Overland Storage, 'miracle' flirty virty Sphere 3D jump in bed

Strange couple agree to merge – what does it all mean?

On the face of it, this is hard to believe

A FAQ on Sphere 3D’s website says: "We have emulators for a number of various chipsets including X86, ARM, RISC and others." Sphere 3D’s website admits: “Clearly unbelievable, right?”

But Sphere 3D says it can be done: “With GLASSWARE 2.0’s platform, web-enabled devices can access any digital content or software, anytime, anywhere, in their native form.”

Here’s what Overland and Sphere 3D say:

The combination of Sphere 3D's Glassware 2.0 virtualisation solution and Overland's data storage solutions will enable mobile device users the full functionality of any software program or application on any device, anywhere, eliminating the application limitations, data management and security problems for enterprises created by the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) phenomenon. Mobile users that need productivity applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and collaborations, specialised software for computer-aided design (CAD), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), software development, video production or customised legacy applications can now experience full application functionality via the cloud or in the data centre.

It would be good to see independent evaluation by analysts.

Sphere 3D also has a V3 Systems VDI appliance product, acquired in February with V3 Systems [PDF]. There are, we’re told, more than 200 deployments worldwide. Kelly said: “We believe the application virtualisation platform that allows native third-party applications to be delivered in the cloud or in the data centre on any device, independent of operating system or hardware, is an industry-first solution.”

Indeed it would be.

In a Streetsweeper article on Wednesday, investigative reporter Sonya Colberg claimed:

  • There is “currently no real commercial product", though Sphere 3D has been working on it for about five years now.
  • The company has little or no organic sales.

It goes on to say much worse. But bear in mind we're told Streetsweeper “hold[s] a short position in ANY.V [Sphere3D's stock price] and stand[s] to profit on any future declines in the stock price”.

The article claims Sphere 3D bought V3 “only by signing a $5 million debt deal with Cyrus Capital Partners”, apparently the same firm that encouraged Overland and Tandberg to merge. Sphere 3D paid, the article reports, $9.7m for V3, which had sales of $532,256 in 2013.

Overland’s conference call with investors revealed that the Sphere 3D merger is expected to close in the third quarter.

Kelly said Sphere 3D’s virtualisation technology can be used on Tandberg and Overland Storage products, adding: “When you have applications that are driving storage requirements, you’re going to move more storage products. So the combination was one that actually helps us drive the storage growth as well as leverage our infrastructure to quickly broaden the reach for the Sphere 3D product line.”

Net net

The net-net here is that Overland is digesting Tandberg and integrating it with savings and possible profitability in mind. It is also merging with a Canadian startup with, almost literally, fantastic-sounding technology that can achieve a miracle; web-enabled devices accessing any digital content or software, anytime, anywhere, in their native form.

Tassiopoulos’ Sphere 3D, the developer and possessor of technology that could be worth billions, has decided to merge with Overland Storage and not seek an acquisition or partnership with Cisco EMC, Dell, HP, IBM, or any other mainstream IT systems vendor that would surely just love to have such technology and pay very well for it.

Why is that? It is a mystery. ®

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