Behind the firewall 2

Will Cisco acquire McData? ... EMC really wants to get into the tape business ... Business is booming at Dot Hill ... Fujitsu Softek's new moniker.

EMC sales people believe that Cisco is in the process of acquiring McData--and they don't like it. Expect the sales force to push Brocade more than ever to keep account control.


You have to wonder how often the experience of a large hospital with StorageTek's BladeStore has been repeated. Purchased as a backup target and staging server for online vaulting, the BladeStore has been serious trouble. Dozens of terabytes of backups have failed, apparently due to flaws in the array's controller microcode and/or the dynamic multipathing software. Ironically, the hospital was attracted to the array in part because it used a proven LSI controller, but IT managers there think it was hastily and poorly retrofitted to be an ATA controller. In any event, they want their money back and StorageTek wants to give them some standard Fibre Channel arrays as replacements, eating the cost difference.

In the wake of Hewlett-Packard's renewal of its agreement to sell Hitachi Data Systems' (HDS) high-end arrays, expect a similar renewal of vows between HDS and Sun Microsystems. Officials at Sun say the 9900 arrays get them in the data center at some accounts.

EMC wants to get into the tape business. One would believe that StorageTek is too much of a competitor, so the bet is on ADIC or Quantum to get the business.

StorageTek continues to impress Wall St., but with disk vice president Tom Major jumping ship to startup Lefthand Networks recently, word on the street is while the talk of end-to-end information lifecycle management is nice, they are really driving all revenue from tape systems. LSI Logic, who supplies StorageTek with their disk subsystems, can't be happy with the lack of orders. It's a good thing that IBM continues to sell lots of FastT systems.

When will Veritas and HP enter the archive space? The compliance issues alone merit a play. If HP wants to rekindle its Omniback backup business, adding an archive component makes a lot of sense. Now that EMC owns Legato--and OTG's archival products--when will Veritas make a play?

Has anyone noticed that Dot Hill, on the verge of death a year ago, is booming? Wall St. is paying attention to the fact that Sun is selling a ton of low-end RAID systems from the company.

Legato CEO turned EMC VP stood up at EMC's recent analyst meeting and proudly claimed that his business could easily become a $500 million business with EMC behind it. It looked like CEO Joe Tucci and CFO Bill Teuber were choking to death during the comments.

Speaking of back from the dead, IBM has been making StorageTank noises again. Expect a product this year, which explains IBM's sudden lack of interest in low-end NAS. BigBlue has made a strategic decision to pursue NAS gateways and SAN file systems.

Pyx Technologies, an iSCSI software developer, has created an iSCSI stack which is supposedly the first to support error recovery handling Level 2 (oooh ahhh), far ahead of the iSCSI implementations you find from the likes of Microsoft, Cisco, Adaptec, etc. What it means is that if data gets dropped during a session, you don't have to start from scratch.

Rumor has it Seagate has a 286GB SCSI drive in the works, spinning at 10,000 rpms. They would achieve these capacities by combining two 146GB platters.

Expect Fujitsu Softek to become plain old Softek soon. The company has selected an investment bank and is spinning itself out of Fujitsu. Fujitsu will take the buyout and maintain a minority equity position. The company continues to impress in the marketplace.

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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