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Nexsan plays catchup with flash-cached storage controller

E5000 with added flash stash

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Nexsan has introduced an E5000 NAS storage array family with two tiers of solid state controller storage to boost performance, following in the footsteps of NetApp, with its Flash Cache, and Oracle.

Nexsan's E-Series fits alongside the existing E-Series Fibre Channel and iSCSI block access arrays, and the Assureon archive system. The entry-level E5110 has 8 to 62TB of capacity in 3U or 6U rack enclosures, and can utilise a single 100GB SSD as a controller cache. The more capacious E5310 is a high-availability, 3U NAS head with 9 - 720TB of E-Series block SAS and SATA disk drive storage behind it. There can be up to 15TB of SSD read cache and 8GB of write cache SSD.

DRAM is also used for caching. We're told by a Nexsan spokesperson that: "Different files are automatically placed on different flash storage tiers depending on file attributes. It is not policy-based and does not perform data migration to SAS/SATA drives."

There is an optional FASTier feature which, Nexsan says, "utilises multiple SSD technologies that work transparently to boost performance for random I/O workloads including applications that are run on top of virtualised computing environments such as VMware, Xen and Hyper-V."

Nexsan says the SSD caching adds up to a sixfold performance boost compared to, presumably, a non-cached E-Series NAS box.

The E5110 and E5310 are available through Nexsan's network of authorised channel partners, with pricing that starts at $14,974 (manufacturer's suggested retail price). ®

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