Dell PowerVault NX Family Running Windows Storage Server 2012

Hi Folks,

Today I am highlighting the Dell PowerVault NX family, which the company describes as “an affordable NAS appliance harnessing the innovations of Windows Storage Server 2012.” Dell goes on to describe Windows Storage Server 2012 as “an affordable enterprise-class operating system which simplifies setup, integration and maintenance of your NAS system” that “fits seamlessly into Windows environments through native Active Directory (AD) integration.”

The PowerVault NX family includes three models, enabling you to meet a broad range of requirements. All of them:

  • Come with Windows Storage Server preinstalled for easy deployment
  • Are optimized for file serving
  • Protect your data with RAID on enterprise-class hard drives with high 24/7 duty cycles
  • Enable remote system monitoring and management
  • Do not require Client Access Licenses (CALs)

Here’s a quick look at each model in the PowerVault NX family…

PowerVault NX400 NAS Appliance

Dell calls its PowerVault NX400 “an entry-level, easy-to-use appliance that enables you to store, organize and share your essential files, documents, presentations and spreadsheets.” Other highlights include:

  • Single-socket, 1U rack mount form factor
  • Intel Xeon processor E5-2400 product family
  • Up to 16GB memory
  • Up to four hot-swap 3.5” NL-SAS or SATA drives for data and the OS (OS partition is 120GB)
  • Up to 16TB raw capacity

For external expansion, Dell recommends the PowerVault MD1200 or MD1220.


PowerVault NX3200 NAS Appliance

Dell describes its PowerVault NX3200 “a capacity-dense, dedicated NAS solution integrated with enhanced file-sharing capacities designed to help smaller offices stay efficient and productive.” It’s also flexible enough to support applications (via included iSCSI Target or SMB 3.0 for Applications) to make sure people with limited resources save time and don’t have to manage separate types of storage. Other highlights include:

  • Dual-socket, 2U rack mount form factor
  • Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family
  • Up to 32GB memory
  • SATA, NL-SAS, or SAS drive options
  • Up to 12 hot-swap 3.5” drives for data; two 2.5” drives for OS
  • Up to 48TB raw capacity


The NX3200 is available only with Windows Storage Server 2012 Standard (or Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Standard, if you prefer.)

PowerVault NX3300 NAS Gateway

The Dell PowerVault NX3300, a NAS gateway, is designed to connect to one or more external storage arrays and does not have its own internal data storage. Other highlights include:

  • Dual-socket, 1U rack mount NAS server and gateway
  • Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 product family
  • Up to 32GB2 memory
  • Two or four hot-swap 2.5” NL-SAS or SAS drives for the OS

As a NAS gateway, the NX3300 can take advantage of Clustered Shared Volumes (CSV) for clusters of up to 8 nodes, or using the traditional active/passive model, you can deploy up to 64 nodes when connected to PowerVault MD3, EqualLogic, or Dell Compellent storage arrays. The NX3300 is available with Windows Storage Server 2012 Standard or Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Standard.

Additional specs on the NX400, NX3200, and NX3300 can be found here. Of course, with all models, you’ll benefit from Dell’s world-class global services and support.  Congratulations to the Dell NAS team for another great release!

Scott M. Johnson