Network Appliance targets SAN market

Network Appliance looking to move outside its network attached storage (NAS) stronghold with the release of its NetApp FAS900 series offering.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  October 22, 2002

Network Appliance (NetAp) is looking to move outside its network attached storage (NAS) stronghold with the release of its NetApp FAS900 series offering. When combined with the vendor’s Data ONTAP storage software, the FAS900 series is capable of handling either a storage area network (SAN) or NAS environments. Furthermore, the NAS specialist has added fibre channel SAN support to its latest F800 enterprise filer product line offering, the F825.

“We have developed a product that can fit into the SAN area and we can also bring added value to the solution. We are not going to move into an area and play the same way as the other [vendors]. Our product is very simple to manage, so we are bringing simplicity to the SAN environment,” says Joseph Hanna, sales manager for the Gulf region at NetAp.

“Only NetAp offers a full line of information storage and access solutions for online, nearline, and distributed data requirements, and only NetAp offers unified SAN and NAS solutions to fit into customers’ existing or preferred configurations,” adds Dan Warmenhoven, CEO of NetAp.

The vendor says the FAS900 series has been developed in response to market demand, as it believes a growing number of users want to run both storage types without having to sacrifice their initial NAS investments.

“Often a company will opt only for a NAS because it is more cost effective than a SAN. However, later in the day they may want to deploy a SAN… They can now come to us for a solution that runs both. This is why we developed it,” explains Hanna.

By unveiling a solution that plays in both the SAN and NAS arenas, the vendor believes it has made redundant the arguments over which technology best fits a user’s requirements. Steve Duplessie, senior analyst at Enterprise Storage Group, concurs.

“Customers need a single storage platform that handles both SAN and NAS for block access and file access. NetAp’s approach to unified storage offers this solution and eliminates the SAN versus NAS argument,” he says.

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