Seagate Intros BlackArmor SOHO NAS Family


The new BlackArmor NAS appliances are aimed at small businesses and home businesses with fewer than 50 users, said Naser Mgariaf, senior manager of product line management in Seagate's Consumer Solutions division.

They are sold as a complete solution, including the appliance itself, management and backup software, and services such as extended warranty, advance replacement or priority technical support, Mgariaf said.

The services portion eventually will include an option for Internet-based online storage from i365, a business unit of Seagate, he said.

"Small businesses typically have no IT people in-house," he said. "So they use VARs, or look for simple solutions. And that's our target customers."

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The new BlackArmor appliances include either two or four hard drives, Mgariaf said. The four-drive models include hot-swap capabilities.

Also included are two Ethernet ports, one of which connects to the network and the other of which is used to connect to external storage for replication.

They also feature four USB ports for connecting to a printer, to a managed UPS, or to one or more external hard drives for archival purposes, he said.

There are currently three models available, including the NAS 440 four-bay, four-drive model; the NAS 420 with four bays and two drives; and the NAS 220 with two bays and two drives.

Customers or their solution providers can upgrade the NAS 420 with two additional drives. "We support only Seagate drives from a technical and liability point of view," Mgariaf said.

For backup software, a 10-license version of Acronis is included, Mgariaf said. "It's the full version, not a 'lite' version," he said. "It's a feature-rich software, and includes such features as the ability to back up open files."

The included management software allows users to easily create new user groups and assign them specific privileges, Mgariaf said. Those groups can be imported from Microsoft Active Directory, he said.

The new BlackArmor NAS appliances are already shipping through Seagate distributors and solution providers, as well as through certain direct marketers, except for the 6-Tbyte and 8-Tbyte versions of the NAS 440 which are scheduled to ship in May.

They are expected to compete with entry-level NAS appliances from such companies as Buffalo Technology and Netgear, Mgariaf said.

The BlackArmor NAS 420 appliance, with two 1-TB drives, is list-priced at $799.99. With four 2-TB drives, BlackArmor NAS 440 lists for $1,999.99.