EMC has rolled out two new network-attached storage (NAS) devices and extended its Smarts IP (Internet Protocol) root-cause diagnosis software to NAS systems.

The new appliances include the Celerra NS704, which can scale up to 48TB. Pricing starts at US$261,000 for 2.2TB of storage capacity. For smaller companies, EMC has launched the NS350, which can scale up to 10TB and supports both Fibre Channel and ATA drives. Pricing starts around $47,000 for 1 terabyte of capacity.

On the software side, EMC has released Smarts IP Availability Manager for NAS, which can detect NAS systems as IP devices and diagnose root-cause failures in the IP network.

The software is based on technology EMC gained in late 2004 through its acquisition of System Management Arts (Smarts), an event automation and real-time network systems software maker.

Pricing for the new software starts at $50,000. In the future, EMC will expand the software to support SAN devices.

In a separate announcement, EMC said it had teamed up with Dell, Intel and LSI Logic to form a non-profit group aimed at driving standardisation in low-end external storage.

The Storage Bridge Bay Working Group (SBB) will focus first on developing specifications for standardising external disk subsystem technologies. Its goal is to bring storage technologies traditionally geared for the enterprise to smaller businesses.

Other storage vendors joining the group include Adaptec, Aristos Logic, Astute Networks, Dot Hill Systems, Neterion, Rasilient Systems, Seagate Technology and Xyratex.

An explosion of data and the availability of storage systems that can help businesses tackle data protection drove a record year of growth for the disk storage systems market in 2005, according to market research firm IDC.

External disk storage system sales worldwide jumped nearly 18 percent to $4.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005 from the prior year-ago quarter, and for the year grew 12 percent to $16 billion from the prior year, IDC said.