Bill and Michael's Excellent Adventure!
It looks like Microsoft and Dell are going after the boys of NetApp in Sunnyvale. Way back in time Dell and NetApp were friends. But the marriage ended in a messy divorce which left a lot of customers without an upgrade path.
Now it looks like MS and Dell are taking direct aim at Java Drive's profit center of licensing.
The Dell PowerVault NX1950™ with Microsoft® Windows® Unified Data Storage Server 2003 goes beyond traditional network-attached storage solutions. The integrated hardware and software system offers the performance, advanced management features and flexibility of a mid-range unified storage device at an affordable price. It can also help customers reduce complexity and storage costs by eliminating separate licensing for additional features and protocols such as snapshots, replication and resource management I'm sure NetApp is saying 'ouch' to this.
I wonder what the usable to raw storage ratios on this product offering are. At the price points that is advertised it could be quite painful to NetApp.
Available now, the system is priced from about $17,000.* Configurations with 4.5 TB start at less than $24,000.* Integrated solutions with clustering and drive expansion, along with
MS and Dell have very deep pockets - If they are succesfull in gaining market share the new competition may very well make NetApp ease their licensing restrictions, and this will be great for storage consumers.