NetApp has announced their plans to acquire Akorri Networks. While the terms of the deal are unknown, we do know that Akorri raised over $50 million dollars in VC funding and that they have over 200 customers. We also know that Akorri “develops cross-domain analytical software solutions that optimize performance and utilization in the dynamic data center.”
Underneath the marketing literature, Akorri plays in the crowded space of Virtualization Capacity and Performance Management with a twist; they have concentrated on storage bottlenecks within a virtual infrastructure. Akorri supports VMware and Hyper-V as well as storage systems from NetApp, Dell, HP, IBM, LSI, EMC, and HDS.
Meanwhile, NetApp has become quite a virtualization storage powerhouse that includes FlexPod, a partnership with Cisco and VMware. Moreover, this is not NetApp’s first rodeo as they acquired Onaro, storage management software, in January of 2008. Unlike their competitors, NetApp managed to integrate rather than deprecate Onaro’s software, as it remains very much alive within NetApp’s software portfolio branded as OnCommand Management Software (OMS).
Why does this matter? While we are firmly within the grasps of an IT paradigm shift, there are major challenges that require both short-term band-aids and long-term solutions. After years of hiding behind the silo’d walls of IT, storage is such an area. Specifically, storage is becoming a major bottleneck for virtualization deployments and a major headache for traditional IT Management Frameworks.
Clearly, NetApp understands this challenge and I can only surmise that their customers are clamoring for a solution. Although Akorri does not address the long-term challenge, they do offer NetApp a nice band-aid with the ability to extend OMS to provide their customers a view into their virtualization storage bottlenecks. I’d expect two versions of this new solution offering both a NetApp only and an Expanded solution.
Meanwhile, it is time to address the long-term challenge of the next generation datacenter. Virtualization is an incredible technology, but we cannot forget the physical world that includes servers, storage, networking, and security. We cannot forget the applications, both old and new, that are the centerpiece of this revolution. We cannot forget the dynamics of a changing world and its hunger for ‘Green’ solutions. We cannot forget the tremendous complexities and pressures that the next-generation datacenter imposes on system engineers and their operation counterparts.
Ah, but that’s another blog post. For now, let’s celebrate that Akorri has found a new home while NetApp has added a nice band-aid to a complex problem.