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2004, January week 4, news archive

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Squeak! - the Top 10 Storage Software Companies
article:- Chewing over 2003
Squeak! - the Fastest Growing storage companies
Squeak! - the 10 biggest storage companies in 2005
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archive:- January 2001, January 2002, January 2003

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BROOMFIELD, Colo. - January 29, 2004 - McDATA Corporation today announced a workforce reduction of 92 employees, or approximately 9%. Following the workforce reduction, the company's worldwide workforce totals approximately 982 employees. McDATA has implemented these cost improvement actions to optimize its operating efficiency and to better align its business model. ...McDATA profile

Editor's comments:- McDATA is the #2 FC switch maker according to research by Dell'Oro Group. This restructuring, at a time when many other storage makers have been announcing double digit revenue growth, suggests that the end of the US IT recession does not necessarily presage a resurgence for fibre-channel SANs. Instead, iSCSI (and IP SAN) which wasn't even a blip on the marketing radar when the 2000-2003 recession started, is likely to cannibalise most future growth in SANs.



LAKE FOREST, Calif. - January 29, 2004 - Western Digital Corp. today announced the appointment of Steve Milligan as senior VP and CFO. Milligan succeeds D. Scott Mercer, who was named interim CFO in October, 2001. Milligan reports to chairman and CEO Matt Massengill in his new role. Mercer will remain with Western Digital as senior VP and adviser to Massengill. Milligan, 40, joined Western Digital in 2002 as VP, finance and has had responsibility for the company's finance functions, reporting to Mercer. Before coming to Western Digital, Milligan served in a variety of senior finance capacities at Dell Inc., including assistant controller, European controller, North European finance director, director of finance for the Americas, and controller for Dell Financial Services. Previously, he served 12 years at Price Waterhouse as audit and account manager for several large multinational companies such as IBM, Dell, Sony, and Plantronics. ...Western Digital profile


POOLE, UK - January 29, 2004 - BakBone Software will kick off a four-month backup and recovery roadshow - the Future of Backup and Recovery: the Way Ahead on February 3rd in Copenhagen, Denmark as part of a 19-city educational tour across Europe, Scandinavia and South Africa. The roadshow will bring together leading names in storage including BakBone, Cisco, HP, Overland Storage, Quantum, and Veritas. Each city venue will offer registrants the opportunity to participate with data storage management experts through a series of in-depth presentations and discussions. ...The Future of Backup and Recovery, ...BakBone profile


MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - January 28, 2004 - Today, SGI and Atempo, Inc. announced a worldwide reseller agreement whereby SGI will sell Atempo's Time Navigator data protection software to customers through SGI's worldwide sales force. Working together, SGI and Atempo will help enterprise customers worldwide decrease storage acquisition costs and overhead, reduce backup and recovery time, while optimizing storage utilization. Atempo's Time Navigator offers an integrated data protection and data retention solution for large, data-intensive SGI Data Migration Facility (DMF) environments and overcomes the challenges of protecting migrated data. Time Navigator also supports SGI Altix servers running 64-bit Linux on Intel Itanium 2 processors. ...Atempo profile, ...SGI profile


MILPITAS, Calif. - January 28, 2004 - LSI Logic Storage Systems announced today that Storability Software's Global Storage Manager has achieved compatibility certification with the company's SANtricity storage manager software and storage controllers. GSM is an open standards-based solution that enables customers to maximize asset utilization, optimize management efficiency, enhance quality of service, and achieve higher availability. StorageTek is delivering the technology to end users as part of its Information Lifecycle Management solutions. ...LSI Logic Storage Systems profile, ...Storability Software profile


SYDNEY - January 28, 2004 - Ideas International Limited announced the addition of street pricing intelligence for server and storage products to the company's industry leading Competitive Profiles suite of tactical IT research services. This valuable new research allows IDEAS research customers to not only compare the current list prices of server and storage offerings from all the major industry suppliers, but also to analyze discount practice information and resultant street pricing as researched by IDEAS analysts. Street pricing research will be available initially for the USA market. The application design means that incremental country coverage can be turned on progressively, with European coverage anticipated to be available during 2004. ...IDEAS International profile


