NetApp founder Hitz talks clustering, convergence strategy

Headlines: NetApp founder and executive vice president Dave Hitz discusses the NetApp strategy toward technologies such as primary dedupe, clustering, converged infrastructure and virtual servers.

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Storage channel news roundup for July 2 to 9, 2012

NetApp founder Hitz talks company strategy for clustering, convergence

Dave Hitz, NetApp Inc.'s executive vice president, was one of the vendor’s founders in 1992 and has had a front row seat to a raft of changes in the data storage industry for 20 years. SearchStorage.com recently caught up with him to talk about NetApp storage strategy and industry trends, including clustering, converged infrastructure, storage for virtualization, primary deduplication and cloud storage.

SearchStorage.com: What is your current role at NetApp?

Hitz: My role is chief gadfly, possibly visionary. I started as a programmer. I’ve worked as outbound product evangelist and ran engineering for a while. I took a year off and wrote the book, got involved with transition planning from [CEOs] Dan [Warmenhoven] to Tom [Georgens], and started writing papers called future histories.

We’ve done a number of major transitions of the company. In the mid- to late-'90s we took a big bet on the Internet and grew up as a company. After the crash hit, we re-oriented again and based ourselves on virtualized applications. Then we placed a real big bet on server virtualization. Every five years we’ve re-invented ourselves as a company.

The bet we’re taking this time is on large-scale infrastructure for data, in particular.

See the full interview with Dave Hitz.

CommVault exec says Dell-Quest ‘no big deal’

Dave West said his phone has been ringing constantly since last Monday morning when Dell revealed it reached a deal to acquire Quest Software.

West is CommVault’s SVP of marketing and business development, and people want to know how the Dell-Quest deal will affect his company.

“I’ve been fielding a lot of questions over the last 24 hours,” West said this morning. “’What the hell does this mean to CommVault?’ because Dell is a significant distribution partner.’

“Well, it’s not as big a deal as some people think.”

The first reaction from a lot of people who follow the backup space to Dell-Quest was: what does this mean for Dell’s current backup partners Symantec and CommVault? Dell sells both of those vendors’ backup software bundled on its hardware. Now Dell has its NetVault physical and vRanger virtual backup applications from Quest to go with the AppAssure replication it acquired in February. And Dell executives make it clear they want to rely less on partners and more on their own products over the long term.

CommVault has more at stake than Symantec from Dell’s push into backup.

Read the full blog post on CommVault exec’s reaction to Dell’s buyout of Quest Software.

Medical center adopts Quantum deduplication to solve backup challenges

Chris Hale, who heads IT for Bend Medical Center in Bend, Ore., had a number of backup challenges including an aging tape loader and a growing backup window.

“We were backing up everything we should be backing up [to stay in compliance with state and federal regulations], like medical records, patient data, and other data,” Hale said. “Most of these [records] were kept in large or proprietary databases and individual record restoration was not timely or easy. We had to restore to an alternate location, extract what we needed, then restore/merge only what was needed.”

According to Hale, Bend was backing up to a partition of their SAN, then offloading to tape. “After a week on the SAN, data would be offloaded or backed up onto a Quantum Superloader 3 LTO-3 tape loader.”

However, the tape loader was constantly failing.

Read the full case study on Bend Medical Center’s upgrade to Quantum deduplication.

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