Page 4 of 5
The third part of NetApp's new offering, Data Ontap Edge, is a virtual version of the company's entry-level FAS2220 storage system aimed at helping businesses with multiple small branch offices bring the storage from those offices into a centralized data protection scheme.
Data Ontap Edge runs on the VMware vSphere platform and complements NetApp's FAS and V-series storage systems, NetApp's Kidd said.
The virtual storage appliance based on Data Ontap Edge serves NFS, CIFS and iSCSI data to physical and virtual servers running in a branch office, Kidd said.
"They can mirror or vault the data from those offices to a business' central location," he said. "It's for companies with many branch offices who want to centralize control of the data while providing good performance and low latency for local users."
Protecting the data in multiple branch offices is a major challenge, Hitz said. "Those companies will buy lower-end units from us for local offices," he said. "But for many of these branches, there is not a lot of data, and they may not need a physical device."
Kidd said most local offices have less than 5 TBs of data, which can be stored on two hard drives, making a dedicated storage appliance an inefficient way to protect it. "Sharing those drives with the other applications in the office via virtualization is more efficient," he said.
Trace3's Abbott said that putting an FAS2220 in a branch office might cost $8,000, making Data Ontap Edge a powerful alternative for many installations not only in branch offices but also home offices.
Furthermore, Abbott said, NetApp has already proven the technology in the market through a deal under which Fujitsu has been offering virtualized NetApp appliances in Asia through its Ontap-V offering. "We've been watching Ontap-V closely, and wondering when it would come to the U.S.," he said.
Trace3 has developed what Abbott called a "data center in a box" for remote offices, an offering that will be able to take advantage of Data Ontap Edge, he said.
"Customers can use Ontap Edge to create snapshots for disaster recovery," he said. "It uses all NetApp's management features. And, startups can take advantage of NetApp technology without having to invest so heavily in hardware."