The StorCenter PX line is a major step forward for Iomega. The BYOD option is welcome, as is SSD performance and improved specs. With official Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Windows Server, and VMware ESX support, the PX is finally up to the task of business computing. We look forward to putting these new devices through their paces in the future!
I’ve been following the progress of Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) for well over a decade. When I participated in high-end enterprise storage system shootouts as an end-user, HDS routinely placed second against EMC, HP and NetApp in the, and the decision was always a close one. But the storage market has changed, with nimble startups innovating around established competitors and industry giants flexing their marketing muscles.
It’s hard to stand out in the world of external storage devices, and doubly-hard to compete with the hard disk drive makers themselves. This hasn’t stopped folks like Iomega, Verbatim, and LaCie from trying to impress customers with flashy cases, software bundles, and clever functionality. But clever new twist on the external hard drive concept just rolled into the Pack Rat lair: The ioSafe SoloPRO is fireproof and waterproof. Cool!
Storage capacity continues to move forward on both 3.5″ and 2.5″ hard disk drives. On the small form factor side, Western Digital was first with a 250 GB platter, then Seagate shot back with a 320 GB platter, then it was Hitachi at 375 GB. So it was only a matter of time until the magical half-terabyte mark would be reached, yielding 1 TB in a 2-platter drive. Now Seagate has done it, shipping a 2-platter 9.5 mm hard disk drive in their latest GoFlex portable case.
HP has always been an alphabet soup company, assigning just about every item in their bewildering array of products a unique product number. Like Mercedes-Benz cars, even the product names are a mix of letters and numbers that can be off-putting to browsers. Now that they have grown to supersize proportions through internal expansion and acquisition, just about everyone outside the company seems to have trouble decoding the product line, so I decided to take a stab at decoding the enterprise lineup in plain english.
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!
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?
The external hard disk drive market is incredibly hot right now, but it’s also ultra-competitive. The latest trend is dockable multi-function drives that are friendlier to use and offer advanced features like video playback. Most docks rely on USB 2.0, but Seagate just dropped a bomb on the industry with a simple twist: They moved the intelligence outside the case, repackaging the standard internal SATA connector as GoFlex, an external link to a variety of docks and adapters.
Are “enterprise” drives worth the extra cost in a RAID enclosure? The reason I ask is I’ve had 2 of 4 Seagate ‘consumer’ (7200.12) drives fail in my (Other World Qx2) enclosure. The two drives that failed were maybe a year old, well short of any ‘MBTF’ expectation. Enterprise drives cost nearly twice that of consumer drives.