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NetApp's Pbyte Pitch

NetApp bulked up its high-end storage story today with the launch of what it claims is the industry's first modular storage system capable of scaling beyond a Pbyte. Populated with Tbyte drives, the FAS 6080 can be configured with over 1,100 Tbytes of raw capacity on 1,176 disk drives, according to the vendor.

A slightly smaller system, the FAS 6040, which was also launched today, contains over 800 Tbytes of capacity on 840 disk drives. Somewhat ominously, NetApp has not yet released pricing for the two systems, which suggests that they will not be cheap.

With CIOs and IT managers juggling ever-growing volumes of data, NetApp's decision to push its capacity envelope could still be a shrewd move, giving users an architecture capable of growing to meet their future needs.

On the other hand, NetApp's decision to scale up its hardware at a time when users are clearly cutting back their spending also represents something of a risk.

Last month Caris analyst Shebly Seyrafi identified NetApp, along with Brocade, EMC, and VMware, as the most heavily exposed stocks to a slowdown in U.S. enterprise spending.

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