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Western Digital unveils its first array

The Sentinel DX4000 comes with enterprise-class features such as data deduplication

Disk drive maker Western Digital (WD) today unveiled its first storage array, a small Intel D525 Dual Core Atom-based box running the Microsoft Storage Server 2008 Essentials operating system.

The new WD Sentinel DX4000 storage array comes in 4TB or 8TB versions priced at $950 and $1,450, respectively.

WD also launched the Guardian Services progam for SMBs.

The program includes: Guardian Express, which provides next business day delivery of replacement parts; Guardian Pro, a one or three year technical support agreement; and Guardian Extended Care, which extends product warranties from three to five years.

The WD Sentinel DX4000 storage array

The WD Sentinel DX4000 array is aimed at businesses with 25 or fewer employees. The device comes preconfigured with 2TB serial ATA (SATA) hard drives, and supports all major file protocols.

The array has two USB 3.0 ports, dual gigabit Ethernet networking ports (in case of NIC failure), integrated block-level data deduplication and the option to add a second power supply for the same reason.

Purchasers of the array get a software license to backup up as many as 25 devices.

Windows Storage Server 2008 also supports plug-ins for cloud services. For instance, WD has partnered with third party cloud storage providers to offer a disaster recovery service, where data is replicated from the DX4000 array to an offsite facility.

"It'll allow people to have an offsite copy of data. You select which files you want protected, how much data to move offsite, or just auto select folders," said Tom Gallivan, vice president of WD's SMB storage solutions group.

The DX4000 comes preconfigured as RAID 1 for systems with only two disks (4TB) and RAID 5 for systems with four disks (8TB). In a two-drive configuration, the RAID level automatically elevates to 5 when a third disk is added, Gallivan said.

In RAID 5 mode, the array supports up to 85MB/sec data transfer rates.

The DX4000 does daily image-based backup of devices. And it allows you to do a bare metal restore of a laptop or desktop from the device locally, Gallivan said.

The array offers built-in remote web access to data along with collaboration with remote employees, or third party clients and vendors who are given administrative authorization.

WD plans to continue with a series of products over the next 12 to 18 months, according to Gallivan.

"We do have a road map we're trying to finalize," he said. "Between the flooding in Thailand and the Hitachi merger and the products we're launching, we have a lot of balls in the air."

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian , or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is [email protected] .

Read more about storage in Computerworld's Storage Topic Center.


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