Is Scale-Out NAS the Solution to SMB Storage Sprawl?

Server room Are you trapped in a vicious cycle of storage sprawl, adding NAS device after NAS device to accommodate storage growth? You're not alone—particularly in this storage era of reduced resources combined with enormous data growth in the form of presentations, spreadsheets, Word documents, JPG images, and video content. This massive growth of content is a real challenge for small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) because they have limited staff and budget to deploy enterprise class storage systems. Most SMBs run on standalone storage that is a single point of failure and if the storage system stops, the business stops.

So what do you do about it? Like any SMB, you depend on your data to run 24/7.

Kelly Murphy, CEO of Gridstore, says, “Most SMBs simply don’t have the budget or in-house IT resources to consolidate their storage, so they simply continue to add on new devices and multiply single points of failure." Gridstore's answer to these problems is scale-out NAS—exemplified in its Network Attached Storage grid (NASg) 2.0, a next-generation NAS solution that offers the simplicity, performance, and reliability of enterprise-class storage for the SMB. Using NASg 2.0, SMBs can achieve a powerful NAS storage grid that eliminates storage sprawl and multiple single points of failure while reducing the cost of standalone NAS solutions by as much as a third.

"NASg 2.0 eliminates the heavy up-front purchase of a consolidated enterprise platform while giving organizations, no matter how small or large, enterprise-class performance and reliability of a true scale-out NAS—eliminating single points of failure, complexity, and cost of multiple devices," says Murphy.

According to George Crump, president and founder of Storage Switzerland, “The problem that scale-out NAS has had in appealing to the SMB is that companies were trying to squeeze enterprise systems into that market. Gridstore has designed a scale-out NAS tailored to meet the needs of the SMB organization allowing them to start small and incrementally grow storage resources in a controlled, cost-effective way while minimizing the complexity and risk of managing multiple storage silos. By leveraging a scale-out NAS building-block approach to adding storage, SMBs can eliminate high storage costs while minimizing the reliability and risk of multiple storage silos perpetuated by traditional standalone NAS storage.”

The Gridstore NASg storage platform is designed to eliminate the risk, cost, and complexity of traditional silo-based storage with a simple, scalable solution that grows based on business requirements. NASg technology is a powerful grid processing architecture that allows storage processing to be offloaded from the storage nodes and distributed across powerful client machines in a network. Storage clients then have parallel access to a virtualized storage pool built from simple, low-cost storage blocks. The combination of advanced processing technology and simple building blocks of storage lowers the overall cost and increases its perfomance, scalability, and reliability.

“In my sprawling campus environment, storage sprawl had become nearly impossible to manage,” said Ted Malos, director of technology at Ventura Unified School District. “We simply couldn't continue to keep adding new device after new device as it just doesn't scale. With NASg, we are cost-effectively centralizing our NAS while significantly reducing the risk of failure. I'm very pleased with the enterprise-class features of NASg—it's a significant value.”

With version 2.0, NASg has been enhanced to deliver up to four times faster performance and supports Intel Atom processing power. The new systems feature 1GB of RAM, 1GbE NIC and 25 watts per node and delivers support for complex enterprise network environments. NASg 2.0 storage nodes run on Windows 7 embedded and now provide full integration with Microsoft Active Directory and support for all Microsoft OS platforms. The NASg GS-1000 comes in a small and virtually silent 1U form factor that can fit easily on an office desk or in a rack mount configuration.

NASg 2.0 will be available April 11, 2011, with pricing starting at $499 for a 1TB node and $599 for a 2TB node. For more information, please visit the company website.

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