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Data Center and Critical Infrastructure

NetApp 6600-0834 (E5460) Storage System Teardown

12 June 2013
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Technology Teardown Services.

Teardown Overview

This teardown is of the NetAppE5460 rack storage system (server). This server is part of the E5400 series from NetApp. The main differences between the E5460, E5424, and E5412 is encoded in the part number themselves - it all comes down to the number of hard drives each server can handle - either 60, 24, or 12.

The other differences between the models comes down to the rack form factor. The E5460 is a 4U enclosure, and the other two models are in 2U enclosures. The E5460 has a lot of repeating modules because they server is, in it's volume and mass, largely comprised of racks of hard drives on 'trays' which can me removed in modular fashion, from the 4U enclosure.

However, NetApp is in a niche market, with low production volumes, and must therefore demand a solid margin to cover all of their hardware and development costs which are significant.

As with the other similar storage systems torn down by IHS iSuppli, we have rolled up the numbers in ways that should match the way a client would buy the system (and options) from the supplier - NetApp in this case. Because we don't have any retail or NetApp finished product pricing, we can only apply a generic markup to 'estimate' what NetApp would be charging for this equipment. This estimation is well beyond our standard teardown methodology but provided to paint a more complete picture of end-to-end costs.

IMPORTANT - Hard drives were not included as part of this analysis - this would, in a fully configured system, represent one of the highest cost drivers in such a system.

NetApp 6600-0834 (E5460) Storage System Main ImageNetApp 6600-0834 (E5460) Storage System Main Image

Target Market

Enterprise Users



Based on data sheet copyright date.

Pricing and Availability

Pricing for this system is unknown.


Volume Estimations

5,000 Annual Production Volume
5 Total Years

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed an Annual Production Volume of 5000 units and a Product Lifetime Volume of 5 year(s).

Teardown volume and production assumptions are primarily used for our cost analysis in terms of amortized NRE and tooling costs, especially for custom components specific to the model being analyzed (mechanical components especially). Unless assumed volumes are different by an order of magnitude, minor changes in volume (say 1 million vs. 2) rarely have a large net effect on our final analysis because of this.

Manufacturing Notes

It appears that most or all of the physical, structural components of this system - the main chassis, storage device drawer trays, and fan modules - are produced by Inventec Corporation, a Taiwanese ODM with manufacturing in China.

In cases where we are not able to identify who the manufacturer is of a card, we still account for EMS manufacturing costs in all of our analyses, and this accounts for country of origin for each level of assembly, however we may not know every intermediary (distributors, etc.) in the chain and therefore account for it in our supply chain summary.

Country of Origin

For the purposes of this analysis, we are assuming the following country(ies) of origin for each level of assembly, based on a combination of 'Made In' markings, and/or assumptions based on our knowledge of such equipment.

Box Contents - United States
Control Module - China
Drawer Module - China
Misc PCB Assemblies - China
Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly - China
Power Supply Module - United States

Country of origin assumptions relate directly to the associated cost of manufacturing, where calculated by iSuppli. In the cases of 'finished' sub-assemblies (such as hard drives or DIMM modules), we do not calculate internal manufacturing costs, but rather assess the market price of the finished product in which case country of origin assumptions may or may not have a direct effect on pricing.

Labor rates are applied directly only to hand inserted components and systems in our bill of materials, and although regional assumptions do, these new rates do not have a direct effect on our modeled calculations of placement costs for automated SMD assembly lines. "Auto inserted components (such as SMT components) placement costs are calculated by an iSuppli algorithm which allocates a cost per component based on the size and pincount of the device. This calculation is affected by country or region of origin as well.

NetApp 6600-0834 (E5460) Storage System - Disassembly View 2NetApp 6600-0834 (E5460) Storage System - Disassembly View 2

Design Complexity

Component counts by assembly and the number of assembly are indicators of design complexity and efficiency.

Component Qty: 1976 - Drawer Module
Component Qty: 3117 - Control Module
Component Qty: 130 - Box Contents
Component Qty: 324 - Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly
Component Qty: 2 - Power Supply Module
Component Qty: 191 - Misc PCB Assemblies
Component Qty: 5740 - Grand Total

Storage servers are complex looking, but actually are large arrays of mostly repeating circuitry and interconnects. When compared with the previous storage server (from HP) that we analyzed, this NetApp equipment seems almost exactly 'in line' with it's competition in terms of complexity and component count. They are very similar in this aspect.

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