Feeds

Dot Hill: Troubles and prospects

Rejiggery pokery with Xiotech

Boost IT visibility and business value

Comment Dot Hill sold 125,000 entry-level array subsystems - good news. The bad news is it's restructuring and sacking a tenth of its workforce to staunch losses - and it's partnering with Xiotech in an opaque technology agreement with no clarity over which of them will deliver product. So what on earth is going on?

Dot Hill sells drive array subsystems to storage array OEMs, such as Sun, in competition with LSI. In early May it reported first quarter 2010 revenues of $60m, up $6.1m year-on-year, but still made a loss of $6.4m, nearly double the $3.3m loss of a year ago. So sales up and losses up; that's the basic problem. It also missed Wall Street estimates, disappointing analysts who felt management had let the company down.

It's announced a restructuring plan geared to get itself back to break-even before income tax, etc, by the fourth quarter. A profit will have to wait until 2011. A tenth of its workforce will go and a Carlsbad facility will be closed down.

It has announced a 10 per cent cut in the base salaries of its VP and executive-level management teams, including the CEO and president, Dana Kammersgard, and CFO, and a five per cent cut in the base salaries of certain of its employees below VP level.

It wants to break even with revenues of between $60m and $65m. Second quarter revenues are expected to be between $62m and $65m, on the button, but costs have to go down before the magic break-even point, and revenues go up, probably past $70m, before good profits can be made.

Cloverleaf

Its product strategy is to move into higher-margin software as a complement to the basic disk enclosure subsystem core. That's why it bought Cloverleaf Communications in January. This is going to take time to bring results and so it is doling out as much good news as it can in the mean time.

Thus we hear that it has shipped 125,000 units of its small and medium business array, the 3000 RAID series, which come with volume copy and snapshot facilities.

That's good, but it obviously isn't good enough - witness the quarterly results, and Sun as a customer is liable to reduce its order rate, given Larry Ellison's dislike of OEM deals.

We also heard about a new OEM customer, transtec AG, a German company active in virtualisation, high-performance computing and general IT infrastructures. There was another new OEM deal with Kyocera. Channel expansion is a good thing, even in small steps.

Yesterday we heard about a technology partnership with Xiotech which puzzlingly didn't make clear which company, Dot Hill or Xiotech, would be shipping product using technology from the other. Neither company was able to answer questions about this yesterday but we can probably tease out what's afoot by looking at the Cloverleaf acquisition.

Dot Hill paid $2.5m cash and used 9.5m shares in the acquisition of Cloverleaf, a privately-held company with a base in Israel and office in Woodbury, New York. The main technology is iSN, the intelligent Storage Network.

This is software-based, running on standard Intel architecture hardware. It provides unified management and support of any vendor's storage arrays and includes features such as storage virtualization and pooling across mixed vendor SAN (block) and NAS (file) storage, thin provisioning, automated tiered provisioning, data migration, advanced snapshot, FCDP (Frequent Consistent Data Protection), synchronous and asynchronous replication and remote disaster recovery at host speeds of up to 24GB/s rates.

Cloverleaf's virtualization and data management services support both file and block I/O with Fibre Channel and NFS/CIFS protocol support. The iSN products can be clustered for near linear performance gains with up to 12 controllers being deployed in a single configuration, and 2PB of back-end storage supported.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
Docker kicks KVM's butt in IBM tests
Big Blue finds containers are speedy, but may not have much room to improve
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Gartner's Special Report: Should you believe the hype?
Enough hot air to carry a balloon to the Moon
Flash could be CHEAPER than SAS DISK? Come off it, NetApp
Stats analysis reckons we'll hit that point in just three years
Dell The Man shrieks: 'We've got a Bitcoin order, we've got a Bitcoin order'
$50k of PowerEdge servers? That'll be 85 coins in digi-dosh
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.