BY LISA COLEMAN
Quantum is targeting the midrange network attached storage (NAS) market by buying key technology, intellectual property, assets, and personnel from Connex, a NAS manufacturer and subsidiary of Western Digital. Quantum will boost its market-leading Snap Appliances' Snap Server product line with Connex's technology and target an "underserved" market segment, according to the company.
Last week, Quantum inked the $11 million deal to purchase key complementary technology including a Linux development team who will work on enhancing Quantum's and Connex's NAS operating systems. Quantum also purchased the rights to a new, unannounced product line-that forms the basis for Connex's relationship with Gateway. In addition, Western Digital will supply hard disk drives to Snap Appliances.
"We're expanding our product line upward from the core entry and workgroup segment of the NAS market that we serve today," says Michael Brown, Quantum's chairman and CEO. "We're looking at how do we expand up and really serve a market that we think is primarily underserved today."
Quantum has been targeting the sub-$10,000 NAS product market. With the acquisition of Connex's technology, it hopes to offer performance and capacity product in the $20,000 range. "I think for mid-size businesses, this [our new products] will be an excellent product fit at substantially lower costs than the current available offerings," says Sara Spivey, vice president of marketing at Snap Appliances.
Quantum is planning to leverage the technical development in the Connex OS and also adapt and tailor open source code. While not initially tackling high-end NAS market leaders Network Appliance and EMC, Quantum will provide enterprise-class capacity in its new offerings.
"We'll be able to bring customers some broader offerings particularly for people who look at Network Appliance and EMC and say 'that's great technology, but I really cannot afford it.' We're hoping to offer a lower cost platform albeit without all the bells and whistles at a significantly lower cost," says Spivey.
SANavigator, a wholly owned subsidiary of Connex, is not affected by the agreement.