BY HEIDI BIGGAR
In its third acquisition in as many years, Redmond, WA-based Advanced Digital Information Corporation (ADIC) recently announced plans to purchase Pathlight Technology, a privately owned manufacturer of storage area network (SAN) products, in an effort to broaden its overall storage portfolio.
ADIC acquired software provider MountainGate in September 1999 and mixed-media library/software vendor Emass in August 1998.
"Our intent is to be a storage company-to offer storage solutions based on disk and tape," explains Jonathan Otis, ADIC's vice president of product marketing. "We haven't moved that far from being a library company yet, but this acquisition is a large step in that direction."
Of particular interest to ADIC are Pathlight's SAN Gateway, SAN Router, Virtual Private SAN (VPS), Virtual Private Map (VPN), and SAN Director technologies, which it will integrate into its library family to improve the line's management, virtualization, and connectivity capabilities. The technologies will also be marketed to integrators and OEMs as standalone products for non-ADIC disk or SAN environments.
"Building intelligent functionality and virtualization into our libraries is a crucial product differentiator and provides real management within a SAN," explains Otis. "Pathlight gives us a huge jump."
The boost not only comes from Pathlight's sophisticated SAN management/virtualization software, but from the strength of the merged company's OEM list, which includes such vendors as Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, IBM, McData, and Unisys, and ADIC's history of successfully integrating acquisitions, according to financial investment firm Needham & Company. Needham expects revenues from both companies to increase 40% in fiscal year 2001.
Pathlight's SAN Gateway and SAN Router are standalone SAN devices with multiple Fibre Channel ports and SCSI channels and support for Windows NT, AIX, Solaris, and HP-UX. Both devices enable LAN-free and serverless backup in heterogeneous SAN environments. Additional functionality, including file sharing, volume mapping, virtualization, and SAN monitoring, is provided by various software options such as SAN Director, VPM, and VPS.
Under the merger agreement, 10.3 million shares of ADIC common stock will be exchanged for all outstanding Pathlight stock, warrants, and stock options. ADIC says it plans to maintain Pathlight's Ithaca, NY, facility and will likely maintain the Pathlight name. The acquisition is expected to be finalized by late April.