NetApp boosts entry-level array performance

Vendor also launches cloud storage service

NetApp on Tuesday announced a major upgrade to its entry-level Fabric Attached Storage (FAS) array that increases performance by as much as three times while also adding six times more memory.

The company also announced a cloud storage service to be sold by reseller partners.

The new FAS2220 is a 2U (3.5-in. high) array that holds up to 12 drives and has a starting price of around $8,000. It's aimed at companies with 100 to 1,000 employees, NetApp said.

Previous versions of the entry-level FAS2000 series arrays came with just 2GB of memory and a single-thread processor. The FAS2220 has the same price as its entry-level predecessor but was given a major performance boost with a new multi-threaded core processor and 12GB of DRAM.

The array scales up to 60 drives for a maximum of 180TB in capacity. Up to 6TB can be managed under a single controller.

In November, NetApp announced a new mid-entry level product, the FAS2240, which came with as much as 432TB of capacity but with a starting retail price of $7,500 for 6TBs.

NetApp's senior director of solutions marketing, Jim Sangster, said that since its launch, the mid-entry level product suite has become the second most quickly adopted product in NetApp's history behind its midrange FAS3240 product.

Similar to the FAS2240, the FAS2220 comes with NetApp's OnTap Essentials software, which means it can scale to a higher-end, midrange system without the need for a a hardware change out.

Data OnTap also provides "cluster-ready" capabilities, enabling midrange array users to add FAS220 storage capacity as needed to their shared infrastructure.

Another notable change to the NetApp's entry-level product line with the FAS2220 is the ability to use Flash Pool technology. Flash Pool software allows users to choose up to three SAS or SATA solid-state drives (SSDs) to be added to an array for up to 300GB of flash cache capacity.

"Flash Pools give users a significant performance uptick. All they need to do is turn the SSDs on inside their System Managers [GUI]," Sangster said. "Previously, virtual storage tiering started at the midrange products and up."

With SSDs, the FAS2220 starts at around $40,000, Sangster said.

Data protection as a service

In other developments, NetApp announced it is working closely with select reseller partners to deliver data protection as a service (DPaaS). DPaaS is a cloud service for midsize businesses based on NetApp's own data centers. It offers disk-based recovery and second-site failover functionality "typically enjoyed by large enterprises at a fraction of the cost of traditional disk-based solutions," the company stated.

NetApp has set up a pay-as-you-go model, allowing users to grow as their needs expand.

"By moving to DPaaS, administrators can eliminate onerous tape management tasks, restore data in minutes versus hours or days, and leverage experienced support teams and monitoring tools to help save valuable time and resources," the company stated.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

See more by Lucas Mearian on Computerworld.com.

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This story, "NetApp boosts entry-level array performance" was originally published by Computerworld.

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