The new C190 with ONTAP is priced under $25,000 and connects to the newly released Azure NetApp Files.

Jeffrey Schwartz

June 6, 2019

5 Min Read
Data storage

NetApp, in its drive to reach new customers and expand within existing accounts, on Thursday revealed that will deliver its first entry-level, all-flash storage system aimed at small businesses with high I/O workload requirements.

NetApp claims the new rack mountable AFF C190 system, configurable with up to 24 SSDs, includes the ONTAP data management platform and will deliver 10 times faster application response time than its hybrid counterparts for less than $25,000.

The new system, which supports connectivity to public cloud services, comes a week after Microsoft said that its first-party Azure NetApp Files cloud service is now available. Together they promise to pair well for partners looking to help small businesses and those with limited budgets deploy hybrid architectures based on the NetApp Data Fabric that otherwise couldn’t afford the more costly all-flash arrays, which can start upward of $100,000.


The NetApp C190

NetApp’s C190, set to ship July 1, also seeks to broaden the company’s addressable market, following last month’s disappointing fourth quarter earnings report, which fell short of analyst earnings and revenue estimates, and included lowered guidance for the current quarter. The move down market builds on NetApp’s promise to offer partners more opportunities through its streamlined Unified Partner Program, as reported last month.

To that point, Jeff McCullough, NetApp’s VP of Americas partner sales, said the company developed the C190 around the notion that the channel can easily sell and deploy it. The C190 fills a significant gap in NetApp’s portfolio — small businesses with high-performance needs to run modern application workloads but with limited budgets, McCullough acknowledged in an interview.


NetApp’s Jeff McCullough

“We really didn’t participate in the sub-$25,000 space, but now we have an all-flash product that is full-featured, easily configurable at well below $25,000, with great front-end margin,” he said. “A partner can go sell this, be profitable and compete in this segment that we really haven’t gone after aggressively.”

Asked how much margin, McCullough emphasized NetApp doesn’t dictate that but indicated that the “high-teens or low 20-point range” is within reach, depending on the attached services a partner offers.

McCullough noted that the company is offering the C190 as Express Packs, NetApp’s preconfigured solutions.

“It’s it’s pre-priced and pre-discounted,” he said. “When a partner registers a deal, all of the pricing is done up front for them. They don’t need to work with anybody from NetApp to get additional discounts. Everything is put into their hands. Margin is going to vary based on the competitive situation and a partner’s ability to really attach and drive value both in terms of the product, but more importantly in terms of what they deliver an offer to the customer in terms of services and support capability.”

The C190 is based on the complete NetApp ONTAP platform offered in its enterprise systems including the company’s FabricPool automated data tiering to the public cloud, SnapMirror asynchronous replication to NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP, data-at-rest volume encryption, NetApp Data Availability Services, FlexClone to create instant virtual copies of files, LUNs and volumes, and the company’s FlexVol inline deduplication inline compression, inline compaction and thin provisioning capability (see more C190 specs here).

The new lower-end system with the ONTAP stack included will open new doors for those who …

… need the performance but couldn’t afford a complete all-flash system and the management and security features included, said Glenn Dekhayser, field CTO, Red8, a systems integrator and NetApp partner.


Red8’s Glenn Dekhayser

“All the things that NetApp has been doing and succeeding within enterprise, they’re bringing down to a level that’s consumable in the lower end of the scale … so that’s going to be a huge business enabler,” Dekhayser said. “What the C190 allows you to do is serve the same exact set of enterprise services that the largest companies in the world are using – the Fortune 1000 – and get them at a price point that you can absolutely and effectively deploy in a small business, which is pretty cool.”

Dekkhayser said the C190 will let small businesses run modern cloud architectures, while allowing on-premises workloads to connect to their public cloud of choice. It will blend well with Azure NetApp Files, a managed cloud service offered by Microsoft in the Azure portal, accessible with REST APIs and the Azure SDKs, with imminent support for Azure CLI and PowerShell, noted Tad Brockway, Microsoft’s corporate VP for Azure Storage, Media and Edge, in last week’s announcement.

“We’re finding that Azure NetApp Files is having better performance than the native Azure storage services,” Dekkhayser said. So, customers who are in Azure all of a sudden now have a more high-performance storage option, which is important if you’re doing analytics and that kind of stuff. In some cases, it’s cheaper than running it on premises.”

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About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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