NetApp Targets Midrange With New FAS3040

The FAS3040 fills a gap in the company's midrange FAS3000 line, said Patrick Rogers, vice president of solutions marketing at NetApp.

With a maximum capacity of 126 Tbytes, the FAS3040 fits in between the company's FAS3020, with a maximum capacity of 84 Tbytes, and the FAS3050 at 168 Tbytes. However, the FAS3040 includes 4-Gbps Fibre Channel connectivity and a high-speed PCI Express (PCIe) bus, compared to the 2-Gbps Fibre Channel ports and the PCI-X bus of the other two models.

The combination of high-speed Fibre Channel and PCIe makes the FAS3040 a high-performance storage appliance, said Glenn Dekhayser, vice president of technology at Voyant Strategies, a Hazlet, N.J.-based solution provider. "The box screams," Dekhayser said.

The FAS3040 fits in the sweet spot for customers looking to consolidate storage by combining primary and secondary storage in a single device, Dekhayser said. Because the FAS3040 allows mixed Fibre Channel and SATA drives in the same enclosure, a customer could put a FAS3040 in a data center to serve as primary Fibre Channel storage array for that data center, and then replicate data from another location to the array's SATA drives, he said.

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The FAS3040 also includes RAID 6 capability so that a simultaneous failure of two hard drives will not result in a loss of data, a feature not shared by many competing arrays in the same price range, Rogers said. It also supports up to 27,000 snap copies of data, and includes the 64-bit version of NetApp's ONTAP operating system, he said.

The V3040 is part of a family of appliances that virtualize SAN storage on arrays from NetApp and other vendors such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Hitachi Data Systems so that it can be used for both SAN and NAS applications.

With the addition of the V3040, that capability is now extended to EMC's Clariion line, Rogers said. "So if you are a channel partner, you can go to a customer shop where they have a Clariion with two years of depreciation left, and add our new features to an existing product," he said.

IBM is expected to eventually bring the FAS3040 to its sales channels under the terms of the OEM agreement it signed with NetApp two years ago, Rogers said. However, he was not able to discuss details about IBM's plans.

The FAS3040 lists for $83,000 with 2 Tbytes, and is currently available.