Sunnyvale, Calif.-based NetApp has begun selling the R100, the first member of the line.
The system doesn't come cheap. The basic model, with 12 terabytes of capacity, costs $275,000, and a top-end model with 96TB of room goes for about $2 million, spokeswoman Jaime Jinks said.
The R100 speeds up backup operations by providing intermediate hard disk storage with a faster response than the tape systems that can tie up servers for hours during backup. Once information is saved to the NearStore system, it can be backed up to tape on a more leisurely schedule.
Rival Quantum is pursuing awith its 3TB DX30, expected to go on sale by June.
The R100 product also includes NetApp data protection software, the company said.
The product integrates with several backup software applications from Computer Associates, Legato, Veritas Software, Quantum, StorageTek and others.
Though NetApp expects eventually to sell top-end configurations, most customers are starting the 12TB model, Jinks said. Chipmaker Nvidia and Internet portal Yahoo are customers so far.