Behind the Firewall

Brocade and Nishan get cozy ... Cash register rings at start-up 3PAR ... Beware of DMX discounts ... Compliance: This year's hot button?

Betcha iSCSI/FCIP player Nishan does a deal with Brocade. They've talked about an acquisition, but CEO Bob Russo wants at least $200 million, and that's too rich these days for Brocade. They'll probably partner up to try to hold off Cisco.


EMC, NetApp, Legato and a slew of others are starting to talk about compliance issues and storage. Plasmon has been the optical storage company reaping the traditional compliance benefits, but these guys and others see dollars with the new regulations coming down the pike. Will compliance be this years "virtualization?"

Bay area reseller IAS--formerly a $100 million-plus player--has been losing deals to competitors such as CATS. Two former IAS customers said service levels were way down.

3PAR has more than 20 real customers. Early feedback from clients is very positive. Biggest surprise: "It actually did what they said." I guess that means not everything does!

Cisco buys McData? With Inrange all but gone and Brocade looking vulnerable, perhaps the giant may accelerate its domination by buying the strongest player. McData's rumored acquisition of start-up Sanera fell apart--perhaps this is why.

Scale8 COO Patrick Rogers was seen wearing a Network Appliance badge at a NetApp sales meeting. Word is he now works for NetApp marketing chief, Mark Santora.

Rhapsody CEO, Mike Klayko, is now the COO at Brocade. He owns sales, marketing and services, and could have even more soon. Rhapsody founder, Dave Stevens, was seen at the Vision conference with a very big smile on his face. Apparently, some of his stock was liquidated.

Anybody heard anything from Zambeel? Hello?

Flagrant unsubstantiated rumor of the month--BlueArc is trying to sell out to Larry Ellison-backed Pillar Data.

SGI teamed up with LSI to unseat long-time NetApp customer Saudi Aramco for a multiterabyte storage deal. Yes, I said SGI. The bad news is NetApp lost the business. The good news is they don't have to go to Saudi Arabia for a while.

We reported that EMC was cutting cost corners to win competitive RFPs on the new DMX series by under-populating arrays with cache boards. Now we hear that one large EMC user has halted all purchases of EMC storage due to frustration with what they see as a misleading practice. They've also raised questions about the quality of the DMX 800. Apparently, so have some EMC techs, who've taken to referring to the DMX line as "Fisher Price Symmetrix." The new models have a lot of plastic parts--that old battleship build quality just isn't there.

Rumor has it that EMC will soon release snapshot functionality for Symmetrix. Clariion already already provides snapshot through SnapView, so why has it taken EMC so long to add it to the Symm? If we had to guess, it has something to do with fact that it takes a lot more disk to support split-mirror BCVs than a snapshot...

Sun's SRM EOL'd? Hardly! In the March 2003 BTF column, we wrote Sun was discontinuing the SRM product it acquired through the HighGround acquisition. We were wrong. Michael Bilancieri, senior product manager at Sun, wrote to us and said this couldn't be further from the truth. To clarify, Sun has "no plans to abandon its storage management offerings, including the HighGround SRM product." In fact, Sun recently released a service pack for SRM which includes new COLUMNs and additional device and software support. We are sorry for the error, but the sun hasn't been shining around here lately.

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
This was last published in June 2003

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