NetApp Launches New ‘Scale-out Innovations’

But some wonder, where’s FlashRay?

NetApp announced on Feb. 19 the launch of “new unified, scale-out innovations” that let customers manage their data through a single storage and data management platform. These innovations include the FAS8000 enterprise storage array series, which can be deployed in traditional data centers as well as across newer hybrid cloud platforms, and FlexArray, the company’s new virtualization software that enables NetApp’s enterprise to virtualize and manage third-party arrays.

The new products reflect NetApp’s ongoing evolution from “storage company” to “data management” vendor. The FAS8000 range of enterprise arrays support Network Attached Storage, Storage Area Network, Fiber Channel, and Ethernet all on the same platform for versatile access. And FlexArray enables users to virtualize other storage systems such as EMC, Hitachi, or NetApp’s E-series on the FAS8000 arrays. “An integration of this sort is likely to push sales of the company’s product among first-time buyers as well as among clients looking to upgrade their existing sytems,” suggests an article on Forbes.com.

But Dave Raffo, in an article on techtarget.com, notes the conspicuous absence of an all-flash storage array — something NetApp’s chief competitors already have on the market and are pushing hard. FlashRay, NetApp’s long-awaited all-flash storage array, is scheduled to be released later this year, though a more specific date has not been announced by NetApp.

According to Raffo, “FlashRay is the last to market because NetApp designed it from the ground up instead of buying a flash startup (as EMC and IBM did) or put flash into an existing platform (the approach taken by Hitachi Data Systems, Hewlett-Packard and Dell). NetApp’s goal is to come up with a different operating system than Data OnTap that is used for FAS storage, while keeping all the storage and data management capabilities on OnTap.”

While NetApp’s strategy might be making some impatient, others believe the company’s approach will pay off in the long run.

Forbes.com

techtarget.com

NetApp press release:

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