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Congratulations Imation and Nexsan
Are there any independent storage vendors left?

Last week Imation, the company that is known for making CDs, DVDs, magnetic tape and in the past floppy disk (diskettes), bought Nexsan, a company known for the SATA and SAS storage products.

Imation also (or should be) owns the TDK and Memorex names (remember is it real or is it Memorex? If not Google it). They also have had for several years removable hard disk drive (RHDD) products including the Odyssey (I am in the process of retiring mine), as well as partnership with the former ProStor for RDX and having acquired some of the assets of ProStor namely their RDX based InifiVault storage appliance. Imation has also been involved in some other things including USB and other forms of flash-based solid state devices (SSD), as well as a couple of years (2007) they launched cloud backup with DataGuard before cloud backup had become a popular buzzword topic.

Imation has also divested parts of its business over past several years including some medical related (X-ray stuff) to Kodak who occupies part of the headquarter building in Oakdale MN, or at least last time I looked when driving by there on way from the airport. They also divested their SAN lab with some of the staff going to Glasshouse and other pieces going to Lion bridge (an independent test lab company). Beyond traditional of data protection, backup/restore and archiving media or mediums from consumer to large-scale enterprise, Imation has also been involved in other areas involving recording. Imation also has done some other recent acquisitions around dedupe (Nine Technologies).

For its part, Nexsan has extended their portfolio from SATA and SAS products, AutoMaid Intelligent Power Management (IPM) which gives benefits of variable power and performance without the penalties of first generation MAID type products. Read more about IPM and related themes here, here and here. Nexsan also supports NAS and iSCSI solutions in addition to their archive and content or object storage focused Assureon product they bought a few years ago.

This is a good acquisition for both companies as it gives Imation a new set of products to sell into their existing accounts and channels. It also can leverage Nexsan's channel and solution selling skills giving them (Nexsan) a bigger brand and large parent for credibility (not that they did not have that in the past).

Here are is a link to a piece done by Dave Raffo that includes some comments and perspectives from me. To say that the synergy here is about archiving or selling SSD or storage would be too easy and miss a bigger potential. That potential is Imation has been in the business of selling consumable accessories for protecting and preserving data. Notice I said consumable accessories which in the past has meant manufacturing consumable media (e.g. Floppy disks or discs, CD, DVDs, magnetic tapes) as well as partnering around flash and HDDs.

In many environments from small to large to super-sized cloud and service providers, some types of storage systems including some of those that Nexsan sells can be considered a consumable media or medium taking over the role that tape, CDs or DVDs have been used in the pat. Instead of using tape or CDs or DVDs to protect the HDDs and SSDs based data, HDD based solutions are being used for disk-to-disk (D2D) protection (part of modernizing data protection). D2D is being done as appliances, or in conjunction with cloud and object storage system software stacks such as OpenStack swift, Basho Riak CS, CloudStack, Cleversafe, Ceph, Caringo and a list of others, in addition to appliances such as EMC ATMOS among others than can support 3rd party storage device as consumable mediums. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a data or information recession, and people and data are living longer and getting larger, both for big data and little data.

The big if in this acquisition which IMHO is a fair price for both parties based on realistic valuations is if they can collective execute on it. This means that Imation and Nexsan need to leverage each other's strengths, address any weakness, close gaps and expand into each other's markets, channels and sell the entire portfolio as opposed to becoming singular focused on a particular area tool or technology. If Imation can execute on this and Nexsan leverages their new parent, the result should be moving from the roughly $85M USD sales to $100M+ then $125M then $150M and so forth over the next couple of years.

Even if Imation keeps maintains revenues or a slight increase, which would also be a good deal for them, granted the industry pundits may not agree, so let us see where this is in a few years. However if Imation can grow the Nexsan business, then it would become a very good deal. Thus, IMHO the price valuation for the deal has the risk built into, something like when NetApp bought the Engenio business unit from LSI back in 2011 for about $480M USD. At that time, Engenio was doing about $705M USD in revenue and seen by many industry pundits as being on the decline, thus a lower valuation. For its part, NetApp, has been executing maintaining the revenue of that business unit with some expansion, thus their execution so far is being rewarding for taking the risk.

Let us see if Imation can do the same thing.

Now, does that mean that Nexsan was the last of the independent storage vendors left?

Hardly, after all there is still Xiotech, excuse me, Xio as they changed their name as part of a repackaging, relaunch and downsizing. There is DotHill who supplies partners such HP, or Dothills former partner supplier InfoTrend. If you are an Apple fan then you might know about Promise, if not, you should. Lets not forget about Data Direct Networks (DDN) that is still independent and at around $200M (give or take several million) in revenue, are very much still around.

