Thursday, January 05, 2006

Consumer Electronics Show

I have to go to Las Vegas tomorrow to visit with a bunch of customers and associates at CES . It is always a fascinating show. After the CES, I will be traveling to Southern California to visit with several of our customers. The area from Santa Barbara to San Diego represents a significant portion of our NetApp service and support business.

As some of you may know we also support Arrowpoint load balancers. When Cisco purchased Arrowpoint a few years ago, many of these customers did not want to go on the upgrade path that Cisco offered. There were three OEM's of the Arrowpoint unit before the take over by Cisco. ATT, Alcatel and Zerowait. We were told that Zerowait was the largest OEM at the time of the purchase, I think we are the only one supporting these units anymore.

During the Internet boom of the late 1990's many of our customers were deploying large arrays of servers behind their load balancers, and these servers were connected to NetApp Filers to serve their SQL and Oracle databases. A lot of these customers are still running their NetApp F760's that we sold them, The F700 series is still reliable and under the 3 TB limits of the units, so these customers see no need to upgrade. With Zerowait support the 700 series is quite affordable to keep running.

Andy Monshaw of IBM was interviewed by Computerworld - click to read the complete interview

I found this portion of particular interest...

Do you see acquisitions playing heavily into your product road map in 2006?

We did the NetApp agreement and the Aperi thing. Now it's time to get into the OEM alliance and acquisition space. We've built a new team and we're engaged with over 30 potential spaces where this would make sense. So I'd say in 2006 this will be one of the space that will be pretty hot for us.

Would NetApp be a potential purchase for you?

I'm not going to comment on that.

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