Behind the firewall 17

Invista: What's in a name? ... Apple slicing up its business ... Can you spare $500,000 for a Magic Quandrant?

Everyone knows Queen got its name from Freddy Mercury's prediction that guitarist Brian May would one day play...

to the Queen from the roof of Buckingham Palace--but how did EMC come up with the name Invista for its virtualization product? Don't laugh, but the product was apparently going to be called VirtyIron, or something like that, according to one of the company's senior software execs at a recent dinner. Be thankful to the naming gods that Joe Tucci, the company's straight-talking president and CEO, got wind of this idea and instantly put the kibosh on it.

"Joe picks all the product names and colors," the EMC executive says. One user suggested that the product should really be called Investa, as he says he'll be paying it off for years to come.

Word has it Network Appliance (NetApp) might have its eye on 3PAR to add a high-end SAN array to its portfolio. To date, NetApp has stayed out of the high-end sector of the market that includes EMC with Symmetrix, Hitachi Data Systems' TagmaStore and IBM's DS8000. A move in this direction would signal NetApp's commitment to becoming a broader storage provider, beyond NAS.


What's the magic number to get into Gartner's Magic Quadrant? According to a large storage vendor, you should be prepared to spend $500,000 per year with Gartner if you want to be in the upper right-hand corner of the graph, which plots "niche players" and "visionaries" against their "ability to execute."

Is Apple going to slice up its business? A large Apple customer says the company is seriously considering spinning off its enterprise business, which includes its server and storage products, to better focus on the needs of these customers. "I really hope they do it," he says. "iPods are great, but they don't help me reduce my backup window much."

Who needs data de-duplication when disk is cheap and plentiful? According to an anonymous source, this fall NetApp is set to announce a new version of it ATA-based NearStore filer that will scale up to 300TB. Today, the low-cost, high-capacity NearStore starts at 6TB and extends to 96TB.

Speaking of NetApp, there's talk circulating that the company is having a hard time getting engineers from its Spinnaker Networks acquisition to get along with its pre-existing staff. At issue is the file system. NetApp engineers, not surprisingly, are partial to WAFL, while Spinnaker folks prefer their own Andrew File System (AFS)-derived code.

What will happen to Hewlett-Packard's recently announced OEM deal with StorageTek for its midrange libraries now that Sun has acquired the company? Publicly, HP has stated that nothing is changing, but Wall Street has its doubts. If anything, investors seem to think that the Sun/StorageTek deal will push HP back into the arms of Overland Storage, its longtime tape library partner. If so, that doesn't bode well for StorageTek, as Merrill Lynch had predicted that 3% to 4% of its tape sales in 2006 would come from the HP deal.

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This was last published in July 2005

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