IBM, NetApp Unveil NAS Appliance


IBM earlier this month unveiled storage systems aimed at small and midsize businesses, including the TotalStorage N3700, a NAS product targeted at companies with fewer than 1,000 employees. The product represents the first offering stemming from the IBM-NetApp partnership announced in April.

Under the arrangement, IBM agreed to OEM NAS and SAN appliances from the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based storage vendor. At the time, IBM executives said the NetApp relationship would give the Armonk, N.Y.-based company better ammunition to compete with rival EMC in midmarket storage.

The new TotalStorage N3700 scales to up to 16 Tbytes of capacity and allows both IP and iSCSI SAN connectivity. It supports SMBs&' disaster-recovery needs with the ability to mirror data both within the appliance as well as to a remote device, the companies said.

David Browning, executive vice president of Advanced Systems Group, an IBM solution provider in Irvine, Calif., said the introduction fills a glaring hole in IBM&'s product line. Browning said his organization will get its first IBM NAS product training in the next week or so. “We estimate we&'ll be able to hit the street with the products in September,” he said.

For Rob Didlake, founder and CEO of Dataedge Solutions, a Kansas City, Kan.-based solution provider who recently signed up with IBM, the new appliance will represent his company&'s first foray into the NAS space. The line will finally give him a chance to compete against NAS appliances his customers get from other sources. “They buy it, put it in and call us to back it up,” he said.

Aside from the TotalStorage N3700, IBM this month also launched a number of other storage products. They include its new DR550 Express, a storage archive system that offers non-rewriteable, non-erasable data management for SMBs looking for ways to address their data retention requirements. The product scales from 1 Tbyte to 56 Tbytes and includes encryption technology.

Also new is IBM&'s SAN Starter Kit, aimed at helping small businesses consolidate their storage technology. The kit includes IBM&'s L10 storage switch and a dual-controller TotalStorage DS400 array.

TotalStorage N3700 is priced starting at $50,000. DR550 Express starts at $45,000, and the SAN Starter Kit costs $16,376. The DR550 and SAN Starter Kit are currently available, while the TotalStorage N3700 is due to ship by the end of the month.