How about Xyratex, sure they make the enclosures and appliances that many others use in their solutions, however they also have a storage solutions business focused on scale out, clustered and grid NAS based on Lustre. There are some others that I am drawing a blank on now (if you read this and are one of them, chime in) in addition to all the new or current generation of startups (you can chime in as well to let people know who you are to be bought).

There is still consolidation taking place, both of smaller vendors by mid-sized vendors, mid-sized vendors by big vendors, big vendors by mega vendors, and startups by established.

Again congratulations to both Imation and Nexsan, let us see who or what is next on the 2013 mergers and acquisition list, as well as who will join the where are they now club.

Disclosure: Nexsan has been a StorageIO client in the past; however, Imation has not been a client, although they have bought me lunch before here in the Stillwater, MN area.

With Imation having their own brand name and identity, not to mention TDK and Memorex, now I have to wonder will Nexsan be real or Memorex or something else? ;)

Ok, nuff said.

Cheers gs

Greg Schulz - Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier, 2004)

twitter @storageio

All Comments, (C) and (TM) belong to their owners/posters, Other content (C) Copyright 2006-2013 StorageIO All Rights Reserved

Read the original blog entry...

About Greg Schulz
Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.

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Cloud Expo - Cloud Looms Large on SYS-CON.TV


Cloud Expo 2013 East Opening Keynote by IBM
In this Cloud Expo Keynote, Danny Sabbah, CTO & General Manager, Next Generation Platform, will detail the critical architectural considerations and success factors organizations must internalize to successfully implement, optimize and innovate using next generation architectures.
Lisa Larson, Vice President of Enterprise Cloud Solutions of Rackspace Hosting Live From New York City
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In this "Cloud Trends" Power Panel at the 10th International Cloud Expo, moderated by Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan, Karen Padir, EVP of Products & Engineering at EnterpriseDB, and Aaron Hollobaugh, VP of Marketing & Communications at Hostway Corporation, map the hottest areas of cloud computing right now, and share real-world examples of offerings that are generating value. ... (more)

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Cloud Expo New York
[June 11-14, 2012]

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Introducing Big Data Expo
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There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Get a jump on that rapidly evolving trend at Big Data Expo, which we are introducing in June at
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Testimonials
Cloud Expo was a fantastic event for CSS Corp - we easily exceeded our objectives for engaging with clients and prospects."
AHMAR ABBAS
SVP, Global Infrastructure Management, CSS Corp.
 
With our launch at Cloud Expo, we successfully transformed the company from a relatively unknown European player into the dominant player in the market. Our competitors were taken by surprise and just blown away. We got a huge number of really high quality leads..."
PETE MALCOLM
CEO, Abiquo
 
We were extremely pleased with Cloud Expo this year - I’d say it exceeded expectations all around. This is the same info we got from partners who attended as well. Nice job!"
MARY BASS
Director of Marketing, UnivaUD
 
Cloud Expo helps focus the debate on the critical issues at hand in effect connecting main street with the next frontier."

