Data storage provider NetApp is putting two terms together thanaren't often seen in the same sentence. Those would be"entry-level" and "cloud system." A complete cloud system, which represents a nontrivial investmentin computing, storage, networking and outside services, isn'texactly considered entry-level for most midrange or smaller ITshops. Enterprises generally start a move to the cloud bydesignating a couple of servers or a rack to a cloud project andthen add to it in a hybrid-type scheme. Forklift replacements oflegacy systems for clouds just don't happen. |
So NetApp's latest idea, announced June 5, is to focus on fiscalreality and produce a storage system for midsize businesses thatcan: a) handle the heavy-duty input/output requirements of a 24/7cloud, b) be "affordable," and c) scale out in capacityas needed in the future. Midsize Businesses Increasing Cloud Spend in 2012 A recent study by Enterprise Storage Group reported that 74 percentof all midsize businesses will increase expenditures for cloudservices in 2012. So NetApp is responding to this in its own way bylaunching its new FAS2220 array, the pricing of which starts atabout $8,000. Strangely, even though this is the newest NetApp storage array, ithas nonetheless been designated a lower product number than itsolder predecessor, the FAS2240, which came out in November 2011.Normally a newer product receives a higher model number. "We actually overhauled the entry product line of the 2000sand just happened to start with the bigger one and did the smallerone next," Jim Sangster, senior director of solutionsmarketing at NetApp, told eWEEK.
The value proposition here, Sangster said, is that with the FAS2220a customer can "start right by providing more performance andsoftware value than traditional entry-level storage systems. Theycan keep it simple by delivering increased performance withoutincreasing deployment or management complexity, and they can growsmart by leveraging existing storage investments and easily addingnew capabilities." Flash Pool as Secret Sauce A starter unit can accommodate up to 12 terabytes of capacity. Flash Pool technology also integrates directly with NetApp's suiteof nine storage efficiency features--including automated datatiering--to help customers increase utilization and reduce powercosts. NetApp claims to be the only vendor offering this so-called"intelligent caching" approach in the entry-level storagemarket. "With this, you keep all your 'hot' data on the flashdrives--high-traffic data such as email, databases, andcustomer-facing apps--and your less-active data, such as humanresources, security, CRM on the slower SATA [Serial ATA] drives.It's all automated; the intelligence is built in," Sangstersaid.
NetApp's OnCommand System Manager 2.1, which comes with the array,is the storage controller that automates both setup and ongoingmanagement of storage. The FAS2200 series runs on the latestversion of NetApp's Data ONTAP operating system to provide aunified and scalable architecture that enables customers to upgradeto higher-end systems and new capabilities without needing forkliftupgrades. Data ONTAP also provides "cluster-ready"capabilities, Sangster said The FAS2220 will become available beginning June 12 throughNetApp's network of value-added authorized resellers, distributorsand systems integrators, Sangster said.
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