NetApp Hints at Enterprise Backup Hardware

As it was announcing new products at the low-end of itsproduct line Monday, Network Appliance, Inc.hinted it would release an enterprise backup product in the first half of nextyear.

Although Ray Villeneuve, vice president, strategicmarketing at Network Appliance could offer few details, it is expected NetAppwill deploy the iSCSI protocol in the devices, dubbed “NearStore.” iSCSI allowsstorage devices to transfer data at the block level over IP networks. It isdesigned primarily for backing-up NAS devices which do not use the FibreChannel protocol.

Villeneuve did say the devices would be based aroundATA disk drives and scale from 12TB to 100TB. Like all NetApp NAS products, thedevices will use its proprietary Data OnTap operating system and its WAFL-FSfilesystem.

The NAS giant also announced its first foray into theservices space. Although NetApp has always offered support contracts andinstallation assistance, it is offering disaster recovery services tied to anSLA – it’s first attempt at an outsourcing product.

NetApp’s “Business Continuance” products come in twoflavors: Avaliability Assurance, a program to ensure 99.99% uptime for NetAppdevices, and ProTech Expert, which dedicates a support person to anenterprise.  Chris McConnell