NetApp Drops SMB Storage Appliance

Storage company NetApp quietly axed its line of midmarket-based storage solutions, StoreVault.

Storage and data management company NetApp quietly discontinued StoreVault, its storage appliance aimed at small to medium-size businesses. The product first debuted in 2006, with pricing starting at around $5,000. StoreVault could scale up to 12TB and was capable of direct-attached storage, network-attached storage and an iSCSI storage-area network.

The news was announced via a posting on a company forum, which announced the end of availability of S family/S550 systems. "Starting with the March 2009 release of eConfigurator in CE/PE, the S family/S550 systems will no longer be available for quoting and sale. Actual last quote, order and ship date will be limited to quantity-available-on-hand for S family/S550 systems. Date subject to change without prior notice," the announcement stated.

"Moving forward, NetApp will reorganize its entry-level storage platforms to better serve our MSE [midsize enterprise] and enterprise customers. We will focus our efforts on building out our award-winning FAS2000 series by launching the new FAS2020 product bundles that are geared specifically for the MSE market," said NetApp's vice president of solutions marketing, Patrick Rogers. The StoreVault line was exclusively distributed through value-added resellers (VARs).
StoreVault was originally set up as a separate business group within NetApp but was brought back under the NetApp brand in June 2008. Rogers said the new products will offer an effective solution to midmarket companies. "These bundles will provide MSE customers with enterprise-level performance at a midmarket price along with easier ordering options," he said. "Also, in order to streamline our resources to better serve our MSE customers, NetApp will not provide any further product enhancements for the S550. We will, however, continue to provide our S550 customers with the same level of service they have come to expect through 2012."

StoreVault customers didn't have to wait long for replacement vendors to start pitching products: Overland Storage, a data protection solution company, announced it will launch an "aggressive" end-user and channel sales campaign for its SMB Snap Server portfolio, aimed at the former users of StoreVault.

Overland's sales director for Northern EMEA, David Spate, took the opportunity to boost Overland's Snap Server product line and take a shot at NetApp. "Given the tough economic climate we are now facing, it is quite frankly stunning that NetApp would want to effectively disenfranchise its customer base by discontinuing this range," he said.