Cisco Introduces Smart Storage for SMBs

Data giant Cisco is looking to help SMBs grow their storage capacity and retrieval capabilities through its news Cisco Smart Storage line. These include lower-cost, user-friendly desktop network storage solutions that integrate business applications. The suite is comprised of Cisco Small business NSS 300 Series Smart Storage, which secures, stores and shares business-critical data; and Cisco Smart Storage, a similar unit targeted at businesses with 100 employees or fewer.

The new line provides partners with a ready-made opportunity to upsell professional services that integrate business applications with the equipment itself, thus increasing partner profit margins. For its part, Cisco has baked in a number of applications, including a user-configurable Web server that incorporates a WordPress publishing platform, as well as servers that help with user authentication and network management. Theres also an open API so new applications can be added in the future.

These releases are part of a conscious effort to provide more market-specific products for Cisco’s small business partners that augment their sales portfolios and allow them to compete more aggressively on price and margins. The new products emphasize simpler, more streamlined configuration and management tools to speed up product implementation for the partner and/or customer; and the company is offering network design and implementation best practices, courtesy of its Smart Designs service, to help partners market and support the line more efficiently. Cisco Partner Design Support goes further, offering partners more product-specific support by linking them with a team of engineers well-versed in Cisco Small Business technology and product best practices.

A few technical details: The Cisco Small Business NSS 300 Series Smart Storage line comes in two-, four-, or six-bay configurations for desktop network storage that centralize, protect and share information. Each device has a top capacity of 12 terabytes, and 2 terabyte drives; higher capacity can be added by qualifying larger disk drives. Smart Storage also includes secure remote and Web access as well as user authorization; and Cisco is emphasizing the ability to perform data encryption on-disk. As for collaboration flexibility, Smart Storage allows file sharing across all popular operating systems, and can be configured as an iSCSI target for virtualized and clustered environments.

Partners are an essential ingredient in Ciscos small business strategy, said Andrew Sage, vice president, Worldwide Small Business Sales at Cisco. 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.

Backing up those words, Cisco is offering three years of technical support through its Small Business Pro Service package. This program includes software updates, online chat support 24×7, call support and full access to Ciscos Small business Support Center.

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