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Storage Clips: NetApp announces iSCSI bundles

NetApp announced new iSCSI product bundles for resellers, beta testing of its new OnTap GX operating system and some bold financial predictions for fiscal 2007.

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NetApp announces iSCSI bundles
Network Appliance (NetApp) announced it is expanding its channel-only bundle offerings with a new series of packaged iSCSI SAN products. The new iSCSI bundles bring together hardware, software and storage protocols in a package that will allow resellers to sell them together at a cut price, according to the company.

One bundle includes an FAS250 iSCSI appliance with 2 terabytes (TB) of Fibre Channel (FC) capacity; the second has an FAS270 appliance with 288 GB of FC and 3.5 TB of SATA capacity; the third has a FAS270c with 2 TB of FC capacity; and the last has an FAS270c with 576 GB of FC and 3.5 TB of SATA.

All four also include support for the CIFS file sharing and iSCSI protocols and include SnapManager data snapshot software for Microsoft Exchange or SQL. List prices for the bundles, expected to ship starting March 27, start at about $15,000.

NetApp also announced that it has installed its newest operating system, Data OnTap GX, at several customer sites. Data OnTap GX, which has not yet been announced for general availability, includes intellectual property acquired with Spinnaker Networks. Data OnTap GX customer installations include companies in energy, engineering and entertainment. NetApp also demonstrated its new software system at its annual Analyst Day, held in San Francisco.

According to NetApp, the beta users of OnTap GX were still under nondisclosure agreement and would not be available to speak publicly about the new OS.

"Given the amount of media interest around GX, NetApp wanted to make sure we informed the press community about what stage we are at in the launching of the product and inform them that we are taking the appropriates steps in making sure our product is ready for primetime," explained NetApp spokesperson Tiffany Curci. "Plus NetApp wanted to use this opportunity to confirm reports of customer installations."

Finally, NetApp said this week that it expects earnings to beat Wall Street expectations for fiscal 2007. The company forecast earnings per share before extraordinary items of 99 cents to $1.04 in fiscal 2007 and revenue gains of 28% to 30% to between $2.62 billion and $2.67 billion in the fiscal year beginning in May. Analysts on average have been forecasting earnings per share of 81 cents to $1.01 for fiscal 2007; revenue is seen at $2.05 billion to $2.59 billion.

HP shareholders veto 'Carly clause'
Hewlett-Packard (HP) shareholders rejected two proposals related to executive compensation and voting rights at the company's annual stockholder meeting Wednesday in Los Angeles. The first proposal would have allowed HP's board of directors to recoup bonuses paid to executives in the event of a restatement of earnings or a "significant, extraordinary write-off," and cited the case of former CEO Carly Fiorina. Shareholders also rejected a proposal that would have required HP directors to win a majority, rather than a plurality, of shareholder votes to be re-elected to the board.

Fiorina received a $21 million severance package from HP when she was fired as CEO in early 2005. The package has since provoked a lawsuit from shareholders.

Cisco makes new offers to channel partners
Cisco Systems announced a number of new initiatives today to help Cisco channel partners build and strengthen their services practices. The Cisco Lifecycle Services approach, a best practices program, will be incorporated into all channel partner specialization training and requirements. Cisco is also introducing new tools that partners can use to assess their services business success, as well as more technical support access and a new service contract quoting system. Cisco also announced a new newsletter for channel partners.

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