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Storage Clips: McData to acquire CNT

Switch vendor McData buys CNT for $235 million in stock; NearTek announces interoperability with IBM products; ONStor unveils high-end NAS gateway.

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McData to acquire CNT
In an effort to broaden its networking and data center presence, switch vendor McData Corp. announced a definitive agreement to acquire Computer Network Technology Corporation, "CNT," a company that sells WAN extension products for the SAN market. The companies said that the all-stock transaction, valued at approximately $235 million in equity and debt (based on net debt as of Oct. 31, 2004), will provide users with a storage networking infrastructure that will improve productivity, business continuity and regulatory compliance.

Wall Street analysts have been calling for consolidation in the SAN switch market ever since Cisco made its entry back in 2001. They argue that there are too many suppliers now to support the size of the market. CNT was the fourth player lagging behind Brocade, McData and Cisco on market share, but its long distance replication appliance and other SAN extension products are gaining momentum.

Under the terms of the agreement, which was approved by both companies' boards of directors, CNT shareholders will receive 1.3 shares of McData Class A common stock for each share of CNT common stock they hold. Upon completion of the transaction, which is expected in McData's fiscal second quarter 2005, McData and CNT stockholders will own approximately 76% and 24%, respectively, of the combined company.

McData said that by acquiring CNT, it will expand its growth and profitability potential through a broader range of technologies, products and services and increased sales opportunities, especially in Europe. Current customers and partners of both companies include Dell, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM, StorageTek and Sun Microsystems.

The transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory approval and approval by McData and CNT shareholders.

IBM certifies NearTek's virtual tape software
NearTek Inc., a provider of software-based virtual tape products that integrate disk into the tape backup process, announced that it has successfully finished interoperability testing of its Virtual Storage Engine (VSE) software with IBM's TotalStorage FAStT, Enterprise 3494 Tape Library, Enterprise Tape Drive 3592, Enterprise 3583 Tape Drive, 2105 Enterprise Storage Server, SAN Volume Controller and the 2109-F32 SAN Fibre Channel Switch. NearTek received a comprehensive level rating from IBM's TotalStorage Proven program, which is designed to develop products that work together with third-party products. NearTek's VSE is software that masks the physical tape to the host by emulating tape devices through virtual drives and then transfers data to tape, disk or both. VSE offers support for both mainframe and open systems platforms.

ONStor unveils high-end NAS gateway
ONStor Inc., a provider of NAS gateway products for multi-vendor storage, announced the release of the ONStor Bobcat NAS gateway, that offers scalability from 1 terabyte (TB) to 40,000 TB of capacity at a starting cost of under $20,000. The company said that the Bobcat NAS gateway allows companies to consolidate and manage data on multi-vendor storage as if the data was on one NAS device.

The company also said that the Bobcat is the first NAS gateway to deliver the five essential abilities required for NAS to be effectively used in the enterprise: open storage, no data or user migration necessary when scaling, capacity and performance provisioning on demand and interoperability with Windows and Unix/Linux. In addition, ONStor touts compatibility with 100 storage devices and software applications from vendors such as IBM, EMC, StorageTek, HP/Compaq, 3PAR, Hitachi, Nexsan, Veritas, Tivoli, Symantec and McAfee.

The Bobcat NAS gateway is available starting at a list price of $19,950 for a fully configured device with no capacity restrictions and no per-user licensing.

PMC-Sierra announces enclosure architecture for 4 GB switch
PMC-Sierra Inc. announced a complete storage enclosure architecture for 4 GB Fibre Channel SAN and NAS storage systems. The PM8393 Storage Management Controller joins the PMC-Sierra PM8379 CTS 20x4 GB, PM8378 CTS 18x4 GB and PM8375 CTS 4x4 GB Fibre Channel loop switch product family to provide a complete hardware and firmware reference design. This 4 GB Fibre Channel architecture enables storage systems OEMs to differentiate their product offerings through enclosure services, system performance and diagnostics.

Unitrends secures $8.1M in funding
Unitrends Software Corp., a provider of enterprise-wide data protection products and services, announced it has closed an $8.1 million "B" round of funding. The capital will be used in helping small- and mid-sized businesses secure, protect and recover corporate data. Unitrends will expand its sales and marketing organizations throughout North America, and will continue to invest in the development of integrated software and hardware business recovery products.

Maxell announces DVD-Rpro
Maxell Corp. of America, a maker of recordable media products, announced the new 4.7 GB DVD-Rpro, a new line of media designed to withstand both abuse and contaminants. DVD-Rpro incorporates technologies for durability and long-term data protection. These technologies include the MaxPro hard-coat surface for scratches, an antistatic quality for dust, a protective coating for smudges and fingerprints, and a high-quality, propriety dye for longevity. The company said that the MaxPro technology produces a media surface that is 40 times more scratch resistant and 20 times more dust resistant than standard DVD media.

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