Per-protocol pricing gets murky

This article can also be found in the Premium Editorial Download: Storage magazine: Using file virtualization to improve network-attached storage:

As arrays that offer support for Fibre Channel (FC), iSCSI, CIFS and NFS within the same box catch on, pricing and support for these devices is becoming more complicated.

According to Network Appliance, which supports all of the above protocols in a single system, protocol fees are applied depending on the type of configuration a customer purchases. The company, however, doesn't explain how these protocol fees break down.

Per-protocol pricing "is still common practice with NAS technology," says an official at EMC, which charges separately for CIFS and NFS support. On the SAN side, however, EMC will toss in iSCSI support at no extra cost. Users should be careful of license fees vs. support fees, as these are often two separate charges.

On the other hand, Adaptec says its new Snap Server 650 supports iSCSI, CIFS and NFS for one price. If simplicity is important and FC isn't a requirement, there's one answer.

--Jo Maitland

This was first published in March 2007

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