NetApp takes aim at White Box Vendors
Posted on Friday, January 15, 2016
In a move to help reassert itself in the enterprise storage arena, NetApp has announced plans to buy SolidFire for $870 million. SolidFire, an up-and-coming provider of all flash arrays (AFA), is seen as an important move towards providing customers with better performing infrastructure.
Although NetApp already has its own AFA range, including the EF Series, the SolidFire acquisition increases the choice available to their customers. According to SolidFire, arrays built using their technology can be scaled out to accommodate 1.9 petabytes of data.
Not just about expanding the product range
Taking SolidFire into the NetApp fold will obviously help to improve the range and quality of storage products on offer to clients. This will also increase options for NetApp support & maintenance. But NetApp are also thinking longer term.
The storage market, with the assistance of cloud services, is quickly fragmenting, as budget-conscious CTOs try to do more with less. Enterprises are realising additional value by taking out post-warranty support contracts for arrays officially classed as EoSL, giving them more usable storage and reducing capital expenditure.
At the same time, the datacenter is becoming increasingly vendor agnostic, as CTOs choose storage that best suits their needs and budget. Software defined storage, which treats infrastructure as a commodity built from any vendor’s hardware, is also gaining in popularity, moving many businesses away from the traditional homogenous environment.
Into these mixed environments, white box vendors are successfully eating into NetApp market share. However, the SolidFire acquisition is hoped to lower the total cost of AFAs, allowing NetApp to fight white box vendors more effectively. Positioning itself in this way, NetApp offers an alternative to software-defined storage platforms and cloud services, allowing customers to continue to reap the interoperability benefits of homogenous datacenter.
The SolidFire deal has yet to complete, so in the meantime CTOs may find that extending the lifespan of their current equipment now (even if it has been declared EoSL), allows them greater choice in the future.