Boise, ID - January 27, 2004 - Micron Technology, Inc. today announced the 288 megabit reduced latency DRAM II products are surpassing performance expectations, meeting and exceeding the targeted timing parameters originally specified. Micron is exploring the potential of these devices operating at a random cycle time (tRC) below 20ns. Micron's RLDRAM II products are ultra high-speed DDR SDRAMs, combining fast random access with extremely high bandwidth and high density targeting communication and data storage applications. RLDRAM II products boast 400 MHz clock rates providing 800 megabits per second per pin. The device's eight-bank architecture is optimized to meet the performance requirements of networking and video processing applications, achieving a peak bandwidth of 28.8Gb/s) using a 36-bit interface. Micron is currently working with key enablers, such as Altera, to provide system designers with reference platforms. ...Micron Technology profile


POOLE, UK - January 27, 2004 - BakBone Software today announced that Yahoo! Inc. has chosen BakBone's NetVault software to provide a global, comprehensive backup and recovery solution for Yahoo!'s production environment in North America and the Pacific Rim. BakBone's NetVault will manage Yahoo!'s NAS systems, Solaris, and Microsoft Windows servers used to control its information infrastructure. BakBone designed a solution with Yahoo!'s mixed server environment in mind, combined with unique industry support for MySQL and FreeBSD, as well as direct access restore for standard NDMP backups. Additionally, BakBone's superior support of Network Appliance environments and their SnapMirror to tape integration enables Yahoo! to cut its backup times almost in half. ...BakBone Software profile


Redmond, Washington - January 27, 2004 - ADIC announced today the introduction of iSCSI connectivity options for Scalar family tape libraries, starting with Scalar 24 and Scalar 100 models. The new connectivity option gives workgroups, branch offices, and smaller enterprises an easy path to more effective backup by allowing users to connect the libraries directly to their Ethernet networks. The Scalar 24 is available with one or two tape drives and up to 24 media slots. The Scalar 100 provides up to eight tape drives and 96 tape cartridges in only 14U. Both the Scalar 24 and Scalar 100 are also available with SCSI and with Fibre Channel connectivity options. Suggested list pricing for the Scalar 24 with iSCSI option starts at $17,434; starting list price for an iSCSI-enabled Scalar 100 is $22,680. First product availability is scheduled for March. ...ADIC profile


Princeton, NJ - January 27, 2004 - Dataram Corporation today announced a first to market 4GB low profile memory module for the AMD Opteron based Tyan S2885 motherboard. With eight DTM63687A 4GB modules, the dual processor motherboard's main memory can be expanded to a total of 32GB. Developed and validated in Dataram's engineering labs, the memory module delivers exceptional system capacity enabling very large data sets to fully reside in main memory. Complex applications for geophysical exploration, simulations, CAE, high-end CAD and EDA tools will run faster, delivering significant productivity gains. The DTM63687A is a registered ECC PC2100 184-pin 4GB low profile DIMM. ...Dataram profile


San Ramon, Calif. - January 27, 2004 - Pegasus Disk Technologies announced today that its InveStore. v4 Storage Management Software now supports Windows 2003. Pegasus supplies InveStore to major OEMs, ISV developers and integrators; who incorporate it into document imaging, information lifecycle management and back-up system solutions for users in the medical, financial, insurance, law enforcement, e-mail storage and web-based mass storage markets.

"End users have become considerably more concerned about their data and how to comply with the onslaught of regulations regarding that data. Optical has passed the test of time and litigation and has proven itself as the gold standard for data protection. With support for Windows 2003, InveStore helps end users meet their compliance needs by allowing connectivity to current operating systems while allowing access to both legacy data and hardware," explained Roy Slicker, Pegasus President and CEO. ...Pegasus Disk Technologies profile


PARK RIDGE, N.J. - January 27, 2003 - Sony is now shipping LTO Ultrium 2 data storage cartridges throughout the U.S. Sony LTO Ultrium 2 media was officially qualified by the LTO Program, comprised of Certance, Hewlett-Packard and IBM. With the addition of half-inch LTO 2 tape cartridges, Sony now has more than 20 data media formats among its diverse portfolio. Sony achieved compliance verification to manufacture and market LTO Ultrium 2 media after completing rigorous testing by an independent lab that included a wide range of format, cartridge and media interchangeability parameters. As a result, end-users can be confident that Sony media is compatible with all second-generation LTO drives.

