NetApp CEO: Virtualization driving sluggish storage market

Storage companies are feeling the pain as companies cutting IT costs and overall spending, but the move to server virtualization is driving some demand.

Storage companies are feeling the pain of companies cutting IT costs and overall spending, but the move to server virtualization is driving some demand, according to NetApp CEO Dan Warmenhoven.

"The market is not robust, but it's not dead either," he said in an interview.

The economic downturn has changed the character of projects companies are undertaking, with them now trying to keep down costs and improve efficiency. "Right now there is only one thing on anybody's mind: I got to cut my budget and how are you going to help," said Warmenhoven.

CIO's will today go for projects that have a return on investment of no more than 12 months, and server virtualization and virtual desktops are on top of the list, according to Warmenhoven.

Currently, more than 20 percent of NetApp revenue is coming from virtual server environments, which is pretty big, Warmenhoven said.

"Generally, when you move aggressively to virtual servers and virtual desktops, there is also a reengineering of the storage infrastructure that goes with that, and that is driving some degree of demand," said Warmenhoven.

To simplify the move to a virtual world, NetApp has done a lot of integration work with VMware, in particular, to integrate NetApp capabilities under VMware's management interface, according to Warmenhoven.

The management integration includes features such as cloning and thin provisioning.

Cloning uses one physical image to create multiple virtual images without taking up additional physical storage space. It was first developed for database environments, but has turned out to be a good fit for virtual environments, and has become one of the economic drivers for virtualization, Warmenhoven said.

Many customers are at first cautious about turning both those features on. Anything new is a little scary, so customers first want to know who else is running it in a production environment, Warmenhoven said.

But if companies want to get the full potential of their virtualized environments they need to start using more advanced storage features, according to Warmenhoven.

To achieve that, NetApp has introduced the 50 percent Virtualization Guarantee Program for VMware, Citrix and Microsoft virtual environments -- the latter two where added last week.

The notion is that customers only have to buy half as much storage from NetApp as from any other vendor in the industry. For the offer to be valid, companies have to use a list of features that include thin provisioning and deduplication, which can reduce storage utilization by eliminating redundant data.

"This is the graphic demonstration of how the combination of all these storage-efficiency technologies collectively come together to provide a much more cost effective solution," said Warmenhoven.

If NetApp fails to live up to that promise, it will provide the additional capacity at no additional charge.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags storage virtualisationnetappdeduplication

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?