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NetApp, Inc.
Traded as
Industry Storage device
Founded 1992; 26 years ago (1992)
Founder David Hitz
James Lau
Michael Malcolm
Headquarters 495 East Java Drive
Sunnyvale, California
, United States
Area served
Key people
George Kurian (CEO)
Mike Nevens (Chairman of the Board)
Products Data storage hardware and software
Revenue Decrease $5.54 billion (2016)[1]
Decrease $348 million (2016)[1]
Decrease $229 million (2016)[1]
Total assets Increase $10.03 billion (2016)[1]
Total equity Decrease $2.88 billion (2016)[1]
Number of employees
10,700 (2016)[2]

NetApp, Inc. is an American multinational storage and data management company headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. It has ranked in the Fortune 500 since 2012.[3] Founded in 1992[4] with an IPO in 1995,[2] NetApp offers software, systems and services to manage and store data, including its proprietary Data ONTAP operating system.[5]


NetApp headquarters in Sunnyvale, California

NetApp was founded in 1992 by David Hitz, James Lau,[6] and Michael Malcolm.[4][7] At the time, its major competitor was Auspex Systems. In 1994, NetApp received venture capital funding from Sequoia Capital.[8] It had its initial public offering in 1995. NetApp thrived in the internet bubble years of the mid 1990s to 2001, during which the company grew to $1 billion in annual revenue. After the bubble burst, NetApp's revenues quickly declined to $800 million in its fiscal year 2002. Since then, the company's revenue has steadily climbed.

In 2006, NetApp sold the NetCache product line to Blue Coat Systems. In 2014, NetApp acquired Riverbed Technology's SteelStore line of data backup and protection products,[9] which it later renamed as AltaVault.[10] On June 1, 2015, Tom Georgens stepped down as CEO and was replaced by George Kurian.[11][12]

In December 2015 (closing in January 2016), NetApp acquired flash storage vendor SolidFire for $870 million.[13]


NetApp competes in the computer data storage hardware industry.[14] In 2009, NetApp ranked second in market capitalization in its industry behind EMC Corporation, now Dell EMC, and ahead of Seagate Technology, Western Digital, Brocade, Imation, and Quantum.[15] In total revenue of 2009, NetApp ranked behind EMC, Seagate, Western Digital, and ahead of Imation, Brocade, Xyratex, and Hutchinson Technology.[16] According to a 2014 IDC report, NetApp ranked second in the network storage industry "Big 5's list", behind EMC(DELL), and ahead of IBM, HP and Hitachi.[17]


NetApp's OnCommand management software controls and automates data-storage.[18]

NetApp FAS and AFF

NetApp FAS3240 (second from bottom) with three DS4243 shelves on top

NetApp's FAS (Fabric-Attached Storage) and AFF (All-Flash FAS) serve as the company's flagship products. Such a product is made up of a storage controller (historically referred to as a 'filer'), and one or more enclosures of hard disks, known as shelves. In entry-level systems, the drives may be physically located in the storage controller itself.

In the early 1990s, NetApp's storage systems initially offered NFS and SMB protocols based on standard local area networks (LANs), whereas block storage consolidation required storage area networks (SANs) implemented with the Fibre Channel (FC) protocol.

In 2002, in an attempt to increase market share, NetApp added block-storage access as well, supporting the Fiber Channel and iSCSI protocols. As of 2016 NetApp systems support Fiber Channel, iSCSI, and the Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) protocol.


The filers use NetApp's proprietary operating system called Data ONTAP, later renamed to ONTAP which includes code from Berkeley Net/2 BSD Unix, Spinnaker Networks technology and other operating systems.[19] There are three ONTAP platforms: FAS/AFF systems, software on commodity servers (ONTAP Select) as virtual machine or in the cloud (ONTAP Cloud).


