Behind the Firewall 3

Telcos make switch choices ...Why the FBI was at EMC ... Startups to watch ... Tape shows surprising strength.

McData has lost several recent deals at major telcos such as Sprint to both Brocade (price issues) and Cisco. Word is Cisco is getting a big deal at Qualcomm. We await word of a bake-off at British Telecom.


Acopia Networks is one to watch. They raised a ton of money, and have a pedigree that includes Prominet and ArrowPoint (which was sold to Cisco for $6 billion dollars). They aim to create a sort of storage load balancing schema that can help users focus on application quality of service and stop worrying so much about the end devices themselves.

Fireworks in Hopkinton: EMC escorted out about nine employees in mid-July who were illegally hosting Web services on EMC's gear. So much for encouraging that entrepreneurial spirit.

Speaking of EMC, did you notice that the Legato deal and BMC deals got done right after Erez Ofer stepped aside?

Speaking of Ofer, his counterpart at Hewlett-Packard, software chief Mark Sorensen, has jumped ship to work as a senior VP, information access and recovery, with old boss Mark Lewis at EMC.

Former buzz stars turned doomed: GiantLoop is reportedly about to sell its management software technology to CNT.

Storability is emerging as the front-runner for large-scale storage management by nailing more big deals than anyone else so far. New customers include AT&T and Deutsche Bank.

While IBM struggles on the public relations front with Shark, it appears that its server/storage bundling strategy is paying off. The percentage of IBM server connections is increasing, and since IBM servers are enjoying market share growth, storage is coming along for the ride.

We hear Hitachi Data Systems is going to put hundreds of engineers on a storage management software project, but they haven't decided what that project should be as of yet.

EMC's Centera people are frantically running around kissing up to partners, who are naturally nervous due to the application-level backup products in the Legato portfolio.

SANcastle is on the block, looking for an acquirer of its autonomous regioning technology. AR-DAT as it is called, enables heterogeneous Fibre Channel switches to be used in the same fabric and isolates traffic, which could be important as fabrics grow from dozens to hundreds of ports.

A very large cell company in the United States recently told us that while their two largest vendors are EMC and Veritas, they really like newcomers 3PAR and Creekpath as they try to build an internal storage service bureau.

Who will be the first storage array vendor to offer encryption on (or in front of) their box? We're not sure, but with all the talk about privacy and regulations, wouldn't that be a home run from a marketing perspective?

Tape is dead, huh? StorageTek and ADIC both reported strong growth, and while Quantum's was disappointing, it was really HP's poor showing that dragged the curve down. Overall, the tape market appears to be moving ahead nicely.

Behind the Firewall is written by a team of industry insiders who, for obvious reasons, prefer to remain anonymous. If you have tips, send them to

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