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Network Appliance Gets RealNetworks Certification

Network Appliance (www.netapp.com) announced on Monday that it received certification from RealNetworks for its storage devices. Earlier this year, Network Appliance completed Real testing on its NetCache appliances, so the complete caching and storage system is now being sold as a complete solution that includes RealServer 8.

"Our customers have been asking us to test and recommend a networked storage solution for use with RealServer," said Ben Rotholtz, general manager, Media Systems, RealNetworks, Inc. "We started with NetApp because they’re a market leader in storage, they’re experts in streaming, and NetCache is certified RealSystem compatible. Customers that are looking for industry-leading streaming storage, caching, and delivery solutions can now turn to NetApp and RealNetworks for tested and approved solutions."

Amit Pandey, senior director of marketing for Network Appliance's content delivery business unit, said it went through rigorous lab testing to get certified. Part of that process was to make sure that everything works without a glitch with the RealServers. Pandey said that after testing, Network Appliance did some tweaking with the caching and storage devices to make it fully compatible. Tests took place at RealNetworks’ test lab in Seattle and Network Appliance’s test lab in Sunnyvale, CA.

Why get certification from RealNetworks? Pandey said it's because customers look to them for guidance on storage vendors for streaming media applications. "Until we did this," he said, "there was no approved storage vendor."

Network Appliance is targeting this new system for the enterprise customers primarily because they're more concerned with certification than service providers. Certification is best for the comfort level it gives customers, said Pandey. "The big advantage is peace of mind," said Pandey. "If they buy our solution they're getting a stamp of approval [from RealNetworks]." He also said that it shortens sales cycles since companies will be more apt to get large scale streaming systems installed on corporate networks rather than just doing pilot programs.

Current customers with already implemented uncertified boxes will automatically get the certified version, said Pandey. Customers just need to get the latest release of the software and install it onto the caching and storage appliances.

Pandey said that despite the RealNetworks certification, Network Appliance is still working with Microsoft. NetApp boxes can work with Windows Media, Real and QuickTime content since it works at the protocol level to push streams along. Pandey said that it is in the process of going through certification with Microsoft's Windows Media, too.

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