Network Appliance has traditionally catered to large enterprises.
With the creation of a separate division, StoreVault, selling the S500 all in one storage appliance, NetApps is working to sell to smaller businesses with 50 – 1,000 employees. The sweet spot is from 50 – 500 employees.
StoreVault focuses on providing enterprise class storage but at prices a smaller business can handle. I’ve heard this song and dance with just about every small business focused vendor – with Store Vault it looks to be more fact than fiction.
Sajai Krishnan, General Manager, StoreVault Division, Network Appliance, explained to me that the S500 combines a range of connectivity options (NAS (network attached storage), Fibre channel and iSCSI) into one platform. With this multiplicity of platforms you can buy an S500 and not be concerned about if it can grow with your storage needs or if it will integrate with your infrastructure.
Sajai says that one of the benefits of a multiplicity of connectivity options is that customers don’t have to think too hard about which technology to buy. They can just buy and not worry.
Another part of the “StoreVault Magic”, as Sajai called it, customers can buy minimal storage needs and add as needed. There’s no need to shut down your Storage Vault server to add more storage. While the S500 is running, you can add a new hard disk. Once this additional disk is added you’ll see more storage appear on your network.
Another neat benefit is that if you have two offices and want to share data you can purchase two S500’s and the the data can be replicated between both appliances.
StoreVault guarantees that your data will be safe across at a least two drives. This means that if one of the drives in your S500 fails, the other good drive will automatically kick in. Sajai said me that Store Vault’s S500 does not wait for a drive to fail, but if it senses that a drive is failing it will automatically take the failing drive down to prevent data loss.
Using the Store Vault you’ll find that instead of having racks of storage space on different devices you can have ONE appliance with many virtual drives for various applications to use as needed.
I’m impressed with the range of features Store Vault has placed in the S500. While at around $5,000 (for starters) it’s not as cheap as buying a box of paper, it’s very economical knowing that your data is absolutely safe. Remember, your data is not just, its your business. It’s your employees.
At a recent conference someone (Lena West, xynoMedia) explained to the attendees that many of the businesses of 9-11 didn’t go out of business and stay out of because their business was physically ruined or due to employee loss. They said that it was often because of data loss. All their records and information were gone and they simply could not start over again.
Whether your storage needs are from one terabyte to six terabytes – Store Vault is a storage solution you should consider.