Cisco is expanding its small business storage offering with a new line of storage appliances that give its networking partners a new way to potentially increase profits.
Cisco's new NSS 300 series of appliances are targeted at small businesses with fewer than 100 employees, and include a full suite of software and security features that give solution providers value-add opportunities with customers, said Andrew Sage, vice president of worldwide small business sales for the company.
The three models in the NSS 300 series include two-bay, four-bay, and six-bay models which, when configured with 2-TB hard drives, offer capacities of up to 12 TBs.
Solution providers can configure the appliances with hot-swap drives of their own choice, or purchase the drives through Cisco, Sage said. If the drives are purchased from Cisco, they are included in the appliances' five-year hardware warranty, he said.
The NSS 300 appliances protect data with built-in secure remote Web access and integrated encryption, as well as a choice of RAID 0, 1, 5, and 6.
A simple browser-based setup allows easy deployment of the NSS 300 appliances in Windows, Macintosh, and Linux environments, Sage said.
"But it's not designed for customer deployment, especially as you get into sophisticated management and security features," he said. "So it's still a VAR play."
In addition to providing the hard drives and deploying the appliances, solution providers can also sell the optional Cisco Small Business Pro Service, which provides three years of software update, chat support, next business-day hardware replacement, and call support, Sage said.
Sales of the NSS 300 also qualify as part of Cisco's partner profitability program, which offers solution providers rebates on sales of the full range of Cisco networking, security, and storage products, he said.
The NSS 300 storage appliances are already available through Ingram Micro, Tech Data, Comstor, and D&H. Prices range from $913 for a two-bay model with no hard drives to $5,625 for a six-bay model with six 2-TB hard drives.