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File Virtualization Poised for Upgrades

Network file virtualization has emerged from a cutting-edge technology into one that's generally accepted in many large data centers. But after a slew of mergers, a new generation of products is due. And it's not clear whether customers will get what they expect, when they expect it.

Case in point: F5 has unveiled the roadmap for its $210 million Acopia acquisition, talking up more scalable platforms and better integration with F5's WAN optimization gear. But F5 is projecting a 12-month timeframe for full rollout.

At the same time, Cisco, which grabbed NeoPath for an undisclosed fee in March 2007, remains mum on what it's going to do with it. "We're busily integrating the NeoPath technology, but
not prepared to share exactly how yet, externally," says Cisco spokeswoman Lee Davis.

And, EMC, which acquired Rainfinity for $100 million in 2005, plans a series of enhancements this quarter, though spokesman Kevin Kempskie won't specify what those will be. He does state that revenue growth for Rainfinity continues in the "double digit" range and cites "considerable customer win momentum since the acquisition."

At least one analyst thinks these and other vendors, including Brocade, which purchased NuView in March 2006 for $60 million, and startup Attune, need to look at customer needs in several areas.

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