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Imation's $120m baby delivers NST6000 hybrid storage mutant

NAND cache and faster controllers

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Scalable storage outfit Imation's Nexsan unit has launched an uprated cached hybrid flash/disk drive array with a Gen 3 operating system: NestOS 3.0.

Nexsan, a purveyor of primary and Assureon archival data storage arrays that failed to IPO several times, was bought by Imation on January for $120m.

The NST6000 and older NST5000 are called unified storage systems, and supports SAN and NAS-style access via iSCSI, NFS, CIFS, SMB and FTP protocols. The array uses hard disk drives augmented by a FAStier cache built from SSDs, to accelerate data access.

According to Nexsan: "FASTier intelligently and automatically moves data through solid-state and spinning disk in-concert for up to 10X performance over traditional disk storage."

In effect, there is a flash-caching head with a Nexsan E-Series backend housing the SAS and SATA disk drives, or an NST224X enclosure housing SAS disk drives.

The NST6000 product has faster controllers than the NST5000 and adds Fibre Channel connectivity to the access protocol mix.

There are two kinds of NST6000 models: the NST6000 enterprise with up to 19.2TB of SSDs, and the NST6000MC metro storage cluster with high availability (through two active/active controller nodes) and DR features to sites located up to 10km away, using Fibre Channel-connected back-end E-Series disk enclosures.

The original NST5000 is a mid-market array with a choice of E-Series, NST224X or NST5100X storage enclosures behind the caching head.

The NST6530, the first NST6000 model, has up to 5PB of capacity with SATA drives or 756TB using SAS drives, and, Nexsan claims, "simultaneously supports large-scale I/O intensive workloads generated from multiple virtual machines," including both sequential and random IO. Get a spec sheet (PDF) here>

NestOS 3.0 will be made available across the Nexsan product range.

Nexsan will demo the NST6000 at VMworld 2013 in San Francisco, which takes place from 25 to 29 August. The NST6000MC is available now via Nexsan channel partners with the NST6530 and NestOS 3.0 available before winter. ®

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