NetApp to sell iSCSI array

Network Appliance Inc. this week announced plans to release a new iSCSI-enabled storage appliance in the next few weeks that will be the first of a new product line targeting remote offices and workgroups for backups.

The NetApp FAS250 sports a file server engine with a storage enclosure behind it. The entry-level appliance supports both Internet Small Computer Systems Interface (iSCSI) and network-attached storage protocols. The box fits into a 3U-high rack (one U equals 1.75 in. high) and supports up to 1TB of storage capacity.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based NetApp said the appliance runs on its Data Ontap software, for compatibility with the rest of its software product line, and can be upgraded to any other NetApp enterprise appliance. It will also be sold with data mirroring software.

In February, the Internet Engineering Task Force approved the iSCSI protocol, which allows network administrators to take small servers that have been locked into a direct-attached storage system and back them up to target devices like the FAS250 over TCP/IP networks.

The FAS250 will be sold through NetApp’s direct sales force, systems integrators and distribution partners, and prices will range from US$15,000 to more than $30,000, based on storage capacity and software.

Shortly after iSCSI was officially ratified as a standard, NetApp began offering the iSCSI protocol for its F800 and FAS900 series customers by making an iSCSI protocol license available as a free download on the company’s Web site.