Sony LTO Ultrium 2 media can store up to 200GB of native data per cartridge to handle the demands of enterprise-class backups. Maximum native transfer speeds range up to 40MB per second, enabling condensed data backup windows. ...Sony profile


IRVINE, Calif. - January 27, 2004 - Procom Technology has added an enterprise-class model to its popular DataFORCE line of CD/DVD-ROM NAS appliances. The new DataFORCE 800R provides up to 2 terabytes of RAID-5 protected storage and data access 220 times faster than optical media. Supporting Windows, Linux, Macintosh, UNIX, and Novell NetWare, the DataFORCE 800R offers seamless integration into heterogeneous network environments. It connects all users on the network (via 10/100/1000 BaseT Ethernet), allowing cross-platform access and file sharing of thousands of CDs or hundreds of DVDs. Additionally, multiple CDs and DVDs can be mounted under a single Windows drive letter.

Like all DataFORCE appliances, the 800R enables CD recording over the network; creation on the hard drive of a virtual copy of the CD image, for enhanced data protection; CD and DVD caching from any workstation on the network; and writable partitions for individual users' data. To eliminate single points of failure and facilitate reliability, it features hot-swappable power supplies, fans and hard drives. The DataFORCE 800R appliance carries a suggested retail price starting at $12,995 and comes with a one-year warranty. Customer shipments have already begun. ...Procom Technology profile


BELLEVUE - January 27, 2004 - TeraCloud Corporation announced today that SoftPlex, Inc., will distribute the SpaceFinder family of System 390 and zSeries storage-management products in Japan. Founded in 1994, SoftPlex is a major distributor of MVS, System 390, and zSeries solutions in Japan.

"The mainframe market is growing and for the first time in many years, we are seeing growth in new customers. Worldwide, there are more than 10,000 large System 390 and zSeries shops that we plan to target with our functionally superior storage management solutions" said Gary Tidd, president and CEO of TeraCloud. "Entering the Japanese market is a strategic key step for us." ...SoftPlex, ...TeraCloud profile


LONGMONT, Colo. - January 26, 2004 - COPAN Systems today announced it is making a pitch for the disk to disk backup market. The Company was founded by storage industry veterans from Hitachi Data Systems, StorageTek, VERITAS, Dell and Compaq, and is funded by Austin Ventures and Globespan Capital. The first COPAN Systems product has been validated by over 60 enterprise customers, including many Fortune 500 institutions spanning media, financial, manufacturing and high-end computing industries. The product will be available in mid-2004.

"COPAN Systems was founded with a vision to revolutionize the way long term digital data is stored and accessed," said Dave Davenport, COPAN Systems President and Chief Executive Officer. "Companies, faced with the ever increasing need to keep more data easily accessible and online, are finding barriers with current technology. Tape is too slow and operationally intensive and current disk offerings are too expensive and can't scale. We believe a new architecture is needed to address today's businesses."

Unfortunately, even with the advent of the new SATA disk systems at $10/GB, disk is still three to five times the cost of automated tape libraries at $.75–3.50/GB, making long term data management prohibitive. In addition, many enterprises are concerned with the reliability of SATA technologies. COPAN Systems claims that its enterprise technology will not only achieve this dramatic price level, but will also extend the life and reliability of disk technology. ...COPAN Systems profile


