NetApp Acquires Storage Management Vendor Onaro

The small, Boston-based company provides a "nice fill" for NetApp's software lineup, an analyst says.

NetApp joined a growing group of large storage system makers in purchasing next-generation technology Jan. 3 when it announced it will acquire Onaro, a privately owned storage management company headquartered in Boston.

Financial terms were not made available.

In recent days, IBM acquired Israel-based storage provider XIV and Dell bought EqualLogic in major storage sector deals.

Onaro's software, now being deployed in 16 Fortune 50 companies-among others-enables IT managers to gather real-time information about data center components such as controllers, servers, storage arrays, switches and others. Onaros SANscreen product line automates a number of data center functions and has been a trend leader in that area.

Using this deep look into the operation of the data center, IT managers can make informed decisions about future storage provisioning, change management, application deployments and a host of other issues.
"What customers tell me they love about Onaro's tool is that every morning they get an e-mail telling them exactly what went on the night before," Enterprise Strategy Group storage analyst Bob Laliberte told eWEEK.

"Whatever somebody did on the system is recorded and reported. If a mistake was made-like somebody over-provisioning a server or array-that will show up; if someone tried to make a change of any kind, that will also be reported.

"This is a really cool move for NetApp; its a nice [technology] fill for them," Laliberte said. "The change management function was something they really needed. Change is the root of all evil-just ask any IT manager."

About 80 percent of all IT operational issues such as application outages, performance problems and downtime result from unwitting change, NetApp Product Manager Tom Georgens said at the company's Sunnyvale, Calif., headquarters.

"Customers tell us they are being asked to commit to almost impossible levels of service to avoid these problems, which drain precious resources," Georgens said. "Onaro enables us to provide the underlying modular storage architecture as well as policy-based storage management software that will help enterprises ... to navigate changes in their data centers."

NetApp expects to retain most of Onaro's 65 employees and plans to add the operation to its storage management and application integration business unit, Chief Marketing Officer Jay Kidd told eWEEK.

NetApp will sell and provide service for Onaro's product line through its VAR network but will rename it under its own brand, Kidd said.


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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...