NetApp buys Onaro to spark data centre diagnostics

Network Appliance Inc. added automated data centre management capabilities to its technology set with the purchase of privately held Onaro Inc. Thursday for an undisclosed sum.

NetApp expects to retain most of Onaro’s 65 employees and plans to add the operation to its storage management and application integration business unit, noted Jay Kidd, NetApp’s chief marketing officer.

For now, NetApp intends to maintain and sell Onaro’s product line as is — but renamed under its own brand. Kidd refused to provide any details of future cross-product or technology integration between the two organizations.

Onaro develops software that accumulates real-time information about IT architecture components such as servers, storage arrays, switches and host bus adapters. The company’s seven product SANscreen family automates several data centre functions.

NetApp plans to use Onaro’s data centre infrastructure modeling and predictive tool set to manage storage-area network (SAN) and network-attached storage (NAS) devices on physical and virtual server deployments, remarked Kidd. Because NetApp currently features over 3,000 customers running VMware, he said that is a logical target for Onaro’s software repertoire.

“The main thing Onaro brings is software that allows you to manage storage as a service and that becomes much more important in a virtualized server environment,” said Kidd. “You really can’t automate what you can’t manage, and you can’t manage what you can’t measure — the fact that Onaro can serve the needs of [SAN and NAS on virtualized infrastructure] was really important to us.”

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