Alas, poor Xiotech. The company has labored for a decade to carve out a place in the enterprise storage market, first with the Magnitude enterprise SAN array and later with the midrange Emprise line. They were acquired by Seagate in 1999, spun back out in 2002, and took over that company’s clever Intelligent Storage Element (ISE) technology in 2007. Yet Xiotech never reached the mass attention or customer adoption that this wide product line seems to call for.
Today marks the next step for Xiotech, with a new round of funding and a clever and proven new CEO at the helm. I met Alan Atkinson back in my StorageNetworks days, and he impressed me with his vision and charisma. This was proven out with WysDM, Atkinson’s storage and backup metrics startup which he sold to EMC last year. Alan seems to agree with my suggestion that we need a real storage revolution, and Xiotech’s ISE hardware and software gives him a workable platform to build on. In an interview with SearchStorage, Atkinson hints that ISE and cloud storage are two areas of focus for him.
But this new role includes serious challenges. Although financial information is not available, the private company must face cash shortages given their recent funding and debt announcements. And while ISE has certainly won friends, one wonders if a steady 100 or so sales per month will meet the investors’ expectations. One also wonders if the hubbub over Dave Donatelli’s departure from EMC for HP will be repeated with Atkinson and Xiotech. Finally, the relationship between Xiotech and Seagate remains cloudy and the former parent could become a hurdle to product development. Still, it is good to see that some life still remains in the enterprise storage industry.