Nexsan refreshes Unity unified storage portfolio

The new Third Generation of Unity offerings has two models, with a strengthened portfolio of features around them.

Today Nexsan, a StorCentric Company, is announcing the launch of the third generation of their Unity unified storage portfolio. The new portfolio has two models, the 3300 and 7900, which is down from three models in the previous generation. In addition to the expected upgrades in feeds and speeds, the new Unity portfolio also adds new and upgraded features. Unbreakable Backup protects backups if a ransomware attack takes place. The Data Migration and Cloud Connector Modules also allow for the movement of large amounts of data for tiered storage.

StorCentric is a holding company with four component companies under their umbrella. Drobo and Retrospect are SMB-focused, while Vexata is all-flash and aimed at the higher end of the market, with competitors like Dell PowerMAX and Hitachi Vantara. Nexsan is in the middle, leaning toward the high end, with a base in the midrange, but with increasing efforts in the enterprise market. Unity is their unified storage offering for block and file workloads, but Nexsan also has the E-Series and Beast high density block storage offerings, and the Assureon Active Archive.

The new Unity portfolio represents a consolidation from the three models which existed before, the 2200, 4400 and 6900.

“We found that it was hard to tell the 2200 and 4400 apart, so we decided just to have one model for the lower end of midrange, the 3300, and one for the higher end of the mid-range to the enterprise, the 7900,” said Surya Varanasi, StorCentric’s CTO. “It makes it easier to sell, and there’s a smaller number of SKUs.” The old models will cease to be sold in a few months.

The new generation of Unity provides significant capacity increases in both HDD and SSD configurations and up to a 50% performance increase over the Second Generation.

“We spent a lot of time optimizing its performance, and also increased its capacity from 6 PB to 10 PB,” Varanasi said. “Many customers use it for NFS backup, and we were just certified both on Veeam and on Commvault.”

Nexsan is touting the value of the new Unbreakable Backup capability. This involves the Unity architecture operating with Nexsan’s Assureon active data vault, to provide what the company says is an immutable Unbreakable Backup solution.

“Unbreakable Backup is new with this launch,” Varanasi indicated. “We had all the pieces before, but they now have been put together to specifically address the ransomware issue. Unity has the Assureon attached to move data off it and provide a layered defense strategy.

“We have gotten requests about stopping ransomware and the 3300 and 7700 are very straightforward in the way they address this,” Varanasi added. “It’s a nice clean solution which is easy to position and sell.”

Unity’s Cloud Connector module has been upgraded and now provides the ability to connect to 18 public clouds, including Amazon S3 and Google Cloud Storage.

“Before, Cloud Connector was based on Retrospect technology, which was more SMB, so that the ability to move high volumes of data was lacking,” Varanasi said. “We put a lot of investment in that to get this going.”

The Data Migration module makes implementation easier by replicating files from any legacy system to allow for ingest into Unity with fine-grained filtering.

On the horizon for Unity is the Data Mobility Service, which is in beta mode now and slated for availability around the end of Q3.

“This will be very exciting when it’s rolled out,” Varanasi said. ““What we want to do with the Data Mobility Service is have consistency in sharing content with other vendors, in order to tear down the siloes in the data centre. Policy-based sharing is ideal when everyone is migrating data.”

Unity Third Generation 3300 and 7900 are generally available now.

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