A person close to the situation has told El Reg that NetApp has a FAS8000 enterprise array coming soon. A well-placed source said that a coming FAS8000 would effectively replace the FAS3000 and V-Series products. Also NetApp would start selling its (ONTAP) software separately from the FAS array hardware soon. Oh, and the …
Yeah, that will be the most exciting change from NetApp this year...a new hardware platform. I don't follow the leap of faith to that replacing the FAS3000 though, it would more likely be a service provider/cloud system for those customers who are offering either managed services or global cloud solutions too large to worry about a FAS6000.
Of course I rather suspect that "selling its (ONTAP) software separately from the FAS array hardware soon" is more likely to play the biggest part in their most exciting announcements as this would allow their software and features to be implemented directly on top of services like Amazon S3 and Azure so that smaller customers can replicate directly to the public cloud. Add that to their "Switch" technology (might have been renamed, I forget) and you've got yourself a quite compelling offering which would be capable of migrating between hypervisors, from virtual to physical, between NAS/FC/iSCSI, and to/from private/public cloud solutions in seconds.
Of course HP are able to remove all your zeros in transit, so NetApp will still have some features left to implement ;)
If the FAS8000 follows the proud NetApp hardware tradition, it could be a very long time between hardware bring-up and customer availability.
I believe they are taking a different approach. When EMC announced VNX2 this past year, they were following the Intel roadmap, and introduced upgraded systems using Sandy-bridge allowing them to utilize QPI linked processors to create more paths for data processing. This put NetApp at a great disadvantage from a technology aspect. It's catchup time. NetApp follows the Intel timeline as well. I would bet they will introduce a newer motherboard with faster processors to leapfrog EMC.
Secondly, NetApp has been downsizing their product lines. They trimmed the FAS32xx line last year and lowered the number of addressable drive counts in their systems. FAS32xx is their strongest seller, however, what if they EOL the 32xx and 62xx lines, introduce a single 8000 series line with multiple models that actually spans the 32xx and 62xx breadth? It simplifies their product lineup, and maintainability. If they were going to delve into high end enterprise and cloud, they would go with a 10,000 series to show they mean business... I dont think they're there yet.
If you take a look, NetApp dropped their prices on all of their existing storage systems this past week. This indicates a 'fire' sale to rid the shelves of existing stock before the new product comes out. I think they will make a significant announcement and be ready to deliver. The systems will still be running ONTAP 8.2.1, and there are some known bugs in there that force users to use 7-mode... like MetroCluster not being supported on cluster...
NetApp don't keep stock of systems and do not allow distributors or resellers to do so either.
Where do you 'take a look' to see that NetApp dropped prices?