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Xiotech takes on the midmarket

Xiotech Corp. hopes the price, tiered model and scalability features of its new Magnitude 3D 1000e will pull in more midsized users.

Xiotech Corp. has released a new member of its Magnitude family of arrays, and you can call this one the middle child. The new Magnitude 3D 1000e, designed for midsized companies, is bigger than the Magnitude 3D Edge for small businesses, but it's still little brother to the enterprise-level Magnitude 3D 1000.

The Magnitude 3D 1000e is targeted at first-time SAN buyers, small enterprises and individual departments of large enterprises that want to install a lower cost SAN, but have plans for rapid growth. Xiotech counts small enterprises as those earning anywhere between $100 million to $1 billion in annual revenue.

Capacity and performance are scaled independently in the Magnitude 3D 1000e, allowing users to "pay as they grow" and thereby avoid expensive over-provisioning, the company said.

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The controller inside the 1000e array has two ports and 56 drives, with the capability of adding more drives. By comparison, the enterprise-level Magnitude 3D 1000 has eight ports and can scale to 224 drives. Both products are built on the same hardware and software platform, said Rob Peglar, Xiotech's vice president of technical solutions, and he anticipates that small enterprises will start out with a 1000e and scale to a larger Magnitude 3D 1000 as their data grows.

"It's just the controller itself that needs to be upgraded to scale to a Magnitude 3D 1000, and it can be done on the fly without disrupting any business applications," Peglar said.

An array of tiers

For those users implementing tiered storage, the 1000e has a tiered model within the array where high-speed Fibre Channel (FC) drives make up tier one. The second level, called the "economy enterprise" tier, is where slower, but higher-capacity FC drives sit. The third tier is comprised of 400 GB SATA drives.

"Customers can pick which tier they want to use. They can have them all or none if they want," said Phil Wandrei, product marketing manager at Xiotech.

Wandrei mentioned that the most popular is the FC "economy enterprise" tier where users can get good speed (7200 rpms) along with capacity of 300 GB per drive.

Despite its "entry level" label, the Magnitude 3D 1000e is by no means cheap (i.e. this is not for small businesses). The listed price for a one terabyte configuration is $40,000, and a two terabyte configuration costs $50,000.

Natalya Yezhkova, senior research analyst, storage systems at International Data Corp., said that for midsized companies, those prices are relatively affordable. "$50,000 for two terabytes is not cheap, but for a mediumsized business this is still an appealing price, especially with the FC multi-tiering," she said.

Magnitude 3D 1000e is currently available from both Xiotech direct sales and through value-added resellers participating in Xiotech's Dimensional Partner Program.

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