Bigger, faster enterprise storage: Linux NAS goes 64-bit

Aberdeen and Sans Digital release 64-bit Linux based network attached storage devices

My, my, my ... Linux-based network-attached storage has grown up. This month, two vendors released 64-bit NAS units geared toward the enterprise, capable of enormous storage density and equipped with enterprise-class price tags.

Today, Aberdeen released the new AberNAS LX Series storage appliance featuring a 64bit Linux OS. The appliance is designed for Hitachi’s 3TB Ultrastar 7K3000 drive family. Hitachi released the family of drives last month. They feature 7,200 RPM, 3.5-inch drives that company claims set an industry record for MTBF at 2.0 million hours. A 2TB version was released at the same time. (Hitachi notes: "With its dense 3TB capacity, it is now possible to achieve a colossal 1.8PB in the footprint of a standard 19-inch enterprise storage rack by stacking 10 4U, 60-bay enclosures.")

While the Hitachi drives are available now, Aberdeen promises to have its NAS appliance available for the 3TB drives by late Q1.

Aberdeen 64-bit Linux NAS appliance

Aberdeen AberNAS LX is built with 64-bit Linux on Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5600 processors

Ergo, the new Aberdeen appliance server provides a whopping amount of storage capacity in a single rackmount server: up to 198TB utilizing 3TB drives.  It also includes three external SAS ports for JBOD expansion and two SAS 6G HBA ports for XDAS (direct-attached-storage) expansion.

The LX is built using the low-power Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor 5600, formerly code named Westmere.With the new 64-bit Linux OS, Aberdeen added some management and GUI improvements over its previous Linux NAS server models, too.

Pricing for Aberdeen's entry level storage appliance models begin at $2,795 and $4,795 with Hitachi’s new 3TB drives.  Midrange (5u) models start at $10,995 and $20,495 with 3TB drives and enterprise (8u) models start at $23,995 and $50,995 with 3TB drives.

This product joined another 64-bit Linux based NAS appliance introduced earlier in the month by Sans Digital. This company also says it has eliminated the maximum volume size barrier from its previous limit of 16TB/each to "a virtually unlimited capacity of 8EB/each (~8,000,000 TBs)." The Sans Digital appliance supports both iSCSI and NAS. To thwart new users' potential worries about having to learn Linux, the Sans Digital device uses a browser-like GUI with drop down menus for configuration and management.

Sans Digital 64-bit Linux NAS appliance

Sans Digital AccuNAS AN4L 64 bit uses 64-bit Linux and Intel Atom processors.

The company also vaguely claims the new storage device offer users special features for supporting VMWare ESX, Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix Xen virtual machines servers, Windows 2008 Clustering, and SPC-3 persistent targeting. Ranging from $599 to $14,995, the family of 10 models are all available now in the 64bit Linux format.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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