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"The lines between the high and low-end are definitely blurring," says Brad Nisbet, senior research analyst at IDC.
Take Quantum, which claims 70% market share of the sub $15,000 segment. It recently announced the Guardian 14000, a midrange product which provides 1.4TB of usable capacity in 3U (5.25"), or 20TB in a 6' rack, starting at $24,900.
The Guardian 14000 features redundant, hot-swappable disk drives, power supplies, cooling and multiple RAID levels (5, 1 and 0). It also supports Microsoft Active Directory Service, Unix-centric Network Information Service (NIS), snapshot, SSL v.3, SNMP for integration into network management systems and includes Server-to-Server Synchronization software.
In comparison, a similarly configured F810 filer from Network Appliance costs around $130,000, says Steve Rogers, Quantum vice president of marketing for the networked storage products group.
Compaq, meanwhile, is bolstering its NAS-to-SAN line with the NAS B3000. The unit comes with data replication software from NSI Software, letting customers mirror data off-site. Other add-on packs include packages for backup, anti-virus, virtualization and snapshot.
Storage insiders attribute the falling cost of high-end NAS features to Microsoft's entry into the market
Since Microsoft launched the SAK in 2000, Windows NAS products captured about 25% of the market, according to IDC.
This was first published in June 2002