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storage news - February 12- 14, 2002

Megabyte's selection of storage news
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BakBone Software Reports Revenue Growth

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - February 14, 2002 - BakBone Software™ (TSE: BKB) announced today financial and operational results for the company's third quarter ended December 31, 2001.

BakBone reported consolidated revenues of US$2.9 million for the third quarter, an increase of 86 percent from consolidated revenues for the same period in the prior fiscal year. Consolidated revenues increased 26 percent over the company's second quarter ended September 30, 2001. This repeated quarter over quarter growth represents a sustained revenue increase and is an indicator of increasing product acceptance worldwide. Net loss for the third quarter was US$3.2 million or US$0.07 per share, a 51 percent improvement over a net loss of US$6.6 million or US$0.18 per share, for the same period in the prior fiscal year.

"We achieved many of our goals this quarter including completion of a round of financing that has made our cash position stronger," said Keith Rickard, President and CEO. "We also continued to keep expenses under control, and in December achieved our first month in the history of the company of consolidated revenues in excess of US$1.0 million. As we continue to expand successfully into new regions throughout the world, while leveraging our existing partnerships, I believe we will see further solid revenue growth." ...BakBone Software profile

McDATA Files Patent Infringement Claim Against Brocade

BROOMFIELD, Colo. - February 14, 2002 - McDATA Corporation today announced that it has filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado against Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., San Jose, CA, for infringement of McDATA's United States Patent No. 6,233,236, Method and Apparatus for Measuring Traffic Within a Switch.

This patent, which was issued on May 15, 2001, discloses and claims important aspects of the operation for filtering and measuring frame traffic within a switch. Knowledge of the frame or data traffic that flows through a switch can be used to more efficiently manage that data traffic and avoid bottlenecks. McDATA, a leader in storage area networking, holds 25 issued patents related to storage area networking, with an additional 15 pending.

"We strongly believe that Brocade has been selling and offering for sale products that infringe our patent," said Thomas O. McGimpsey, vice president and general counsel for McDATA. "McDATA has informed Brocade of the infringement. McDATA's 25 issued patents are valuable company assets and this action is a clear signal to the market that McDATA will vigorously assert its intellectual property rights against infringements." ...Brocade profile, ...McDATA profile

Editor's comments:- whatever the merits of the case, it's a good general business principle to only sue companies with money. As yesterday's results for Brocade show, they have lots of it. In their report for the quarter ending January 26, 2002, Brocade had total cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $823.9 million

Dell Sells 69% More Storage

Austin, Texas - February 14, 2002 - Dell reported quarterly net earnings of $456 million, or 17 cents per share, compared with $434 million, or 16 cents per share, last year.

Excluding charges, year-ago per-share earnings were 18 cents. Revenue for the most recent period was $8.1 billion. Results exceeded original company guidance, primarily because of a stronger-than-planned performance by Dell's profitable, fast-growing consumer business. Full-year net earnings were $1.25 billion versus $2.18 billion in fiscal 2001. Absent charges, earnings for fiscal 2002 were $1.78 billion, or 65 cents per share.

Dell sold 69% more storage capacity during the quarter than in the year-ago quarter. External storage systems increased to 47% of the sales mix.

As our industry moves into a new stage of consolidation, the opinions that still matter most belong to customers,"said Michael Dell, the company's chairman and chief executive officer. "The pace with which they're choosing Dell products and services accelerated last year, and puts us in a stronger competitive position than at any time in our history." ...Dell Computer profile

The Quad Band Memory (QBM) Alliance announces the addition of CST and Netlist to the membership roster

Wilmington, MA - February 14, 2002 - The QBM Alliance, founded by Kentron Technologies® announced today, that CST, Inc. "The SIMM/Memory Tester Company" and Netlist, Inc. have joined The QBM Alliance.

The QBM Alliance is comprised of industry leading companies that provide critical DDR based system solutions that include memory controllers, system motherboards, routers, components and memory modules. Members of the Alliance share the common goal of implementing the price/performance leading edge QBM technology into computer systems and telecommunication.

"Any new memory technology requires affordable test infrastructure to propel it into production. With CST's 19 years experience in low cost test development, it will be ready to support the new QBM memory. QBM and CST goes hand in hand in reaching higher memory bandwidth," said Cecil Ho, President of CST, Inc.

