Cisco Systems recently introduced a new family of desktop network storage devices to provide small-business customers with a fully integrated and highly secure method for storing and sharing critical business data. The new NSS 300 Series of smart storage offerings is designed specifically for businesses with fewer than 100 employees, the company said.
What small businesses need is an affordable, easy-to-use technology for driving productivity and growth, noted Ian Pennell, cochair of the small business council at Cisco.
"To help small businesses effectively manage the explosion of electronic information, we've built an innovative new family of storage solutions," Pennell said. "The addition of these new devices further emphasizes Cisco's commitment to providing small businesses with affordable, easy-to-use technology they require to optimize productivity and drive growth."
Security, Speed and Flexibility
Approximately 40 percent of the firms surveyed by IDC before the end of last year said they expected their IT storage budgets to increase in 2010 in the key areas of virtualization, business continuity, and disaster recovery. This signals that consolidation and ongoing business operations have become key business imperatives, IDC said.
Small businesses, in particular, have a lot of business-critical data and are now recognizing the importance of storage, noted Cisco Vice President David Tucker. "They're looking for a strategy to better organize and manage their storage needs," Tucker said.
Cisco has seen small-business demand for storage solutions accelerate in the last two years, Tucker observed. "They want a storage solution that provides security, encryption, speed and flexibility," Tucker said.
More than 50 percent of small businesses expect their storage needs to increase in the next 12 months, noted IDC Vice President Ray Boggs. "And about a third of those expecting growth identify expanding storage capacity or improving storage management as one their top IT priorities," Boggs said.
Priced between $913 and $5,625, Cisco's NSS 300 Series lineup, which consists of two-bay, four-bay, and six-bay desktop network storage units, has been designed to provide small businesses with a fast, efficient and manageable way to centralize, protect and share information. According to Cisco, the new products currently provide up to 12 terabytes of capacity with two-terabytes drives, and with even higher capacities becoming achievable as larger disk capacities are qualified.
Cisco calls its new storage product family "smart" because devices ship with built-in applications such as a user-configurable web server with an integrated WordPress publishing platform. Running applications on Cisco Smart Storage helps ensure that they are available at all times, and they can eliminate the need for additional devices on the network, the company said.
NSS 300 Series devices can be modified later as new applications become available. Cisco's partners also will be able to wrap professional services around the deployment of business apps while delivering additional value to customers, said Cisco Vice President Andrew Sage.
"To help Cisco small-business partners hit the ground running with our network attached storage solution, we are making available the full suite of tools, training, support and profitability programs partners need to grow their business," Sage said.
NSS 300 Series smart storage devices, which offer support for file sharing across all popular operating systems, enhance security through their use of on-disk data encryption. Additionally, the new products for small businesses can be configured as an iSCSI target for virtualized and clustered environments, Cisco said.