MILPITAS, Calif. - January 26, 2004 - Adaptec, Inc. has agreed in principle to acquire Elipsan Limited. Elipsan's storage virtualization technology will enable Adaptec to facilitate storage scalability and increase performance across multiple RAID subsystems. By integrating Elipsan's virtualization and business-continuance capabilities directly into Adaptec's RAID subsystems, Adaptec will eliminate the need for a dedicated server or expensive third-party management software. The new capabilities also will enable Adaptec to offer faster data backup and recovery to optimize business continuity.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to be completed within the next several weeks and is subject to the execution of a definitive agreement and customary closing conditions. No assurance can be given, however, that the parties will reach agreement on the terms of such definitive agreement or that such closing conditions will be satisfied. ...Adaptec profile, ...Elipsan profile

Editor's comments:- if this goes ahead, it will be the second change of ownership for Elipsan employees in less than a year. Elipsan was established in March 2003 through the spin-off of the IPSAN division of Eurologic Systems.



Orlando, Fla. - January 26, 2004 - Network Appliance, Inc. today expanded support for IBM Lotus applications by announcing iSCSI support for NetApp SnapManager for Lotus Domino. Combined with NetApp storage systems, iSCSI support offers customers the same affordability, scalability, and simplicity as standard Ethernet networking to create a low-cost, high-performance storage area network for IBM Lotus Domino or IBM Lotus WorkPlace applications in Windows and UNIX environments. NetApp SnapManager for Lotus Domino is a comprehensive data management solution that simplifies and automates configuration, backup, and restore operations for Lotus Domino databases supporting e-mail; Web application services; and applications such as CRM, SFA, and HR. NetApp solutions enable Lotus customers to easily expand capacity without affecting the performance of Lotus Domino or IBM WorkPlace applications or requiring the applications to be taken offline. NetApp is one of the first vendor partners of IBM Lotus to support Domino 6.5. ...Network Appliance profile


Portland, Ore. - January 26, 2004 - APCON, Inc. today announced that the company has signed distribution agreements with three new European distributors, further broadening APCON's global reach. New to APCON's channel roster is Arcadiz Telecom, Belgium; Indes Integrated Development Solutions BV, The Netherlands; and ProfiNET TEST, Czech Republic. All three distributors will carry APCON's entire product line, including the recently announced INTELLAGUARD failover protection switches, INTELLAPATCH physical layer switches, and SCSI switches and extender products.

"We are pleased to welcome Arcadiz, Indes and ProfiNET TEST into the APCON family. We believe they will be able to best represent APCON's complete range of value-added solutions to our customers in their respective countries." said APCON President and CEO Richard Rauch. ''Our channel partners are an integral element in APCON's long-term strategy. These agreements mark our renewed commitment to grow our international marketing efforts." ...Apcon profile


MINNEAPOLIS, MN.- January 26, 2004 - CNT today announced the availability of the inVSN (pronounced In-Vision) family of storage network software solutions that facilitate the management of an enterprise's entire SAN, MAN and WAN infrastructure. Businesses can now see their entire global storage infrastructure in a single view, pro-actively collect network performance data, identify potential problem areas and correlate those problems back to the affected application, increasing data availability and reducing the time required to diagnose and resolve problems. The CNT inVSN management software uses open, standard interfaces that can manage multiple product lines and protocols.

"It doesn't matter what equipment, protocols or infrastructure managers are using in their storage network," said Ed Walsh, VP of marketing, alliances, and strategy at CNT. "Our new inVSN management software makes it much easier to design, implement, manage and troubleshoot your entire storage network environment, regardless of where that storage is located. For over twenty years, CNT has been building and using tools for remote monitoring and management. We've applied that expertise to storage since 1997. Now, for the first time, we are offering these tools and proven methodologies to customers for deployment at their own facilities. We are also offering customers a variety of ways to analyze storage network information. By being able to view an entire storage application, customers can troubleshoot network issues ahead of time so that they can take action and avoid outages altogether. This 'proactive, rather than reactive' approach means less time and money spent on managing storage network problems." ...CNT profile


BOULDER, Colo. - January 26, 2004 - NASA Langley Vehicle Analysis Branch is using a Spectra Logic T950 tape library to store valuable trajectory flight data from NASA's recent MER-Spirit (Mars Exploration Rover) entry into the Mars atmosphere and landing on the surface. This data from the first mission was valuable in assisting the second landing on the opposite side of Mars last weekend. Because of the requirement to test all changes, the MER team only had about 12 days to assess the data from Spirit, determine potential changes and then test the changes before providing the information to the flight software coders.

