Network Appliance (NAI) will release entry-level versions of its NAS and SAN devices in the hope of convincing a sceptical market that the combined boxes can reduce management costs.
NAI's FAS250 and FAS270, priced at about £10,000, will provide both SAN and NAS functions.
The firm claimed this offers benefits to companies that have experience of using NAS appliances and are looking to expand into storage for more complex back-office functions.
"We see the future very much in combined devices. That way the user doesn't have to worry; every box they buy does both [NAS and SAN]," said David Hitz, executive vice-president of engineering at NAI.
The company launched its first dual-functioning storage box last year - the FAS900 series - but the device received a mixed response.
But an entry-level system that can be upgraded easily will appeal to smaller firms with burgeoning storage requirements, and to VARs that operate at the lower end, predicted Tony Lock, chief analyst at market watcher Bloor Research.
"NAS has typically been the cheaper option, but some applications need SAN functionality. This should be a good first move into SANs," he said.
Others remain unconvinced that users want combined devices, or that they support a sufficient number of switches and host bus adaptors.
Low-end storage products are needed, but NAI is unlikely to see large volumes of business outside its NAS offerings, according to Simon Gay, storage practice leader at corporate reseller Computacenter.
"NAI has strong credibility in the NAS arena, but it's very much in the early stages of combined devices," he said.
Mark Santora, senior vice-president of marketing at NAI, said one advantage of the new products series is that they allow users to upgrade their systems without migrating their data.
"The FAS200 series gives users a much faster and cheaper entry-level system that can easily scale with users' needs," he said.
The FAS250 can support up to one terabyte (TB) of data via Fibre Channel drives and is available immediately, while the FAS270 goes up to 4TB and will ship in November.
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