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Aberdeen SAN Brings iSCSI Storage To SMBs

For small and midsize businesses, the widespread adoption of iSCSI was inevitable as capacity increased and prices fell. Offering adequate storage at a compelling price point, iSCSI has resulted in accelerated commoditization, lower costs and wider SAN adoption.

Businesses have turned to SANs as a cost-effective way to centrally manage the rapid growth of information created by data-intensive applications. SANs can optimize storage resources, ensure continuous access to key data and provide a strong return on investment.

Meanwhile, iSCSI technology makes it possible for SMBs to effectively use SANs in applications for which Fibre Channel is either too expensive or too complex to be worthwhile. Also, iSCSI is easy to work with because it relies on established, existing technology, eliminating the need to try unproven, potentially expensive solutions that may not work.

One iSCSI-based storage device that solution providers should consider is Aberdeen&'s AberSAN i100. After evaluating the product, CRN Test Center engineers believe that Aberdeen&'s SANs make iSCSI technology—and, therefore, SANs—extremely approachable and easy to use for SMBs at a very affordable price. Even though the AberSAN i100 is a high-end, technologically advanced device, setup and deployment are relatively easy and no prior storage education or training is necessary for solution providers involved in integrating the device into an existing network.

The AberSAN i100 uses iSCSI technology to transport data and Serial ATA hard drives for data storage. The AberSAN i100 was designed from the ground up and was built in conjunction with Supermicro, a company at the forefront of storage technology. Supermicro also has its own extensive line of new motherboard and chassis models. The AberSAN i100 was designed and built as a fully redundant and hot-swappable SAN and includes all necessary fans, power supplies and controllers.

The AberSAN i100 is designed for primary and secondary storage more than for data backup purposes, but the device is flexible enough to accommodate almost any company&'s needs. For SMBs that cannot afford a separate backup system, the AberSAN i100 is an excellent choice.

The device is also scalable and designed for growth in an on-demand environment.

The AberSAN i100 solution is built on Intel&'s Xeon technology and incorporates Intel&'s E7520 chipset. The unit evaluated by CRN Test Center engineers was equipped with one processor, which ran at 3GHz. Aberdeen offers an option to upgrade to a dual processor for an additional charge. Intel&'s E7520 chipset supports the newest technologies on the market, including PCI-Express, DDRII memory and Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology (EM64T).

Intel&'s EM64T allows platforms to access larger amounts of memory and was added to Intel&'s IA-32 server/workstation platform architecture. Processors with Intel EM64T will support 64-bit extended operating systems from Microsoft, Red Hat and Novell Suse.

The AberSAN i100 features an 800MHz system bus, dual Gigabit NICs and allows for RAID 1 disk mirroring, providing system failover and fault tolerance in a multiuser system. The most impressive feature of the 1U AberSAN iSCSI storage server gateway is the option to couple the device with a 2-Tbyte, 3-Tbyte or 4-Tbyte Aberdeen XDAS RAID storage box.

Aberdeen&'s AberSAN i100 has two Gigabit Ethernet ports that can connect to a switch or a private network connection to a backup server. The backup server can be provisioned to any server in a network environment with an iSCSI initiator and access to the Gigabit Ethernet port&'s IP address. The AberSAN i100 supports any iSCSI environment.

Aberdeen&'s channel program includes co-sponsored seminars, joint advertising, sales literature, Webcasts, product demonstrations, joint trade show opportunities, giveaways and a monthly partner newsletter. A dedicated partner Web site provides access to an extensive collection of downloadable sales and marketing materials. Average margins range between 20 percent and 30 percent. The company provides a five-year parts and labor warranty. Aberdeen also offers a free 10-day trial assessment program on preconfigured servers.

The AberSAN i100 is priced at $7,495.

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