Network Appliance boosts high-end NAS

Posted on October 01, 2001

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BY LISA COLEMAN

Network Appliance hopes to keep the pressure on its network-attached storage (NAS) competitors with its newest high-end filers-the F880 and F880c-which the company claims are 50% faster than their predecessors and offer capacities up to 18TB in a clustered configuration.

Using symmetric multi-processing (SMP) for the first time, NetApp is able to capitalize on additional CPU power to make its microkernel work more efficiently, according to company officials.

The full scalability of the two filers-9TB for the F880 and 18TB for the F880c-depends on a future Data ONTAP software release due in early 2002. Initially, the F880 series will offer the same capacity as its predecessors in the F840 series-6TB and 12TB. The F880 is priced from $135,000.

In addition, NetApp introduced a slew of updated versions of its software such as SnapManager for Exchange 2000. Updated from SnapManager for Exchange 5.5, the software is designed to boost availability, scalability, and reliability. SnapManager includes features such as "seamless integration" with Exchange 2000 and snapshot and near-online restore capabilities.

Currently, there are hundreds of users who marry NAS and Exchange to help support more users per server, provide more storage space for e-mail, and have backup/recovery options, say analysts. However, Exchange was never designed to be deployed with NAS, according to Microsoft (see sidebar).

According to Network Appliance, SnapManager for Exchange 2000 is designed to help users restore databases that may be corrupted due to the NAS-Exchange deployment. The product is due out this quarter, with prices starting at $4,000.

Also, NetApp is planning to introduce four other updated software products: DataFabric Manager 1.1, NetCache 5.2, ContentDirector 2.0, and ContentReporter 3.0. All are intended to be part of the company's "global data fabric" strategy for delivering data to disperse locations worldwide.

DataFabric Manager 1.1 lets users remotely administer all NetApp appliances from a single point. The offering can manage hundreds of appliances and multi-ple Data ONTAP and NetCache software versions.

NetCache 5.2 has been upgraded with a "global request manager" so that a central NetCache device is in constant communication with other NetCache devices on the edge of the network. Support for Streaming Media Multicast, QuickTime video-on-demand, iCAP 1.0 technology integration, and Kerberos authentication for Windows 2000 Active Directory was also added.

ContentDirector 2.0 and Content Reporter 3.0 were updated with integrated multicast IP and a browser-based interface, respectively.


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