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NetApp Acquires Talon Storage, Brings ROBO Capabilities To NetApp's Cloud Tech

The acquisition gives NetApp the technology to help businesses centralize and manage NFS (file) and SMB (block) storage on any of the top three hyperscaler cloud providers or on-premises while keeping it easily accessible at the edge.

NetApp on Monday said it has acquired Talon Storage in a bid to centralize data from multiple offices to the cloud.

Talon storage is the developer of software that consolidates data from multiple remote and branch offices into a centralized location from which it is managed and then made available to users outside the central office.

It is a technology that complements what NetApp has been doing with its customers via its Data Fabric technology, said Vikram Bhatia, vice president of the go-to-market strategy for cloud and partnerships at Sunnyvale, Calif.-based NetApp.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: NetApp CEO George Kurian On Keystone, Clouds And Competition]

“Talon offers a remote office, back office solution which consolidates data from multiple locations," Bhatia told CRN. "The majority of our customers and Talon's customers look to do this on the cloud."

Companies with multiple offices from enterprises with international locations to small businesses with just a few locations are looking to synchronize and move data to centralized solutions and share to local caches for fast local access, Bhatia said.

The Talon Storage FAST technology already works with NetApp's cloud technologies, and NetApp has started working on integrating them with NetApp for a single management layer and single user interface, he said.

"A majority of Talon's installed base and upcoming customers already work with NetApp Cloud Volumes Services, Azure NetApp Files, and Cloud Volumes Ontap," he said. On these services, Talon makes a great fit."

A couple of NetApp's top channel partners said they are excited to see NetApp acquire Talon Storage as it will open up new opportunities with a wide range of potential customers.

Talon Storage is filling a big gap in NetApp's offerings, said Glenn Dekhayser, field chief technology officer at Red8, a Costa Mesa, Calif.-based solution provider and long-term NetApp channel partner.

"If there's a large national or international company with global data, they need to replicated data and send it to remote offices," Dekhayser told CRN. "And customers today want to store that data in the cloud and make it available to the edge and managed with file locking and fast caches. NetApp has its FlexCache technology, but it works only for NFS (network file system) data."

However, Dekhayser said, most companies also use a lot of data stored in the CIFS (common internet file system) or SMB (server message block) protocols.

"I have possible deals for NetApp that might not go to NetApp without this capability," he said. "FlexCache is NFS only. It's possible NetApp is losing deals because of this. This acquisition will push NetApp back in the game and help it defend its NAS business."

John Woodall, vice president of engineering at Integrated Archive Systems, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based solution provider and long-term NetApp channel partner, also noted that Talon Storage's FAST technology gives NetApp a way to centralize a wider range of data other than its traditional focus on data with the NFS protocol.

"Talon specifically called out its ability to work with Azure NetApp Files, Cloud Volumes Service for Google and AWS environments, and Cloud Volumes Ontap," Woodall told CRN. "Now NetApp has a product that federates all three hyperscalers and works with remote office and branch office data, and stitches in a layer to allow file sharing across multiple domains with a common namespace. This future-proofs NetApp Data Fabric, and is a fantastic acquisition."

Woodall said he has clients with such use cases as disaster recovery and data consolidation where the Talon Storage capabilities are increasingly important.

Terms of the acquisition, which has already closed, were not released, Bhatia said. However, he said, Talon Storage is a profitable company.

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