Western Digital have unveiled its first storage array, a small Intel D525 Dual Core Atom-based box running the Microsoft Storage Server 2008 Essentials operating system.

Disk drive maker's new Sentinel DX4000 storage array comes in 4TB or 8TB versions priced at $950 and $1,450 (around £600 and £920), respectively.

Western Digital also launched the Guardian Services progam for SMEs.

The programme 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 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 licence to backup up as many as 25 devices.

Windows Storage Server 2008 also supports plug-ins for cloud services. For instance, Western Digital 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 Western Digital's SME 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 authorisation.

Western Digital 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."