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NetApp on Tuesday expanded its reach into the SMB market with the release of a new sub-$8,000 storage unified storage array with optional SSD pooling and other features and services consistent with the vendor's full product line.
NetApp also introduced a new program to help its solution providers connect with cloud providers as a way to step up their services offerings.
The move to embrace a wider range of SMB customers comes at a time when that part of the storage market is looking more and more like an enterprise market, said Todd Palmer, vice president of Americas channels for the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based vendor.
"There's little difference between midsize businesses and enterprises anymore," Palmer said. "Midsize and smaller businesses continue to grow, and they are expanding internationally."
For NetApp and its solution providers, that means big business, Palmer said.
NetApp's revenue, 80 percent of which comes through the channel, rose 19 percent in the company's fiscal year fourth quarter.
That growth was lead by NetApp's SMB business. Shipments of the company's SMB-focused FAS2240, which was introduced in November, during the quarter exceed those of the FAS2040, previously its main SMB model, while revenue for the products grew over 20 percent, Palmer said.
With the introduction of the FAS2220, NetApp is bringing its enterprise-class unified storage technology down to the entry level, said Ernie China, marketing manager for the company's solution marketing team.
The FAS2220 has a new controller, giving it a three to seven times faster performance than the FAS2020, which NetApp introduced five years ago.
The FAS2220, like all higher-end NetApp storage solutions, is fully cluster-ready and comes with automated storage tiering, China said. It also runs the same Data ONTAP operating system and features the same management console as the entire NetApp line. "This is unique in this class of product," he said.
Even better, he said, the FAS2220 includes NetApp's Flash Pools technology, which integrates SSDs with the spinning hard drives to increase performance.
The FAS2220 supports up to 60 spinning SATA drives for a maximum capacity of 180 TBs. It can also be configured with six 100-TB SSDs, giving 300 TBs of SSD capacity when those devices are protected by RAID 6, China said.
The FAS204 is going end-of-life with the launch of the FAS2220, while the FAS2020 has already gone into end-of-life, Palmer said.