HP Acquires LeftHand Networks For $360 million - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Infrastructure
Commentary
10/1/2008
09:04 PM
Howard Marks
Howard Marks
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

HP Acquires LeftHand Networks For $360 million

LeftHand Networks was one of the first vendors in the iSCSI market and has always had the best of the iSCSI solutions that runs on standard x86 server hardware. It has transitioned over the past couple of years from selling whitebox servers with its SAN/iQ software bundled in to primarily selling SAN/iQ as software, upping the ante this February by releasing SAN/iQ as a VMware virtual appliance.

LeftHand Networks was one of the first vendors in the iSCSI market and has always had the best of the iSCSI solutions that runs on standard x86 server hardware. It has transitioned over the past couple of years from selling whitebox servers with its SAN/iQ software bundled in to primarily selling SAN/iQ as software, upping the ante this February by releasing SAN/iQ as a VMware virtual appliance.Meanwhile, HP's iSCSI solutions have all been unsatisfying in one way or another. The AIO uses Windows Storage Server and is built in iSCSI target software, formerly String Bean Software's WinTarget. Even hard-core Windows administrators like me find the thought of using Windows to run a production SAN array a little scary. Come Patch Tuesday, the system admins have to bring all the iSCSI-attached servers down to patch the AIO and then bring everything up in the right order.

The MSA is too limited, supporting just 16 hosts and lacking array-based replication. And don't get me started about HP's iSCSI solution for its otherwise quite respectable EVA, which uses an iSCSI to Fibre Channel bridge, making an iSCSI EVA cost more than a Fibre Channel EVA.

HP's seen a place for SAN/iQ for a while as it's been reselling a DL380 SAN/iQ bundle since 2006. HP's Prolaint users, and resellers, are incredibly loyal and huge numbers of them haven't yet gotten on the SAN bus. When these SME customers start looking at VMware infrastructure and find out that they can't use cool features like Vmotion with SmartArrays and DAS cabinets, they'll be happy to hear HP's virtual iSCSI story.

Financially, LeftHand is going for quite a bit less than the 1.4 billion samolians Dell ponied up for EqualLogic, but Dell paid that premium because EqualLogic was on the verge of a successful IPO. In today's financial climate, the VCs that put $75 million into LeftHand should be happy to get $360 in cash out.

My compatriot George Crump thinks this puts HP in the position of having too many storage platforms and laments that SAN/iQ will wither on the vine. It could happen. We've seen HP buy products before to have them disappear off the face of the earth. I'm hopeful HP will see the iSCSI light and realize that it needs to continue developing its new virtual iSCSI array.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
News
How COVID is Changing Technology Futures
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/23/2020
Slideshows
10 Ways AI Is Transforming Enterprise Software
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  7/13/2020
Commentary
IT Career Paths You May Not Have Considered
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/30/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
2020 State of DevOps Report
2020 State of DevOps Report
Download this report today to learn more about the key tools and technologies being utilized, and how organizations deal with the cultural and process changes that DevOps brings. The report also examines the barriers organizations face, as well as the rewards from DevOps including faster application delivery, higher quality products, and quicker recovery from errors in production.
Video
Current Issue
Special Report: Why Performance Testing is Crucial Today
This special report will help enterprises determine what they should expect from performance testing solutions and how to put them to work most efficiently. Get it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll