IBM To Ship Midrange NAS Appliances From NetApp

Big Blue in April signed an agreement with Network Appliance in which it plans to OEM nearly every NetApp product. The first of those products, the entry-level N3700, was released in August. And starting next month, IBM plans to ship two midrange appliances, the N5500 and the N5200, said Craig Butler, brand manager for disk storage at the Armonk, N.Y.-based vendor.

The N5500, IBM's version of NetApp's FAS 3050, can be configured with up to 336 hard drives for a capacity of up to 84 Tbytes with Fibre Channel drives or 168 Tbytes using Serial ATA (SATA) drives. The N5200, the rebranded version of NetApp&'s FAS 3020, can hold up to 168 hard drives for a maximum capacity of 50 Tbytes of Fibre Channel storage or 84 Tbytes of SATA storage.

Both units achieve that scalability with expansion drawers that hold either 14 Fibre Channel or 14 SATA drives, Butler said.

IBM also is providing some functions, such as NetApp's SnapVault backup software and its SnapMirror data mirroring software, that will enable solution providers to add services, Butler said. "For customers with several N3700s installed, SnapVault lets an N5200 serve as a backup target," he said.

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IBM on Tuesday also upgraded its DS4000 storage array by adding the ability to work with 400-Gbyte SATA hard drives, giving the array a maximum capacity of 88 Tbytes, Butler said.