NetApp's Tom Georgens: How we got big, stayed nimble, and view storage today

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In an exclusive interview, NetApp CEO Tom Georgens talks about virtualization, the private cloud, and how his company defines big data

Those of us with a bit of institutional memory recall a brash upstart named Network Appliance that burst onto the storage scene to challenge EMC -- itself once a brash newcomer -- and other storage royalty like IBM. But that was 20 years ago, as difficult as that seems to believe, and the company, now named NetApp, is $5 billion-plus storage leader in its own right.

In this installment of the IDG Enterprise CEO Interview Series, CEO Tom Georgens talked to IDGE Chief Content Officer John Gallant about what's driven NetApp's success and shared his views on key technology issues like big data and deduplication. Georgens also explained why NetApp's single-architecture approach gives the company a big development and agility advantage compared to EMC, and explained why "server vendors" like Dell and IBM are falling behind in the storage arms race. Furthermore, he talked about NetApp's keen focus on the private cloud and how partnerships with companies like Microsoft and Cisco are helping NetApp deliver quickly on that emerging model of computing.

John Gallant: What's the NetApp mission, and what defines the company?

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