Network Appliance extends products

Storage vendor Network Appliance Inc. recently introduced a series of product enhancements, including extended Fibre Channel SAN support covering Linux, HP-UX and AIX.

The firm had already announced support for Solaris and Windows when it launched NetApp SAN support last October.

The expanded support should help Network Appliance attract more customers, noted Alan Freedman, an analyst with IDC Canada in Toronto.

“It’s going to increase their opportunity environment,” he said.

Network Appliance also launched an entry-level storage system, the FAS200 series, designed for mid-size organizations or enterprise departments.

“It’s built for organizations that want to move from direct-attached storage to network-attached storage and it uses the same software as our larger devices,” said Jeff Goldstein, Canadian general manager of Network Appliance.

The FAS250 can scale to a terabyte of storage, while the FAS270 can scale to four terabytes and has clustering capability. Both boxes have a 3U form factor, designed to appeal to space-conscious outfits.

The FAS250 is built for network-attached storage, or iSCSI environments. The FAS270 supports NAS, iSCSI and Fibre Channel. Pricing on the FAS200 series starts at about US$10,000.

Finally, Network Appliance unveiled new versions of its SnapLock software geared towards organizations that need to retrieve a lot of data in a short amount of time.

SnapLock software extends the capabilities of Network Appliance’s NearStore nearline storage platform. The NearStore platforms sit between primary storage devices and tape libraries. Because the NearStore products use ATA drives, they can boost the speed of backups and recoveries.

The first new SnapLock software release, SnapLock Compliance, lets firms in verticals such as finance, health and publicly traded companies in general, meet various U.S. regulations for data recovery, including Securities and Exchange Commission rules, like Sarbanes-Oxley. The software allows companies to retrieve stored records in a timely fashion, so they can be turned over to government agencies in the event of an investigation. The software is available for NetApp FAS servers and the NearStore line.

The second SnapLock release, SnapLock Enterprise, is designed to help protect unregulated, but important, information that must remain unchanged for long periods, such as seismic surveys, auto collision reports, or customer records.

The added OS support for NetApp SAN is available now. The FAS200 series is available now, with the exception of the FAS270c, which will be available in mid-November. Both SnapLock versions are available now and start at around US$22,000.