NetApp Finds Strength in Partnerships, Bets on Flash Storage

Patrick Rogers, NetApp Vice President of Alliances, sat down at The Cube in the heart of the SAPphire 2011 conference with John Furrier and Dave Vellante.

Rogers began by discussing the current market demand from his company’s view point, and highlighted three main elements. These include cutting IT infrastructure costs, increase the efficiency of the system and boost time to market. These three factors are among the main drivers behind NetApp’s business, and come alongside business agility. Rogers detailed that this agility translates into reducing the time it takes to deploy a module or roll out an upgrade from months to weeks.

Deeper into the interview, the storage executive discussed his company’s position in the market.  According to Rogers, NetApp is currently the fourth largest company in the world in terms of storage shipped, with a share of roughly 20 percent of the global market. The company is also seeing an annual growth rate of 20 percent, which Rogers attributed to NetApp’s approach – focusing on growing market share, rather than just the scale of the company. He continued on, saying that just like in the case of other companies, partners represent a key aspect to NetApp’s strategy.

Rather than competing with the storage-infrastructure integrators on the market such as HP, NetApp partners up with them – with the main example being Cisco. This also allows the company to introduce the customer service factor to the loop, and Rogers continued to note that NetApp is one of the few companies that can offer customers immediately deployable solutions.

Switching from one topic from another, Rogers moved on to discuss yet another storage demand presented by the market: mobility. He said that now users can store certain data on their phones, and an increasing amount of enterprise customers choose more sensitive applications.

At the end of the interview, Rogers concluded by noting NetApp’s focus on flash drive and object-based storage in light of the growing demand.

In some more NetApp news from SAPphire, the company unveiled earlier this week, the latest fruit of its strong partnership with Microsoft.