Imation unveils next-gen Nexsan NST6000 platform

Bill-Schilling-Headshot

Bill Schilling, marketing director at Imation

Oakdale Minnesota-based storage and security vendor Imation, which acquired storage vendor Nexsan late last year, has announced the next-generation version of Nexsan’s unified hybrid storage platform, the NST6000 and the first model in the family the NST6530. The NST6000 platform adds Fibre Channel support and ramps up performance and scalability. Imation also announced the new NestOS 3.0 storage operating system.

“The integration with Nexsan is essentially complete,” said Bill Schilling, marketing director at Imation. “Nexsan as an entity goes away, but it’s now the portfolio brand name for storage solutions.” He indicated that while the Nexsan engineering team has remained intact, there have been changes on the marketing side.

Schilling said that the new generation of Nexsan product is benefiting mightily from the acquisition.

“This product is a blend of Imation development dollars with Nexsan technology,” he stated. “The NST6000 will also benefit from a much broader global reach for Nexsan through Imation.”

The big news is the addition of Fibre Channel support, which Schilling said should make the NST platform more attractive to larger customers.

“The previous NST5000 family block storage was only iSCSI, not Fibre Channel, and the addition of Fibre Channel support creates a new opportunity to leverage,” Schilling said. The platform now provides full block and file storage support in a single solution without additional software overhead or licenses.

“We see this as more of an enterprise play,” Schilling said. “The NST5000 is geared more to the mid-market where Fibre Channel connectivity might not be as critical. This gives an opportunity for our channel partners to have a solution for the enterprise.”

While the Fibre Channel connectivity will only be available on the NST6000 series, the new NestOS 3.0 storage operating system will be available across all Nexsan NST hybrid storage solutions.

The NST6000 platform also leverages solid-state technology to create the FASTier acceleration tier, which increases storage I/O performance, lowers latency and extends the life of SSDs.

“The NST6530 has up to 48 bays for solid state drives, and the DRAM plus SSDs provide an acceleration platform to sit on top of spinning disks,” Schilling said. “It helps companies reduce bottlenecks by letting them scale up capacity to run more VMs. It’s also a highly customizable solution in that customers can customize FASTier to different pools, since some may want lower capacity and higher performance with a 2U enclosure.”

Schilling said that all this makes for a solution that is optimized for virtualized IT environments with high capacity requirements, which is why the NST6530 system will be demonstrated for the first time at VMworld 2013 later this month.

Schilling said that at this point in time, it’s not clear how many of Imation’s partners will be able to sell the NST6530. While the Nexsan and Imation partner programs have already been integrated, with the new program based on the Nexsan program, some partners won’t presently have the capabilities to sell this product.

“Not all partners are in a position to sell it because its enterprise, but there is a class of our partners that is already today selling into this market,” Schilling said.

The NST6530 and NestOS 3.0 will be available this fall.

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