NetApp Rounds Out Midrange Storage Line

Network Appliance is set to unveil two new midrange filers to complete its FAS900 family of unified storage products.

Network Appliance Inc. next week will roll out its new midrange FAS920 and FAS920c storage systems, the final components of its unified storage FAS900 family that will mark the end of the companys NetApp filer line and F825 storage system.

The midrange filers support several access modes including block and SAN (storage area network) access as well as file access from the same machine. They support Fibre Channel SAN, iSCSI SAN, and network-attached storage environments. The newest FAS line offerings scale up to 12 terabytes or 336 spindles in a clustered configuration, the FAS920c, according to officials of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based NetApp.

Both the FAS920 and FAS920c are available now. A 2-terabyte configuration starts at about $75,000.

NetApp took care to trim costs out of the product wherever possible. For instance, the product features less I/O than some high-end machines and has fewer slots, and even replaces expensive, polished front bezels with a painted bezel, officials said.

John Wiggins, associate director of Computing Services at Rutgers University, is in the process of upgrading to a FAS920 from clustered pairs of F820C and F880C that store mail and user files. Wiggins Central Systems and Services group is using the NetApp tools as its primary data storage for centralized mail and Web services running on Sun Solaris servers.

"We chose this model and vendor for several reasons: compatibility with installed systems; we really like the way snapshots are implemented; and its priced within our budgetary constraints," said Wiggins. "File system performance met our requirements and its a quick turnaround time on problem resolution."

For customers not interested in spending top dollars for high performance and capacity but who also want to invest in iSCSI and file protocols or deploy a combination of file and Fiber Channel, the 920 offers the ability to consolidate file and block storage on one box, said Pushan Rinnen, principal analyst for Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc.


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