NetApp ups channel commitment

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US-based storage vendor Network Appliance has flagged a bigger channel push locally as part of its drive into grid-style storage next year.

US-based storage vendor Network Appliance (NetApp) has flagged a bigger channel push locally as part of its drive into grid-style storage next year.

Simon Green, managing director at NetApp Australia, said the channel was becoming increasingly important to NetApp. The storage vendor used to do most of its sales direct, but was moving towards a 50:50 channel model, he said.

Green was speaking at a Sydney launch for NetApp's latest product moves towards storage grid computing. NetApp believes grid computing is critical to its vision of providing cheaper, more effective storage systems for businesses.

The vendor released what it claimed was the world's first dynamic virtualisation engine, Data ONTAP 7G. NetApp reckoned the software could double storage utilisation, help applications function better and cut storage management costs.

Patrick Rogers, vice-president for partners and solutions at NetApp, said Data ONTAP 7G was the most significant announcement the vendor had made in the last 12 months.

“It's about doing more with less,” he said. “It is moving us along the path towards this idea of a storage utility, where people can pool applications, et cetera, as you need them.”

Rogers said the engine could aggregate storage components into intelligent, self-optimising capacity pools and help tailor data management functions to individual application data sets. 

Data ONTAP 7G did its allocating and utilising of storage resources automatically and dynamically, he said.

“It's about trying to bring storage virtualisation to the market in a way that's easy to use,” Rogers said.

NetApp had also released the next version of its enterprise gFiler Storage System for SANs. gFiler consoliadtes NAS and SAN data access.

Rogers said the new gFiler had been extended to support HP's StorageWorks XP Disk series and IBM TotalStorage DS4000 arrays as well as IBM Enterprise Storage Server, Sun StorEdge and Hitachi Data Systems storage.

NetApp reported 36 percent revenue growth year on year to US375.2 million for the second quarter of the 2004-05 financial year. Revenue for the first six months of 2004-05 totalled US$733.6 million, an increase of 37 percent year over year.

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