"We chose the Spectra T950 after researching competing libraries because of its high performance, density and reasonable cost," said Prasun Desai, Langley's MER project lead. "We've been able to significantly improve backup speed with the highly recommended enterprise tape library."

NASA Langley chose a Spectra T950 with LTO-2 tape drives to backup space, aircraft and other scientific data, including trajectory data from its January 2004 MER mission. Data is sent from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where it is then backed up by the Spectra T950 tape library. This provides quick recovery of the data, and guards against the loss of data on the working disks coupled with an inability to re-receive the data from JPL. ...Spectra Logic profile



COSTA MESA, Calif. - January 26, 2004 - Emulex Corporation announced today its 4 Gb/s InSpeed SOC 422 Fibre Channel embedded storage switch, marking its entry into the next generation of SANs. Emulex has delivered sample silicon to its key OEM partners and expects to begin production shipments within the next year. The Emulex InSpeed SOC (Switch-On-a-Chip) 422 is the industry's first 4 Gb/s embedded storage switching solution, providing 22 ports of connectivity in a highly integrated device that is ideal for implementing a wide variety of embedded storage applications, including SBODs, Root Switches and Fully Switched Architectures. Eight of the world's leading storage OEMs are currently evaluating or integrating the SOC 422. ...Emulex profile


Oracle AppsWorld, SAN DIEGO - January 26, 2004 - EMC Corporation today announced the EMC DatabaseXtender software suite, powerful new information management software designed for application environments. Available immediately, DatabaseXtender gives organizations the ability to monitor database growth and usage, and intelligently identify and relocate inactive data to various storage tiers as its value and service level requirements change, thereby improving database performance and reducing costs. DatabaseXtender works within existing heterogeneous storage infrastructures, and serves as core technology for implementing an information lifecycle management strategy for structured data. ...EMC profile


ISLANDIA, N.Y., and SAN DIEGO - January 26, 2004 - Computer Associates International, Inc. and Overland Storage, Inc. will jointly market a new, integrated solution for faster backup and recovery to their channel partners and end users. The solution consists of Overland's REO SERIES R2000 backup and recovery acceleration appliance deployed with CA's BrightStor ARCserve Backup r11 for Windows software to enable high-speed "Disk-to-Disk-to-Tape" backup and recovery.

The iSCSI-based R2000 is the first backup and recovery accelerator to be tested and certified with this latest version of BrightStor ARCserve Backup for Windows. Together, the technologies enable the simultaneous backup of multiple BrightStor ARCserve Backup for Windows servers to a REO appliance. Customers can now significantly reduce corporate-wide backup and restoration times, achieving up to a three-fold improvement in performance according to tests conducted by both companies. In addition, iSCSI technology gives customers Fibre Channel-class performance without the typical expense, complexity and administrative overhead. ...Computer Associates profile, ...Overland Storage profile


Milpitas CALIF. - January 26, 2004 - LSI Logic today announced details of its Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) product plan and described new chip and host bus adapter products, which will be available later in 2004.

On the chip front the LSILSAS1064 Controller provides four SAS ports with up to 3 Gb/s data transfer rates per port. This enables an Integrated RAID solution for storage environments such as enterprise servers, high-performance workstations, blade servers and external storage systems. Supports Serial Attached SCSI Protocol (SSP), the Serial ATA Tunneling Protocol (STP), the Serial ATA (SATA) protocol, and the SAS Management Protocol (SMP). Another chip, the LSISASx12 Expander, provides storage environments with the functionality of connecting multiple targets and initiators through a switched device.

