Feeds

HP grabs hold of LeftHand Networks

Stronger competition for Dell/EqualLogic

Build a business case: developing custom apps

HP has snaffled the last of the main independent iSCSI SAN (Storage Area Networks) suppliers by buying LeftHand Networks in a $360m all-cash deal.

There were two pioneering iSCSI SAN companies: EqualLogic selling its own PS drive arrays, and LeftHand Networks whose SAN/iQ software aggregated direct-attached storage (DAS) on industry-standard servers into shared SAN storage. Dell bought EqualLogic in November last year, leaving LeftHand as the last main iSCSI independent.

It was founded in 1999 and is privately-held. It has been very successful, with many hundreds of customers and a world-wide channel with more than 500 resellers and distributors.

The SAN/iQ software plays well with virtual servers as it can be packaged as a VSA (Virtual Storage Appliance), a ready-to-run virtual machine. SAN/iQ supports thin provisioning - conning apps that they have a fully populated disk volume when they only have the capacity needed for writing data plus a bit, replication and space-efficient cloning, meaning the VDI (Virtual Desktop Image) storage, data protection and disaster recovery bases are covered.

It's also said to be remarkably easy to install and manage with one customer's IT head installing a VSA on his notebook during a flight to the Far East, checking out what it could do, and buying it when he returned to the UK. That made a change from watching in-flight movies.

HP will position LeftHand's SAN/iQ product as its mid-range iSCSI SAN offering. The low end is catered for by All-in-One and the MSA storage array products, and the high-end by EVA arrays. SAN/iQ runs on HP's ProLiant servers already too. The deal is expected to complete by the end of HP's first fiscal 2009 quarter, by which time HP will be ready to pump the product through its channel.

Dave Roberson, the SVP and GM for HP's StorageWorks Division, said: "The acquisition of LeftHand Networks significantly expands our storage portfolio, enabling HP to deliver customers an expanded suite of storage functionality, scalable capacity and interconnect options for every budget and performance requirement. With our strong channel and leading position in the industry-standard server market, we are ideally positioned to deliver this technology to customers worldwide." You betcha.

Bill Chambers, LeftHand's CEO, was pretty pleased too, saying: "Joining with HP is a natural fit for our customers and channel partners, giving them an expanded portfolio of server, storage and networking products and services that are already supported by LeftHand Networks' (products)."

The acquisition also deftly solves the IPO problem as in you have got to be mad to consider an IPO in the current insane financial climate where your investment bank could be taken over or collapse in a blink of an eye. LeftHand's venture capital backers will be well pleased and very relieved too.

It's a great deal for HP, less so for Dell which now faces stronger competition for its Dell/EqualLogic PS-Series iSCSI storage products. Still, it never was going to be left alone for long there and covetous eyes were probably being cast upon LeftHand from IBM as well as HP. The company will be integrated into HP's StorageWorks division. No news about potential LeftHand product rebranding or what senior and now enriched LeftHand personnel will be doing. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations
Fix coming for bug that makes Kerberos croak when you run two domain controllers
Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere
Another sign of strain in the Borg/VMware relationship?
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.