NetApp posts profits, continues hiring spree

Enterprise storage firm Network Appliance is still on a roll and plans to hire 200 people a quarter for the foreseeable future

Network Appliance posted positive results for its first quarter of 2005 on Wednesday, reporting a 38 percent increase in revenue compared to the same quarter last year, and said it intends to continue hiring 200 new people a quarter.

Revenues for the first fiscal quarter were $358.4m, up from $260.5m for the same period a year ago, and 6 percent up on the $337m in the prior quarter.

Net income rose 73 percent to $46.9m.

In a conference call with analysts, chief executive Daniel Warmenhoven said the company hired 165 new people in the first fiscal quarter -- 35 short of its 200 target -- but hopes to make up that shortfall in the next quarter and continue hiring another 200 people a quarter for the foreseeable future. The company currently employs 2,800, according to its Web site.

"Most of those heads will go into sales and into the professional services organisation, which is a driver for those sales," said Warmenhoven. If anything, he said, the numbers will probably increase.

NetApp now claims over 700 deployments of its iSCSI and IP storage area network products worldwide. Warmenhoven said that cheap ATA drives are finding applications in bigger installations too, and cited the company's double parity RAID technology, which allows any two ATA drives to fail without loss of data.

"Our long term goal is to take this into the enterprise storage tier one area. We already have a handful of Oracle customers today running it," he said.

Speaking anecdotally, Warmenhoven said he sees a lot of iSCSI deployments going into Windows environments. In the Linux world, he said, enterprise storage solutions are being deployed in entertainment post production environments, the semiconductor and the oil and gas industries, with some deployments in the analytical side of financial services.

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