Nexsan Announces Unity 2.0

Nexsan announced their new range of Unity arrays a few weeks ago. I finally had the opportunity to talk to Gary Watson about the new line, and thought it was worth covering here.

 

Hardware

The Unity range of arrays are standard midrange offerings. They use two controllers and offer some useful block and file access options. Capacity is pretty good too. My favourite feature (based on past experience) is the data mobility, thanks to the Connected Data acquisition. I was a big fan of the consumer version of the Transporter, and think that delivering these kind of features in a corporate environment is a great way to get around the problem of widespread Dropbox use in the enterprise. (Not that I’m not a fan of Dropbox, but people need to be mindful of what they do with corporate data in the name of “convenience”.) Here’s a snazzy box shot.

[image courtesy of Nexsan]

And here’s a table that nicely summarises the various Unity offerings. You can grab the data sheet from here and a more detailed specification sheet here.

 

Feature Unity2200 (Entry) Unity4400 (Mid) Unity6900 (High)
Authentication Active Directory, LDAP, and Local
Access iOS and Android Apps

Windows, Mac, and Secure, Private Web Access

Protocols Block (FC, iSCSI), File (NFS, SMB 3.0, FTP)
Controllers 2
System Memory (DRAM) 128GB 192GB 384GB
Write Cache 400GB SSDs 8GB NVDIMM 16GB NVDIMM
FASTier Read Cache Capacity 3.84TB 35TB 100TB
FASTier Read Cache 800GB | 1.92TB 800GB | 1.92TB | 3.84TB
7.2K RPM SAS HDDs (TB) 2 | 4 | 6 | 8 | 10TB
10K RPM SAS HDDs 600GB | 900GB | 1.2TB | 1.8TB
SAS SSDs 800GB | 1.92TB | 3.84TB | 7.68TB

 

Further Reading and Conclusion

You can read some press coverage on the announcement here and here. Nexsan’s press release can also be found here. Dell EMC don’t like talking about it, but you’ve probably noticed two different companies are using Unity as a product name for their midrange storage line. You can read El Reg’s coverage of that here.

The Unity arrays do everything you’d expect a modern midrange array to do, with the added bonus of some neat enterprise file sharing capability thrown in for good measure. In the storage industry we love to focus on what we think people will find sexy. Right now this seems to be two things: all flash storage and massively scalable object storage. Don’t get me wrong, both of those technology solutions are neat, and it’s certainly an exciting time to be witnessing what can be done with that technology. That said, I don’t think the midrange storage array is dead just yet. There are plenty of companies in the hunt for storage platforms that just work and deliver reasonable performance for a decent price per GB. As evidenced by Dell EMC’s continued interest and investment in the midrange market, there’s still plenty of life left in it. If you’re in the market for some solid midrange storage with a variety of storage options and capacities, coupled with some neat file synchronisation and replication technology, then it’s worth looking into the Nexsan offering.