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In a move that highlights momentum in consumer and SMB data storage, Netgear will pay $60 million in cash to buy Infrant, a six-year-old supplier of consumer NAS devices, sometime this quarter. (See Netgear to Acquire Infrant.)

Netgear will pay out $20 million more to Infrant shareholders over a three-year period if specific revenue targets are reached.

Netgear, based in Santa Clara, Calif., will take on all of Infrant's 34 full-time employees, who work in Fremont, Calif. The CEO of Infrant, Paul Tien, will become VP and GM of storage products at Netgear.

Netgear plans to add Infrant's products as is to its Storage Central series, which includes small, proprietary IP SANs OEM'd from Zetera that can be used on Ethernet or wireless LANs. (See SMBs Get Their Backup, Top 10 Startups to Watch, and Storage for the Consumer.) Netgear also has an EVA8000 Digital Entertainer HD unit that streams multimedia data from
PCs, NAS boxes, and other devices to a TV.

"We've had no NAS up to now. We have our own small SAN, and we have a tremendous channel to the SMB," says Netgear CEO Patrick Lo. Presently, storage accounts for a small percentage of Netgear's roughly $600 million annual sales; Lo would like to see that grow to at least $50 million.

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