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5/23/2005
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Network Appliance Kicks Off Midrange Product Refresh

New systems double the performance of Network Appliance's existing midrange offerings, company says.

Network Appliance on Monday launched two midrange storage systems, the FAS3020 and FAS3050, which the company says double the performance compared with existing FAS models, the 920 and 950.

The 3020 has a maximum storage capacity of 50 terabytes and 168 drives; the 3050 has a maximum capacity of 84 terabytes and 336 drives. The systems can be attached as devices in iSCSI, Fibre Channel SANs, and network-attached-storage systems. With virtualization software, they can be configured as the V3020 and V3050, with up to 84 terabytes of storage capacity, 20 Fibre Channel ports, and 24 Ethernet ports. The V-Series line, which debuted in March, lets customers pool Network Appliance products with those from Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, IBM, and Sun Microsystems.

The systems will be the first to come with Network Appliance's Ontap 7G installed as the default operating system, says Suresh Vasudevan, senior VP of product management. Ontap 7G was launched six months ago and doubles storage utilization, in part by providing a unified platform for NAS, iSCSI, and Fibre Channel devices, he says.

"These products are a refresh of their mid-product line," says Gartner principal analyst Pushan Rinnen. They're likely to be the first deployed as part of an agreement inked last month with IBM, under which IBM will sell the entire Network Appliance line of SAN and networked-attached storage solutions.

Network Appliance also rolled out an option for deploying low-cost Serial Advanced Technology Attachment storage devices for both primary and secondary storage applications, such as disk-to-disk backup, regulatory compliance, and general-reference data needs. Initial target apps for SATA-based primary storage include nontransactional data warehouses, home directories, and software development.

The product blitz echoes others from HP and EMC. HP last week unveiled a lineup of EVA midrange devices, the 3000, 6000, and 8000. Earlier this year, EMC rolled out a line of Clariion storage systems providing native iSCSI support.

Network Appliance last year had a 52% share of the worldwide market for network attached and unified storage, based on revenue, followed by EMC at 14%, according to Gartner.

This story was updated May 24.

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