RealTime IT News

Dell Cranks Out Storage Server for SMBs

Recognizing the importance of serving the growing legion of small- and medium-sized business customers, Dell on Monday unveiled a network attached storage (NAS) server to help SMBs manage increasing volumes of data.

Dell rivals IBM, HP, Hitachi Data Systems and Network Appliance all make NAS or storage area network (SAN) servers and devices for SMBs, spurred by the demand from a new influx of small businesses and departments within larger enterprises. Analysts have forecast multi-million-dollar opportunities for systems vendors to cater to these buyers.

Dell's late entrance reflects its strategy of waiting until the market has been saturated by competitors before it sells lower cost products to tempt customers who may be waiting for the best price to come along. While the Round Rock, Texas, company often rolls out storage products with partner EMC, a spokesperson for the vendor said the 745N is purely a Dell product, joining the preexisting NAS models 725N, 770N and 775N.

The PowerVault 745N offers four terabytes of external SCSI-attached storage along with features that make the machine easier to use for departments with one or two-person IT staffs, according to a Dell statement. The box also features management features to make sure customers can easily back up and consolidate data. Ideally, Dell would like its customers to be able to migrate their storage data onto one 745N machine.

A 1U rack product, the 745N features software options in which customers can take "snapshot" copies of their data, which allows them to revert back to previous versions of data to fend off file deletion or system failures. Dell also throws in status reporting tools for management through a single console.

Darren Thomas, vice president and general manager of Dell Storage, said another ease-of-use-selling point is that the 745N takes as little as 15 minutes to deploy, an inviting proposition for small companies or departments with few IT personnel.

As a byproduct of its deep partnership with Microsoft and Intel , the server runs Windows Storage Server 2003 and Intel Celeron or Pentium 4 processors with speeds up to 3.2 gigahertz and capacity from 160 gigabytes to 4 TB. It runs Windows, Linux, NetWare, UNIX and Macintosh operating systems.

The PowerVault 745N, available now at a base price of $1,799, supports Dell PowerVault tape back-up devices and data protection software from VERITAS Software and Yosemite Technologies.