Network Appliance's Onaro acquisition helps it to expand beyond NAS

* Why Network Appliance's purchase of Onaro is a good thing

If IBM's acquisition of Israeli start-up XIV Information Systems wasn't enough of a surprise so soon into the New Year, there was another surprise from Network Appliance, which bought storage management vendor Onaro. I've always been a fan of Onaro and its SANScreen product, which provides real-time analysis and monitoring of how storage, servers and network devices interact when faced with changes to the infrastructure.

Some industry bloggers like Chuck Hollis from rival EMC, question Network Appliances’ acquisition of this start-up saying the two companies are not a good fit. Others say they didn’t even know that Onaro’s SANScreen monitored network-attached storage (NAS) systems.

Trust me. Onaro just announced NAS Insight, which provides visibility into multiple NAS systems.

Onaro’s acquisition by Network Appliance is a good thing, especially as Network Appliance expands from being a vendor of just NAS to one which provides unified Fibre Channel, iSCSI and NAS storage.

The acquisition has been rumored to be worth $120 million. If true, that is a small price to pay for the value Network Appliance receives from Onaro’s technology. And it’s a pretty good return on investment for the venture capitalists that have put only $9.5 million in Onaro to date.

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