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I applaud Network Appliance for officially changing its name to NetApp. Everybody called the company NetApp anyway, and that's 11 fewer keystrokes needed to type the name on first reference.
But I wonder if the change will do NetApp any good. Despite statements from its executives, the company isn't suffering from a lack of name recognition. Almost all mainstream NAS purchasers have NetApp on their short lists, so the company is well known among storage buyers.
If those same purchasers' companies fail to consider NetApp for other storage products, that's for reasons outside of its name. Maybe it's because enterprise shops don't yet take NetApp's FAS6000 seriously as a high-end SAN system, or because NetApp hasn't done a good job of integrating acquired technologies such as a clustered file system (Spinnaker), encryption (Decru) and replication software (Topio). Changing the name of the company fails to solve any of those problems.
This was first published in May 2008