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Gateway GS2040 review

Gateway wants a piece of the action in the SMB network storage market and has teamed up with Hitachi Data Systems to get it. In an exclusive review of the GS2040, Dave Mitchell sees whether this partnership has produced the perfect IP SAN appliance.

All critical hardware components are monitored and you can be alerted by email of any failures.

All critical hardware components are monitored and you can be alerted by email of any failures.

Thin provisioning isn't included as standard - Gateway offers Hitachi's Dynamic Provisioning (DP) software as an option. This allows volumes to be created that use a small amount of physical space but appear much larger to host systems.

DP is activated by entering a license in the management console and it requires special pools to be created. These are made available to all thinly provisioned volumes and as they get used, more storage from the pool is made available to them.

It's disappointing that snapshots for point-in-time copies aren't included and are another optional purchase. HP's StorageWorks P2000 G3 looks better value as prices are in the same ball park but it comes with a 64 snapshot license as standard. Gateway's Volume Backup is also an optional extra, but HP includes its volume cloning feature as standard.

Although the GS2040 is essentially a rebadged Hitachi Data Systems appliance, this isn't an issue as it's very well built and provides plenty of storage features. With prices for a diskless appliance starting at around 7,500 it's good value as long as you don't need too many of the optional extras which will push costs up significantly.

So what's our verdict?

Verdict

SMBs won’t go far wrong with Gateway’s GS2040 as this appliance is built on a firm foundation, has a good range of network storage features, a high expansion potential and hardware redundancy too. It's also very easy to install and manage. However, we recommend checking out HP’s StorageWorks P2000 G3 arrays first as they cost around the same, are 10-Gigabit ready and provide many backup features as standard rather than as options.

Chassis: 4U rack chassis Storage: 10 x 300GB 15K SAS, 4 x 1TB SATA in hot-swap carriers Power: 2 x redundant hot-plug power supplies Two controllers each with the following: Memory: 2GB with BBU RAID support: RAID 0, 1, 10, 5, 6 Data ports: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet Management: Gigabit Ethernet Other ports: 2 x 6Gbit/s SAS expansion Management: Hitachi SNM2 software

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