Over the last week there have been a few stories catching my eye.  Here’s a brief paragraph on them.

SGI Acquires COPAN Systems

In fact to be more precise, SGI have acquired some of the assets of COPAN and left the liabilities behind for a mere $2 million in cash (press release).  The demise of COPAN raises two potential questions; is spin-down a dead technology or were COPAN in a market that wasn’t able to understand their technology?  I have to admit it took me a while to get what COPAN were offering.  In fact I had a presentation of their technology by the UK team a couple of years ago in which I experienced that “light bulb” moment.  However times change.  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How expensive was COPAN compared to a standard modular solution?
  • What savings could I actually achieve in a COPAN solution?
  • Which other vendors now offer spin-down in their products?

At the end of the day, the majority of an array is disk drives, which cost the same, whoever you purchase them from.  Savings from suspending power usage are not that great; powering down a single drive may only save $10-15/year, hardly a massive saving.  With other vendors also offering spin down in their products, it was only a matter of time before COPAN hit a wall.  I evaluated the product for deployment at a client.  My major issue with the offering was the sheer weight of it.  This factor alone would have made impractical for many data centres.

EMC Sells IP to VMware

It’s a bit like borrowing something from your parents; EMC are selling some of their software IP to VMware for the princely sum of $200 million (press release).  The products being transferred relate to server  and application management. Does this mean that owning the Hypervisor isn’t enough to beat the competition?  I expect it does.  Where’s the money to be made in selling a hypvervisor that in a few years will have to be given away for free?  Hyper-V may not be competitive today, but a free product definitely beats a one that has to be paid for, even if the features aren’t quite as good.  So the future is selling add-on value, simplification or tie-in.  Maybe that’s the reason behind the parental selloff.

STEC Shares Get Punished

STEC shares have yet again taken a battering after they missed earnings target by a mile (Barrons Report).   The press report on the link makes an interesting comment claiming EMC may have effectively stopped ordering SSDs.

I’ve personally always thought that SSDs were overhyped.   I never believed they would be adopted as quickly as EMC predicted (or more accurately would have wished).   Have a look at Beth Pariseau’s article from this time last year (TechTarget article).   At the time Tucci claimed EMC were selling “every SSD they could get their hands on”.   We can only assume that has changed.   What a difference a year makes.

About the author

Chris Evans

Chris M Evans is an independent consultant with over 20 years' experience, specialising in storage infrastructure design and deployment.

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