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The Best Products Of 2010

CRN's Test Center unveils its Products of the Year. See which security appliances, mobile devices, notebooks, PCs and other products made the list.

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Storage: Nimble CS Series Storage Array

As the industry has reached what appears to be a transition point, from on-premise storage to a hybrid approach and, perhaps eventually, full-on cloud-based storage for enterprises, there are still important advances being made in the on-premise model.

This year, the CRN Test Center picks the Nimble CS Series Storage Array as our Product of the Year in this category because of the timely introduction of a software layer that adds value to how a storage server can move data quickly.

The CS Series includes a line of systems built around a sturdy SuperMicro 3U server chassis that incorporates a number of capabilities, including advanced performance, at a starting price of around $50,000. But the real crown jewel of this system is in its software. Dubbed Cache Accelerated Sequential Layout, or CASL, the proprietary system employs Solid State Drives to handle the random I/O traffic common to applications for SQL Server and Exchange while leaving the SATA drives to do what theyre best at: sequential reads and writes.

The Nimble CS Series box was one of the easiest weve had the pleasure of setting up and testing, thanks in part to Bonjour, Apples zero configuration service discovery protocol. The CRN Test Center would like to see more products embrace Bonjour (formerly known as Rendezvous), which makes raw devices visible on the network for administration.

Designed for midmarket companies with 200 to 2,000 employees running Microsoft applications, the Nimble Storage CS240 (as tested) lists for $99,000, including off-site replication and realtime diskless backup.

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