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NetApp discontinues replication app

NetApp today quietly pulled the plug on its SnapMirror for Open Systems (SMOS) heterogeneous data replication software, acquired from startup Topio for $160 million in 2006.

In a press release posted on the NetApp Web site – but not distributed – the vendor said it would discontinue SMOS and close the former Topio development facility in Haifa, Israel on Jan. 15. According to the release, NetApp “has not made final employment decisions” on the 51 employees in Haifa.

NetApp acquired Topio for its Data Protection Suite, at least partly in response to EMC’s purchase of Kashya six months before. But while EMC built Kashya’s replication and CDP into RecoverPoint – a staple of its replication platform — Topio’s heterogeneous replication offering never caught on, even after NetApp re-released it as ReplicatorX and then SMOS.

NetApp’s release blames the product’s failure on a lack of interest in replication between multiple vendors’ products. “Our decision to terminate SMOS product development was based on customer priorities and actual purchase histories,” the release said. “The market for replication products for disaster recovery purposes is dominated by homogeneous, rather than multivendor, solutions. Our ‘any-to-any’ solution with SMOS was never adopted by customers in the way we anticipated.”

NetApp added that it remains committed to its other SnapMirror versions for “any-to-NetApp” data protection. SMOS customers will get three years of maintenance and technical support.