OnStors 2200 Series appliances are compatible with storage hardware from major storage vendors including EMC Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Hitachi Data Systems Corp., IBM and Storage Technology Corp. In tests, we configured a clustered pair of OnStor 2260 NAS Gateways with a Nexsan Technologies Inc. Fibre Channel storage unit. The OnStor 2260 does not provide RAID for storage. Instead, it leverages RAID that is already implemented on the storage systems. This makes the OnStor NAS Gateway approach a bad fit for IT managers using low-end JBODs (just a bunch of disks).Utilizing installed RAID is also a welcome strategy for companies that already have a variety of storage units in their data centers, whether because of departmental differences or due to corporate acquisitions. Configuration was fairly easy in tests, and we had NFS and CIFS shares up in a matter of minutes. OnStor 2260 NAS Gateway appliances do not have their own directory services, so IT managers must link the appliances to Active Directory servers (for CIFS) or NIS (Network Information System) servers (for NFS) to handle user accounts and access rights. Having no directory services might be a deterrent to smaller sites, but for larger organizations, it makes more sense from a management and security point of view to have centralized directory servers handling authentication information. OnStors file service support lets NFS and Windows clients share filesa crucial feature for IT shops that have to support both protocols. The OnStor 2260 NAS Gateway honors the rules under which files are written, regardless of where files originate. For example, if an administrator gives full access on the CIFS side, access restrictions on the NFS side are not affected. The OnStor 2260 NAS Gateways snapshot capabilities let IT managers quickly roll back volumes when problems arise. Snapshots can be scheduled or can be run on demand, and each file system can support as many as 48 snapshots. File auditing is another useful management feature on the OnStor 2260; it allows IT managers to track file changes via an audit log. The file-auditing feature can be configured to look for specific events, such as file ownership changes or file restore operations. Like the other models in the 2200 Series, the OnStor 2260 NAS Gateway has no moving parts (no hard drives), which makes it extremely reliable on the hardware level. The appliances have specialized processors that handle file services, IP and storage communications. Senior Analyst Henry Baltazar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on enterprise and small business storage hardware and software.
However, this capability is compelling for the vast majority of storage systems that already have high-performance RAID controllers built into them.