Network Appliance is to bring out two storage-area network products. The new FAS6030 and the FAS6070 arrays have capacities of up to 420TB and 504TB, respectively, and support up to 16 Fibre Channel ports, the company said.

Noel Levasseur, an executive vice president of IT at First American Bank said his organisation, which replaced an EMC Clariion array with a Network Appliance FAS940 a year ago, will evaluate the FAS6000 family if the bank's growth warrants it.

In recent years, Levasseur noted, First American's storage requirements have increased significantly.

"When we started out looking at a storage solution about four years ago, we were looking at a half a terabyte," he said. "When we came out of the gate with the Clariion, we had a pair of them with 2.7TB. Now we've got more than double that in 24 months."

Levasseur said the bank's data storage requirements have been growing rapidly for a number of reasons.

"When we went to voice over IP and our voice mail started coming into our e-mail box, our e-mail storage doubled in 30 days," he said.

Network Appliance said the new systems are designed to challenge EMC's Symmetrix product line.

"Can they get into the enterprise? Absolutely," said Brian Babineau, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "NetApp continues to have a formidable portfolio on the low- to mid-range, and they've extended that into a higher-performance system."

Evangeline Simones, an analyst at Evaluator Group, said the new high-end systems are a "natural evolution" for Network Appliance.

Both new arrays support Fibre Channel and Serial ATA disk drives that range from 9GB to 300GB on the Fibre Channel side and up to 500GB on the SATA side.

The FAS6030 is priced from US$131,600 for 1TB of storage, and the FAS6070 starts at $195,225 with 1TB of storage.