On the HBA front, the LSISAS3040X has four internal SAS/SATA ports designed to meet the needs of connecting to internal disk drives. Other products within the family will have external connectors and up to 8 ports. LSI Logic will also offer a family of RAID storage adapters and ROMB solutions designed to deliver high-performance, fault tolerant data protection throughout all SAS configurations. The MegaRAID SAS 300-8E eight-port RAID adapter design features both internal and external connectivity for use in multiple storage topologies. With MegaRAID technology, high availability storage environments currently reserved to SAN implementations will be delivered at the SAS DAS level. ...LSI Logic profile


Nashua, N.H.- January 26, 2004 - EqualLogic, Inc., today announced a distribution and support agreement with Net One Systems Co., Ltd., Japan's largest independent network solution provider. Net One is selling and supporting EqualLogic's PeerStorage Array 100E, an intelligent iSCSI storage solution, as part of its network storage offering to meet growing market demand for IP-based storage solutions. ...EqualLogic profile, ...Net One Systems

MILAN - January 23, 2004 - According to the updated IT spending estimates recently published by IDC, while the worldwide and regional economic growth will continue to recover slowly from 2001 levels, the outlook for Western Europe 2004 is of continued decline. In addition, Western Europe's cautious monetary policy and stability pact is likely slow any possible recovery. An overview of IT spending evolution in the major Western European countries shows an enduringly cautious approach to technology-related investments due to budget restraints. Nevertheless, the outlook is expected to improve starting from this year, boosted by economic conditions gradually showing signs of recovery. ...IDC profile


San Jose, Calif. – January 22, 2004 – Infineon Technologies today announced the availability of a new generation of highly integrated System-On-Chip devices, manufactured using Infineon's advanced 0.13micron process, that integrates a 1.6Gbit/s read channel core, a 3 Gbit/s Native Serial ATA interface, a 16-bit microcontroller, a hard disk controller, embedded memory and a quality monitoring system. The company also announced that Hitachi GST has selected the Infineon chips to enable 3Gbit/s Native SATA capabilities in future versions of its Deskstar hard disk drives. ...Infineon Technologies profile


LAKE FOREST, Calif. - January 22, 2004 - Western Digital Corp. today reported revenue of $835 million (up 11% on the year ago quarter) on shipments of approximately 12.7 million units, and net income of $68.8 million for its second fiscal quarter ended Dec. 26, 2003.

Matt Massengill, chairman and CEO of Western Digital said "Overall demand for hard drives in the second quarter was strong across all geographic markets - reflected by our 12.7 million total unit shipments and sequential revenue growth in each major region - as we continued to participate in a set of multi-year, high-volume growth opportunities in the commercial and consumer markets. In addition to strength in our core desktop PC market, growing numbers of hard drives were shipped into newer markets such as enterprise-class Serial ATA, video entertainment, and external hard drives for system backup and mass storage of digital media content." ...Western Digital profile


COSTA MESA, Calif. - January 22, 2004 - Emulex Corporation today announced its Fibre Channel host bus adapters are the exclusive Fibre Channel connectivity solution for the next generation Microsoft Systems Architecture utilizing Windows Server 2003. The MSA 2.0 is a pre-tested solution that provides implementation guidance for a proven integrated IT infrastructure delivering scalability and high availability in Microsoft Windows Server 2003 environments. As a key member of the MSA program, Emulex is the exclusive provider of HBAs for the program.

"The Microsoft Systems Architecture 2.0 utilizing Windows Server 2003 allows the end-user to maximize the network's productivity with fewer resources, truly making the network a strategic asset," said Jim Hebert, general manager, Windows Server Product Management Group, Microsoft Corp. "Microsoft is pleased to work with industry leaders like Emulex to provide reliable, secure and pre-tested architecture solutions to enterprise customers using Windows Server 2003." ...Emulex profile


Hopkinton, MA- January 22, 2004 - EMC Corporation today reported fourth-quarter and full fiscal year financial results for 2003. Total consolidated revenue for EMC's fourth quarter was $1.86 billion, 25% higher than the $1.49 billion reported for the fourth quarter of 2002. Net income for the fourth quarter was $220 million. This compares with a net loss of $64 million for the fourth quarter of 2002.

