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Data storage company Xiotech has added the Magnitude 750, a user-installable iSCSI storage area network system, to its line of storage management products.

Designed as an entry-level system, the Magnitude 750 requires little or no prior storage system knowledge, and provides up to 12TB of IP-based storage.

The SAN comes in dual and single controller configurations and is best for departmental and remote applications that currently rely on direct-attached or network-attached storage systems, Xiotech said.

The system is part of a larger effort at Xiotech to expand its product line and appeal to customers beyond its current, midsize enterprise base, said the company’s vice president of marketing, Mike Stolz.

“We’re appealing to remote office users but also first-time SAN buyers,” he said. “This kicks off a bigger rollout of products that you’ll see over the next six to nine months for that customer segment.”

Because the system is geared toward entry-level users, most important in the creation of the Magnitude 750 was simplified installation and management.

With administration software, ICON Manager, the system can be installed and controlled with a minimal number of mouse clicks.

“You shouldn’t need an advanced degree to manage a storage system,” said Michael Karp, senior analyst at Enterprise Management Associates.

The value of Xiotech’s revamped ICON Manager is that it makes SAN-based management easier for novices, he added.

Click here to read more about Xiotech’s scaled-down SAN geared toward SMBs.

The industry is likely to move toward consolidation on a SAN, but also consolidation of management tasks, said Xiotech senior product marketing manager Brad Stamas.

“We wanted to get to the point where users could have an advanced set of features, but still install it themselves,” he said.

“That’s possible by adding a wizard and cutting down the number of mouse clicks. This is good not only for those new to SANs, but for more experienced administrators, because it makes their job less repetitious.”

In the quest to simplify and refresh the ICON Manager, Xiotech spent more than months interviewing numerous focus groups, Stolz said.

“It’s a tough project, to make something easier to use,” he said. “Having sophisticated architecture but ease of use for the user was a challenging engineering project, but we expect to see the results across our product line.”

Keeping in line with the rest of the company’s products, the Magnitude 750 uses the virtualization architecture of Xiotech’s Magnitude 3D 3000 series, and is part of a family of storage systems including Magnitude 3D 3000e. The product line provides both iSCSI and Fibre Channel connections.

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