Xiotech Owns Up to Kashya

Array vendor comes clean about source of replication enhancement. Who's next?

March 3, 2005

3 Min Read
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Prince Charles would be proud: Xiotech Corp. has acknowledged an alliance with Kashya Inc., which is apparently the first of a couple of big announcements for the latter startup.

Interestingly, the formal Kashya announcement reveals only that the two partners are working together on a solution for Xiotech's 3D storage arrays. But Mehran Hadipour, VP of marketing for Kashya, says Kashya's software is the source of the TimeScale Rapid Restore add-on option Xiotech announced late last year (see Xiotech Replicates). That solution is in use by several customers, Hardipour says.

For its part, Xiotech's reticent about this alliance. A Xiotech spokesman, Nick Ludlum, says the TimeScale option, which includes hardware that can be installed in the same rack as Xiotech's 3D, 3D Magnitude, and Magnitude 3D NAS arrays, is "not Kashya rebranded." It uses Kashya's software to help provide continuous local and remote data replication across any combination of Xiotech arrays, but it also incorporates technology from Xiotech, he says.

Hadipour says Xiotech's not the only OEM on its dance card. A second big partner is waiting in the wings, he maintains, and will be announced soon. Other OEMs are in the talking stage. Kashya also sells its KBX5000 replication appliance directly for use with heterogeneous SANs (see Kashya Reveals Replication). It's sold through integrators as well.

Xiotech has no immediate plans to partner with another appliance vendor, a spokesman says.The news highlights the growing importance of replication in storage networking. According to Hardipour, Kashya comes up against array vendors such as EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), when it goes out to sell replication and disaster recovery. Kashya's also jostling a crowd of players that includes other appliance makers like Data Domain Inc., as well as software makers like NSI Software Inc. and Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS), to name just two.

It makes sense, therefore, for Kashya to pair up with SAN and NAS suppliers. On the downside, this strategy means Kashya's caught on Xiotech's apron strings as that vendor takes on the biggest players of all in the storage market. That's a tough fight, even though Xiotech's a scrappy player (see Top Ten Private Companies: Winter 2004, page 3).

Hardipour insists Kashya can hold its own. He claims Kashya's solution is distinguished by being able to replicate data across heterogenous arrays, to compress data at order-of-magnitude ratios, and to convert between Fibre Channel and IP in order to handle remote IP replication (see Replication's All the Rage).

At least one analyst, who asked not to be named, says Kashya's got a fight on its hands. "Their technology is good. There's nothing revolutionary about it." Bottom line? Keep an eye out for OEM news. In a growing field where it looks as if lots of players are good, it's the partnerships that need to be compelling.

Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch0

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