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EMC helping out Quantum

Posted by Preston on 2009-03-28

For a long time I was not a fan of Quantum. As a system administrator in the early to mid 90’s, I loathed depending on Quantum for the plain DLT-7000 and DLT-8000 format while it seemed they were just sitting on their market share and not innovating. I cheered when the LTO consortium was founded, and have enjoyed watching LTO marketshare grow at the expense of DLT and SDLT.

Since Quantum’s acquisition of Certance though, they’ve become more intimately involved in LTO, and they’ve certainly been trying to turn their game around. Not only that, there are other products, forgetting the actual tape drives, of Quantum, that I like. My favourite tape libraries of all time are StorageTek (Sun), but past that, I’ve equally liked Quantum and ADIC libraries, and with Quantum now owning ADIC, I guess that means after Sun/STK tape libraries, I next like Quantum libraries. Not only that, they also have some commendable disk backup solutions.

Over the last few days, news has hit about EMC injecting a $100 million loan to Quantum. Ostensibly, I believe this helps EMC initially because they license/use some of the Quantum VTL solutions in their EDLs.

Recently I suggested that regardless of talk about IBM looking at acquiring Sun, EMC might be a better buyer. However, with this loan going across to Quantum, it’s making me think that perhaps long term EMC might be able to achieve a good extension to their business by acquiring Quantum and picking the key components, namely:

  1. LTO and SDLT
  2. Tape libraries
  3. VTL core technology

There might be other “worthwhile” bits in Quantum, but when you consider that EMC’s acquisitions over the last 8-10 years have been specifically aimed at giving them full turn-key solutions in the entire information industry, it seems crazy that they’re still not directly involved in tape.

Will Quantum be that opportunity?

Only time will tell.

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