Behind the firewall 14

EMC's troubled sales team ... Odd naming conventions.

Gee, wonder why he went with another vendor? A user who recently purchased Hitachi's TagmaStore array said that while he was evaluating EMC's Symmetrix, the sales team only brought one engineer with them, who, according to the user, knew less about the product than he did. Later, when the user asked the engineer for more information, he was sent pages directly from EMC's marketing material.


No disrespect, but you gotta wonder what some startups are thinking when they pick a name. For example, there's storage software vendor Incipient. The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word as "Beginning to exist or appear,--hardly a bold statement." But to our ears, it sounds an awful lot like 'insipid'--"lacking flavor or zest; not tasty." Then there's Files-X, which makes point-in-time recovery software. Try saying Files-X 10 times in a row and you'll see the problem.

McData and Brocade's on-again, off-again merger talks have apparently been rekindled following Cisco's increasing market share gains. A year ago, a merger between McData and Brocade was considered to be anticompetitive and was rejected by legal experts, but sources say pressure from Cisco has brought these companies back to the table. Cisco is definitely making inroads, climbing to 14.5% market share in the second quarter, up from 4.3% in the same quarter a year earlier, according to market-researcher Dell'Oro Group. Can McData and Brocade pull the trigger before it's too late?

... Meanwhile Brocade has allegedly dropped any interest it had in acquiring CNT like a lead balloon. Sources say the company was considering CNT for its UMD director and UltraNet Edge Storage Router. With respect to the UMD, Brocade has its own high-end director coming next year and also recently launched its own multiprotocol router. Then there's the little issue of CNT's $125 million bond which is due for repayment in 2007, which, by the way, coincides with Brocade's own bond repayment coming up in a couple of years. Subsequently there's not much room for bonding with each other, it would seem.

Wide area file sharing expert Tacit Networks is reportedly working on a version of its product for distributed databases. It will enable multiple users to work on a single file in a database over a WAN, while keeping the data in sync--which is no mean feat we are told. Industries that might be interested in this high-end capability include financial services and biopharmaceutical.

is alacritus for sale? According to our source (a vice president at a tier-one storage vendor), yes, the pioneering startup is on the block. Alacritus sells Chronospan, a continuous data protection product, and Securitus, a virtual tape library implementation. Interested parties being bandied about include EMC and Veritas, neither of which have any continuous data protection technology to speak of. Bob Jackson, Alactritus vice president of new business development could not confirm or deny the rumor.

have emc engineers got tunnel vision? Symmetrix engineers are reportedly dragging their heels on porting Symm software to Storage Router, EMC's forthcoming network-based appliance for services like data migration, replication and volume management. Allegedly the engineers don't think it will be scalable enough to handle the tasks currently owned by the Symmetrix. It's easy to see the problem from their point of view. If the Storage Router does end up with all the intelligence, the storage behind it can be any old JBOD system. And if that happens, what happens to the Symmetrix?

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 October 2004

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