IBM to resell NetApp 'hybrid' array

Continuing its strategy of licensing network-attached storage products from Network Appliance Inc., IBM has announced its intention to resell NetApp's FAS3070 hybrid array.

Announced by NetApp earlier this month, the Fabric Attached Storage 3070 array scales to 252TB and offers 32 4Gbit/sec. Fibre Channel ports or 32 Gigabit Ethernet ports and supports block-based storage, network-attached storage (NAS) or iSCSI (see ). IBM will call its version of the box the N5600 and plans to start shipping it by Dec. 8, said John Foley, worldwide product marketing manager for the IBM Systems Group N-Series.

IBM is competing with Dell Inc. and EMC Corp., which have a partnership, by offering the same functionality across its entire product line, Foley said.

Some features, including 10Gbit/sec. Ethernet support and support for the v3070 virtual storage processor, will ship in the first quarter, around January or February, Foley said.

IBM is also announcing interoperability between the N-Series Gateway and IBM's SAN Volume Controller (SVC), which, Foley said, lets users put an N-Series Gateway in front of an SVC and have "the best of both worlds" -- virtualization access to a heterogeneous environment of up to 80 models of storage.

Brad Nisbet, an analyst at IDC, Framingham, Mass., said IBM is announcing these products primarily to fill gaps in its NAS and iSCSI product lines. He also said the interoperability between the gateway and the controller is interesting because the gateway can offer block-level virtualization on its own, though he considered the SVC's more robust.