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NetApp Sharpens SAN Focus

Network Appliance is taking the next step in its quest to become more of an enterprise SAN player by expanding its midrange platform with the FAS3070, bridging the gap between the 3000 and high-end FAS6000 systems.

NetApp is also enhancing is software, with SRM and file virtualization applications through OEM partnerships and upgraded versions of SnapManager. It will officially announce the FAS3070 and new software Tuesday.

Like all of NetApp's FAS systems, the 3070 supports NAS as well as iSCSI and Fibre Channel SAN. And although NetApp is also rolling out a V3070 NAS gateway, it is clearly chasing the Fibre Channel SAN market with its new release. With 64-bit architecture, 16 Gbytes of cache, and support for 4-Gbit/s Fibre Channel, NetApp is positioning the FAS3070 as a system for large and medium database-intensive enterprises rather than looking for file services.

Patrick Rogers, NetApp VP of products and partners, says the FAS3070 is designed to trump the highest end midrange systems of its main SAN competitors -- EMC's CX3-80 and Hewlett-Packard's EVA 8000.

The FAS3070 is higher capacity than those systems, but Rogers says the biggest advantage is that NetApp's systems provide "a seamless upgrade" to the FAS6000. Because the systems run the same operating system and have the same architecture, customers can upgrade from the FAS3070 to the FAS6030 by swapping out controllers.

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