"As a leading provider of high-density and custom memory to major OEMs, we constantly encounter system-specific memory issues that no longer can be solved at the IC-level. Joining the QBM Alliance is part of our continuing effort to bring cost-effective, board-level solutions to the system OEM" said Chuck Hong, CEO of Netlist, Inc. ...CST profile, ...Kentron Technologies profile, ...Netlist profile, ...QBM Alliance

ADIC First Quarter Sales are Record $96.7 Million

REDMOND, WASHINGTON - February 14, 2002 - Advanced Digital Information Corporation (NASDAQ/NMS Symbol: ADIC) today announced sales for its first fiscal quarter ended January 31 reached a record $96.7 million, up five percent over first quarter last year and up six percent from the sequentially preceding fourth quarter of fiscal 2001.

Net income was $2.4 million, or four cents per share.

"We are pleased to announce another quarter of sales growth on both an annual and sequential basis," said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Peter van Oppen. "The last several months of recession and terrorism have been difficult and it is gratifying to have weathered those events and returned to healthy sequential growth in each of the last two quarters," he said. "Gross margins are lower as a result of an increase in the OEM percentage of our business and downward pressures on both price and volume in our European branded business. Margins are, however, within our expectations and sufficient to maintain our anticipated modest operating profitability while spending heavily on new products, sales channels, service and other infrastructure in preparation for an eventual economic recovery," van Oppen said.

The Company noted that combined total sales of $96.7 million are a record for any quarter and that, for the first time, sales are divided approximately equally between OEM revenues and ADIC branded business. Economic uncertainty remains significant, according to the Company, but current sales trends suggest sales are likely to be in the range of $95-$105 million during the second quarter ending April 30. This forecast anticipates a modestly declining percentage of OEM business, growth in the U.S. branded business and no further deterioration in European sales. ...ADIC profile

StorageTek Honors Versitec with 2001 Outstanding Service Partner Award

COLUMBUS, Ohio - February 13, 2002 - Versitec was presented with the 2001 Outstanding Service Partner Award by StorageTek®.

Craig Wallace, vice president of service for Versitec, received this award on behalf of the company for its outstanding commitment to quality service management. Versitec is the first company to be honored with this recognition.

"The Outstanding Service Partner Award is the first of its kind given to any service partner," said Doug Stoudt, service partner manager for StorageTek. "Looking back at 2001, Versitec distinguished itself as a top quality partner. This accolade is intended to express the highly valued relationship we have built with them," Stoudt said.

Nearly one year ago, Versitec entered into a three-year service agreement with StorageTek to provide around-the-clock call center service for customers using StorageTek hardware. In addition to the call center services, Versitec also manages the hardware installation process. Versitec's responsive call center staff, sales force and engineering team has allowed Versitec to build a strong business relationship and partnership with StorageTek and other leading companies.

Craig Wallace joined Versitec in 1994 as vice president of Service. Throughout his tenure at Versitec, he has been successfully guiding the maintenance contract business, based in Columbus, and the parts and repair operation, based in Shrewsbury, Mass. Under Wallace's direction, Versitec's compounded annual growth rate is in excess of 53 percent since its inception in 1994. ...StorageTek profile, ...Versitec

Disc Inc. & Sun Microsystems, Provide Cost-Effective Way to Store Large Images Online

MILPITAS, Calif. - February 13, 2002 - DISC Inc. along with Sun Microsystems, Inc. announced today the successful implementation of DISC's storage libraries with Sun servers.

Recently, UCSF Radiology upgraded its Picture, Archive and Communication System (PACS). The PACS incorporates the radiology and the hospital information systems to create an intelligent patient resource. At the core of the PACS are DISC libraries and Sun Enterprise ™ servers. Sun Enterprise servers, Solaris Operating Environment, and Java software provide the reliability, interoperability, and connectivity UCSF Radiology needs to help power its radiology solutions and integrated hospital environment. Sun's platforms and solutions have transformed radiology from science to innovation to informatics. Java software has helped PACS become a viable and pervasive solution for small-to-large medical facilities.

