NetApp Acquires Object Storage Provider Bycast

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-04-07

NetApp revealed April 7 that it will acquire Bycast, a privately held storage software maker, in an all-cash transaction. Other details of the deal were not made available.

Bycast, based in Vancouver, B.C., develops object-based storage software that manages petabyte-scale, globally distributed repositories of images, video and records for enterprises.

The company services about 250 enterprises worldwide. Its software for arrays specializes in improving operational efficiency and reducing the tedious administrative burden of moving and storing huge volumes across multiple geographies.

NetApp already provides connectivity and protocols for Fibre Channel, iSCSI, NFS, SIFS and FCoE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet) but did not have an object-based storage option until now.

Object-oriented storage is a growing segment in data storage, due largely to the continued high proliferation of business data in all its forms: files, backups of files, data chunks and others.

Examples of this would be storage of medical records (documents, photos and graphics, as well as all of their backups) and long-term archiving of various types of documents-including audio, video and graphics.

Important Add for NetApp

"This is an important next addition to our unified storage structure," Jay Kidd, NetApp senior vice president of product strategy and development, told eWEEK.

"A growing segment of our customers are looking at this type of storage. Some of them have already built their own repositories of this type, but now they want to do this across various global locations and want consistency in access."

Object-oriented storage differs from unstructured file storage in that the objects filed are not housed in volumes or attached to a directory. Objects are simply assigned an ID number or name with detailed metadata and can be retrieved at any time.

A use case for this would be a media company deploying object-based storage to provide its graphic artists around the world with the ability to simultaneously access data and collaborate on common projects, Kidd said.

With the acquisition of Bycast, Kidd said, NetApp broadens its capabilities in serving key verticals such as digital media, Web 2.0, health care and cloud service providers.


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