Sometimes I get really confused when I read articles about NetApp’s strategic direction, a week seems to make a lot of difference. I have put together a few clips that I think Yogi would appreciate.
IBM to NetApp: Eat our chips Jo Maitland 11/02
According to rumblings among Wall Street analysts, the IBM-Network Appliance (NetApp) OEM deal may have stalled due to a surprise request by IBM. Word has it IBM has asked NetApp to port its Data OnTap 7G operating system to an IBM chip.
When IBM announced in April that it would OEM the majority of NetApp’s NAS filers, the market applauded. Analysts say the deal would mean a significantly wider distribution channel for NetApp and finally a formidable NAS product line for IBM. However, the two companies have clamped shut on talking about the arrangement since.
The first product resulting from the alliance, the IBM TotalStorage N3700 (NetApp’s FAS 270) entry-level box, began shipping in August. IBM is expected to deliver the rest of the product line by year’s end — just eight weeks away. If the chip rumor is true, it’s unlikely we’ll see these products any time soon.
What do you do if you are a front-runner in a hotly contested market segment where the leader’s crown is up for grabs virtually every quarter? If you’re IBM, you team up with NetApp to cover the weak spots in your storage line-up and make a charge for the pole position which is currently held by HP. Therein hangs a tale.
The IBM System Storage N5000 series comes from IBM’s reseller agreement with Network Appliance, is targeted at remote offices or enterprises with distributed environments and can be configured for disk-to-disk backup or archiving with write once, read many (WORM) capabilities.
“We’ve seen some hesitation from IBM in the past to stick with a given plan. They’ve been in and out of the NAS marketplace. This time they look happy with the product set,” said Dave Reine, an analyst at The Clipper Group.
Reine predicted that both products will sell well, not only because they are based on proven technology from NetApp, but because they now have the backing of IBM’s service support and end-to-end technology expertise for integrating the storage into any data center environment.
Am I the only one confused?