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Fujitsu adds single-node appliance to unified SMB storage platform

Fujitsu expands its small and medium-sized storage platform with unified NAS-iSCSI described as 'pre-SAN.'

Fujitsu Computer Systems Corp. is bolstering its small and medium-sized (SMB) storage platform with the UDS 1000 unified appliance that uses Windows Unified Data Storage Server (WUDSS) for file and block storage.

The UDS 1000 supports up to twenty-four 1 TB drives and follows the UDS 2000, which was introduced in May, with support for 72 drives.

Fujitsu senior product marketing manager Steve Layman described the UDS 1000 as a "pre-SAN." He said the target market is organizations "that don't have the budget, resources or staff for a storage area network (SAN) but have needs for storage. They want to move beyond direct-attached storage (DAS). With this, they can manage file servers and application servers with one pane of glass."

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The system relies on WUDSS for features, such as snapshots, replication, text search and remote administration. The UDS 1000 competes with Dell's PowerVault NX1950 and Hewlett-Packard's StorageWorks All-in-One unified NAS-iSCSI systems.

The UDS product line is an entry-level player in the storage market, said Benjamin Woo, vice president, storage systems, for market-analyst firm IDC. Woo also said Fujitsu's Microsoft partnership and WUDSS inclusion is a good way for the company to attract SMBs because most small-business networks are Microsoft networks, and those businesses will naturally tend to use familiar technology.

Fujitsu's timing for releasing the UDS 1000 could not be better, Woo said. In slower economies, companies look to reduce capital outlays in all areas, including IT. Smaller, more flexible and more familiar systems have a market advantage in these times, he added.

Although WUDSS doesn't provide advanced features compared to those in dedicated data protection and management applications, Woo says it's the right level of complexity for an SMB product.

"It's critical Fujitsu leveraged WUDSS because their potential customer base is looking for simplicity and familiarity," Woo said. "WUDSS brings one very important factor; familiarity. Small businesses can't afford storage administrators, or dedicate resources to storage."

The UDS 1000 is built with components from other Fujitsu computing product lines. The appliance includes a Primergy RX200 S4 rack server with dual Intel Xeon processors, 1 GB memory standard, five SAS drive bays and three SATA drive bays, and an Eternus2000 model 100 disk storage system with two controllers, four host interfaces, and Fibre Channel, iSCSI and SAS support.

The base unit occupies one shelf and supports up to 12 drives. A second enclosure is required to reach the 24 TB maximum capacity.

The UDS 1000 is available now and will primarily be sold through channel partners, including Tech Data, CDW and PC Connection, as well as directly from Fujitsu. The appliance starts at $10,000 for 4.5 TB of disk space.

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