Previously known as Riverbed SteelStore after NetApp acquisition the product renamed to AltaVault. AltaVault is available in three forms: as hardware appliance, virtual appliance and cloud appliance. Data placed on NAS share on AltaVault deduplicated, compressed, encrypted and transferred to an Object Protocols like S3, thus AltaVault appears as transparent gateway for archiving data to a private or public cloud.


SolidFire QoS

Storage system uses OS called Element X and designed for SSD and scale-out architecture with ability to expand up to 100 nodes and provide access to data through SAN protocols iSCSI natively and Fiber Channel with two gateway nodes. SolidFire uses iSCSI login redirection to distribute reads and writes across the cluster[20]. This architecture does not have disk shelves like traditional storage systems and expands with adding nodes to the cluster. Each node have pre-installed SSD drives. Each node can have only one type of SSD drives with the same capacity. Each SolidFire cluster can have mix of different nodes. Such architecture allows users to expand performance and capacity separately as needed. Also SolidFire have ability to set tree types of QoS for its LUNs: minimum, maximum and burst. Burst is used as a credits which was not used by the LUN while it was not received it's maximums. Element X available as software-only on commodity servers.


Previously known as LSI Engenio after NetApp acquisition the product renamed to NetApp E-Series. It is a general purpose enterprise storage system with two controllers for SAN protocols like Fiber Channel, iSCSI, SAS and Infiniband (includes SRP, iSER, and NVMe over Fabrics protocol). NetApp E-Series platform uses proprietary OS SANtricity and proprietary RAID called Dynamic Disk Pool (DDP) alongside with traditional RAIDs like RAID 10 and RAID 5.


StorageGRID is purpose-build proprietary storage system based on NetApp's E-Series systems which provide access to data via object IP-based protocols like Amazon S3 and OpenStack Swift. StorageGRID is clustered storage system with ability to make and store multiple copies (replicas) of objects (Replication Factor) or in Erasure Coding (EC) manner among cluster storage nodes with object granularity based on configured policies for data availability and durability purposes. All the data could be accessed through any storage node in a StorageGRID cluster regardless where they physically located. StorageGRID provide integration with Amazon's S3 service which can be used as Archive Level for objects or as party which accepting replica from StorageGRID. StorageGRID allows users to configure data Life Cycle Management (ILM) policies on per-object level to automatically satisfy and conform changes in the cluster once changes introduced to the cluster like cost of network usage, storage media usage changes a node was added or removed etc. For example it is possible to configure the system to move each new object to fastest media and store 3 replicas each on separate node; and as for objects which wasn't assessed for few years to move them to cheapest storage media or if there will be added new storage node with the cheapest storage media to the cluster, those objects will be moved there automatically and then remove all the replicas of those objects and create Erasure Codding instead. It is also possible to configure the system to make copies or move objects automatically to those storage nodes where they requested the most. StorageGRID was developed by company Bycast and acquired by NetApp in 2010. StorageGRID also available as software-only system on commodity servers. ONTAP, AltaVault, SANtricity and Element X are able to replicate data to StorageGRID systems.



Syrian surveillance

In November 2011, during the 2011 Syrian uprising, NetApp was named as one of several companies whose products were being used in the Syrian government crackdown. The equipment was allegedly sold to the Syrians by an authorized NetApp reseller.[21]

On April 7, 2014, NetApp was notified by the US Department of Commerce "that it had completed its review of this matter and determined that NetApp had not violated the U.S. export laws", and that the file on the matter had been closed.[22]

Legal dispute with Sun Microsystems

In September 2007, NetApp started proceedings against Sun Microsystems, claiming that the ZFS File System developed by Sun infringed its patents.[23] The following month, Sun announced plans to countersue based on alleged misuse by NetApp of Sun's own patented technology.[24] Several of NetApp's patent claims were rejected on the basis of prior art after re-examination by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.[25] On September 9, 2010, NetApp announced an agreement with Oracle Corporation (the new owner of Sun Microsystems) to dismiss the suits.[26]


