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EMC vs NetApp: NAS TCO Tussle

A report from technology research firm Meta Group Inc. comparing the total cost of ownership of EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) and Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) NAS storage systems running databases says EMC's NAS has better TCO than NetApp's does -- but NetApp says Meta's analysis is fundamentally flawed.

The Meta report, published on July 29, compares EMC's Celerra NS600 with high-availability configurations of NetApp's high-end FAS940c and midrange F825c systems, with the goal of determining which platform would be the best option for hosting database applications.

The firm based its findings on published benchmark results for both vendors on Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC)'s System File Server (SFS) benchmark. Meta used those in conjunction with Meta's own estimates on the total costs of buying and maintaining those systems over three- and five-year periods to arrive at its total cost of ownership (TCO) figures.

"Although Network Appliance has dominated the nascent NAS-based database market, we believe EMC's new high-availability Celerra system (NS600) will prove competitive in both the price/capacity and price/performance metrics," writes Meta analyst Rob Shafer in the report.

According to Meta, the EMC NS600 "compares favorably" in both areas with either NetApp box. The TCO figures are based on premium hardware and software support options.

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