 90 drives or 90TB
  • NX4 has four 4Gbit/sec Fibre Channel ports; the NS20 has eight 4Gbis/sec Fibre Channel ports.
  • The NX4 comes with EMC's Navisphere Express storage management software; the NS20 has full-blown Navisphere

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