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Symantec dips toe into hardware water

Product range set to grow through Huawei-Symantec JV

High performance access to file storage

Symantec is almost in the hardware business; the Huawei-Symantec joint-venture is launching one networking and two storage boxes today.

Huawei-Symantec (HS) was set up in 2008 and has established a presence in north America. General manager for their North American operations, Jane Li, said: "We are committed to helping North American SMBs (small-medium businesses) and enterprises manage their critical information assets with cutting edge technology at reasonable prices.”

That implies the product range will grow.

The Oceanspace S2600 is a SMB block-access storage product with the Oceanspace N8300 being a mid-range and enterprise unified storage box. The Secospace USG2000 BSR/HSR - catchy product name - is a multi-service network gateway.

The S2600 supports up to 96 1TB and 2TB 7,200rpm SATA drives, or 300, 450 or 600GB 15,000rpm SAS drives. It has the usual RAID levels, including RAID 6, and can connect to hosts via 4Gbit/s Fibre Channel, 1GbitE iSCSI or 3Gbit/s SAS ports. The product has copy and synch/synch mirroring software options. HS claims better SPC-1 numbers than IBM's DS3400, with the S2600 doing 354 IOPS per disk compared to the DS3400 running at 281 IOPS.

The N8000 is a serious, multi-rack, clustered, storage box. It offers NFS and CIFS access as well as both iSCSI and Fibre Channel block access. There is dynamic tiering across solid state drives (SSD) Fibre Channel, SAS, and SATA disk drives. There are two models: the N8300 with from 2 to 6 controllers and N8500 with from 4 to 16 controllers. The N8300 offers up to 7.68PB capacity and the N8500 15PB. RAID Levels 0, 20, 5 and 6 are offered.

There is no mention of thin provisioning by HS.

It does say that the NS8500 outperforms HP, Avere, NetApp and Exanet systems on the SPEC SFS2008 benchmark.

The USG2000 product range is a set of secured network gateways for SMBs. They offer firewall, DDoS protection, IPS, anti-spam, P2P blocking and traffic control, IM software control, WLAN WiFi (802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11g/b), and 3G access. They also support L2TP, IPSec, SSL, and MPLS VPN services.

The three product sets are available in North America through Condre Storage, Huawei-Symantec's authorised distributor, which claims 2,500 VARS as its customers.

One can only guess what Symantec's OEM and reselling partners - which have their own storage and networking hardware products - will think of Symantec competing with them. Its response might be that EMC offers both storage hardware and data protection software, so what's the problem? Through HS it has become, at a bound, a quite serious storage array supplier and a respectable, to say the least, SMB network gateway supplier. Watch this Symantec hardware space. ®

High performance access to file storage

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