NAS vendor targets enterprise

NAS vendor targets enterprise

Network Appliance has announced a management reshuffle and a slew of new products as the network attached storage (NAS) vendor rallies around a new push into the enterprise space.

The idea is simple: instead of various branches (or users) pulling data and content off servers located at an organisation's head office, Network Appliance wants a company to push content to the edge of its network, where remote offices can retrieve relevant content quicker based on caching and policy-based management.

The crux of the idea is to use bandwidth more efficiently, deliver content faster and make the whole process easier to manage. But the challenge Network Appliance faces is convincing the enterprise market that Network Appliance is the vendor to do this, and convince the channel to go with them.

Looking to shirk its "storage device" image and become known as an end-to-end content delivery "solutions" vendor, Network Appliance will go toe-to-toe with storage rival EMC in the ISP space. Until now, EMC has enjoyed the lion's share of the enterprise external storage market, with Network Appliance boasting Telstra's Big Pond, OzEmail and OnetNet as its ISP customers.

It remains to be seen which vendor will give ground to the other in either the enterprise or ISP markets.

To spearhead this new focus on the enterprise space, Network Appliance has scored its first coup with former EMC headliner Michael Burnie crossing the floor and joining Network Appliance.

Burnie is regarded by some as the man who took EMC from virtual obscurity in Australia five years ago to a company of about $US80 million by the time he left in 1999. Effective from the first of this month, Burnie comes in as Network Appliance's managing director, Australia/New Zealand, and has the task of replicating his EMC success with Network Appliance.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity of doing it again," Burnie said at a Network Appliance briefing recently. "EMC was [a visionary] for its time and I think Network Appliance is now."

Former Network Appliance MD Michael Bosch now assumes a wider role as the company's regional marketing director and is charged with evangelising the company's new enterprise push in the Asia-Pacific region.

In addition to the management restructure, Network Appliance will offer a high-end file server range dubbed the F800 series, two new caching devices and three software upgrades with its content delivery focus in mind.

Network Appliance announced the F840, with a raw capacity of six terabytes, and the F840c, with a raw capacity of 12 terabytes, midway through the Olympics but has held off from formally releasing the products until now.

The F840c has a list price of $637,800 and the vendor claims it has six orders for the product already, while the F840 base model has a list price of $220,000.

On the caching front, Network Appliance has expanded its C1100 range of caching boxes, which sit on the edge of a network with its NetCache C1105 point of presence (PoP) device, while releasing an enterprise-class NetCache C6100.

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