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Behind the Firewall 7

Why didn't Cisco invite Network Appliance (NetApp) to its File Engine party? If you recall, last month Cisco announced that it would resell EMC NS500 and NS700 network-attached storage (NAS) arrays. According to a source, Cisco had initially planned to resell NetApp storage tools, but NetApp was "arrogant and uncooperative." The EMC/Cisco deal is non-exclusive, but it is preferential and gives EMC an important foothold in potentially lucrative accounts. In short, "EMC really wanted the business," but "NetApp's been looking in the mirror, signing autographs," says the source.

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Hopping on the compliance bandwagon in a bid to raise its profile, Deepfile is set to change its name to StoredIQ and is switching its focus from unstructured file management to compliance and security. Along with the new name and product direction, the company is expected to announce StoredIQ 3.0, a content-driven compliance and security appliance that discovers, protects and manages important files and e-mail. A second announcement will launch HIPAA-IQ to address HIPAA security compliance requirements for files at rest. HIPAA-IQ is able to find files containing electronic Protected Health Information, and to define and execute policies to bring those files under HIPAA-compliance control.
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A little too personal! Mark Ward, StorageTek's VP, North America sales and services, left the company for "personal reasons" in mid-January. Sources tell us that he allegedly made a big old fool of himself at a national sales dinner attended by StorageTek employees and even some customers. According to eyewitnesses, Ward, formerly of EMC, stood up before the crowd appearing to be drunk and proceeded to personally insult colleagues. He also bragged about how much he spends on his wife's jewelry and the clubs he belongs to. Apparently, the performance didn't go over well.

Sun Microsystems' Data Services Platform (DSP), or 6920, promises to be able to virtualize heterogeneous storage arrays. The problem is that it doesn't do it yet. Ditto for the Hitachi Data Systems' TagmaStore. But it's in the works, we're told. On the Sun side, the most likely platforms to get certified behind the DSP will be the rest of the Engenio line, which Sun already resells, followed by EMC's Clariion.

Been thinking of replacing your McData or CNT (Inrange) director? Now may be a great time to do just that. Sources say Cisco and Brocade are both reeling from the implications of McData's recent acquisition, and will be moving aggressively to lure customers away over the next 100 days. Their strategy will likely be to sow seeds of doubt over the future of various McData and CNT products. For example, will McData scrap the Sanera-derived Intrepid 10000 or CNT's Universal Multi-Service Director (UMD)? McData is the market leader, but analysts say UMD is the technically superior product.

The future is hazy at Permabit. Despite an executive's assurances to the contrary, we hear that the startup is having trouble securing a third round of funding. Setting off the alarm bells were the departures of Permabit's CEO (Randy Seidl, to StorageTek) and COO (Richard Vito). Meanwhile, Permabit announced an OEM deal with StorageTek last month, but StorageTek has confirmed that it's still working on its own object-based storage system, code-named Trinity.

Digi-Data, which came out with the innovative Storm Xtreme array last October, was asked to participate in a Storage story on modular arrays, but had to decline as it was in the middle of rethinking its entire strategy. Dennis Cindrich, formerly of Chaparral Network Storage, has been hired as the new CEO and is expected to come up with a plan in the next couple of months. Whatever the case, if the company is to be successful, it probably won't be on its strength as a sales and marketing organization, says an observer. "That's not their strong suit."

Got dirt? Go ahead and send it to us at btf@storagemagazine.com. We solemnly swear not to reveal your name, or who you work for.

This was first published in February 2005

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