Cisco Systems Launches Smart Storage Line for SMBs

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-06-10

Cisco Systems, the world's largest IT networking company, has famously been moving into the data center systems business the last couple of years. But what a lot of people don't realize is that Cisco is also getting deeper into network storage for small and medium-size businesses.

Cisco quietly introduced its first storage hardware products, the NSS2000 and NSS3000 units, in spring 2009. Much development has ensued since.

On June 9, Cisco launched its new Smart Storage desktop product line, led by the Small Business NSS 300 Series and designed specifically for small businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

The Small Business NSS 300 Series consists of two-bay, four-bay and six-bay desktop network storage units and provides small business users with a single system that comes with preinstalled business applications. These include a user-configurable Web server with an integrated WordPress publishing platform, along with built-in servers for user authentication and management of the network, Cisco said.

The NSS 300 devices-which offer RAID 0, 1, 5 or 6-support Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and iSCSI and can provide up to 12TB of capacity using 2TB drives. Higher capacities can be added as larger disk drive capacities come into the market, Cisco said.

The devices use a browser-based interface and can be set up in minutes, Cisco said. They feature power on/off according to preset hours and conserve electricity with an Energy Star V-rated power adapter and hard disk drives that spin down-but not necessarily off-while inactive.

Security features include highly secure remote and Web access. On-disk data encryption helps protect critical business data even if the hard drives are stolen, a business-class feature that most small business storage solutions do not provide, Cisco said.

Pricing for the two-bay machines starts at $913 without drives and goes up to $5,625 for six bays with 2TB drives, Cisco said. Cisco's Small Business Pro Service is $149 for most NSS 300 Series configurations. 

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