NetApp Acquires Data Center Management Specialist Akorri

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-01-12
 
 
 

Network storage maker NetApp bolstered its presence in the virtualized computing sector Jan. 12 with the announcement that will acquire data center management software maker Akorri Networks.

NetApp reported that this is an all-cash transaction without disclosing exactly how much cash it was going to spend.

Five-year-old and privately held Akorri, based in Littleton, Mass., produces software that IT administrators use to unify -- and make more efficient -- the management of their own virtualized infrastructures.

Akorri's BalancePoint cross-domain analytical software provides automated, infrastructure-wide visibility and analysis to help enterprises fix problems, optimize utilization, and improve performance for both virtual and physical servers and storage.

NetApp needed this kind of deep virtualization management IP to keep up with its competitors. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based storage maker plans to bundle its software with Akorri's to help immediately in its never-ending sales battle with storage market arch-enemies EMC, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard.

Cisco Systems, a partner with EMC, IBM and NetApp but not HP, also markets its own network-centric unifed computing system.

"The acquisition ... of Akorri Networks will help the company [NetApp] drive unit sales of unified storage," storage analyst Greg Richardson of Technology Business Research wrote in an advisory. "By leveraging Akorri's virtualization management portfolio, TBR expects NetApp to capitalize on Akorri's existing virtualization customer base as a means to cross-sell.

"Simultaneously, NetApp will pursue opportunities to bundle its acquired management tools and unified storage for virtual environments to drive further revenue and margin growth."

Virtualization is clearly the vehicle for NetApp's growth in unified storage, Richardson said. In 2010, NetApp management reported that more than 80 percent of storage buildouts in virtualized environments are built on unified platforms.

"The ability to accurately predict and manage performance and capacity requirements has been a common obstacle for many customers wanting to transition to a virtualized environment," said Manish Goel, Executive Vice President of Product Operations at NetApp. "Akorri strengthens NetApp's data management capabilities to achieve greater quality of service and performance in their virtual and cloud environments."

The acquisition is expected to close early this spring.

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