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NetApp Nudges Closer to New OS

NetApp, which is about to unveil its long-awaited GX operating system, warned this week that it could be years before the new technology converges with its existing 7G OS.

GX, which will include elements of the Spinnaker technology NetApp acquired more than two years ago, will be demo'd at the vendor's analyst day next week, before initial deployment on NetApp's FAS 3000 devices. (See EMC, NetApp Ready New Wares, NetApp Makes Virtual Upgrade, NetApp Freshens What's OnTap , and NetApp Annexes Spinnaker.)

Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Semiconductor and Systems Conference in Dana Point, California, this week, NetApp CFO Steve Gomo promised that it will be a long time before GX, which is aimed at data intensive applications such as seismic research, converges with 7G. "It could take years," he said, adding that, over time, the two products will eventually share more and more features.

For one potential user, ease of use is a far bigger worry than running two operating systems at the same time. Mark Mayo, systems coordinator at the Michael Smith Genome Research Center in Vancouver, British Columbia, who already uses NAS 3050 boxes, told Byte and Switch that his main concern is whether GX emulates the look and feel of 7G. "As long as they model the behavior, I don't think it's going to be a big deal, but if it behaves differently and unexpectedly I would be worried about that."

Ease of use, in particular, is Mayo's top priority: "7G is remarkably easy to use compared to some of NetApp's competitors. It's all going to come down to whether the new operating system feels like a filer."

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