Data Storage: NetApp at 20: 'Nice Little File Server Company' Grows Into $6B Storage Giant

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-06-08 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NetApp has come a long way from being known as a "nice little file server company" years ago, in the words of its Chairman and former longtime CEO Dan Warmenhoven. Since its birth 20 years ago, it has blossomed into one of the world's most successful independent data storage companies. NetApp is now the second-largest independent network-attached storage (NAS) maker/seller in the world behind EMC, and is No. 3 only to EMC and IBM in external disk storage, according to industry researcher IDC. NetApp's data storage products have won the respect of midrange and small and midsize business generally; larger enterprises are also buying NetApp's wares for various applications. NetApp has been instrumental in shaping how the storage industry looks today. This year, the company's 20th in business, marks a major milestone for NetApp. What began in 1992 as an idea sketched on a placemat has grown into a "model company," ranked as a top global place to work, with more than $6.2B in revenue and more than 11,500 employees. Here are some highlights of those 20 years.
 
 
 

1992: Hitz Parade Begins

NetApp founder Dave Hitz writes the first storage operating system with the Write Anywhere File Layout (WAFL), improving storage performance and efficiency.
1992: Hitz Parade Begins
 
 
 
 
 
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz
 
 
 
 
 
 

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