Behind the Firewall 6

Cisco users vent their frustration ... EMC keeps it in the family ... DataCore: New owner or new prospects?

How prepared is Wall Street for another disaster? One CIO at a leading brokerage firm recently took the IT group through an annual disaster recovery test. How'd they do? "Same as always--passed with flying colors, except for Exchange." Microsoft Exchange, he concludes, just wasn't built to be replicated.


Cisco announced its File Engine Wide-Area File Services (WAFS) product last month, and has reportedly already sold it to a European Fortune 100 company that had gone ahead with a server consolidation project "without doing their homework," according to a Cisco exec. In an effort to improve protection of data at remote offices, the company removed file and print servers located in branch offices, but now, he says, "the users are screaming and we can't help them fast enough."

EMC is infamous for high maintenance fees, but this time it cost them a Symmetrix customer. An IT manager at a telecommunications company was happy with the performance of his Symmetrix 3700 array, but soaring maintenance fees left him no choice but to switch to a less-expensive Clariion. Well, at least EMC kept it in the family.

Xiotech will unveil its Magnitude 3000 series in March. It will be its first product to use Intel Xeon processors instead of its own proprietary technology. The company hopes to gain cost and time-to-market advantages from moving to industry standard hardware. The 3000 series will broaden Xiotech's product portfolio, which right now consists of only two systems--the 1000 and 1000e. The 3000 line will have the same base software, but will offer higher performance and greater scale, say sources.

Get out your checkbooks? A source with close ties to the VC community tells us that storage virtualization pioneer DataCore is on the block and its asking price is a mere $5 million--a fraction of the total funding it has taken in. It's unclear from the company Web site how much seed money it received in 1998 when it was founded, but a 2000 round garnered $35 million, while another round in January 2004 landed $7 million. Data-Core CEO and President George Teixeira, meanwhile, flat out denies the rumor, especially the $5 million price tag that "doesn't even represent the revenues of our slowest summer quarter." For further proof that 2005 will be DataCore's year, he points to recent deals with NEC, Adaptec in Japan and Promise Technology, and hints at another round of financing.

Was Cisco the outside bidder for Veritas and not Oracle, HDS, IBM or Microsoft as some have suggested? At the big picture-level, Cisco is pushing forward with the idea of the utility-based data center, which has been a major focus at Veritas (with its acquisitions of Precise, Jareva and Ejasent). On a more granular level, Cisco and Veritas have been working hard to port Volume Manager to Cisco's MDS storage switches. Perhaps this idea has frittered away? Whatever the case, EMC folks are giving "high-fives all around" over Symantec's interest in Veritas, says one EMC insider, since a deal with Cisco would have jeopardized its Storage Router plans. Regarding the other possible bidders, Oracle already had its hands full with PeopleSoft; an acquisition by HDS or IBM would have upset Veritas' business with other hardware vendors; and Microsoft never makes mega-acquisitions.

Any day now, Veritas is expected to announce a revved-up version of Backup Exec, which is rumored to include advanced disk backup options, a centralized administration console, and more tightly integrated replication and reporting capabilities. The new release should help stem the tide of defections not to EMC/Legato, but to CommVault, a Veritas exec tells us. "There's been a gap in functionality between Backup Exec and NetBackup where CommVault fit in nicely," he says, which has allowed the competitor to slip a foot in the door at many accounts.

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