Dell's small business simple storage array

Dell's small business simple storage array

Hoping to gain customers among fast-growing small enterprises, Dell launched a storage array optimised for simple operation and low price.

Dell unveiled the MD3000i, a SAN (storage area network) array that uses the iSCSI protocol so customers can connect it to their existing Ethernet networks instead of more expensive Fibre Channel, Dell CEO Michael Dell said in a webcast.

Dell will have to battle IBM and Hewlett-Packard in the rush to provide low-cost storage products for the small and medium-size business (SME) sector. Both companies have launched low-end versions of their storage systems this year. But Dell said on the webcast that competing products fall short of SME needs because they are too complex.

In the past, storage vendors have focused too closely on making products for large enterprises, assuming their customers have the sophisticated technical support departments to manage them, Dell said. In contrast, the MD3000i is designed to be simple to manage, and will allow even small businesses to consolidate their server resources through virtualisation.

The product will also help small businesses manage the burgeoning amount of data that flows over the Internet and within organizations, without breaking their limited budgets for buying new hardware or hiring IT managers, he said.

Dell is selling the MD3000i worldwide at prices beginning under US$10,000 for an array supporting up to 16 host servers, room for expansion and backup and recovery software. The system uses either SAS or SATA hard disk drives to store up to 18TB of data on 45 drives.

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