NetApp was listed amongst Silicon Valley Top 25 Corporate Philanthropists in 2013.[27]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "NetApp Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2015 Results" (PDF). NetApp. 24 April 2015. Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "FAQs". NetApp. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  3. ^ "NetApp". Fortune 500. Time Inc. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Corporate brief". NetApp. Retrieved September 27, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Company Snapshot" (PDF). NetApp. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "Executive Bios". NetApp. 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  7. ^ "Michael Malcolm Resigns as Chairman of the Board of CacheFlow to Focus on New Start-Up Opportunity". Business Wire. 13 November 2000. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  8. ^ "Sequoia Capital funds NetApp". 
  9. ^ Gagliordi, Natalie (27 October 2014). "NetApp buys Riverbed Technology's Steelstore business". ZDNet. Retrieved 22 March 2016. 
  10. ^ Adshead, Antony (18 May 2015). "NetApp launches AltaVault hybrid cloud backup appliance family". ComputerWeekly. Retrieved 22 March 2016. 
  11. ^ "NetApp Announces Changes to Executive Leadership Team and Board of Directors". NetApp. 2015-06-01. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  12. ^ "NetApp Announces Changes to Executive Leadership Team and Board of Directors". 2015-06-01. Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  13. ^ Jordan Novet (December 21, 2015). "NetApp acquires flash storage vendor SolidFire for $870M". Venture Beat. Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Industry Center - Data Storage Devices Overview". Yahoo! Finance. 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  15. ^ "Industry Center - Data Storage Devices, Leaders in Market Capitalization". Yahoo! Finance. 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  16. ^ "Industry Center - Data Storage Devices, Leaders in Total Revenue (ttm)". Yahoo! Finance. 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  17. ^ "How EMC Lines Up Against NetApp, HP, IBM, Hitachi In Storage Systems Market". Forbes. 
  18. ^ Raj, Pethuru; Raman, Anupama; Nagaraj, Dhivya; Duggirala, Siddhartha (2015). High-Performance Big-Data Analytics: Computing Systems and Approaches. Computer Communications and Networks. Springer. p. 242. ISBN 9783319207445. Retrieved 2016-02-09. NetApp OnCommand management software and Cisco Unified Computing System Manager tools help you optimize your server and network environment, handling hundreds of resources for thousands of virtual machines. OnCommand controls and automates your data storage infrastructure. 
  19. ^ "Is Data ONTAP Based On UNIX?". 2007-04-27. Archived from the original on 2013-01-30. Retrieved 2016-06-11. 
  20. ^ Andy Banta (19 May 2016). "Why SolidFire Uses iSCSI Storage Protocol". NetApp. Archived from the original (url) on 2017-11-18. Retrieved 12 December 2017.  (in English)
  21. ^ "Companies That Aid Syria Crackdown Deserve Sanctions' Slap: View". Businessweek. 2011-11-14. Archived from the original on 2013-05-02. Retrieved 2012-03-25. 
  22. ^ "NetApp response to allegations of potential use of equipment in Syria". NetApp. 2014-04-09. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  23. ^ "NetApp files patent suit against Sun". September 5, 2007. 
  24. ^ "Sun plans to countersue NetApp". October 24, 2007. 
  25. ^ "NetApp Patent Lawsuit Against ZFS Open Source Technology". Archived from the original on 2010-11-09. Retrieved August 13, 2010. 
  26. ^ "Oracle, NetApp agree to settle ZFS patent litigation". September 10, 2010. Retrieved September 10, 2010. 
  27. ^ "Corporate philanthropy: Meet Silicon Valley's 25 most generous companies". 

Further reading

  • "Serving up storage solutions: Network Appliance CEO Dan Warmenhoven puts data in its place". Communication News: 22–24. August 2001. ISSN 0010-3632. Archived from the original on 2001-08-09. 

External links

  • NetApp
    • Business data for NetApp: Google Finance
    • Yahoo! Finance
    • Reuters
    • SEC filings
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