NetApp expands NAS gateway support

By Lisa Coleman

Making further inroads into the network-attached storage (NAS) gateway market, Network Appliance is adding IBM storage area network (SAN) support to its gFiler gateway and will sell the product directly as well as through the channel, the company announced this week.

The gFiler is a NAS gateway (or "head") introduced almost one year ago when Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) announced it would resell the gateway as a result of an OEM agreement with Network Appliance. HDS resells the gateway with support for its own high-end Fibre Channel arrays.

Network Appliance will sell the gFiler with support for IBM's Shark and FAStT disk arrays, but it will not resell any IBM storage products.

IBM will certify the gFiler through its internal certification and interoperability program, and IBM Global Services will provide support for the gFiler. IBM will not be reselling the gFiler and will concentrate on its own NAS gateway product--the 300G.

IBM was one of the first companies to offer a NAS gateway, a segment of the market analysts expect to eventually make up the majority of NAS revenues. A gateway is an attractive option for users due to its easy integration with back-end SAN storage, according to analysts.

The gFiler, which supports iSCSI, is available in several models--the GF960, GF950, GF825, or in clustered versions that scale to 48TB.

New load distribution software called SnapMover manages loads between gFilers hooked into Fibre Channel SANs. The software distributes data between gFilers without any physical copying.

Network Appliance also announced new "unified" SAN-NAS storage systems--the FAS980 and FAS980c--and released the R200 NearStore appliance with an enhanced version of SnapVault software.

Separately, Network Appliance and Veritas have expanded their existing partnership to integrate Veritas' Data Lifecycle Manager 5.0 software with NetApp's storage systems and SnapLock software. Shipments are expected in the first quarter. Also, the two companies plan to integrate Veritas' NetBackup 5.0 with NearStore, but the integrated product will not be available until the second half of 2004.

This article was originally published on December 03, 2003