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NetApp's not actively shopping

In the wake of Dell’s $1.15 billion acquisition of 3PAR, NetApp CEO Tom Georgens said his company is under no pressure to make any significant acquisitions. Ever since EMC outbid NetApp for Data Domain last year, people have been wondering if NetApp would turn to another well established storage company to grow its business.

But during NetApp’s earnings conference call Wednesday night Georgens said the vendor is more likely to go after smaller acquisitions like Bycast than those that cost billions of dollars, such as Data Domain and 3PAR.

“I think that the [Dell-3PAR] transaction probably doesn’t change our thinking in any meaningful way,” Georgens said. “We’re always looking for tuck-ins. Certainly, nothing about this changed our tuck-in belief. As far as larger transactions, I think that if the time is right and the price is right … Our thinking on acquisitions is there has to be something that has some affinity to what we do, has to be something that either our sales force can sell, or something that by virtue of having it in the portfolio, we can move more of our existing product. So I’m not looking for similar assets just to be a holding company, I don’t think that’s worked for anyone in our space.”

Georgens said 3PAR was a less obvious fit for Dell than EqualLogic — the iSCSI SAN vendor that Dell bought in 2008 — because iSCSI plays well with Dell’s server business. But he was quick to point out who he thought was a loser from the Dell-3PAR deal. Like many in the storage world, he said it raises questions about Dell’s relationship with NetApp’s archrival EMC.

“I think we can debate whether it is bad or is it very bad, but suffice it to say it is probably not good for the relationship with EMC,” Georgens said.

NetApp has done a good job of growing without making major acquisitions. Its revenue of $1.14 million last quarter was a 36% increase from the previous year and its product revenue grew 51%.

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