NetApp Focuses On Cloud Storage With Akorri Acquisition

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NetApp's planned acquisition of Akorri Networks could give the storage vendor the ability to expand its cloud computing technology and better compete against its rival EMC.

NetApp on Wednesday said it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Akorri for technology it said will help it automate, analyze, and manage IT infrastructures.

Littleton, Mass.-based Akorri's flagship product, BalancePoint, is virtual infrastructure management software that provides analysis across virtualization layers and technology silos for virtual and physical server and storage infrastructure.

Paul Turner, general manager of NetApp's SANscreen Business Unit, which is responsible for technology that turns IT into a service, wrote in an e-mail response to CRN questions that the proposed acquisition of Akorri adds management capabilities for cloud and virtualized infrastructures because it allows customers to more predictably manage their shared storage infrastructure with strong performance and capacity management.

"We believe the Akorri acquisition will extend NetApp’s success as a leader for cloud storage," Turner wrote.

NetApp plans to use Akorri to augment the NetApp OnCommand management software with performance and capacity analytics to improve visibility across the entire IT stack, including applications, servers, networks, and storage, Turner wrote.

"Akorri strengthens NetApp’s capabilities for shared IT infrastructure, enabling customers to further improve IT efficiency and flexibility through functions that help control, automate, and analyze their shared IT infrastructure," he wrote.

Akorri had a 100 percent channel go-to-market strategy with over 60 partners, many of whom are also NetApp partners, Turner wrote. Once the deal closes, Akorri’s products will be integrated in the OnCommand family of management products, which all NetApp partners are authorized to sell. "All Akorri partners will be invited to join the NetApp Partner Program," he wrote. "Those that choose to join will be authorized to sell NetApp products."

One of Akorri's top partners actually had a hand in bringing the vendor to the table to make a deal with NetApp that would make NetApp a better competitor against EMC.

Jamie Shepard, executive vice president of technology solutions at ICI, a Marlborough, Mass.-based solution provider and the "Akorri Global Partner of the Year 2010," said he provided information to Akorri that helped seal the deal and in the process strengthen NetApp against EMC, which also happens to be ICI's biggest vendor partner.


Next: Making The Deal With Help From A VAR

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