Reacting to research that suggests midsize enterprises are looking to buy more storage hardware over the next four years, Network Appliance on Sept. 10 launched a new line of products aimed directly at that busy sector.
NetApp, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., rolled out its FAS2020 and FAS2050 storage arrays plus new deployment and auditing services designed to be easier for non-IT business people to use.
As NetApp sees it, midsize enterprises manage dozens of servers, report $50 million to $500 million in annual revenue and support the storage needs of between 100 and 1,000 employees.
For the last 18 months or so, most data storage vendors have been focusing on wooing the lucrative small and midsize business global market, and NetApp has been in the middle of the market share war.
However, a high amount of future growth is expected to emerge in the years to come from the MSE (midsize enterprise) sector, IDC reported.
A recent IDC report contends that the MSE external disk storage systems market will grow to some $6 billion by 2011, a compound annual growth rate of about 11 percent — almost twice as fast as the overall storage market.
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"Although the typical MSE may have fewer IT resources than its large enterprise counterparts, it generally needs to address the same issues: managing dynamic data needs, contending with serious growing pains, and grappling with how to best prepare for unknowns," said IDC storage program manager Brad Nisbet.
"The FAS2000 will help these midsize companies deal with the demands of backup, disaster recovery, and server consolidation, all within the constraints of limited budget and lack of storage specialists," Nisbet said.
The FAS2020 and FAS2050 arrays support all major protocols, and they allow users to readily consolidate DAS (direct attached storage) into a single networked system, NetApp Executive Vice President Tom Georgens told eWEEK.
"The single most important benefit NetApp offers users with these new solutions and services is the ability to accomplish more with fewer resources—particularly in terms of head count," Georgens said.
"At the end of the day, if users turn their expensive, legacy DAS infrastructure into a cost-effective networked storage model—and see hard-dollar savings from backup, deduplication, disaster recovery, and storage utilization—theyre well-prepared to handle any growing pains that come their way," said Georgens.
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The FAS2000 series empowers IT managers to rapidly provision new data sets without disrupting production machines, Georgens said. By pooling storage, the new arrays enables users allocate data resources as they are needed.
The FAS2000 series, which uses NetApp Data OnTap software, provides point-in-time snapshots of any application set, whether its an Oracle database, a Microsoft Exchange e-mail, or other file-based data, Georgens said. It also features RAID 6, thin provisioning, and disaster recovery tools.
NetApp also said that IBM is now reselling NetApp FAS2000 systems as the rebranded IBM N3000.
Pricing for these new models is available from NetApp sales or reseller partners, Georgens said.
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