Hitachi goes after SMBs with plug-and-play array

Hitachi goes after SMBs with plug-and-play array

Increased opportunities for partners in low maintenance storage

Hitachi Data Systems has begun a campaign to sell down into SMBs with a launch of what it claims as a specially low-maintenance RAID 6 array.

Hitachi channel director, Kerstin Baxter, said the Simple Modular Storage Model 100 (SMS 100) was the storage vendor's first salvo in an attack on the SMB space.

"If you look at IDC research, for the SMB space the A/NZ market [for this type of hardware] is worth about $150 million," she said. Hitachi wanted its partners to go after a piece of that pie, she said.

The vendor's first product specifically targeting SMBs or smaller branch offices of large companies, the SMS 100, was easy to use and manage, even for users or partners with relatively little technical skill, Baxter claimed.

"SMB customers now have similar challenges to enterprises but they don't have the staff or skills," she said. That said, Baxter claimed the SMS 100 wasn't simply a shrunken or cut-down version of an enterprise disk array.

The entry-level 1TB version, complete with software, has an RRP of around $6000, while the 9TB version is priced at around $15,000. The SMS 100, which takes about 30 minutes to set up using a wizard-based GUI and auto-configuration software, would an easy sell, due to its out-of-the-box functionality and low maintenance needs, she said.

If it breaks down, the device automatically notifies Hitachi, which promises to ship users a free drive that can be plugged straight into the disk slot without needing to remove the first drive or disrupt operations. It also used a standard power outlet, Baxter said.

An auto-migration feature lets users copy all existing data and licenses to a new system when the customer wants to upgrade for more terabytes.

It also offered data snapshots with optional remote replication for backup and recovery purposes, Baxter said.

All changes since the last replication interval are automatically saved to disk, according to Hitachi.

The device, which is claimed as lasting for five years on average, has some green credentials too: it is also compliant with the European Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive, according to the vendor.

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