Nexsan is targeting the midmarket by bringing all-NVMe flash to its Unity storage line.
Nexsan Unity NV10000, the company's fourth-generation storage platform that supports file, block and object protocols, is running on faster NVMe-based storage and new CPUs compared to its previous all-flash array that used SAS storage. Nexsan also brings data protection, disaster recovery and compliance to the all-flash array through its operating system and data protection software.
The upgrade is a good indicator that NVMe, an interface designed to speed up data transfers between enterprise and client-based systems and SSDs over PCIe, is becoming affordable, according to Henry Baltazar, research director of storage at 451 Research.
Nexsan's core market tends to be SMBs, which focus more on costs than on performance. He said the all-NVMe NV10000 is "a good sign" that the interface for all-flash arrays is "becoming more and more mainstream."
Unified NVMe storage at a glance
The NV10000 is Nexsan's highest-performing array in its Unity line, according to Surya Varanasi, CTO at StorCentric, Nexsan's parent company. The 2U array has dual controllers for high availability, NVMe SSDs for storage, the latest Intel Xeon Scalable processors and is Optane-ready. This translates to a density of 737 terabytes raw or 1 petabyte effective storage after compression and a performance of up to 20 GBps for throughput.
The high throughput is not just for the top 1% of high-performance use cases, Varanasi said. Nexsan customers' backup data is growing, but the windows for backing up that data are not shrinking, so higher throughput makes a difference.
"A question we get from our customers is, how fast can you ingest the data?" he said. "When they do backups, there is a lot of pressure to absorb it, so performance is big deal."
The Unity NV10000 provides higher performance for primary storage and acts as a backup target. The underlying software, Unity 7.0, was updated in January and provides a cost-effective option for data security, compliance and scalability, according to the company. The new array also works with Assureon, Nexsan's data protection software.
Address market needs
SMBs can be underserved by larger storage vendors, according to Christopher Steffen, an analyst at Enterprise Management Associates. The new Unity appliance gives them tools that can address data, compliance and reporting requirements.
Midsize companies tend to want to grow into larger companies, and giving them technology such as all-NVMe storage that enables expansion is a good play, he said.
Baltazar pointed out that while cloud storage and storage as a service will most likely dominate the path forward for storage vendors, there are still significant use cases for on-premises arrays such as Unity NV10000.
"Video surveillance or markets that are cheap and deep -- that is where affordable storage is important," he said. "It is good to have other [storage] players and other competition."