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IBM extends NetApp line

Fills hole in SMB range

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IBM's reliance on NetApp for its small and mid-range storage kit was extended today with the announcement of a new box in the N-series.

The N-series began in April 2005 in a bid to loosen the stranglehold of EMC and HP among mid-sized customers. In return for NAS expertise, IBM provides NetApp with tape technology for package customers.

The N5600 slots in the middle of the collaborative range, with twice the capacity of the N5500 at up to 252TB of scalable capacity. It's available with single or dual storage controllers, with both 4Gb/s fibre channel and cheapo iSCSI connectivity.

IBM hopes easy migration from N-series means customers will stick with the firm if they ever upgrade to the firm's enterprise-class storage.

IBM also said today it had gotten around to providing interoperability between the N-series and other kit via the IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller (SVC). NetApp-based gear should now be able to join a single storage virtualisation pool and heterogenous file-sharing setup.

The N5600 hits the streets 8 December, starting at $97,000. The SVC will become interoperable in time for Christmas too. ®

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