NetApp Makes Move For Enterprise SAN


The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based vendor this week will unveil its first SAN array to target the space occupied by EMC’s Symmetrix DMX3000 and DMX-3 arrays and HDS’ TagmaStore line, the latter of which is resold by Sun Microsystems and OEMed by Hewlett-Packard.

NetApp’s new FAS6000 family of enterprise SAN arrays comes in two models, both of which are among the first arrays to ship with 4-Gbps Fibre Channel interfaces, the company said. The FAS6030 can scale to 420 Tbytes, while the FAS6070 scales to 504 Tbytes. They feature five times the capacity and 2.5 times the data throughput speed of the company’s FAS980 array, which will be phased out over the next 12 to 18 months, said NetApp CEO Dan Warmenhoven.

Kathie Shenton, senior account manager at Select, a Westwood, Mass.-based NetApp solution provider, said that while the FAS6000 may not offer quite the performance of the EMC and HDS arrays at the higher end, its ease of management more than makes up for it.

For instance, Shenton said, most arrays, including the EMC arrays, double the amount of capacity consumed every time a clone or snapshot is made. “NetApp clones the database [and] separates it from the original, but any changes to the clone are kept as blocks that are connected to the original file,” she said. “So you can do 256 snapshots of a file using only 20 percent additional capacity.”

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NetApp will not be alone in its battle with EMC, HDS, Sun and HP. Warmenhoven said he expects up to 40 percent of FAS6000 sales to go through the channel, mainly through the company’s direct partners.

The FAS6000 also will be available through Avnet and Arrow, although the arrays will not appeal to smaller solution providers, he said.

IBM, which last year signed an agreement with NetApp to OEM the company’s entire line of NAS and SAN products, may also come out with its version of the FAS6000 line, Warmenhoven said. “IBM has the right to OEM it and has expressed interest,” he said. “But of course they have the right to change their minds.”

An IBM spokesperson confirmed that IBM will OEM the FAS6000 family, but did not say when.

With 1 Tbyte of capacity, the FAS6030 list price starts at $131,600, while the FAS6070 is $196,225.