What does Data ONTAP stand for?

An employee recently asked me, "Is Data ONTAP an acronym? What does it stand for?"


Data ONTAP is sort of an acronym. You know how some acronyms are just too cute? It's clear that the goal was to make a particular word, and words were chose -- sometimes almost at random -- in order to make the acronym work. Data ONTAP is like that.


The acronym itself made no sense, so I won't even share it, but the inspiration lives on. Data ONTAP was inspired by beer. The idea was that data should flow freely, just like beer flowing from a tapped keg. Except imagine a pervasive beer infrastructure that lets you get your favorite brew from any faucet at any sink.


The reason I love the name Data ONTAP is because it captures the way people think about data. You want it to be wherever you need it, whenever you need it. On tap.


Thanks for "Open Network Technology for Appliance Products".

Hi Dave,

Well, thanks for confirming this finally!

I've heard this explanation on few occassions when socializing with different NetApp folks, but never believed it is a real one!



Being only with NetApp for 6 months, I've asked this question myself.

Thanks for providing the definitive answer once and for all!


It is amazing that this analogy is becoming more and more relevant with the transformation of the storage industry and how data is used.  Data everywhere anywhere!

So the first appliances were Toasters and ONTAP was designed around beer, what is not to love about working with Storage

Yes I always thought it was as John said - Open Network Technology Appliance Product but will definitely adopt the new meaning

The stock symbol (NTAP) is part of the name (ONTAP). That doesn't seem coincidental.

rle Netapp Alumni

Just like the coincidence that Dave likes to drink beer and the appliance name refers to beer.

That and they also used to serve beer on Fridays at the office.

Is that what was thought originally by Dave?

OR somebody just created it from ONTAP?

Except imagine a pervasive beer infrastructure that lets you get your favorite brew from any faucet at any sink.

I imagine this every day.

Gordon Biersch I presume?

Dave -

Thank you for saying it out loud for all of us.

Your explanation is what I was telling students in class for years !

Will you come drink a few NetApp beers with us at St Baldrick's this year, please ?

At your service,

Eugene Kashpureff

So heres a question? What happens when the tap becomes blocked, and the beer doesnt flow and the decision to switch to a mature cognac or a new alco-pop becomes an option as the beer is now OFFTAP?

How funny! I worked briefly with a managed hosting company and always assumed (apparently incorrectly) that my secret ONTAP/beer tap analogy was wholly unique.  It's nice to know that someone else envisions ONTAP data as a readily available, reliable flow of delicious brew

Agree with you Radek. Infact, i had the same undertanding about ONTAP as On Tap, but just because it always written in capitals, there curiosity comes.

Thanks to the person who didn't think twice to ask Dave about it. Thanks to Dave too.

I am just Data On NeTAPp

a regular OS on SAN, why so much fuss about it


Whether beer or brandy or any cognac at all, bottom line is let it flow through the Tap anytime anywhere.So it's still  Data ON TAP.

Some of the best engineering and business ideas come from gathering with your peers and having a few cold brews to get the creativity flowing.   How cool is it that a great company was formed with diverse products and services around storage?

hey, AFAIK Data ONTAP is an Operating System which rung on Netapp Filers :-)

the phrases "pay by the drink" and "pay by the sip" are often used when talking about paygo pricing, in particular in cloud contexts...  it's nice to know that for netapp storage it would be sips of beer :-)

Hi Dave :

The explanation is pretty good, simple to understand and remember and funny to share with others.

Thanks indeed.

Hi Dave,

Can u pls ratify; ONTAP=Open Network Technology for Appliance Products? Thanks