Behind the firewall 4

Sun and AppIQ place bid for BMC ... Legato has risen from the dead ... Paceline really is dead ... Buzz on EqualLogic's iSCSI arrays ... Could Fibre Channel cut off TOEs?

Word isn't good at InterSAN. Karen Dutch, VP of marketing, just jumped ship to Fujitsu Softek, and there appear to be a lot of resumes on the street. The company tried to lure former East Coast EMC/GiantLooper Mark Ward to take over, but Ward turned them down.


Clarification: In June, we wrote that "we reported that EMC was cutting cost corners to win competitive RFPs on the new DMX series by underpopulating arrays with cache boards." Sharp-eyed readers may have looked in vain for the original story--it was cut from an earlier piece for length reasons. The story concerned a company that had gotten an RFP from EMC in a very competitive bidding situation in which the price quoted was for an array with only two of eight possible cache boards, even though the customer hadn't requested such a lower performance option. We didn't intend to imply this was a widespread practice. According to EMC, some customers did receive bids with underpopulated cache boards due to a bug in a software configurator, which EMC says it later upgraded to the full complement for free. In the case we were referring to, the customer did not purchase the DMX and it is unclear whether the underpopulated cache was due to a bug or not.

Luminex announced that it has a product that allows mainframe users to plug loose SCSI or Fibre Channel (FC) disks into its systems, significantly lowering the cost of mainframe storage. The problem is that the product also deletes any of the availability and performance that mainframes seem to require from its storage.

Sun and AppIQ got together to submit a joint bid for BMC's storage business, but no decision had been made as of press time. It seems that, while BMC liked Sun's size and customer base, the company was incredibly slow to react to the opportunity. And while BMC loved AppIQ's product focus, it thought that the company was just too small. Together, it seems like it could be a good deal. Still, the word is that EMC will take the prize.

We heard about three big EMC shops having all their stuff replaced with Hitachi Data Systems last quarter. We also found two big HDS shops doing the reverse. It seems like nobody is happy these days.

We just read about the Sun StorEdge system winning the SPC benchmark by a mile. Of course, the company neglected to mention that the configuration was absurd--11 T3s bolted together and called a single system.

Former EMC/Veritas sales star Steve Velardi has joined start-up Actona as VP of sales. Actona aims to compete with fellow long-distance NFS players such as Tacit and DiskSites.

Does Legato seem like it is back from the dead?

Speaking of the dead, Paceline Systems is no more. The InfiniBand hopeful sold its IP to Motorola. CEO implant Barry Kallander couldn't find a business out of all that technology.

Do you think that if Fibre Channel became really cheap, we'd eliminate the need for TCP/IP offload engine (TOE) chips? TOEs will cost $500 bucks or so, and FC is rapidly approaching that cost (and already does the same thing), so why bother? iSCSI can run without the TOE cost on non-performance systems, and FC can run on the performance-oriented systems. Seems to me the FC industry could crush the TOE/high-performance iSCSI market before it even happens.

EqualLogic has nailed deals with some very large financial institutions. Its iSCSI array technology is turning a lot of heads, and is still the buzz leader in the OEM channel. It appears that Intransa is the only other competitor with native iSCSI support so far.

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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