NFR stalls, EMC rolls, 3Com embraces SANs

Posted on December 01, 1998

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NFR stalls, EMC rolls, 3Com embraces SANs

Dave Simpson

Editor-in-Chief

When we planned this issue`s cover story a few months back, TeraStor assured us that shipments of its much-anticipated near-field recording (NFR) drives were on schedule and due "by the end of the year." As the story was being filed, TeraStor announced that product delivery would slip--this time to the second quarter of next year. Bear in mind that NFR drives and media were originally due early this year.

But we weren`t all that surprised. After all, the storage industry is littered with plenty of mammoth and iceberg-size delays. In the case of TeraStor, it`s just that the technology is exceedingly complex. Zealots have for more than a year billed NFR in breathless terms such as "breakthrough" and "revolutionary" and talked about the impact it will have on other storage technologies. But don`t expect NFR to topple the apple cart for at least another year, even if TeraStor does deliver in the second quarter.

By the time NFR ships, the removable storage industry will look a lot different than it did a year ago, with new tape, optical, and removable desktop formats providing plenty of competition for any newcomers.

Kudos to EMC and STK

Last month, Business Week released its first annual Information Technology 100 list, and two storage-centric vendors made the grade. StorageTek placed 79th and EMC ranked 8th--one spot below Microsoft. The study rated companies based on financial performance, taking into consideration factors such as total revenues, revenue growth, shareholder return, and return on equity. For the latest annual reporting period, EMC raked in almost $3.4 billion, with profits of $634.5 million, and a revenue growth rate of 33.4%.

3Com enters SAN market

3Com recently became the first of the major networking vendors to toss its hat into the storage area network ring (see news story). With its extensive direct sales and reseller forces preaching the gospel, the $6 billion giant is bound to fuel adoption of SANs based on the Fibre Channel interface. We expect other networking leaders to follow suit shortly. Stay tuned.


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