Today is the (a?) day of reckoning in the 3Par saga, with Dell widely expected to make a counter-offer higher than HP’s bid. But this mega deal, like the Data Domain war before it, sends a strong signal to the enterprise IT world: It’s open season on data storage companies! But the rising superpowers are also likely looking at networking as an area of expansion. The game is afoot!
Archives for August 2010
Why do some data storage solutions perform better than others? Mechanical performance, RAM caching, I/O capacity, and the intelligence of the system all have a part to play. Today we examine the rule of spindles: Adding more disk spindles is generally more effective than using faster spindles.
Any reader of my blog knows that I’m a sucker for small storage systems. I currently use would a four bay Data Robotics Drobo, but there are many other fine choices for those with different needs. I was talking to my friend Jerome Wendt about this, and we are collaborating on a buyer’s guide for small business storage systems.
After years spent focusing on personal technology, businesses are increasingly turning back to the enterprise. The corporate IT market is much more dynamic and competitive, with a few very large “superpower” companies discovering their power to drive purchasing decisions. If a supplier can create an integrated “stack” of hardware and software, they can push product purchases that might otherwise be overlooked or postponed. This is the main reason that enterprise IT acquisitions work so well: Where a small company must fight to sell their product, a large one can hitch it to a much more strategic sale and have it pulled along.
The 3Par acquisition is a slam dunk at under $2 billion. The company has great enterprise-grade SAN technology and a proven ability to sell into high-end accounts but lacked the revenue to go it alone. A major enterprise IT vendor like HP or Dell (not to mention Oracle, IBM, or even NetApp) will kick sales into high gear. But there’s an amazing short-term win to be had for whoever acquires 3Par!
I’m a sucker for storage and networking so combining these two great tastes really gets me interested. I’ve been watching the CloudEngines Pogoplug with interest. It allows you to share a USB external hard disk drive across a LAN and even allows access over the Internet using the Pogoplug service. Last year, Seagate licensed the PogoPlug technology from CloudEngines and came out with their own-brand FreeAgent DockStar Network Adapter which includes the service. In addition to the special connector for Seagate’s pre-GoFlex portable hard drives, the DockStar has three standard USB ports for any old USB drive you might have hanging around.
Despite using Mac OS X for most of my daily work, I normally have one or two Windows 7 virtual machines running in VMware Fusion. But Windows Automatic Update is causing me trouble. It automatically restarts these virtual machines whenever there is an OS update, which seems to be every night lately. This automatic reboot kills whatever programs happen to be running at the time, causing me to lose half-written articles (even though I saved them and Auto Save is on) and almost killing an old BlackBerry I was updating. I had to figure out a way to disable this automatic reboot!
It just isn’t right. I shouldn’t have to complain to get decent customer service, to keep listed prices from changing at checkout, or to get defective products replaced. Every customer deserves the same positive experience: A smooth purchase, easy delivery, as-advertised functionality, and lifetime quality. The squeaky wheel shouldn’t be the only one to get the grease. Until then, however, I have one word of advice: Squeak!
The storage industry got a lot more competitive this morning, as Dell announced plans to buy 3Par. This is the latest round in a well-established race for the enterprise storage dollar, challenging superpower (and Dell partner) EMC in the high-end SAN space. What does this acquisition say about the industry as a whole? Where are we headed?
It’s a familiar tale: A production company gets the green light to produce a new science fiction television series and pours their hearts into it, then the network destroys it. I’m not talking about Joss Whedon’s masterful Firefly; I’m talking about the 1987 series, Max Headroom. If you’re not familiar with the series, you may be recoiling slightly in post-traumatic 1980’s stress at the thought of Coca Cola’s overexposed pitchman being associated with anything positive. But you really ought to give it a chance. The show is simply amazing.