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Network Appliance Reaches for Spinnaker

November 5

Enterprise storage vendor Network Appliance today announced its definitive agreement to acquire Spinnaker Networks for $300 million in stock. The acquisition will speed market acceptance of Network Associate's NetApp® "Storage Grid" architecture, since Spinnaker brings to the party a proprietary operating system providing the NetApp software with expanded functionality and control.

According to Gartner, the networked attached storage (NAS) space is growing rapidly: 40% - 50% per year since 1998. Separately, ESG projects that by 2006 70% of all storage will be networked.

Recent NAS industry acquisitions include Adaptec’s March 2003 purchase of Eurologic for $430 million in cash and EMC’s mammoth acquisition of Legato for $1.3 billion in stock.

With a market cap of $8.6 billion, Network Appliance is one of the nation’s largest NAS vendors, and targets medium to large enterprises. Their NetCache Web appliances speed data delivery by storing them physically closer to users. The company also offers disk-based devices for backup and archiving (NearStore), data management and content delivery software, and recently, a storage package for businesses that face increased government regulation like those mentioned in a recent security-focused M&A Roundup piece.

Spinnaker Networks is based in Pittsburgh with VC investments from GIC, Mellon Ventures, Menlo Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners.

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