The company is also porting its SnapDrive virtualization and volume management software for iSCSI, and that is due next month, officials said. Integration of all the new software with NetApps Data Ontap 6.4 operating system and with the industrys evolving Common Information Model for heterogeneous storage management is also planned, but there isnt a solid time frame, Clifton said. When it does happen, there will be links to "all the major frameworks" for enterprise management, he said.In addition, the smaller size and easier installation of the FAS250 unit is appealing, Almera said. There are other needs for the SAN newcomer, including more switch options, according to customers and industry analysts. NetApp resells only switches from Brocade Communications Systems Inc., in San Jose, Calif. Interoperability with switches from McData Corp., of Broomfield, Colo., was announced earlier this month, but its not a resale deal. NetApp works with Cisco Systems Inc. for networking issues, but not switches, and has no partnerships with Computer Network Technology Corp.s Inrange division or QLogic Corp. In addition, the company could use more partners for its gFiler product, analysts said. That product NAS-enables third-party SAN systems, but Hitachi Ltd. is currently the only partner. NetApp is in talks with multiple, unspecified vendors to address both areas, Clifton said. (Editors Note: This story has been updated since its original posting due to incorrect information supplied by the vendor.)
Despite the Fibre Channel focus, Steve Almera, senior systems administrator at San Diego Data Processing Corp., said he beta tested a NetApp iSCSI SAN and will probably implement it for Microsoft Corp. SQL Server data later this year. "When they steered us through the pilot, they knew their stuff. Were scheduling around their release of SnapDrive," Almera said.