"We have created the next-generation data management solution at Network Appliance," explains Dan Warmenhoven, chief executive officer of Network Appliance. "There are two reasons we've been able to do it. One is the whole concept of the appliance – the simplicity of it – and the fact that it can significantly reduce the complexity of global data management, especially in large enterprise environments. The second is that we understand mission-critical storage should be accessible to all computing environments rather than being captive in a server. That is part of what I mean by a next-generation solution. It's a different way of thinking about the problem. In the past, companies would buy an application, load it on the server, buy the storage from that same server vendor – and all day the storage is captive to that machine. Our thought is that data is too valuable for that kind of approach. Data should be an enterprise-wide resource, much like a network is an enterprise resource. With a network, you can communicate with anybody or anything globally, and there's no reason why you shouldn't have access to information the same way," explains Warmenhoven. "Once you unlock and separate the storage from the server, you've essentially increased its value because you can move it to where it is going to be most effective and you can have multiple applications looking at the same information."

"We pioneered the concept of an appliance in this industry – the simple, easy-to-use, single-function system. In our view, an appliance is definitely not programmable. An appliance is designed to do one thing and do it very well. It is optimized and highly efficient. Other people use the term appliance for a variety of different things, but they don't conform to any of what I would consider to be the fundamental definitions. You can think of our systems as information refrigerators. Plug one in, set a couple of knobs, store things in it and retrieve them. You don't manage the refrigerator, and it doesn't do anything but store food. In our case, our appliance stores your information," states Warmenhoven.

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