Quantum introduces new entry-level NAS box

Storage vendor Quantum has announced a new compact network-attached storage NAS box for workgroups with features previously...

Storage vendor Quantum has announced a new compact network-attached storage NAS box for workgroups with features previously reserved for the company's enterprise-class devices, such as snapshot copying and local or remote tape backup.

The Guardian 4400 NAS, a 1U-high server, replaces Quantum's 4100 server with more capacity, features and three times the performance in 480Gbyte and 640Gbyte capacity models.

The new entry-level server runs Quantum's latest Guardian operating system, Version 2.1, which offers many of the same Linux-based software features found on the midrange Guardian 14000 NAS server.

Unlike its predecessor, the Guardian 4400 comes with hot-swappable disk drives, dual network interface cards for redundancy and Gigabit Ethernet throughput. The device also comes with a SCSI port and Backup Express software that can store data locally to a designated tape drive or remotely to a tape library. Up to five Guardian servers can be interconnected through a Gigabit Ethernet port, where they can be backed up to a single tape drive or library, according to Quantum.

"It's a low-cost, primary NAS storage device that can be immediately shared between all brands of Unix, Linux, Mac or Windows," Vicki Vollmar, director of networked storage products marketing at Quantum, said. "It's a perfect box for workgroup collaboration."

The Guardian 4400 also offers the ability to take up to 25 data "point-in-time" data snapshots for backup and restoration. The snapshots eliminate the need for backup windows because the device takes the copies off the network.

Brad Nisbet, an analyst at IDC, said Quantum is moving toward bundled software-disk/tape packages to address increasingly complex network storage environments. "I think the biggest thing is that they have the ability now, with a direct tape drive to be plugged into the back of the server, to bundle NAS with tape backup. That's important because they're a tape company," Nisbet said.

The Guardian 4400 is expected to ship early next month with a list price of $5,495 (£3,606) for the 640Gbyte model and $4,295 (£2,818) for the 480byte device.

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