BY LISA COLEMAN
Quantum is targeting the midrange network-attached storage (NAS) market by acquiring key technology, intellectual property, assets, and personnel from Connex, a NAS manufacturer and subsidiary of Western Digital. With the $11 million purchase, Quantum plans to bolster its Snap Appliances Snap Server product line with Connex's technology and target an "underserved" market segment, according to the company.
"We're expanding our product line upward from the core entry level and workgroup segment of the NAS market that we serve today," says Michael Brown, Quantum's chairman and CEO.
The acquisition includes a Linux development team that will work on enhancing Quantum's and Connex's NAS operating systems. Quantum also purchased the rights to an unannounced product line, which formed the basis for Connex's relationship with Gateway. In addition, Western Digital will supply hard disk drives to Snap Appliances.
While Quantum did purchase Connex assets, it did not purchase the company or its name. Connex will still exist as a company, according to officials at Connex's parent company Western Digital. Connex subsidiary SANavigator is not affected by the agreement.
Snap Appliances will support the Connex N1000 products; however, the Connex N3000 product line was not bought by Quantum. Support for N3000 was still being determined at press time, according to Western Digital.
The key product strategy Quantum will focus on is incorporating the best features of the ConnexOS into the Snap OS to create a more robust, enterprise-class operating system.
Previously, Quantum had been targeting the sub-$10,000 NAS product market. With the acquisition of Connex's technology, it hopes to offer performance and capacity in the $20,000 range.
While not initially tackling NAS market leaders EMC and Network Appliance, Snap's newest 12-drive NAS product-though not a result of the Connex acquisition-will offer terabyte-level capacities. Quantum plans to offer more enterprise-class features in its products in the future.