Stores Great…Less Filling

The storage sector got a little bit slimmer Wednesday as two publicly-traded
players gobbled two privately-held concerns.

Quantum inked a
definitive agreement to acquire SANlight for $8.5 million, while
Computer Associates International (CA) moved to buy Netreon
for an undisclosed cash sum.

Quantum, the Milpitas, Calif. tape drive manufacturer
purchased software maker SANlight, in whom it already owned a 7 percent
stake, to help bolster its data protection for devices such as its Quantum
DX30, a disk-based backup system that emulates a tape library. SANlight has
been developing applications in stealth mode.

The DX30 reduces the amount of time required to complete a backup and to
restore data on the network. Because it works seamlessly with tape
libraries, it can be easily deployed and managed, which curtails software
modifications and policy changes for IT workers. Most research firms see the
tape drive market as spanning $3 to $4 billion over the next few years as
the amount of corporate data increases.

Michael Del Rosso, vice president and chief technology officer, Quantum’s
Storage Solutions Group, called the purchase a piece of its “enhanced data
protection” strategy.

“Our goal is to help customers deal with the limitations of conventional
backup and restore methods…” Del Rosso said.

Quantum is serious about data protection, having taken the helm in creating
the Enhanced Backup Solutions Initiative (EBSI), an independent, open
storage industry coalition geared to educate IT professionals about
disk-based backup technologies.

Quantum, whose competitors include IBM, StorageTek and Seagate, will
purchase all of SANlight’s assets, technology and intellectual property and
integrate them into its storage solutions business. Most of the acquisition
cost will be treated as research and development. Quantum expects the deal
to close in February.

Meanwhile Islandia, NY’s Computer Associates looked to absorb storage area
network (SAN)
software maker Netreon to fill a missing piece in its storage
life cycle for its Managing Storage Without Boundaries initiative.

SANexec Designer
will be integrated into CA’s BrightStor family of
storage management products and will be branded as BrightStor SAN Designer.
BrightStor SAN Designer (née SANexec Designer) reduces the chance for
error by populating a dataset with SAN devices and their properties, and
easing the data from step to step through the design and configuration

SANs have become increasingly popular for companies seeking to consolidate
data storage in order to reduce costs and help their systems run more
smoothly. However, the complexity of SANs has inhibited their acceptance
outside of very large data centers. To ensure their fluidity, manufacturers
have been whipping up storage management products. IDC estimates the
complexity and continuing growth of storage needs will result in yield a $40
billion market by 2003. CA competes with a cadre of firms in the SAN space,
including Veritas and HP.

To that end, Bill North said CA’s Managing Storage Without Boundaries
strategy with BrightStor decouples storage use from storage execution to
achieve Enterprise Storage Automation.

“Managing storage without boundaries addresses key areas of dynamic
provisioning and operational workflow providing order to storage chaos,”
North said. “BrightStor integrates all major areas of storage management:
data availability, resource management, media management and network storage
management with the new BrightStor Portal for centralized control.”

BrightStor SAN Designer will be available through CA’s worldwide sales force
and authorized channel partners.

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