Newbie question on netapps, file server, active directory

I know nothing about Netapps other than what I could find on their site and wikipedia.

Are they only hardware boxes with software built into them, or if I already have like an EMC san, does Netapps sell software to integrate with that or what?

I have 2 needs:
#1 File server for 500 users, 2.5TB of storage, that integrates with acive directory.
#2 My VMWare VM's are on a SAN, about 4TB worth.

So my questions:
How can netapps help in each of thee cases and how does it work? Thank you, google hasn't been much help in this arena as I need the idea explained. =/
jonburkAsked:
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aldanchConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Are they only hardware boxes with software built into them, or if I already have like an EMC san, does Netapps sell software to integrate with that or what?

NetApp is a storage vendor competitor to EMC, and they have a line of storage products for Small, Midsize, and Enterprise-class businesses. Their products are primarily Hardware (Controllers with customized OS for Block- and File-level management and Storage enclosures with SATA, SAS, or FC drives). Their Data ONTAP OS enables the NetApp SAN to act as both a SAN and a NAS.

SAN
Present storage to servers via iSCSI or FC
LUN snapshots and replication to increase RPOs and RTOs and enable HA and DR strategies

NAS
File level access for users - users access the NetApp appliance directly for their files instead of going through a NAS head to handle CIFS (SMB) traffic, e.g. Windows Server or Linux Server with SAMBA. The NetApp appliance can be added to Active Directory as a member server so it's visible to your network.

It does not have software that provides integration with any other SAN. You would need a 3rd party software to manage a mixed SAN environment like Symantec, HP, CA, etc.


So my questions:
How can netapps help in each of thee cases and how does it work? Thank you, google hasn't been much help in this arena as I need the idea explained. =/

The NetApp appliance can meet your requirements

#1 File server for 500 users, 2.5TB of storage, that integrates with acive directory.

It is AD-integrated - add the SAN as a member server on your domain
Create, format as NTFS, and present a LUN to your users for file serving.

#2 My VMWare VM's are on a SAN, about 4TB worth.

You can create and present LUNs to your ESX servers to host your VMs. You can then use Storage VMotion to move your VMs to these new LUNs.
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lqwConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Well, you could see a netapp like a really big fileserver. It runs some sort of linux and can do nfs, cifs etc. It also integrates seamlessly in your AD.

It also has the possibility of connecting over iSCSI, Fibre channel, so connectng your ESX Server should also be no problem.

The difference between a netapp and a FC-SAN was that a SAN normally did block-access mode (like a SCSI disk) - with a netapp you could do file-access too. This make some things possible without using a additional server, for example running servers from NFS.

lqw
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