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NetApp Respins Topio Lineup

Good news is worth repeating. That seems to be Network Appliance's take on ReplicatorX, the product it acquired with the $160 million purchase of Topio last year. (See NetApp Grabs Topio.)

This week, for at least the second time in nine months, NetApp will "announce" ReplicatorX's capabilities for multivendor and multisite replication. (See NetApp Re-Releases Topio and NetApp Repackages Topio.) It's part of a larger statement about enhancements to other data management products, including SnapDrive and Virtual File Manager (the software NetApp OEM's from Brocade).

"Three years ago, we would hear that our data management software was a liability," says Jay Kidd, SVP of NetApp's emerging products division. "Now we hear it's a major asset and a reason to buy NetApp."

Kidd's key message about ReplicatorX software, which runs as a package on rackmounted Windows, Unix, or Linux servers, is that it replicates block-level data on any kind of storage network, locally or remotely, to and from anyone's primary and/or secondary storage arrays -- anyone's. That means even if a customer wanted to replicate data from a NetApp filer to one from EMC, it's a go.

Who's not in favor of that? After all, heterogeneous software is the rallying cry of hardware vendors like EMC and NetApp who see the future of disk storage profits shrinking, even as opportunities for software increase.

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