IBM has expanded its mid-size storage with a new network-attached storage (NAS) product.

The IBM System Storage N5600 supports as much as 252TB and includes built-in support for RAID 6, snapshot backups, thin provisioning and connection to Fibre Channel or 10Gbit/s Ethernet Internet SCSI (iSCSI) networks. It uses either one or two PCI Express-enabled 64-bit controllers.

The appliance is the result of the agreement between IBM and Network Appliance for IBM to offer rebranded NetApp filers. The N5600 is a rebranded NetApp FAS 3070 and will be positioned between IBM's existing N5500 and N7600 appliances.

The N5600 has 50 percent more disk spindles and capacity, twice the memory and three times the bandwidth of the N5500. Upgrades from the N5500 are possible via a controller swap. It is available in two models: the N5600 A10 with a single storage controller, and the NS5600 A20 with two.

The NS5600 competes with EMC's Clariion CX3-80 and HP's Storageworks Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA). Unlike those systems, iSCSI capability is incorporated into the array. The EMC CX3-80 only supports Fibre Channel connectivity, and the HP Storageworks EVA has optional iSCSI connectivity. Upgrading from the Clariion to a DMX involves a "fork-lift replacement" and data migration exercise.

The company also announced that the N Series gateway products can now be attached to an IBM SAN Volume Controller storage pool, allowing file sharing and storage-area networking (SAN) virtualisation. The IBM System Storage N5600 is expected to be available next month starting at $97,500.

Original reporting by Network World.