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President & CEO, Appzero


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@CloudExpo Blogs
According to a study the rising number of cloud-specific security attacks are likely to propel the demand for cloud security systems to 20 percent CAGR over the next four years. Adoption of cloud computing services has risen and so have the security risks associated with them. According to a study published by Technavio Research, the rising number of cloud-specific security attacks are likely to propel the demand for cloud security systems over the next few years. Growth has been pegged at 20 percent CAGR over the next four years. According to the study, the usage of cloud-based services requ...
It’s safe to assume that the majority of all Internet of Things (IoT) devices operate near large populations of people. Of course, right? This is where the action happens – smart devices, smart cars, smart infrastructure, smart cities, etc. Plus, the cost of getting “internet-connected” in these areas is relatively low – public access to Wi-Fi is becoming widely available, cellular coverage is blanketed over cities, etc.
The benefits of efficiency and lower cost have been the primary drivers toward the cloud and SaaS deployments, but this is just the low-hanging fruit of a much greater body of potential. According to a Cisco-sponsored IDC report, a second wave of cloud adoption now targets a much more strategic set of benefits, with 54 percent of businesses surveyed expecting cloud to allow them to allocate IT budgets more strategically, and 53 percent looking to cloud solutions to increase revenues. According to the Cisco study, cloud and SaaS adoption takes place along a spectrum, with ad hoc deployment on...
Incumbent storage vendors such as EMC, Netapp, and Nutanix have built their rich code base on the block layer. This means that the only viable option to use Persistent Memory as a storage tier is to wrap it up with an abstraction layer that will present it as a block device.
APIs have taken the world by storm in recent years. The use of APIs has gone beyond just traditional "software" companies, to companies and organizations across industries using APIs to share information and power their applications. For some organizations, APIs are the biggest revenue drivers. For example, Salesforce generates nearly 50% of annual revenue through APIs. In other cases, APIs can increase a business's footprint and initiate collaboration. Netflix, for example, reported over 5 billion calls per day to its API in 2014.
The EMV liability shift that began in October 2015 is likely to reduce card present payment card fraud. That’s a double-edged sword for retailers with an online presence and those who accept mobile payments, as fraudsters are seeking easier routes to ill-gotten gain. Add to this the ongoing data breach environment that has become the new normal, and securing payment transactions has never been more significant.
In the rush to compete in the digital age, a successful digital transformation is essential, but many organizations are setting themselves up for failure. There’s a common misconception that the process is just about technology, but it’s not. It’s about your business. It shouldn’t be treated as an isolated IT project; it should be driven by business needs with the committed involvement of a range of stakeholders.
Performance is the elusive butterfly of API development. Everybody is intrigued with its beauty, yet few know how to capture it. In the old days, the approach of many shops to ensure a performant API was to create some code and then pass it over to the wall to QA to do load testing. Later some integration testing took place. As long as the API worked and it was met some marginal performance benchmarks, things were good. This worked well when a public, HTTP based API, consumed by a wide variety of distributed devices was more the exception than the rule. However, today APIs are a big deal a...
The goal of any tech business worth its salt is to provide the best product or service to its clients in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. This is just as true in the development of software products as it is in other product design services. Microservices, an app architecture style that leans mostly on independent, self-contained programs, are quickly becoming the new norm, so to speak. With this change comes a declining reliance on older SOAs like COBRA, a push toward more sustainable API approaches and fewer monolithic development and deployment models.
The cloud provides two major advantages to load and performance procedures that help testing teams better model realistic behavior: instant infrastructure and geographic location. Cloud-based load testing also lowers the total cost of ownership, increases flexibility and allows testers to understand the impact of third-party components. So you’re sold on using the cloud; here’s what you should look for in a cloud-based load testing solution.
BI Intelligence recently published the Top 5 Digital Trends that is worth looking at. It starts with a dramatic statement, “today, nearly 43% of the world is connected to the Internet, enabling us to talk, share photos, and conduct business halfway across the globe. As a result, we have seen more technological advancements in the past 10 years than we’ve witnessed in the past 10,000 years. And in the next five years, we’ll see even more”. Here are the key trend areas:
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: there’s another side to the Internet that isn’t just about connecting people. The Internet of Things (IoT) is about connecting virtually any “thing” or machine. They could range from personal wearables to smart homes, smart cities’ infrastructure, utilities, transportation, and manufacturing. You’ve probably heard by now; the IoT is far bigger than the Internet of people, and it’s growing fast. Gartner says the IoT will grow 30 percent in 2016, reaching 6.4 billion devices, with more than five million new devices connected daily. It’s expected to contin...
As we have seen the growth in security challenges across the organization, we have also seen the growth in security spending and number of products that an enterprise buys. But have we, as an industry, been able to show that we are better off or worse? There is no clear yardstick to measure if a certain security product is making an enterprise more secure and if it I delivering the ROI that it promised. How do we get out of this FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) driven spending and get to a point where we measure impact based on risk and assess value more objectively.
The proper isolation of resources is essential for multi-tenant environments. The traditional approach to isolate resources is, however, rather heavyweight. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Igor Drobiazko, co-founder of elastic.io, will draw upon their own experience with operating a Docker container-based infrastructure on a large scale and present a lightweight solution for resource isolation using microservices. He will also discuss the implementation of microservices in data and application integration in general, share the challenges they ran into using open source technologies like A...
SAP Ariba offers new ways for small businesses to make and manage the connections that matter to them most using cloud-based networks to bring intelligent buying and digital business benefits to any type of company. The next BriefingsDirect technology innovation thought leadership discussion examines new ways for small businesses to make and manage the connections that matter to them most using cloud-based networks to bring intelligent buying and digital business benefits to any type of company.
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Past SYS-CON Events
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Cloud Expo 2011 Allstar Conference Faculty

S.F.S.
Dell

Singer
NRO

Pereyra
Oracle

Ryan
OpSource

Butte
PwC

Leone
Oracle

Riley
AWS

Varia
AWS

Lye
Oracle

O'Connor
AppZero

Crandell
RightScale

Nucci
Dell Boomi

Hillier
CiRBA

Morrison
Layer 7 Tech

Robbins
NYT

Schwarz
Oracle

What The Enterprise IT World Says About Cloud Expo
 
"We had extremely positive feedback from both customers and prospects that attended the show and saw live demos of NaviSite's enterprise cloud based services."
  –William Toll
Sr. Director, Marketing & Strategic Alliances
Navisite
 


 
"More and better leads than ever expected! I have 4-6 follow ups personally."
  –Richard Wellner
Chief Scientist
Univa UD
 


 
"Good crowd, good questions. The event looked very successful."
  –Simon Crosby
CTO
Citrix Systems
 


 
"It's the largest cloud computing conference I've ever seen."
  –David Linthicum
CTO
Brick Group