NetApp and Data Domain

Over the last week many people have asked my opinion of this acquisition. I was not surprised that NetApp purchased Data Domain, I know quite a few former NetApp folks who work there, and it will be interesting to see how they are re integrated into the NetApp fold. I think Ken Hibbard is perhaps the most senior former NetApp employee to be rejoining the company .

From Hoovers. com Mr Hibbard comes to Data Domain from Network Appliance, where he was vice president of product engineering. He has joined Network Appliance in 1998 and was named vice president of software development in February of 2000. In January of 2001, he became vice president of product development and East Coast operations.

It looks as if the Data Domain folks understand the NetApp product development cycle and therefore may be able to integrate their products into the NetApp Line card a lot quicker than the Spinnaker products have been integrated. I certainly hope that the integration of Data Domain’s customers and employees works out better for them than the Topio acquisition did for their customers and employees.

NetApp is closing down its Snap Mirror for Open Systems product, which came as the main part of its $160 million Topio acquisition.

Topio was bought in November, 2006, and its main product was an any-source-to-any-destination replication product called the Topio Data Protection Suite.

According to an article in CXO

... Data Domain lacks the customer base of large vendors and has been facing market challenges competing against Quantum.

In today’s environment customers are looking for the best value they can get for their storage dollar. The question will be if NetApp can sell Data Domain products at an aggressive enough price point, after paying such a premium for the company?

Over the next few months it will be interesting to see if NetApp can integrate Data Domain offerings into their product line and execute a sales strategy that works better than their recently ended Storevault strategy did.

6:31 PM EST Tue. Feb. 03, 2009 NetApp has quietly decided to kill its line of storage appliances for SMBs, a move which caused mixed feelings in the storage vendor’s solution provider community. NetApp told some users and partners that it has decided to end the availability of its S550 platform, which was the last product in its StoreVault line of appliances. NetApp unveiled its StoreVault line in May of 2006 as a way of entering the SMB market.

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