NetApp targets SMBs with multiprotocol array

NetApp targets SMBs with multiprotocol array

In a stark downstream shift, Network Appliance on Monday announced a multiprotocol array that's aimed at businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees and starts at US$5,000 for 1TB of capacity.

The StoreVault S500 storage array supports network-attached storage (NAS) and iSCSI now, and it will support Fibre Channel by the fall. It will be sold exclusively through channel partners.

Tom Seedroff, IT manager at Melco Embroidery Systems, said he has been using the device for about three months. He said he uses it to store backup and transaction logs for its Microsoft SQL Server database, as well as PC deployment images for Symantec's Ghost.

With the NetApp device, the designer, manufacturer and distributor of embroidery machines and digitizing software, which has about 120 employees, will be able to redeploy a NAS server from Iomega, as well as get rid of three file servers, which will save him a lot of time, Seedroff said. He said he was impressed with the S500's flexibility and backup speed.

The array, which scales to 6TB capacity, represents the first time that NetApp has addressed market for small- to medium-size businesses with a multiprotocol product, said Sajai Krishnan, general manager for NetApp's StoreVault division. The array also includes features that make it easier to use, such as supporting hot-swappable power supplies and fans. The box also sports double parity RAID, or RAID 6, which allows for two drives to fail without losing data striped across the other drives.

The StoreVault S500 is an example of a new trend for the small and midsize business market, since it features unified storage that's able to serve up data via NAS, iSCSI and a Fibre Channel switched network in order to meet different application and service needs. It also supports traditional enterprise-class features, such as snapshots, remote mirroring and replication, said Greg Schulz, an analyst at StorageIO.

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