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Dell opens up on NAS gateways

File access to EqualLogic block arrays

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Dell is to produce a NAS gateway for its EqualLogic PS iSCSI-attach block storage arrays.

At a Dell Enterprise Vision day event this week, Joe Joseph, Dell's VP for EqualLogic storage marketing, said: "A NAS gateway sitting on top of EqualLogic is probable."

File-level access can be obtained at the moment by running Microsoft Windows on a server to create a file system on a front-ended PS array.

Joseph said, "About 30 per cent of our customers are doing that today ... We'd be looking at something that produced higher performance."

Dell's storage partner EMC introduced a Celerra NSX NAS gateway product in the spring.

Dell will produce a Dell-branded NAS gateway using its own server hardware and network-attach storage (NAS) software providing, it is expected, both NFS and CIFS file access for Unix/Linux and Windows accessing client systems respectively. It will not necessarily be a Windows-based system.

Our understanding is that Dell is not going to introduce its own filer as a separate product, being content with the NAS gateway approach. That will probably cause sighs of relief in NAS suppliers generally. There's enough competition without Dell throwing its heavyweight oar in.

Nor will Dell present its EqualLogic products plus NAS head as a unified storage product. Joseph said his belief is that most customers using unified storage products use them for either block storage or file storage and don't use both access methods simultaneously.

El Reg estimates a Dell NAS gateway could appear in the first half of next year.®

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