By Kevin Komiega
—Network Appliance this week announced it is repackaging and customizing its data-replication technology and targeting it at mixed-vendor storage environments in the hopes that the software's ability to move data to and from any vendor's storage system will spawn new sales of NetApp hardware for use as secondary storage.
NetApp announced four new offerings based on its ReplicatorX (formerly the Topio Data Protection Suite, or TDPS) replication software. The new products include enterprise and standard editions of ReplicatorX for heterogeneous disaster recovery, data migration, and cloning of production data for test and development, as well as a business continuity service provider offering.
Jay Kidd, senior vice president and general manager of Network Appliance's Emerging Products Group, says NetApp is mainly focused on selling ReplicatorX as a disaster-recovery solution for midrange and enterprise customers, but the company recognizes that the software can be used in numerous ways.
"We are largely focused on disaster recovery, but certain customers only need to migrate data for a short period of time or they need to make copies of data for testing and development," says Kidd.
ReplicatorX can "near-synchronously" replicate block data over any distance across heterogeneous infrastructures. Part of NetApp's game plan is to use ReplicatorX to gain a foothold in new customer accounts and boost sales by positioning its nearline storage products as targets for replicated data.
"With this release of ReplicatorX we're expanding the use cases for the technology and how we intend to go to market," says Kidd.
In related news, NetApp also enhanced its SnapDrive software (for server-storage management) and Virtual File Manager Enterprise Edition (VFM-EE) software (for file data management).
The new version of SnapDrive for Windows provides thin provisioning, snapshots, and deeper integration with Windows and Unix platforms, including the addition of rapid recovery capabilities. The latest version of VFM provides enhanced Unix support with the addition of optimized file data migration and management for RHEL 4.0 and Solaris 10.0.
Design and implementation services are available for deploying both ReplicatorX data cloning and disaster-recovery solutions in heterogeneous storage environments, as well as SnapDrive storage resource management and SAN management solutions. ReplicatorX implementation services include both a fixed-price Essentials Service and a custom Design and Implementation Service.