NetApp Enhances Its NAS Products

NetApp this week plans to unveil improved versions of its gFiler Gateway, said Mark Santora, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at the company.


>> GFILER GATEWAY: Previously connected to HDS arrays, now connects to IBM's FAStT and Shark arrays.
>> NEARSTORE R200: Replaces R150 and offers capability scaling from 8 Tbytes to 96 Tbytes.
>> FAS980 enterprise NAS subsystem: Increases capacity by 25 percent and performance by 48 percent.>> RAID-DP (double parity): Proprietary RAID level, allows an array to run without crashing even if two hard drives fail.

The gFiler, introduced in January as a NAS gateway to storage capacity on Hitachi Data Systems' SAN arrays, will now connect to IBM's Shark and FAStT arrays and will offer iSCSI connectivity, Santora said.

That move will help NetApp broaden its reach in the SAN and NAS markets, said Merrill Likes, president of UpTime, a solution provider in Edmond, Okla. "This allows us to help customers better utilize their storage. And it can be done without competing with IBM and Hitachi."

Also new is the NearStore R200, which replaces NetApp's R150. The R200 scales from 8 Tbytes to 96 Tbytes vs. 12 Tbytes to 24 Tbytes for the R150. "It's now less expensive to get into but offers customers more scalability," Santora said.

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NetApp also plans to unveil its FAS980 enterprise NAS subsystem along with the cluster-enabled FAS980C, he said. Performance is up 48 percent from the previous FAS940 and FAS960 models.

The company also plans to introduce RAID-DP, or double parity, a proprietary RAID level that allows an array to run even if two hard drives fail, Santora said. It also prevents an array crash while rebuilding a bad hard drive, an important feature as hard-drive capacities increase, in turn increasing the rebuild time.

NetApp constantly implements technologies to extend the capabilities of its RAID protection, such as allowing multiple bit failures to occur without crashing the array, Likes said. The RAID-DP technology will be helpful as drive capacity continues to grow, he said.