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EMC vs. NetApp: Why Enterprises Prefer One to the Other

Data storage is big business because there is a great deal of demand for ways to store data safely and affordably—consider the high profile hacks that in recent months and years prove how vulnerable our information can be. Just a few years ago, it was estimated that the data storage industry was worth at least $25 billion in revenue, and that number has grown since. Two of the bigger players in the data storage industry are NetApp and EMC. Often those who use one company or the other is very loyal to them, but others may not understand what each company has to offer, and what makes each company different.


NetApp is a company that has been storing data in one form or another for the past 20 years. They began by offering data storage with an emphasis on safety of data, and by striving to offer good value for their customers. Another focus of NetApp as they began their business was to make the complexity that their customers had to deal with as simple as possible. Many companies could offer data storage that was relatively safe, but it did little good if a degree in computer science was required to access that data.

Another effort by NetApp is to change the solutions a company needs for data storage as the company itself changes. Every businessperson has dreams of their business growing and NetApp has made efforts to meet changing needs. A small business with half a dozen employees and a few dozen customers doesn’t have the same needs—nor does it have the same resources—as a much larger company has. Scalability is one of the things NetApp can offer, even if that small business grows itself into the new conglomerate.

NetApp Support Services

Not all businesses that need access to reliable data storage is in the same phase of their business life. NetApp prides itself on its ability to match their service with each business requirement. This does not mean that the small business doesn’t care as much about safety of its data, but its requirements and expectations may be different than more established businesses, and NetApp understands these differences and can respond to them. 

No matter how large a client is, NetApp strives to solve problems quickly and efficiently with a minimal interruption in a work day. The company is sometimes even able to solve problems by using preemptive support automation, fixing problems before they become catastrophes.


EMC is one of the other big players in data storage, and for some time they were one of the few data storage companies that was able to offer top security, while allowing customers to select plans that gave them options. The primary offerings that EMC has for its clients offer varying expectations for how often clients might access the data, as well as other differences. The main variant in cost is how often clients want to access what they have stored in the cloud, and also the amount of bandwidth they want to use when visiting their data.

Customers can also choose infrequent access of data as a way to store archived information and to decrease their monthly costs. EMC has seen its own growth connected to its focus and improvement of software defined storage, Big Data analytics, cloud storage, and flash arrays, and these services will continue to be a focus for EMC.

Differences between NetApp and EMC

Before customers think there is no difference between the two data storage systems and they get out a quarter to flip to make their decisions, there are considerations. In a blog on NetApp community board, a writer listed several difference between the two companies.

  • EMC has been in business longer, since 1979, and has evolved from a company that made memory boards for large IBM mainframe computers. NetApp was started in 1992 and they started as a company working on storage solutions. 
  • EMC seems to be focused on created different tools to solve different jobs, while NetApp seems to be more focused on ways to create tools that can used for different jobs. As it has grown, EMC has acquired different storage companies, so it now has a different architecture for different needs. Although this can make some things more complicated, it can also mean that EMC has ways of dealing with many different issues—specifically.

NetApp tries to deal with the different needs of customers by adding features to current tools. 

  • EMC grows its company by acquiring different competitors and those it sees as beneficial. NetApp grows its business by attempting to improve through internal efforts.
  • NetApp makes money only on storage arrays while EMC has many different ways it makes money through other means in technology.

Each of these companies has a reputation for giving clients what they need when it comes to reliable storage. Investigate which business will best serve your needs, and good look storing your data.