NetApp Acquires Riverbed's SteelStore Backup Line, Launches Massive Cloud Initiative and Partnerships

By Laura Stotler

In a move that will expand its portfolio of backup and storage offerings, NetApp, Inc. has acquired the SteelStore product line from Riverbed Technology in an $80 million deal. The announcement comes at the same time as NetApp is introducing a slew of new software, services and partnerships for simplifying data management across clouds.

SteelStore facilitates choice of backup applications and cloud providers for customers extending their data protection infrastructure to the cloud. As part of NetApp’s existing portfolio of offerings, the line provides cloud-integrated storage for secure backup of data to both private and public cloud environments.

The solutions support NetApp as well as third-party storage infrastructures and backup software and cloud providers. SteelStore also meets a number of encryption and security standards, enabling NetApp to provide customers with end-to-end security for data at rest as well as data in flight among cloud environments.

The acquisition is key, as NetApp has significantly beefed up its cloud strategy. The company has announced a new version of its NetApp clustered Data ONTAP operating system, its Cloud ONTAP OnCommand Cloud Manager and the NetApp Private Storage for Cloud solution. The updated offerings are geared toward helping customers choose hybrid cloud solutions and so they may enjoy a smooth and secure mix of private and public cloud resources.

"Hybrid clouds will be the backbone of IT today and tomorrow," said George Kurian, executive vice president of product operations at NetApp. "Our software improves the economics, flexibility, and business impact of a customer's existing infrastructure, while our cloud technology solutions give customers the needed confidence in our ability to help them navigate the future."

"We believe this is a sound transaction for both companies,” said Jerry M. Kennelly, chairman and CEO of Riverbed Technology, of the SteelStore acquisition. “The acquisition is a very logical extension to NetApp, a leader in data management and storage, and allows NetApp customers to extend existing backup, archive, and disaster recovery to the cloud."

The SteelStore product is expected to be available by the third quarter of 2015. In the meantime, NetApp is focusing on key cloud partnerships and announced that AWS is the first public cloud provider running Cloud ONTAP services. The company is collaborating with Microsoft Azure as well as Verizon cloud for inclusion in future releases.

On the private cloud front, the company has rolled out NetApp Private Storage (NPS) for SoftLayer (IBM) and has announced the NetApp Private Storage for Cloud product family. The line lets customers use multiple clouds and manage data through a single data storage device. Cloud connectivity has already been tested at several Equinix locations and other colocation facilities throughout the world. In addition to IBM, NetApp has rolled out NetApp Private Storage for AWS and NetApp Private Storage for Microsoft Azure.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

MSPToday Contributing Editor

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