NetApp Takes On Rivals With New Storage Line

The FAS3020 and FAS3050 appliances are NetApp's first midrange storage devices to support a mixture of Fibre Channel and Serial ATA (SATA) drive shelves within the same array, said Suresh Vasudevan, vice president of products at the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company.

The FAS3000 family competes against Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC's Clariion line and Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP's new EVA line, Vasudevan said. They all support mixed Fibre Channel and SATA drives, but NetApp's arrays are more suitable for primary storage because they feature RAID-DP protection, which allows up to two hard drives to fail without affecting data availability, he said.

Merrill Likes, president of UpTime, an Edmond, Okla.-based solution provider, said he has been beating on NetApp's door to add SATA support to its Fibre Channel storage devices. "Some customers really would like that capability," he said. "They would then have the best of both worlds: lesser-cost shelves like NetApp's R200 and faster Fibre Channel drives for more performance transactions."

The FAS3000 series supports Fibre Channel and IP-based SANs and NAS with a single unit and a single instance of the Data ONTAP 7G operating system.

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The FAS3020 sits in a 6U rack format and can expand to up to 168 Fibre Channel and/or SATA hard drives for a maximum capacity of up to 50 Tbytes. It scales from eight to 20 Fibre Channel ports and from eight to 24 Gigabit Ethernet ports. The FAS3050 scales to up to 336 hard drives, or up to 84 Tbytes of capacity.

The V3020 and V3050 gateways feature the same performance and scalability of the FAS3020 and FAS3050 arrays, but rather than integrated storage capacity, they allow access to data located on one or more multivendor arrays connected to a SAN.

The FAS3020 and the FAS3050 replace the FAS920 and FAS940, respectively, Vasudevan said. The V3020 and V3050 replace NetApp's V930 and V940.

The FAS3000 appliances are now shipping with a starting price of less than $35,000. The V3000 appliances are set to ship next month with a starting price of $52,450.