NetApp Responds

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Print this article Print


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NetApp's decision to kill off its StoreVault product, targeted to the SMB market and sold through NetApp's channel partner solution providers, is raising eyebrows across the industry, and opening up opportunities for the storage giant’s competition.

Julie Parrish, NetApp’s vice president of worldwide channel sales, says NetApp will focus resources on the vendor’s FAS2000 platform, and will release "channel-only FAS2020 NetApp Select Bundles that will provide our MSE customers with enterprise level performance at a mid-market price point along with easier ordering options," Parrish says. She adds that NetApp will continue to support the current S family customer base into 2012.

By consolidating this product platform, NetApp solution providers will have what Parrish calls a more "market-competitive set of products based on NetApp’s unified storage architecture," and also a more seamless upgrade path to higher-end NetApp storage products as customers’ businesses grow.

But Clifford believes many NetApp solution providers won’t see it that way, and will instead look to other vendors. He says many solution providers will feel betrayed after investing time and resources to deliver solutions based on the S family, and won’t want to take a chance that NetApp will burn them again.

"The cost and time inherent in the process of building a new client, convincing them that certain products are the best fit for their needs is extensive," Clifford says. "If you went through all that only to have them discontinue the product – that’s just unbelievable," he says.

Kornfeld says solution providers were shocked when the product was eliminated, since they’d invested so much into driving sales to their customers.

"It’s like, 'I have this product now – I paid for hardware, software, maintenance, and now you’re telling me I have to rip and replace?’" Kornfeld says.

Of course, this decision does open up avenues for Clifford’s firm to go after disgruntled NetApp customers who are looking for an alternative vendor, such as Compellent, with whom the Davenport Group partners.

"I can tell you that these customers will have a disinclination to go back to a vendor that’s burned them," Clifford says. "That said, we do see this as an opportunity and we will be putting plans together to identify some that client base and reach out to them," he says.


Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at Sharon.Linsenbach@ziffdavisenterprise.com.

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