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NetApp refreshes FAS storage arrays; Backup reporting software keeps backups 'honest'

Headlines: NetApp refreshes its product portfolio with new FAS3200 midrange and FAS6200 enterprise arrays, and adds solid state drive (SSD) support -- without automated tiering.

Storage channel news roundup for Nov. 4 to Nov. 10, 2010

NetApp refreshes FAS storage arrays, adds SSDs and inline compression

NetApp is rolling out a portfolio-wide refresh this week, with new midrange and high-end FAS storage arrays, and the introduction of a pre-configured stack for virtual environments, solid state drives (SSDs) and inline compression for primary data.

The new systems are the FAS3200 midrange, FAS6200 enterprise, and a FlexPod bundle that includes Cisco server and switching products and VMware server virtualization applications with the FAS3200.

The FAS3200 and FAS6200 are mainly speeds and feeds upgrades from the FAS3100 and FAS6000 platform with new boards, processors and memory buses. The FlexPod is an answer to EMC's Vblock bundles that also include Cisco servers and switches and VMware software.

Read the full story on the new NetApp FAS storage arrays.

Backup reporting software keeps backups 'honest'

Backup tools are an almost universally accepted part of IT operations. Their benefits include increased automation and certainty that the job will get done. But backups aren't always perfect, and it's not always easy to tell when they're not working correctly, which led to the emergence of backup reporting software space, also known as data protection management (DPM), several years ago. Although there was a clear need for better backup reporting, how that would be delivered was unclear. Some saw storage resource management (SRM) as a natural fit, with a backup reporting functionality as one of its principal components. Others, such as companies like Bocada Inc. and Tek-Tools Software (now part of Solarwinds) offered backup reporting as a separate product.

David Russell, an analyst with Gartner Inc., said despite early indicators pointing to SRM tools for backup reporting, that didn't succeed either because it wasn't widely accepted, wasn't something people wanted, or it wasn't something people wanted to pay for in an SRM delivery vehicle. Meanwhile, backup vendors got smarter and responded to user demands; they built their own reporting capabilities into their backup software.

Read the full story on the importance of backup reporting software.

NetGear adds ReadyNAS Pro desktop SMB storage appliances

NetGear recently launched the ReadyNAS Pro family of desktop SMB storage systems designed to replicate to other ReadyNAS boxes or use NetGear's cloud service for data protection.

The ReadyNAS Pro 2, ReadyNAS Pro 4 and ReadyNAS Pro 6 are two-, four- and six-bay systems that join the NetGear ReadyNAS rackmount business platform. The Pro models are for SMBs or remote offices, although the ReadyNAS rackmount family scales up to what NetGear calls medium-sized enterprises with approximately 500 users.

Read the full story on the launch of the NetGear ReadyNAS Pro appliances.

NetApp FlexPod takes on EMC's Vblock bundles

NetApp is rolling out FlexPod storage, network and virtualization bundles in partnership with Cisco and VMware to counter EMC's Vblock bundles.

EMC has been shipping pre-sized and standardized Vblock bundles since last November as part of its VCE alliance with Cisco and VMware. Like Vblocks, NetApp's new FlexPod systems include Cisco's Unified Computing System servers and Nexus switches, as well as VMware vSphere and vCenter server virtualization applications, but the standard storage is NetApp's new FAS3200 arrays instead of EMC Clariion or Symmetrix boxes. NetApp will also sell FlexPod systems with FAS6020 for customers looking for larger implementations.

Read the full story on NetApp FlexPod vs. EMC Vblock.

Panasas upgrades parallel file system storage for HPC

Panasas Inc. introduced its fourth-generation parallel file system storage blade-based device for high-performance computing (HPC). The Panasas PAS 12 includes the Panasas PanFS parallel file system, with integrated RAID protection and scalable architecture for large storage deployments that focus on file services through object-based storage.

The PAS 12 has 64-bit multi-core processing and integrated 10 GbE technology. It holds 10 chassis in a 4U rack, with each chassis delivering 40 TB of storage and 1.5 Gbps throughput performance. An aggregate 4U system scales to 400 TB and 150 Gbps performance. The chassis can be networked to create large, high-performance storage pools connected through a global namespace. Customers can scale performance and capacity can scale by adding individual blades, chassis or entire racks up to 4 PB without any system disruption.

Read the full story on the upgrades to the Panasas file system storage for HPC.

Cloud-based delivery platform, OS33 for MSPs, makes public debut

OS33, a cloud-based IT delivery automation platform for MSPs, is now available to the public. The OS33 platform provides cloud computing services to MSPs, allowing them to sell hosted IT to their customers. The OS33 platform allows MSPs to deliver hosted IT to end users, including the OS33 Webtop, a cloud-based desktop that end-users can access with any browser-capable device. Other features of the OS33 platform include a cloud connector, cloud control panel, application delivery and Webtop GUI.

Additional storage news

Check out last week's storage channel news roundup.

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