Why buy a new NetApp unit? Does Jabil Circuit build a better box for NetApp than NEC did?

We get calls on a daily basis from customers who are looking at an outrageous price quote from NetApp for some new upgrade. Although the NetApp sales folks tell them that the new FAS3020 series equipment is faster and better than the F880 or a FAS960 they can’t seem to provide any reliable performance statistics to prove that they are. So, if the new stuff is no better then the equipment that you already have why not just upgrade your storage and max out your current systems? Once the NetApp sales person hears that a customer is considering the purchased of an off lease transferable licensed system, all sorts of proclamations of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt are unleashed. What is odd about these proclamations is that according to the marketing materials that go with the older systems they were the best things ever made. Has technology changed so drastically in one model from the last? I just don’t get it. The only difference I can see is that the FAS3020 equipment is assembled by Jabil Circuit from parts supplied by Intel, Qlogic & Cherokee power supplies, while the 800 series and the 900 seires were assembled by NEC from components made by Intel, Qlogic and Cherokee power supplies.

The drives are from Seagate and the shelves are made by Xyratex. So the big difference in the new NetApp units is who assembles them? Sounds far fetched to me. As months turn to years NetApp still won’t provide any verifiable performance claims to an independent lab, although they promised they would.

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