Total consolidated revenue for EMC's full 2003 fiscal year was $6.24 billion, 15% higher than the $5.44 billion reported for the full 2002 fiscal year (but still 30% below EMC's peak 2000 revenue level of $8.87 billion - editor.) Net income for the full 2003 fiscal year was $496 million compared with a net loss of $119 million for the full 2002 fiscal year. ...EMC profile

McDATA Decimates Workforce

Western Digital Gets New CFO

European Tour - the Future of Backup & Recovery

VERITAS Reports Record Quarter

LiveVault Acclaimed by Robin Bloor

SGI to resell Atempo's Time Navigator

Storability's GSM Certified with SANtricity

Storage Street Pricing Info Available

Micron's RLDRAM II Exceeds Expectations

Yahoo! Chooses BakBone 's NetVault

ADIC Launches new iSCSI options

Dataram Expand's Tyan S2885 Server Board to 32GB

Pegasus InveStore Supports Windows 2003

Sony Ships LTO 2 Media

Procom Gives Fast NAS Access to Optical-Media

TeraCloud Signs Japanese Distributor

COPAN Systems a new name in the D2d Market

Adaptec to Acquire Elipsan

iSCSI Data Protection for IBM Lotus

APCON Signs 3 New European Distributors

New CNT Software Oversees Storage Networks

Mars mission backed up by Spectra Logic

Emulex Delivers 4 Gbps Embedded FC Switches

EMC DatabaseXtender Software Suite

CA and Overland offer iSCSI Backup Bundle

LSI Logic Unveils Serial Attached SCSI Products

EqualLogic Appoints Distributor in Japan

Slow Recovery in European IT Market Says IDC

Infineon's new Chip for SATA disk drives

Western Digital's Quarterly Revenue Up 11%

Emulex HBAs Qualifed with MSA 2.0

EMC Reports Strong 4th Quarter Results

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Nibble:- Poor Market Research by Storage Vendors Means Users Have to Work Harder to Avoid Paying Too Much

M
any storage vendors are sloppy at market research - particularly in the area of competitive research. This manifests itself in a number of ways.

Incorrect claims about technology firsts.

I often get a sense of deja vu when seeing press releases which claim that a company is the first to ship a certain type of technology or product. A quick bit of research in the STORAGEsearch news archives reveals that another company did exactly the same thing maybe 6 to 10 months before. When I query this with the press release originator the reply is often that they genuinely didn't know about the earlier product. If I do run the news item then I use my editorial prerogative to filter out the misleading "first" claim, while leaving the other facts intact.

Uncompetitive pricing.

It's surprising how often new products are launched at a price point which is significantly above other preexisting products which are functionally identical. If you exclude the memory market - which is a special case - in which the average selling price this year will be higher than in 2003 because of supply and demand issues - then other types of storage would normally follow a declining price curve over time. You'd be surprised how many times company A is promoting a storage product at twice the price of company B. When you look into it - you find that the company selling at the higher price doesn't seem to be aware who its competitors are or what price they're selling at. All they know for sure is that their sales don't seem to be growing as quickly as expected.

The root cause of this is that marketing managers are too busy (or inexperienced) to do competitive market research competently. But there's also a disincentive in venture capital backed companies to spend any money on market research at all. One experienced California based market research friend of mine commented about this phenomenon . He said the VCs and the founders think they know it all anyway, and they see no good reason for spending money to find out what they think they already know. That might account for the high failure rate of many well funded start ups - who close their eyes to the market once their business plan gets the money.

But the fact is you don't have to spend money on market reports to find out who your competitors are. Publications like STORAGEsearch group together companies in the same product catgory - and trawling through the web pages we link to can provide the basic information which many storage marketers seem to lack.

How does this affect users?

Users have to be vigilant about paying too much and they have to ignore many vendors' spurious claims about technology or market leadership. Even though the storage market is a commodity market, which should reduce price point variations, that's not happening. Instead it appears that imperfect market awareness in the storage vendor community creates much bigger price discrepencies than would be tolerated in more mature markets. By shopping around - users can sometimes pay 50% less for identical solutions.

What should storage marketers do?

By learning more about their competitors storage marketers can benefit too. Helping their companies get closer to reality might help some storage companies survive longer.

See also:- Market research

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