The DISC/Sun implementation offers the UCSF Radiology Department an environment that delivers multi-processing and multi-threading capabilities for computer-intensive graphics. With this architecture, DISC and Sun customers can be confident that their stored images are secure and can be deployed quickly and efficiently. For the storage portion of its PACS infrastructure, UCSF Radiology is using two DISC NearLine storage libraries. The complete DISC NearLine solution acts as an archival system to store digital images from multiple sources. Capable of storing up to 20 Terabytes of data, the DISC storage libraries hold all the University's medical images from the past seven years.

"With the upgraded PACS, we can take all the images from every digital modality (CAT Scans, MRIs, Ultrasounds, mammograms, etc.), store them on DISC's libraries and send them to Sun's central servers. Then, based on the type of study it is, the digital image is routed to review stations (PCs) located in radio clinical rooms. The uptime is 99.9 percent and it is rock solid", explains Todd Bazzill, Computing Resource Manager for UCSF Medical Teaching Hospital, Radiology. Working with industry-leading medical imaging equipment manufacturers, Sun and DISC provide the enabling platform for next-generation diagnostic imaging to deliver, globally, a higher-level of patient care. ...DISC profile, ...Sun Microsystems profile

Crucial Technology Announces Free Online System Profiling

Meridian, Idaho - February 13, 2002 - Crucial Technology® one of the world's largest factory-direct memory upgrade providers, announced today that a free, online system-profiling utility is now available through its Web site.

The Belarc Advisor is a downloadable Web utility that quickly and accurately profiles an end-user's computer, then displays detailed information about the hardware and software installed on that system. With this utility, Crucial customers can see how many megabytes of memory they have and how many memory modules are installed without opening their computer case. They can also determine their computer's make, model, and motherboard, making it easier to select the proper memory upgrades for that system. ...Crucial Technology profile

Digi International Completes Acquisition of NetSilicon

Waltham, MA, - February 13, 2002 - Digi International® Inc. and NetSilicon, Inc. announced today that they have received shareholder approval for the completion of their previously announced merger.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Digi expects to pay $15 million in cash and issue approximately 6.4 million shares of Digi common stock.

"The combination of Digi's growing line of Connectware products with NetSilicon's next- generation solutions for intelligent, networked devices creates the broadest and most competitive family of device connectivity solutions in the industry," Digi's Chairman, President and CEO, Joe Dunsmore, stated. "Digi's market leadership position and strong financial condition will enable us to continue to support our strategy of fueling development of products in growth markets, including device servers, terminal servers and embedded network connectivity." ...Digi International profile, ...NetSilicon profile

HP Reports First Quarter Results

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Feb. 13, 2002 - Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HWP) today reported financial results for the first quarter of its 2002 fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2002.

The company reported first quarter revenue of $11.4 billion compared to $10.9 billion in the fourth quarter and $12.4 billion in last year's first quarter. Revenue was down 8% year-over-year and 7% excluding currency effects. Operating expenses on a pro forma basis were 20.6% of net revenue, compared to 21.4% last quarter and 19.3% in the year-ago quarter. Pro forma diluted EPS of 29 cents, compared to 19 cents in the fourth quarter and 41 cents in the year-ago quarter, excluded $86 million in charges for recurring and non-recurring costs related to various completed and planned acquisitions, including Bluestone and Compaq.

Storage revenue declined 4% sequentially and 13% year-over-year amid extremely difficult pricing conditions. ...HP profile

Chubb Lock And Safe Selects Merlin's SecurDVR As Primary Digital Video Recorder (DVR) Product Offering

Burnaby, BC - February 13, 2002 - Merlin Software Technologies International, Inc. today announced that Chubb Lock and Safe Canada Ltd. has selected Merlin's SecurDVR as their primary digital video recorder (DVR) offering for their customers.

Merlin's President and CEO, Robert Heller said, "We are extremely pleased to have Canada's most respected security company choose the SecurDVR as their primary digital video offering for their extensive customer base. It is a real validation of our current product line and future strategy in the security and loss prevention markets."

"Merlin's SecurDVR offers the fastest frame capture rates and the best digital video storage options available today," said Tom O'Doherty, President, Chubb Lock and Safe. "The product has an excellent user interface and its high quality digital images are suitable for legal action. We are also very impressed with the SecurDVR's Internet-based, remote access capabilities and its ability to clip specific images for distribution over a network."

