Article

NetApp preps new entry-level iSCSI box

Kevin Komiega

Network Appliance Inc. plans to put a new storage appliance on the market next month that a company source said combines a filer head and storage enclosure in one package. The planned product has been named the FAS250, and it will support both iSCSI-based systems and network-attached storage (NAS).

Network Appliance, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., said the entry-level FAS250 supports up to a terabyte of storage in 3Us of space, offers full software compatibility with the rest of NetApp's product line and can be upgraded to any other NetApp enterprise appliance, according to a source at the company.

NetApp said it would begin selling the FAS250 sometime next month. More information on the system will be made public later this year.

"The bottom line is iSCSI is going to happen, and who's better positioned to take advantage of it than NetApp?" said Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst at Milford, Mass.-based Enterprise Storage Group Inc.

"They are already on the wire, are a trusted supplier, and their stuff just works. It's an unfair advantage others will be envious of. If they push the message into the user community first, they have a shot to be the iSCSI target kingpin."

The iSCSI specification, a protocol for transporting SCSI packets over TCP/IP, became a standard last February, when it was ratified by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

Shortly after iSCSI was officially ratified as a standard, NetApp began

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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.

NetApp also disclosed the finalization of a formal alliance with long-time sales partner Accenture Ltd. NetApp said that, after working with Accenture on joint sales activities, the companies made their partnership official.

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