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NetApp discontinues development on NearStore VTL; Nasuni Filer offers cloud storage gateway for NAS

Headlines: NetApp confirms it has stopped development on its NearStore VTL, leaving analysts guessing on how it will fill the data deduplication backup gap in its product line; Startup Nasuni's virtual appliance automatically caches files at a user's local site, while the bulk of the user's NAS capacity is maintained by a cloud storage service provider.

Storage channel news roundup for Feb. 3-10, 2010

NetApp discontinues development on NearStore virtual tape library

NetApp Inc. has discontinued product development on its NearStore virtual tape library (VTL), fueling speculation that the vendor is looking for a data deduplication data backup partner after failing in its attempt to buy Data Domain last year.

In response to request for comment on NearStore's status, Jay Kidd, senior vice president of NetApp's Storage Solutions Group, confirmed the VTL has been put on mothballs.

"NetApp decided to adjust investment in its NetApp VTL product line to better align resources to market opportunities and demands," Kidd said in a statement sent to "We shifted some of the resources from our NetApp VTL development organization toward technologies that best serve our customer base and market demand such as virtualization and ITaaS [IT as a service] solutions. Therefore, our current investment in NetApp VTL is focused on helping our current customers be successful in their existing deployments and implementations.

Get Eric Slack's take on why deduplication doesn't address the fundamental backup problem.

Nasuni Filer offers cloud storage gateway for NAS

Startup Nasuni Corp. is putting its Nasuni Filer into public beta, a product the company says will allow network-attached storage (NAS) customers to get the best of both cloud storage and on-premise data storage by automatically caching active data while bulk data stays with a service provider.

Nasuni is emerging from stealth with founder and CEO Andres Rodriguez (formerly chief technology officer at Archivas, which was bought by Hitachi Data Systems in Feb. 2007) at the helm. Its first product, the Nasuni Filer, is a virtual appliance that runs on VMware. It can be downloaded from the Web and resides in a server at an end user's data center. It offers an interface to cloud data storage services using the CIFS standard file network protocol, rather than requiring customers to provide their own application integration into a Web services-based cloud data storage service. Meanwhile, the customer can either manage a relationship with one of Nasuni's cloud storage service partners or have its relationship managed by a channel partner.

Read this tip on whether Linux NAS makes sense for you and your customers.

EMC: No plans to kill Clariion

EMC Corp. said it's not planning to phase out its Clariion midrange storage-area network (SAN) disk system in favor of Celerra multiprotocol storage, despite speculation running through the enterprise data storage industry.

A few EMC employees posted denials on Twitter last week after the rumor showed up in posts, and an EMC spokesman emphatically denied to that there were plans to consolidate Clariion and Celerra or kill off one of them.

"The speculation is not true," EMC declared in the statement. "EMC's midrange storage lines, Clariion and Celerra, are market-leading, flagship EMC platforms. Clariion and Celerra each experienced double-digit revenue growth in EMC's fourth quarter of 2009. It's clear that customers get tremendous value from these platforms, and we are increasing our investment and innovation in them."

Read the full story on EMC Clariion.

Panasas clustered NAS and Amazon S3 cloud data storage help e-Learning provider

An e-Learning software designer and hosting provider set up a hybrid cloud data storage architecture with a combination of Panasas Inc. clustered NAS systems and cloud storage through Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) to handle files and databases.

Connect for Education Inc., a Reston, Va.-based e-Learning firm, replaced direct-attached storage (DAS) and file servers with a high-performance Panasas ActiveStor clustered NAS system in 2008, said CIO Luis Velazquez. The original purpose of the clustered NAS was to support the serving of static content for the e-Learning courses the company designs for college clients.

Read about the steps to building a cloud storage services business.

Riverbed Steelhead 7050 uses solid-state drives to boost WAN performance

Riverbed Technology Inc. launched the Steelhead 7050 this week, a new appliance that uses solid-state drives (SSDs) and a new approach to data protection to improve WAN optimization and offer large customers a more consolidated hardware platform.

One of the use cases Riverbed envisions for the new appliances is data replication between data centers for disaster recovery.

The Steelhead 7050 is now at the high end of Riverbed's Steelhead product line, and will be available in two models: the 7050-L and the 7050-M. Each offers 1 Gbps WAN capacity, but the 7050-L can support up to 75,000 TCP/IP connections, while the 7050-M can support up to 100,000 connections. The 7050-L holds 14 solid-state drives for a total usable capacity of 2.2 TB, while the 7050-M holds 28 SSDs with 4.4 usable TB capacity. Both models use traditional hard drives as "logging" disks, but store persistent data on the SSDs.

Read the full story on Riverbed Steelhead 7050.

Additional storage news

Check out last week's storage channel news roundup.

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