With its acquisition of ILM specialist Evertrust, Nexsan Technologies is positioning itself to become the information lifecycle management vendor to beat.
Nexsan Technologies, of Woodland Hills, Calif., announced Tuesday that it has purchased the Quebec, Ontario-based AESign Evertrust, which develops ILM, CAS (Content-Addressed Storage) and compliance software for digital data storage, archiving and management.
The acquisition positions Nexsan to achieve its ambitious goal of becoming the pre-eminent ILM CAS vendor—even besting market leader EMC Corp.
“We are working to evolve into a systems company rather than just offering our storage systems, and we believe we have the technology, through this acquisition, to position ourselves as a leader in the ILM CAS and compliance space,” said Nexsan vice president Brendan Kinkade.
Nexsan plans to achieve this goal by developing a second-generation ILM product that combines Evertrusts technology with Nexsans disk-based storage systems.
The new product, due out within a month, will be a fully integrated ILM solution that also supports optical and tape—an important consideration for companies that must comply with regulatory requirements, which dictate that data be stored on WORM-compatible media, Kinkade said.
“We have a Centera-killer,” said Kinkade, referring to EMCs market-leading ILM solution. “Its the first true second-generation ILM solution.”
Whether Nexsan can succeed in penetrating the tough ILM market—and beating EMC at its own game—remains to be seen, but its strategy gives it a reasonable chance of success, said Steve Duplessie, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group of Milford, Mass.
“Centera dominates the market by a landslide, but Nexsan realizes that Centera does have some shortcomings, such as performance, proprietary APIs and the fact that its a locked environment—you can only use EMC gear with it,” he said.
Nexsan plans to combat these issues by incorporating disk, tape and optical technology, which Duplessie said could make all the difference.
Changing the game
Nexsans foray into the ILM space comes at a particularly good time, said Carolyn DiCenzo, research vice president for storage software at Gartner of Stamford, Conn.
“EMC entered the market when it wasnt fully baked, and they learned from their customers and developed the product as they went along,” she said.
“Coming into the market later, Nexsan has the benefit of what EMC learned and should be able to create a product with tighter code that incorporates all of the lessons learned.”
If nothing else, Nexsans charge into the ILM market will make EMC sit up and take notice.
“This means EMC doesnt have a free ride anymore,” Duplessie said. “Nexsan changed the game by pretty much inventing disk-based backup, and now hopes to do it again.”
Once Nexsan has fully absorbed Evertrusts technology and introduced its turnkey ILM CAS and compliance appliance to the marketplace, the company intends to continue on its path to evolving into a systems company.
“We have laid all of this out strategically, and weve got a plan,” Kinkade said.
Nexsan really doesnt have a choice, Duplessie said.
“All discrete storage device manufacturers either have to move up the intelligence food chain or get eaten,” he said. “They would ultimately be commoditized into oblivion unless they can continue to layer on incremental value.”
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