Network Appliance eyes finance, energy sectors with storage grid tools

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Network Appliance Inc. is pushing ahead in the data storage arena by releasing new products that build on the company’s vision of being a unified storage player.

Company officials expect the offerings will fare well in Canada’s energy and financial sectors.

NetApp

announced the strategies with partners Cisco Systems and Veritas Software at its recent analysts’ event.

The companies’ portfolio of data protection and storage products include RAID-DP, which safeguards data from the failure of multiple disk drives, and an upgraded version of gFiler, which connects network-attached storage and storage area networking technologies.

A centrepiece of NetApp’s plan revolves around the storage grid, in which data back-end services are hooked up to a virtual supercomputer with custom CPUs and custom operations systems, said Dave Hitz, NetApp’s founder and executive vice-president of engineering.

Brian Babineau, a research analyst with the Milford, Mass.-based Enterprise Storage Group, said the market is hungry for these types of solutions.

“”I have multiple choices of cars, and I want the ones that do well in snow or do well in rain,”” he said by way of analogy. “”But if I have one, I can just change the tires. It’s much easier for me to manage.””

He added it’s much easier to manage a system if you’re only dealing with one vendor.

In Canada, NetApp plans to pursue the financial services and energy sectors, said Rob Salmon, senior vice-president, worldwide sales.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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