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NetApp Solidifies New Take on StoreVault

Demand from enterprise customers appears to have led Network Appliance to aim its latest StoreVault SAN/NAS systems not at SMBs but at small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Less than two weeks after removing StoreVault's divisional status and shifting it back into its mainstream FAS marketing machine, NetApp has unveiled the StoreVault S550, a 2U rackmount system that supports 750 Gbyte and 1 Tbyte drives for up to 12 Tybtes of raw storage. Prices start at $6,000 for 1 Tbyte.

The S550 supersedes the vendor's 6-Tbyte S500, the first StoreVault product in the line, announced in 2006. But unlike that product, which was aimed at SMBs, the S550 is clearly meant for larger companies looking for streamlined storage in branch or remote offices.

The vendor says the S550 performs 7 percent better than the S500 and 67 percent better than the S300. But NetApp continues to advertise its StoreVault S300, announced in October 2007, as an SMB unit that's complimentary to the S550.

"The StoreVault S300 is perfect for budget-challenged or smaller environments," states a writeup on the StoreVault site (which still has its own URL). "The StoreVault S550 is better for larger firms that may be searching a more scaleable, higher performing device for a rack environment."

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