What a move: Netapp purchase Engenio external storage systems business from LSI! I think it is one of the greatest possible moves today. They will own a huge installed base of SMB customers and OEM agreements in place with many direct competitors! (IBM DS3000 and DS5000, Sun STK 6000, Dell Powervault arrays among others).

What does it mean?

  • NetApp now become a Oracle’s supplier: they settled months ago every ZFS/WAFL diatribe so now they are pretty much closer than ever… but, on the other hand, I’m just wondering why Oracle didn’t buy Engenio: now they are depending more than ever from a direct competitor (I think about the struggling 7000 ZFS storage).
  • IBM: there are no more reasons to sell DS5000 after the announcement of the V7000, but what about DS3000?  is IBM ready to use the Storwize V7000 technology in an entry level product? The good news is that IBM has already a partnership to resell NetApp’s FAS products so I don’t think they will have problems, at least  in the short term, with it.
  • Dell has the biggest problem: They have many satisfied powervault MD3x000 customers, will they continue to resell this product? By now I can’t imagine any alternative to Engenio products for them…

In few words: some big vendors could contribute to NetApp’s success or lose some money in the short term while figuring out an alternative.

Moreover, NetApp are entering in new markets: HPC, DAS (Direct attached Storage) and very small and cheap (without features) SANs. I’m sure they will not fail this new opportunity because they have an all-channel based business model and history tells that partners are great vehicles for SMB storage.

I repeat, a great move… I’m just wondering why the acquisition was not performed by any other vendor before (Dell and Oracle are the first of my list).