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Howard Marks
Howard Marks
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NetApp Kills Off DataFort; Encryption A Feature, Not A Product

Reports that NetApp is killing off the DataFort encryption product line it acquired with Decru in 2005 signals the last gasp of the once-promising storage encryption market. While we argued over Data Domain and whether deduplication was a product or a feature, the market decided that encryption alone does not a product make.

NetApp, on the other hand, has not managed to turn an acquisition into a successful product line. The company has had what can be called , at best, a modest success with Onaro's SANscreen SAN management tools and the NearStore VTL product line derived from Alacritus's technology. Topio's continuous data protection for heterogeneous environments became NetApp's ReplicatorX before the folks in the corner office decided to rename it, yet again, and kill it off.  

The jury's still out on the Bycast object storage tech that NetApp snapped up earlier this year, but I'm not that optimistic. The rumors I'm hearing are more about making Data OnTap and filers cloudier with Bycast tech than about NetApp really pushing a new object store product line a la EMC's Atmos.

Despite some well documented delays, NetApp has done better at integrating acquired technologies into Data OnTap with Orca, Troika and, most importantly, Spinaker tech, all of which make NetApp filers the Swiss army knives of storage they are today.

Howard Marks is founder and chief scientist at Deepstorage LLC, a storage consultancy and independent test lab based in Santa Fe, N.M. and concentrating on storage and data center networking. In more than 25 years of consulting, Marks has designed and implemented storage ... View Full Bio
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