D-Link announced some exciting new SAN Storage Array equipment, and DaniWeb managed to get an exclusive interview with Chris Gruber, director of product marketing, storage solutions at D-Link to chat about the new DSN-4000 series, and the recently announced ShareCenter Pro Unified Storage Solutions product line.
Aimed at larger businesses that need greater performance and flexibility in their networks the DSN-4000 series is a Next Gen iSCSI SAN Array. This high power 3U size rack mounted SAN array comes in 2 models. The DSN-4100 and the DSN-4200, with the difference between them being amount of gigabit ethernet ports they sport. The 4100 has four 1Gb Ethernet ports, and the 4200 has eight. They both feature 16 bays, with up to 32TB of raw capacity. The equipment is also stackable which allows larger storage capability by combining up to 80 hard drives with 160TB of raw capacity. The DSN-4000 series also uses the powerful System-on-a-Chip design which will support over 80,000 I/Os per second and they support up to 1024 host connections. Built-in additional performance enhancements like LAG and MCS are standard on both versions as well.
Unlike other storage arrays, the DSN-4000 series’ bays will accept any SAS or SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) hard drive. D-Link prides itself on this, even commenting during the interview that proprietary drives offered by their competitors’ are often overpriced. Need to add additional storage, but cannot find a matching drive? Another big difference in how D-Link does SAN arrays is there is no requirement to use drives of matching size, speed or technologies, and the drives are not bay specific. This allows users to add emerging hard drive technology to the array without having to update all of the drives, and is achieved by D-Link’s virtual volume storage process, where virtual drives are accessed instead of direct access to the array.
D-Link explained to DaniWeb that the data on each virtual volume is stripped across any disk drive in the array that has available space, not locking drives into one array or another. Using this method D-Link now gives your business the ability to reconfigure many aspects of the virtual volumes, including changing the size of the virtual drive on the fly. It will also allow you to migrate data to different drives in the array without needing to allocate a new set of drives for the migration, all this without taking the system offline, or interrupting data availability.
Concerned about hardware failures? D-Link has you covered. The DSN-4000 series comes standard with a 3 year warrantee that includes telephone technical support and all software and firmware updates. D-Link also offers their Secure-Link Support 5 year extended warrantee which adds next business day replacement on insured hardware. They also offer 2 onsite support options. The first option is next business day; the other has a D-Link technician in your office within 4 hours, but is only available in select areas. Both options are offered in 1 year increments.
ShareCenter Pro Unified Storage Solutions
Designed to cater to small and medium-sized businesses looking for a low cost but highly versatile NAS Network storage device, the ShareCenter Pro comes in multiple models across 2 different series. The N Series is the “Value Family” solution and has a 4-bay and a 5-bay tower available. The S Series is the “Performance Family” and offers advanced iSCSI features like LUN masking, MPIO, and load balancing. It comes in 4-bay and 6-bay towers, as well as a 4-bay 1U rack mounted model.
Both the N Series and the S Series offer multiple security options, backup software and disaster recovery options. One feature in particular that DaniWeb learned about from our D-Link interview is the Virtual Disk Drive Expansion feature. It is great if you are concerned that you may fill your ShareCenter Pro to capacity. It allows up to 8 external iSCSI storage targets on the network to be mapped as available storage volumes, expanding the maximum storage capacity of the ShareCenter Pro. The drives are seen as multiple single volumes on the NAS and can be accessed by servers and workstations on the network.
Worried about unauthorized access to your server? The included ShareCenter Pro Encryption technology is volume based and all files are protected using AED 256bit encryption. The data on the ShareCenter Pro cannot be read without the encryption password and a USB decryption dongle key, providing you with peace of mind that your data is safe. In addition the iSCSI sessions are protected by CHAP Authentication, and each user’s Read/Write permissions are easily configured by the administrator.
Disk to Disk back up software is included and can be both scheduled and incremental. There is also built in support for offsite backup using either a remote NAS server or one of multiple web-based backup services, and cloud based storage is supported. Data loss is a major concern of all businesses, and one of the most innovative features D-Link told DaniWeb about is that the ShareCenter Pro is its ability to detect early signs of a failing drive. Once it detects a failing drive, it will then automatically migrate its data to other drives to prevent any data loss.
Whether you are looking to set up an IP surveillance system or using it for server virtualization the ShareCenter Pro is a cost effective NAS solution worth a good look. For large businesses the DSN-4000 series is looking like a powerful networking option for any of your storage needs. D-Link is also offering a lot of excellent features with both of these great network storage solutions, and seem to be living up to their company motto of “Building networks for people” by supplying great networking equipment at great prices. We are at the top of the list to get some hands-on time with these storage devices, and look forward to giving them a full review.