WD Expands Sentinel Storage Line for Small Businesses

The S-series is a fully-configured solution with automatic backup and restore software for up to 25 users and 50 computers and starts at $2,560.

Storage solutions specialist WD, formerly known as Western Digital, expanded its small and midsize business (SMB) storage solution portfolio with the introduction of the Sentinel DS5100 and Sentinel DS6100 (S-series) ultra-compact network storage plus servers.

The S-series is a fully-configured solution with automatic backup and restore software for up to 25 users and 50 computers and starts at $2,560. The appliances are available through CDW, PC Connection and Insight, and through select VARs, resellers and distributors worldwide.

"WD is using enterprise-class components to build a new family of network appliances for small businesses," Bill Evans, general manager of WD's business storage solutions group, said in a statement. "The Sentinel S-series network appliances are engineered with Intel Xeon processors, pre-populated with WD Se data center 3.5-inch hard drives for rapid deployment, and feature dedicated 2.5-inch boot drives for maximum reliability. No other vendor offers a comparable network storage plus server in an equally small form factor. With a small footprint and quiet fan, an S-series appliance can be deployed anywhere."

Pre-installed with Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, the storage servers also allow small businesses to run line-of-business applications on their network storage platform. A company release noted the S-series is a fully configured native Windows Server on which customers can deploy thousands of Windows applications.

The Sentinel DS5100 is pre-populated in capacities of 4TB or 8TB, while the Sentinel DS6100 is available with capacities of 8TB, 12TB or 16TB. Overall, five models of Sentinel S-series appliances are available. The company’s technical support package, Guardian Services, is available for a period of one or more years.

"Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials gives customers the benefit of built-in, groundbreaking, low-cost storage technologies, and WD's Sentinel S-series hardware helps small businesses take advantage of these technologies," Jamie Hamilton, director of marketing at Microsoft’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM) division, said in a statement. "We are pleased to work with WD to tackle the small business, first-server opportunity. WD's hardware engineering expertise, previous success with network storage products based on Windows Storage Server, and leadership in offering an R2 version of Windows Server 2012 Essentials puts WD in a good position to serve this industry."

In addition, the series includes WD 3.5-inch data center-class hard drives for enhanced data security. Businesses can experience enhanced reliability with dual dedicated boot drives (optional on the Sentinel DS5100), dual gigabit Ethernet ports and dual external DC-in power adapter ports.

"Finally, a network storage vendor has delivered a low-cost, turn-key solution that meets my customers' requirements—with no assembly required," Kevin Royalty, Microsoft MVP and managing partner of Total Care Computer Consulting, said in a statement. "Small business customers want a packaged solution with balanced disk, processor, memory and operating system that is engineered and tested as a unit. The DS5100 and DS6100 appliances are ideal as a 'first server' due to the high-performance Intel Xeon processor, Windows Server, high-capacity enterprise-class disk storage, and tiny footprint."