From my persective as a 6 year NetApp employee, NetApp has changed from a "great place to work" to be about the same as EMC. Data ONTAP will go down in history as a combination of the best methods of managing spinning disks ever... but there's a major technology shift happening - spinning disks are being replaced with solid state devices. The technology needed for this new storage is quite different than today's Data ONTAP.
Instead of embracing solid state disks, NetApp has mainstreamed Clustered Data ONTAP. The problem is that it didn't pull all the features of legacy Data ONTAP and it added complexity of configuration and management that can only be called weird. So NetApp has mainstreamed a product that is useful to maybe 10% of their customers.
The best people want to represent the best products and the best corporate culture. So they're leaving.
In NetApp's sales organization, there has been a systematic elimination of all the "nice" managers in order to hire hard nosed sales managers. This is reflective of senior sales management, almost all of whom came to NetApp from EMC. It's not surprising that the culture is shifting. The "great place to work" philosophy has been replaced with Theory A management and layoffs of everyone whomever complained about their managers - almost everyone over 50 years old is gone..
My opinion is that NetApp is in troulble. They haven't tractked the market to keep the best product for existing technology and the best people are leaving.
NetApp has so much cash and momentum (like IBM and EMC) in the market place that it is difficult to see how they would fail. But the demise of a great corporate culture and the failure to track solid state disks is going to cause them even more grief. Watch for more bumps in the road ahead for NetApp!