The Dell PowerVault NX Series is a lineup of midrange NAS offerings designed for environments needing mid-level network storage. The series consists of three models -- the NX400, NX3230 and NX3330 -- that all offer file- and block-level products. However, they do not support flash-based storage such as solid-state drives. The products come with the Dell OpenManage storage management suite.
The PowerVault NX400 includes four 3.5-inch internal hard disk drives (HDDs), and has a maximum internal capacity of 16 TB. All four drives must be identical in terms of capacity and interconnect type. The product supports Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) drives in capacities of 500 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB; and nearline Serial Attached SCSI (NL-SAS) drives in capacities of 1 TB to 4 TB. It also supports external expansion with the PowerVault MD1200/MD1220 direct-attached storage arrays. The NX400 supports a native RAID 5 configuration. The PowerEdge Raid Controller (PERC) H310 supports RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 10; the PERC H710 supports RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 6. The NX400 can be configured with a four- or six-core Intel Xeon processor, though these are less advanced than the processor options for the NX3230 and NX3330. The NX400 is a 1U rack-mount system.
The Dell PowerVault NX3230 supports up to 12 3.5-inch drives, and has a maximum capacity of 72 TB when configured with 6 TB HDDs. It supports 1.2 TB SAS, NL-SAS and SATA drives at 10,000 rpm and 15,000 rpm; and 2 TB, 4 TB and 6 TB NL-SAS drives at 7,200 rpm. The array supports internal expansion using the Dell PowerVault, EqualLogic and Compellent series of controllers and arrays. Operating system (OS) HDDs for the NX3230 are always configured to RAID 1. Data drives can be configured as RAID 5 or RAID 6 in the factory, and the internal PERC H730 controller supports additional configurations. The NX3230 array can be configured with either a four- or six-core Intel Xeon processor, and has a 2U form-factor rack-mount system.
The PowerVault NX3330 supports up to four 300 GB 2.5-inch SAS HDDs, but uses a slightly different paradigm. Whereas the other two products do not support high-availability clustering, the NX3330 primarily uses clustering for storage. It can scale to 64 nodes and functions primarily as a gateway to external PowerVault MD3, EqualLogic or Compellent storage arrays attached through SAS, iSCSI or Fibre Channel connections. While the NX3330 has a maximum internal capacity of 1.2 TB, it can be scaled to much higher capacities based on which external arrays are attached. The array also uses a RAID 1 configuration for two OS HDDs or RAID 5 for all four HDDs. It does not support any custom RAID options. It offers the same processor options as the NX3230, and has a 1U form-factor.
The PowerVault NX Series includes Dell OpenManage software for storage management, and supports data protection features such as replication through the Distributed File System Replication technology, and snapshots through the Volume Snapshot Service technology. All Dell PowerVault NX series products run Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Standard Edition, though the NX400 also supports Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Workgroup Edition.
Approximate product costs are as follows: $2,780 for the Dell PowerVault NX400, $6,760 for the NX3230 and $6,960 for the NX3330. The units can be customized and purchased from Dell's online store. The vendor also offers a one-year basic hardware repair warranty for the NX400 and a three-year warranty for the NX3230 and NX3330. The warranties include 10-hours-a-day/five-days-a-week hardware support, and next-business day on-site response. Additional warranty packages can be purchased for a higher price.
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