Re: NetApp isn't innovative, that is why they win awards.
disclaimer: I compete with NetApp with several storage brands. Not EMC or HPQ.
Last 3 NetApp customers I've come across:
1. Existing NetApp shop, engineering shop, requiring performance upgrade: NetApp all new $1.25M Upgrade: $780K. Full replacement with my brand X (50% faster, 50% more capacity than the upgrade) $450K
2. New opp for design company: NetApp $162K, my brand Y - 50% more capacity, massive flash performance, better warranty: $124K
3. Existing NetApp shop. NetApp offer: $850K to add to existing install. Alternative Brand Z: $310K. Customer chose to keep digging the hole "..because they have an investment in NetApp..."
67% success rate + nice thoughts knowing that customer #3 is putting a NetApp sales rep's kid through at least two years of college.
NetApp makes good gear, but the innovations that they brought to the table have been matched or surpassed by other storage brands, or functionality that was key has been incorporated into O/S or applications. In my opinion, if it weren't for Netapp's installed base of loyal customers and resellers, they would be in even more trouble than they are.