NetApp Gets Detailed on Topio Acquisition

Q&A: Network Appliance talks with eWEEK about its finalized acquisition of Topio and its expansion into the disaster recovery fray of the storage market.

NetApp is officially growing.

Network Appliance announced Dec. 8 that it has finalized its acquisition of California-based Topio, a data replication and data recovery software provider, for approximately $160 million in an all-cash transaction.

The acquisition, which was originally announced in early November of this year, allows Topio to retain its name as a new business unit within NetApp.

NetApp gains Topios Data Protection Suite of enterprise class software for data replication, recovery and continuous data sharing. Topios Data Protection Suite of products also includes data migration and backup consolidation.

In an e-mail question-and-answer session with eWEEK, Patrick Rogers, vice president of Products and Partners at Network Appliances, went into greater detail about what this acquisition will do for business users including its goals, benefits and future. The following is from that correspondence:

What does Network Appliance hope to accomplish with the acquisition of Topio?

The Topio acquisition expands the NetApp heterogeneous data protection portfolio. Topio adds heterogeneous disaster recovery capabilities to NetApps already strong portfolio of heterogeneous disk-to-disk backup solutions.

Topio will enable NetApp to build on its momentum in the data center by enabling customers with production data on other vendors SAN (storage area network) storage to easily replicate their data to NetApp SAN storage, and create multiple clones of their data rapidly and cost-efficiently for uses such as application development and testing.

Given that most enterprise customers tend to store 10 to 20 copies of their primary data for a variety of uses, this presents a significant market opportunity for NetApp.

The addition of Topio to NetApp will help accelerate the migration of customers using legacy storage systems to NetApp SAN storage systems.

How will Topio improve your storage product offerings?

The combination of Topio software and NetApp proven data management solutions will enable enterprises to safely, reliably and non-disruptively replicate their production data on any vendor system—including EMC, HP, or HDS—to any NetApp storage system.

How will this acquisition benefit business users?

While the combination of Topio and NetApp can deliver several solutions for managing data in the enterprise, two user scenarios are distinct and extremely compelling to customers.

With Topio, customers can replicate data on heterogeneous storage, including storage systems from vendors such as EMC, HP and Hitachi, to NetApp storage systems. This allows customers to consolidate all their data for disaster recovery (DR) on a single, reliable and scalable storage architecture from NetApp that is cost-effective and easy to deploy and manage.

As NetApp offers storage platforms with a broad range of price/performance options--all running on the same Data ONTAP architecture--customers have the power to implement a tiered DR infrastructure while maintaining architectural simplicity, which delivers significant operational efficiencies and lowers TCO (total cost of ownership).

Fundamentally, with the combination of Topio and NetApp storage systems, enterprise customers will be able to protect more of their application data reliably from site and regional failures with their allocated budgets.

Topio also enables enterprise customers using any storage for their production data (from EMC, HP, Hitachi, etc.), to replicate data non-disruptively to a NetApp storage system and take advantage of NetApp FlexClone technology, which allows customers to near-instantaneously create multiple clones of data without any additional storage requirements.

As an average enterprise creates and stores anywhere between 10 and 20 copies of data for a variety of uses such as application development and testing, the storage savings created by FlexClones combined with the time savings—reduction of clone creation times from days to just seconds—will add up to significant economic benefits to any enterprise.

Why acquire Topio and not a different data protection software provider?

Topio, a NetApp strategic partner, is highly regarded for its innovative software which helps customers replicate, recover and protect data over any distance regardless of the underlying server or storage infrastructure.


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