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Network Appliance speeds business apps

Network Appliance has boosted its storage products with two technologies designed to speed workers' access to data contained in software such as databases and customer relationship management applications.

The company claimed to be the first among NAS (network attached storage) vendors to support the DAFS (Direct Access File System) protocol.

Network Appliance F800 series filer products running version 6.2 of the company's Data OnTap operating system will support the protocol, the company added.

The DAFS technology lets applications take more control over I/O functions. Armed with the protocol, products from companies in the NAS market, such as Network Appliance, can boost data throughput speeds from Ethernet to Fibre Channel-like levels.

Network Appliance can use the performance boost to charge into the database storage market, and attract users of Oracle, IBM, and Sybase software looking for efficient storage technology.

Customers will be able use the DAFS technology with Network Appliance filers by the middle of this month with the purchase of a protocol licence and a specialised host bus adaptor. The DAFS protocol licence costs $15,000 (£11,000) more than an NFS (network file system) license, Dale said. The adapter, sold separately, is priced at approximately $2,500 (£1,741).

Network Appliance has also released tools designed to speed the way its data-caching appliances work with business applications such as CRM, enterprise resource planning and supply chain management.

The new tools are standard on the NetCache 5.3 software that will start shipping later this month on the company's latest caching hardware. An upgrade for the software comes at no charge for customers with a software support contract.

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