NetApp Adds Flash to Midrange Market With FAS2220 Array

By Pedro Hernandez

NetApp Tuesday rolled out a new midrange storage array, the FAS2220, amid announcements that aim to bring two of today's hottest storage technologies, flash acceleration and cloud backup, to midsize IT environments.

Built to address the storage needs of midsize businesses and remote offices, the FAS2220 is a dual-controller, 12-drive storage array fitted into a 2U form factor. The unified storage system supports both SAN and NAS protocols (iSCSI, CIFS and NFS).

FAS2220 accommodates SAS and SATA drives, and the system scales to 180 TB with up to 48 expansion drives (60 total). The array also supports SSD drives, but rather than leverage the flash-based technology as a raw storage target, the company is enlisting the technology to provide intelligent SSD caching.

SSD caching is all the rage in enterprise storage these days. In recent months, storage vendors have released an avalanche of server and array-based approaches to speeding workloads. These include PCIe flash server cards from EMC, LSI and most recently SanDisk. In February, IBM added an SSD caching option to its XIV arrays.

While these solutions typically end up in high-end servers or big budget SANs, NetApp is targeting more modest implementations. NetApp's Flash Pool feature, a mid-market take on its enterprise-class Virtual Storage Tiering technology, enables SSD caching on the FAS2220 to speed up the performance of storage-intensive applications.

Among midsize firms, an increasing amount of those applications are humming along on virtual servers, according to NetApp. Accordingly, the FAS2220 is meant help businesses consolidate virtualized environments and provide a low-cost point of entry for virtualization-aware storage infrastructures.

FAS2220 optionally supports OnCommand Balance for NetApp, software that provides management over both physical and virtual environments, and SnapManager, which backs up and restores virtual machines and databases.

Included with the system is Data ONTAP Essentials software that provides deduplication, thin provisioning and data compression, along with data protection features like snapshots and the company's RAID-DP double parity RAID 6 technology. The company's System Manager Console provides management over both file and block data stores via a single, web-based user interface.

The FAS2220 goes on sale on June 12th. Prices start at under $8,000.

NetApp Gathers Clouds for Data Protection as a Service

NetApp used the occasion to also announce its new Data Protection as a Service (DPaaS) cloud backup offering.

The company expects that its midsize customers' backup and recovery procedures will extend to the cloud, if they haven't already. Citing figures from an Enterprise Strategy Group survey, the storage systems maker points out that 74 percent of all midsize businesses will increase cloud services spending this year.

On Tuesday NetApp also announced that it's pulling together a cloud provider ecosystem to ease the path from its customers' storage systems to cloud data centers. It is available now, and NetApp is working with select partners like Asigra on delivering DPaaS.

Julie Parrish, senior vice president of Worldwide Partner Sales for NetApp, said in a statement, "There is no question that midsize businesses are making the transition to cloud-based solutions and value-added resellers will play an important role in helping to address this customer need."

Flying under the DPaaS banner, NetApp wagers that the services offerings will provide an attractive alternative to managing tape backups and undergoing lengthy restores. Perks for budget-minded IT shops include lower backup management overhead, plus disk-based recovery and second-site failover without making heavy investments in setting up off-site backups, according to NetApp.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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This article was originally published on June 05, 2012