With all the buzz around EMC's new announcements a smaller acquisition news didn't make the rounds as expected: NetApp buys Akorri.

Akorri has been featured during Stephen Foskett's Boston Tech Field Day, their flagship product is called "BalancePoint" and it's an agent-less performance analysis and capacity planning tool that promise a broad range of benefits ranging from optimizing your virtual infrastructure (both VMware and Hyper-V are supported), improve your storage utilization, troubleshoot your problems faster and probably solve world hunger too :-).

The product looks undoubtedly good on paper, and even if it promise to be deployable in just under one hour as a virtual appliance I didn't had the time to try it out yet, so I will focus on my thoughts on the acquisition move coming from NetApp.

What struck me the most when I saw the acquisition announce was a simple question: "Why?".

I mean, NetApp already has an incredible number of management interfaces available, each with its own distinctive feature set, many overlap with others and there's none that serve as a real "single pane of glass", just today I saw a comment on Dimitris Krekoukias' blog that literally say (referring to NetApp vs. EMC): "What I find ironic is that you have fewer OSes with more management consoles vs. more OSes with fewer management consoles….go figure.".

Now, EMC, in my opinion, is doing a terrific job with Unisphere, the tool is solid, and it keeps getting better and better (which is in stark contrast with their storage OSes that are more fragmented than ever before). and NetApp, which is doing great with their OnTap unified architecture on the storage side, should follow Unisphere in their approach to management consoles where they can also integrate with SanScreen (acquired with Onaro in 2008) which is already largely used by enterprises all around the world.

NetApp has a disastrous track for acquisitions, NetCache was bought and sold during the dotcom era, Spinnaker was bought in 2004 and to date isn't integrated with the original OnTap yet (Cluster mode is still an install-time only option), Topio technology has been acquired and abandoned in two years and they lose a bidding war for Data Domain to EMC (which has proven that DD is a real cash cow). Onaro and Bycast are too recent to be judged as successful so we'll see, I really hope that NetApp won't lose their focus starting to develop another management tool and interface to overlap once more with their already crowded offer.