Chubb Lock and Safe is Canada's largest physical security services company with 15 offices from coast to coast and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gunnebo, AB of Sweden, one of the world's leading companies in physical security with 8,300 employees in 95 companies, located in 29 countries.

SecurDVR is a networked digital video recorder designed and implemented specifically as a Security and Loss Prevention solution for businesses. Capable of managing up to 16 CCTV (closed circuit television) cameras and a host of alarm mechanisms, the SecurDVR is a proactive security and loss prevention solution. The system can be installed in minutes and presents an affordable alternative to traditional analog devices with greatly enhanced features and capabilities that only a networked digital video recorder can offer. ...Merlin Software Technologies profile

Network Appliance Announces Results for Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2002

Sunnyvale, CA - February 12, 2002 - Network Appliance, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP) today announced results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2002.

Revenues for the third fiscal quarter were $198.3 million, compared to revenues of $288.4 million for the same period a year ago, and $194.7 million in the prior quarter. Pro forma net income for the third quarter was $15.5 million, compared with $38.9 million for the same period a year ago. Pro forma earnings per share for the third quarter was $0.04 per share compared with $0.11 per share for the same period a year ago, and $0.02 per share in the prior quarter.

Revenues for the first nine months of the current fiscal year totaled $593.5 million, compared to revenue of $780.3 million for the first nine months of the prior fiscal year. Pro forma net income for the first nine months of the current fiscal year totaled $27.8 million, or $0.08 per share, compared to pro forma net income of $108.4 million, or $0.30 per share for the first nine months of the prior fiscal year. For the first nine months, on an as-reported basis with adjustments for acquisitions, stock-based compensation, restructuring charges and write-down on equity investments, net loss for the first nine months was $4.7 million, or $0.01 per share, compared with net income of $74.4 million, or $0.21 per share for the same period in the prior year.

"The Q3 results reflect Network Appliance's strong operational performance in a challenging market," said Dan Warmenhoven, CEO of Network Appliance. "We made across-the-board progress in our enterprise initiatives, we broadened our vertical market and strategic partnership focus, expanded our worldwide customer mix and grew our product line. As a company, we continue to be focused on simplifying the management of enterprise storage and solving our customer's business problems." ...Network Appliance profile

Editor's comment:-
Things seem to be getting worse for Network Appliance. This quarter's revenue was 31% down on the year before, while the first 9 months of FY 2002 were only 24% off. The reason is that there are now over one hundred companies crowding into the NAS product segment (and that's just counting NAS oems and software vendors listed on this site). Worsening results are the reward for poor brand marketing in a product area which is growing at a fast rate. The losers include many of the early pioneers in NAS who still behave as if they have this market all to themselves.
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Jiffy Lube Drives Toward Success with NAS

(case study)
Editor's intro:- the recent announcement by the Affordable SAN Initiative to get SAN entry costs below $50,000 helps to clarify the difference between SAN and NAS.

At the high end, a NAS box from MTI Technology or Auspex overlaps with a SAN system from LSI Logic Storage Systems, and the issues get blurred.

It's at the low end that NAS really comes into its own. We don't all have money to burn, and this user case study is a helpful and interesting reminder that the biggest and fastest box is not always the best solution.

Jiffy Lube Drives Toward Success with NAS

by Sean Porcher, Director of Operations Pacific Coast Jiffy Lube, Inc.

Navigating the Network Infrastructure

With more than 2,000 service centers located in 49 states, Jiffy Lube International, Inc. is the largest franchising organization in the fast oil change and fluid maintenance industry.

Specifically, our operation, Pacific Coast Jiffy Lube, encompasses all of the Jiffy Lube outlets in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. When customers come to us, they already have an expectation of the Jiffy Lube experience: quick, dependable, and inclusive service for a low price.

In order to provide our customers with this exceptional experience at our service centers, it is important to begin at the roots: Pacific Coast Jiffy Lube's corporate office in Arroyo Grande, California.

The corporate office acts as the "nerve center," and is responsible for overseeing the operations of all the service centers, including inventory management, customer service issues, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and payroll.

Our data storage requirements are significant due to a growing customer base and extensive inventory management system. This data must then be made available to all our service locations.

