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June 20, 2012

NetApp revs storage smarts to make IT “immortal”

New version of OnTap operating system said to enhance agility

By Jason Stamper

NetApp announced that a new version of its Data OnTap storage operating system has helped it usher in a more agile storage infrastructure, which it is rather grandly saying helps IT to become "intelligent, immortal and infinite".

The firm said new platform features, products, and technologies with the latest release of Data OnTap software enable IT to better respond to changing business requirements and maintain non-disruptive operations.

The new capabilities are, for now at least, rather vague.

There is a new version of the Data OnTap storage operating system, which we are told combines rich data management with the architectural advantages of clustering. There’s mention of service automation and analytics, storage efficiency and virtual storage tiering – all of which were already NetApp capabilities to the best of our knowledge. Together these make IT intelligent, according to the firm.

The immortality comes from always-on availability, embedded data security and integrated data protection. And the ‘infinite scalability’ claim is put down to the ability to scale without adding more people or sacrificing performance; a unified architecture and secure multi-tenancy. The latter came out of work with Cisco and VMware (an alliance announced in January 2010).

Tom Georgens, president and CEO of NetApp, said OnTap now, "Combines the richest and most sophisticated data management platform with the architectural capabilities of clustering."

Still, NetApp must be doing something right. In the latest IDC figures it had leapfrogged IBM to become the second in the storage game by market share, behind EMC.

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