For example, we store customer and inventory information here at the corporate office and update it on a nightly basis. Each of our service centers must be able to access this information 24 hours, seven days a week, so they have the critical data they need for their day to day operations. To conduct this coordinated effort, Pacific Coast Jiffy Lube required a network infrastructure that could store large amounts of data and make it continuously accessible to all the service centers.

Meeting the Challenges of the Information Highway

When considering the options available to meet our storage requirements, we were looking for the same qualities that characterized the Jiffy Lube operation: cost-effectiveness, simplicity, and speed. With oil and labor prices constantly rising in our industry, the prospect of replacing our servers and workstations on a frequent basis was extremely unappealing and made no business sense.

We wanted to implement a solution that could easily and cost-effectively scale along with our operation. Expanding the servers was another possibility. However, since Pacific Coast Jiffy Lube encompasses quite a few service centers, adding servers would have been a very expensive proposition.

Our lack of high-end technical knowledge and an IT person made this option even less attractive. Without a network administrator to manage our infrastructure for us, the quality of simplicity became very important. We wanted a solution that was out of the box, plug and play, regardless of user experience level. Lastly, we needed to improve the speed of our network, enabling faster data sharing between our corporate office and our service centers. The qualities of network-attached storage fit ideally with our needs.

We evaluated NAS products from several different vendors with a focus on the above criteria, as well as reliability and performance. After a thorough competitive analysis, we selected the POPnetserver 2000 from the FIA Storage Systems Group , a San Clemente-based supplier of NAS systems.

Mapping out the Benefits of NAS

When we were first informed of the ease of installation of NAS appliances, we were skeptical. However, the system proved to be extremely simple to install and use, even for the computer novices in our office.

Our POPnetserver 2000 was configured with two 30GB hard drives for a total capacity of 60GB, and expandable to a third drive. The POPnetserver 2000's overall storage capacity is 240GB in the same 1U enclosure.

In 15 minutes and two mouse clicks, I had the system up and running. The accompanying POPassist software, a Windows-based user interface for system administration, allowed me to quickly and easily configure the device. The software also provided us with the ability to remotely monitor and manage our storage resources in real time. The POPnetserver is currently being used across all Pacific Coast Jiffy Lube's departments. In addition to providing high capacity storage for numerous workstations, we are also using the POPnetserver to run our extensive inventory management system and accounting database.

Since implementing NAS, we have benefited from enhanced network performance and highly efficient file serving. The POPnetserver has improved the speed and functionality of our entire local network. Before the installation of the system, we often experienced slowdowns in data availability. This was due to the fact that a large amount of data was being shared from workstation to workstation, and we had insufficient storage capacity on our server to handle it.

Since NAS systems relocate storage onto its own independent platform and separate file sharing from application serving, this freed up file server bandwidth and reduced the overhead on our existing application servers.

Once we had a NAS system in place, the speed of our network increased drastically, saving us up to two hours a day in network wait time. And for a cost of approximately 1.5 cents per megabyte of network-attached storage, the system's value proposition was strong.

As far as reliability was concerned, we were able to rely on several features to ensure the integrity and accessibility of our data. Our POPnetserver was configured for RAID 1, also known as mirroring. This allowed the second set of drives to duplicate the first set for maximum data protection. We have peace of mind because we are ensured that our critical customer and inventory data is always secure. With a price of $895, this POPnetserver's price-to-performance ratio was better than any other NAS system we evaluated. In competing NAS products, RAID would have cost Pacific Coast Jiffy Lube upwards of $1,500.

A Smart Investment for the Road Ahead

The POPnetserver 2000 NAS system was an excellent investment for Pacific Coast Jiffy Lube. We no longer experience the downtime, frustration, and lost productivity and profitability that results from insufficient data storage. In addition, its high performance and reliability have truly contributed to increased data integrity for our company. NAS provides us with the file sharing capabilities we need to ensure that all our service centers have an open information pipeline to the corporate office, 24 hours, seven days a week. As our storage requirements continue to grow alongside our business, POPnetserver will be our first choice for future data storage needs.

About the Author

Sean Porcher is the Director of Operations for Pacific Coast Jiffy Lube, Inc.., (PCJL) based in Arroyo Grande, CA. He brings over six years of management experience to the company, where he is responsible for the operation and performance of PCJL and all its service centers. Mr. Porcher holds a B.S. Degree in Business Administration and International Management, and an MBA in General Management, both from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
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